The following post is part of a series about the importance of Locking Arms as we journey together in life. You can see the original post here. Today’s post is from Director Wisniewski’s brother Steve.
From the response of the rich young ruler, we can gather that not everyone who sought Jesus came for the same reasons. Some came to be fed, while others came out of curiosity. Some wanted to see miracles, while others wanted to experience one. The prostitute was in search of mercy, the religious wanted to find fault with Him, and the soldier sought healing for his sick daughter.
As word spread about the carpenter’s son who spoke with unmatched authority and power, Jesus resisted the temptation to water down His message or pander to the audience. He was neither politically correct nor especially polite. He was a God-pleaser, not a man-pleaser. He confronted the hypocrisy of the leaders, called sinners to repentance, and gave mercy to the humble. He simply preached the unadulterated truth of God’s Word with conviction and without compromise.
Looking at the swelling crowds around Him, Jesus had a growing problem: He was too popular. Too many people wanted to follow Him—many for all the wrong reasons. At times it seemed He purposely chased away the masses in hopes of finding those whose hearts were in it. Today, Jesus is still popular, but not everyone is coming to Him for the purest reasons. Some come to see miracles; others to appear spiritual. Some come to offer thanks out of duty or tradition, while others come to get from Him something they desire.
While Jesus preached to the masses, His message was only accepted by a few. He promised His followers that they would be hated, persecuted, and face hardships at every turn (see Matt. 24:9). It was a straight road and a narrow path, not nearly wide enough to accommodate the in-crowd. The herd was traveling in a different direction, far too busy with life and with too much going on and too much to lose. Although many were called, few choose to step forward and accept the call.
Those who did step up found honor and glory in the narrow road. They became world-shaking, history-making, city-taking, stronghold-breaking, nation-quaking legends. Through the power of the living God, they toppled kingdoms, worked righteousness, routed enemy armies, shut the mouths of lions, trampled the fire of violence, shattered the walls of tradition, destroyed the works of the devil, and obtained the promises of God. They possessed a passion that could not be quenched and a power that could not be equaled (see Heb. 11). This world was not worthy of them. The only way to stop them was to kill them or to imprison them, but that did not intimidate them in the least. They knew it would be far better to be a prisoner of the Lord for a few years than to be a prisoner of regret for eternity.
The call to be a disciple of Christ is the call to abandonment, to spill out our guts for the glory of heaven. It is a life lived on purpose, for a purpose, by a God of purpose.
Excerpt from: “Hand on the line – Challenging men to follow God’s call” by Steve Wisniewski and Jeff Rosticil
Mr. Wisniewski played thirteen seasons for the Oakland & LA Raiders at Right Guard. He made the Pro Bowl eight times.