We just started a study of the book of Mark at The Well. Been reading George Ladd’s A Theology of the New Testament and thought I would share this gem with you,
“Mark campaigns against balcony-type Christians who are too high for mission and discipleship that in Mark’s terms necessarily involves cross-bearing and self-sacrifice.”
One of the things I am getting as I read Mark so far is that the disciples themselves didn’t understand what they were getting themselves into. Sure, they showed great faith by dropping their nets and leaving their lives and family behind to follow Jesus. But, they didn’t count the cost as we see them constantly misunderstanding what they were getting themselves into throughout the rest of the book.
“Mark’s account tells us that Jesus’ disciples found this a hard lesson to learn. Indeed, their whole understanding of Jesus’ mission was at best superficial, if not dangerously misleading. There is a recurrent empehesis on their failure to understand.”
Leads us to the ask ourselves the question, have we flippantly decided to follow Jesus without truly counting the cost? I think what we get when we do that, is balcony-type christianity that quickly follows Jesus when its exciting (or emotional) but tends to abandon Him when things stop making sense or we are called to sacrifice in ways that we aren’t prepared for.
Update: one more quote too good not to share:
Discipleship, therefore, must necessarily be an uncomfortable process of reorientation and of abandonment of the self-centered values of human society in favor of the divine economy, in which, “Many who are first will be last, and the last first.”