It’s nice to see so much mention of God on Facebook. Sometimes.
I don’t mind seeing expressions of faith from my friends and family, but sometimes what I read gives me pause.
A few days ago, I saw an image making the rounds. I don’t remember what the picture was, but the words caught my attention.
“If you believe in God, repost and in two minutes He’ll do you a favor,” it said.
The last part got me thinking about this god that we’ve invented, primarily on social media. As much as I admire the heart of the post, which is an expression of belief in God, I can’t help but question its theology.
There’s this beautiful raw moment between Jesus and his disciples in the Gospel. It’s toward the end of Jesus’ ministry. While talking to His disciples, He predicts His death. Peter challenges the prediction, saying Jesus will never be killed that way. Peter’s response earns him a stern rebuke. It’s then that Jesus lays out the requirements for being His disciple, or follower.
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow me.”
If had to hazard a guess, I’d suggest the social media god is much more popular than the Jesus in Matthew 16:24. The social media god is easy to follow. Just click “like,” or “repost,” or “share,” and voila, you’re a disciple. What’s more, for every click, you get a blessing.
That sounds like a wonderful system, but that’s not what Jesus says.
If you want to be Jesus’ disciple, if you want to follow Him, you have to deny yourself. What does that mean? It means everything in your life comes after Jesus. That includes your job, your house, your bank account, your family, your friends, you name it. Jesus has to come first, and not just in words. Your actions have to represent that He is first.
Then, you have to pick up your cross.
Don’t think, don’t hesitate, answer this question: Are you willing to give your life for Jesus? We like to make crosses out of silver or gold and wear them as jewelry. We tattoo them on our biceps and hang them on our walls. We make the cross such a beautiful thing that sometimes I think we forget it was an instrument of torturous murder.
Jesus mentions the cross before He’s crucified on it. He knows what’s coming, but goes there anyway.
Do you love Jesus enough that you’ll follow Him even if you know it will mean persecution, suffering, sacrifice, and perhaps even death?
Once you’ve denied yourself and picked up your cross, then you can follow Him.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-repost.
I’m just pro truth, and the truth is that following Jesus costs way more than Facebook suggests.