IF WE WOULD, WE MAY
Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If ayone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'
If any man will . . . let him follow me, He says, and some will rise and go after Him, but others give no heed to His voice.
So the gulf opens between man and man, between those who will and those who will not.
Silently, terribly the work goes on, as each one decides whether he will hear or ignore the voice of invitation. Unknown to the world, perhaps unknown even to the individual, the work of separation takes place. Each hearer of the Voice must decide for himself, and he must decide on the basis of the evidence the message affords. There will be no thunder sound, no heavenly sign or light from heaven.
The Man is His own proof. The marks in His hands and feet are the insignia of His rank and office. He will not put Himself again on trial; He will not argue, but the morning of the judgment will confirm what men in the twilight have decided. And those who would follow Him must accept His conditions.
Let him, He says, and there is no appeal from His words.
He will use no coercion, but neither will He compromise.
Men cannot make the terms; they merely agree to them.
Thousands turn from Him because they will not meet His conditions. He watches them as they go, for He loves them, but He will make no concessions. Admit one soul into the Kingdom by compromise and that Kingdom is no longer secure. Christ will be Lord, or He will be Judge.
Every man must decide whether he will take Him as Lord now or face Him as Judge then.
Christ makes clear the way to follow Him. There are no exceptions or modifications. We follow Him or we don't follow Him. What a monumental decision affecting today and the forever tomorrows!
O Christ, I would follow You on Your terms, in Your way. It is YOU I follow.