From the first day of Jesus’ public ministry in this world his message was one of heart loyalty — “Follow me.” This message was easy to understand, but hard to implement. Why? Because believing Jesus and obeying his command to follow him came with a cost. He wasn’t popular. Those who decided to follow Jesus weren’t climbing aboard a religious trend that was sweeping the nation. They weren’t joining a popular religion or church. They were choosing to follow a man as the Messiah who had been rejected by the religious leaders of the day as the Messiah. He didn’t fit any of the popular conceptions of what the Messiah would be like. The only ones that accepted him as the Messiah were a despised few who had gotten their conception of the Messiah from the Bible alone. And those precious few had the awful priviledge of watching the world crucify their Messiah.
Nothing has changed. The world that rejected the Lord Jesus and crucified him is still here — and still rejects him. And this means that the dynamics of following Jesus haven’t changed. Those who follow the Jesus of the Bible, therefore, should not be surprised if they find that the world in general has no interest in following the Jesus they have come to love. He doesn’t fit the popular conceptions of Jesus. He isn’t the kind of Jesus they want to follow.
~Lee Brainard, January 10, 2015