young man standing at foot of cross

count the cost

The more we follow Jesus around the more we understand the disciples’ confusion over his teaching and tactics. Success, it would seem, would be measured at least in part by people bringing more people and the movement growing in strength by number. But Jesus seems to stall the movement’s progress at many turns. Whether he awkwardly speaks out of turn when he could rather have been gaining credibility in opportune situations like a dinner party, or making himself inaccessible by sneaking away across a lake, or now actually telling people to “go away” or “go back” he is not exactly an ideal new folk hero. Why does he go to such pains to thin the ranks of disciples? It would appear that he knows more than is apparent about what is going to be necessary for a movement like his. It will not be in strength of numbers that the kingdom comes. Have we missed that point altogether in modern Christianity? Strength in numbers would seem to be exactly what we’re after, wouldn’t it? So then how would we manage his confrontation that we should only stay with the movement if we hate our families and are ready to die? Hmmm.