Christ’s call to discipleship is a call to self-death, an absolute surrender to God. … From the world’s perspective, Christ’s frankness in caling people to follow HIm appears to be extreme. But Jesus is honest and direct: to share in His glory a person must first share in His death… Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings. And the Lord of the universe commands every person to follow Him. He never pleaded for someone to follow Him. He was embassaringly straightforward… Jesus expected immidiate obedience. He accepted no excuses… Obeying Christ’s command, “Follow Me,” results in self-death. Christianity without self-death is only an abstract philosophy. It is Christianity without Christ.
Dr. Keith Phillips, The Making of a Disciple (Fleming H. Revell Company: New Jersey, 1981), 16-17.
“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.