Everyone knows about Jesus separating the sheep from the goats, one day, but currently I’m more concerned about the parting of the pigs and the poultry.
Whenever I tuck into a good cooked breakfast, I’m reminded of the conversation between the hog and the chicken on the nature of commitment. Porky observes that he is required to make a rather more emphatic contribution to my plate than his clucking companion: one joins the meal, while the other merely donates to it.
It’s the dying bit that separates the two—much as it does when it comes to followers and disciples. It can be fun to be one of the former. The latter, not always so much.
I see this eggs and bacon divide in Mark 10:32. Jesus is heading towards Jerusalem, with two kinds of people in His wake. There are the true disciples, who are “astonished” by what is going on, and then there are the others, “those who followed,” who “were afraid.”
Though I’d like to place myself firmly with the disciples, sometimes when Jesus sets off with determined stride in my life, I am more like the others at the back. Afraid.
Afraid that I’m not going to like it. Afraid that I am not going to be up to it. Afraid of what other people might think or say. Afraid that He won’t come through. Afraid that this is all God stuff is actually just wishful thinking.
And, most of all, afraid that it’s time to get serious.
Walking after Jesus is all very well out there in the boonies, far from the center of power. The big meetings out on the hillside, even with an unexpected free lunch or two thrown on. Some theological sword-play with people who disagree, and some miracles to keep things exciting. Pretty good stuff.
But in Jerusalem we are getting to the heart of it all, where something is going to be dislodged.
Following Jesus around in the suburbs of my life isn’t so bad, but what about when He heads for the capital, the seat? Where all the really important decisions are made? Where the power and control is?
When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, there is going to be a death. He offers His life for me there; what am I going to give him in return? An egg, or everything?