Isn’t that an interesting question? If most of us were to answer that question honestly, we would probably say we want Jesus for the following reasons: eternal life, peace, comfort, freedom, love, forgiveness, better life, etc. While these are not bad things in and of themselves, I do believe we must all take a deeper look as to why we REALLY want Jesus.
In Luke 9:57-62, we read about the cost of following Jesus. Scriptures say,
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The first time I read this passage, I was stumped and confused. I could not understand how a loving God could be so uncompassionate in his responses to the men who had willingly said they would follow him. Since studying the passage, I want to shed some light on the reality of the situation. Verse 57 says,
“As they were going along the road.”
The road that they were on was the road to Jerusalem, so when the man said that he would follow Jesus wherever he went, I don’t believe he was aware of what that really meant. You see, when the man looked down the road, he saw palm trees being waived and people singing “Hosanna!” When Jesus looked down the road, he saw things differently. He saw right through the parade and triumphal entry and saw the cross, a tool of torment and shame. He knew that the journey ahead was one of persecution, not glory.
During that period of time, it was normal for someone to attach themselves to a popular religious figure to for personal gain. You’ve heard it before. Maybe there was a person from high school who became very successful and someone else all of a sudden wanted to befriend them to help advance their own career. To put in clearly, they were a means to an end.
Jesus is NOT the means to an end, He IS the end!
In other words, You don’t follow Jesus to get things (more wealth, better house, nicer car, less stress, easier life, climb the socio-economic ladder, religious advancement, etc.); you follow Jesus to get Jesus. He is enough. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” – Psalm 73:25
The question remains, why do you want Jesus?
Scriptures tells us in Psalm 139:23-24 (MSG),
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
If Jesus is a means to an end for you, it’s time to do some soul-searching. You don’t get Jesus for the rewards of being a follower, He’s not your benefit package. You get Jesus to know Him more and to become satisfied in Christ Alone!
Jesus is all-sufficient, all-satisfying, and all you will ever need.