The Inconvenience of Jesus
by Jacob Hudgins
“And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region”(Mark 5:16-17).
Jesus casts out the powerful demon Legion, and allows the demon to go into some pigs. Running the pigs off a sharp bank, the demon drowns them in the sea. The herdsmen rush into town and gather a crowd, which begs Jesus to leave. Your demon-expelling powers are incredible, Jesus—but we can’t risk losing more pigs!
“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’”(Luke 9:59-60). The man doesn’t tell Jesus no—he simply has something he needs to do first. Jesus will not abide such slights in priority. The same goes for the man who wants to follow Jesus after first telling everyone goodbye (Luke 9:61). And the rich young ruler who won’t sell all that he has to follow Jesus (Matt 19:16-22). Jesus is inconvenient.
There have always been those who want the benefits of following Jesus without the inconvenience. They want him to cast out their demons, but spare their pigs. They want to follow him, but when they get ready. They want to be saved, but on their terms. The Bible speaks of none of them favorably.
Following Jesus will mean inconvenience for us. It may mean discord within our families. It may mean the loss of physical possessions. It may mean intense, uncomfortable change. It may mean the sacrifice of worldly things—or worldly people—we love dearly. It may make our co-workers whisper about us or our friends roll their eyes. It may mean embarrassing conversations where we admit sin or express regret. It may mean giving up time reserved for play, or relaxation, or work, and giving it to Jesus. One thing is certain: following Jesus will not be convenient.
The challenge for us is to focus on the reward of following Jesus rather than the inconvenience it causes. Those who accepted the high and holy calling of Christ did not do so because they were anxious to make themselves martyrs. They wanted what Jesus was offering: salvation from sin, a place in the kingdom, and a way to the Father. Like a pearl of great price, they felt that this reward was worth any cost or inconvenience. Do you?