What does it mean to follow Christ? Several years ago, I was talking with a friend of mine at university who was not a Christian but was very spiritually minded. After attending one of our Campus Bible Studies, she said that she would become a Christian if the cost was not so high. She said that she knows the Bible is true, but she would lose too many friends if she admitted it.
What would Jesus say to that? How would He respond to someone who says that it cost too much to follow Him?
In the final chapter of John’s Gospel, the Lord answers that question by asking Peter three times: “Do you love Me” (21:15, 16, 17)? Then He says, “When you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go” (verse 18). In other words, there is a cost to following Him. Salvation is free but it is not cheap. In Peter’s case, it will make him a martyr. As verse 19 says, “Now this [Jesus] said, signifying by what kind of death [Peter] would glorify God.”
As we come to the end of our series on the Gospel of John, Jesus shows us what it all boils down to. If you believe in Jesus, you will count the cost. If you are truly His disciple, you will give up everything to follow Him. John wrote this Gospel “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (20:31). But part of believing is giving up everything you have for Him. Part of believing is loving Him with all that you are. I look forward to studying this final passage with you and finishing our study of this wonderful book on Sunday. We meet at 9:30 at 46024 Riverside Drive in Chilliwack. I hope to see you there! – Jeremy Cagle