“.men who have risked their lives in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus comes to us as one unknown on the mountains, by the lakeside. He came to those who did not know Him. He speaks the same words to us, “Follow me.” He calls us to a task which we are to be taken up with for our lifetime. He reveals Himself to them in the suffering and conflicts which they will encounter in His fellowship and mystery. Through their own endeavors they will learn who He is.
They immediately dropped their nets, resigned their post, gave up family, turned their back on all allegiances, and alliances. Without looking back, they bet it all on Jesus. In many ways it would be difficult it find two men more unalike than Paul and Barnabas. Paul loved the battle and the breeze. He reveled in conflict and fiery debates. He never turned away from a good struggle from which he could gain the prize of the victory of knowing Him. Barnabas was a different type of man and minster. He was gentle, affable, kind and pastoral. He was a peacemaker and excelled in the ministry of reconciliation.
Yet, both men had heard the trumpet call to follow and both had bet their life on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. As they spoke the name of Jesus, they placed their lives in jeopardy. Loyalty to Jesus is as provocative in our day as it was 2000 years ago. Everyday Christians are disowned by their families, hundreds are killed and their churches are burned.
The real test of our faith is found in what we are willing to place at stake for Jesus. Real Christianity is in what we are willing to bet on the name of Jesus. As disciples, we don't bet our word, we don't bet a quarter of, and we don't bet a day’s pay, rather we bet our life on Jesus.
If you were to place a percentage on how much of you belongs to Jesus, how much would it be?