“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” A. K. Chesterton
The thought that Christ wants all of me on His terms based solely on the strength of His Word relegates many of us to observer status in what could have been a living drama beyond imagination. We simply find His challenge too “difficult” and consequently “left untried.”
After all, how can Jesus be taken seriously when He says,
- “No one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.“
- “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.“
- “If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself.“
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred for his faith in Nazi Germany stated, “When Jesus Christ calls us, He bids us come and die.”
Many of us would rather live on the fringes of authentic Christianity than “die” to our stubborn will and “risk” everything through total surrender to Christ.
When Jesus challenged a mob of wannabe “disciples” with, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you… many… turned back and no longer followed Him.” (John 6:53, 66 – niv; kjv)
In that moment, His call to total commitment… to the “Christian ideal” was “found difficult and left untried.”
The question Jesus then posed to the remaining disciples echoes down through the centuries to us today, “Will you too go away?” (John 6:67)
Only you, in the depths of your soul know the answer to that question.