When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. Matthew 5:1-2 (The Message)
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
This passage from the Sermon on the Mount is really illuminating when read in the words from The Message. It indicates that when Jesus climbed the hillside to have a good platform, so to speak, to deliver his message, his followers climbed up with him.
This indicates to me that his followers paid a price in effort to hear the wisdom of the Master. They were, as the passage says, “the committed”. They not only believed his words, but they were willing to put effort into practicing his ways.
I see these days that there are many who talk about their beliefs. Many call themselves Christians because of what they believe. Putting those beliefs into practice typically costs something. It may mean swimming against the cultural tides. It may mean literally putting our money into practice to help others in a sacrificial way. Many people looking afar at Christians do not typically care what the Christians believe, they look at how Christians live out that belief.
Remember, following Jesus has a cost, it is not just a belief system.
Prayer: Lord, help us to climb that hill with Jesus, Amen