Sabbatum Excerpt: John Stott on the Call to Follow Christ


“At its simplest Christ’s call was “Follow me.” He asked men and women for their personal allegiance. He invited them to learn from him, to obey his words and to identify themselves with his cause.

Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to give up all lesser loyalties. In the days of his ministry on earth, this often meant a literal abandonment of home and work. Simon and Andrew “left their nets and followed him.” James and John “left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” Matthew, who heard Christ’s call while he was “sitting at his tax booth… got up, left everything and followed him.”

In principle, the call of the Lord Jesus is unchanged today. He still says, “Follow me,” and adds, “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple.” In practice, however, this does not mean for most Christians that they will need to move out of their home and leave their job. What it does imply though is the need for an inner surrender of these things, and a refusal to allow either family or ambition to occupy the first place in our lives.”


John R. W. Stott, “Counting the Cost.” Basic Christianity. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008. 133-34. Print.

 

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