The call of the disciples in our gospel story this Sunday, and their immediate response, indicates the decisiveness connected with conversion and the totality of the disciples’ adherence to Christ in leaving all behind, even to the point of severing family ties. The leave-taking is done for positive reasons, the desire of a greater good.
We are being shown that, when it comes to commitment to Christ, we cannot operate from a “Jesus plus” viewpoint: Jesus plus my family , Jesus plus my spouse, Jesus plus my job, or my house, or my bank account, etc etc. Jesus must come first, last and always. He must have first place in our hearts and in our affections. Our desire for a “nice life,” adhering to all the many things or persons who provide “comfort” in our lives, is a great barrier to us experiencing the assurance that comes from total discipleship to Jesus. It is Jesus who will tell us, a little later on in the gospel of Matthew: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness, and everything else will be given to us as well” (Matthew 6:25). “Everything else” refers to “everything else that we need” not necessarily that we “want.” Jesus is telling us that we will not lack for support and provision, if we commit ourselves totally to Christ.
What are the “false comforts” in my life that prevent me cleaving totally to Jesus? Who or what do I cling to, to provide me with assurance, instead of trusting totally in Jesus?