The campus Christian ministry I was apart of in college would occasionally host campus-wide worship services. One of our invited guest speakers announced his subject would be Jesus: Madman or Messiah. I was a bit skeptical because I didn't know where he could possibly come from with that title.
It turned out to be a pretty tame message. He focused on how seemingly peculiar it was for Jesus to go around healing people and then say "Hey, don't tell nobody."
But Jesus is a pretty radical and controversial dude; nothing tame about him. He told his disciples-
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27
Whoa, hold up now! Really Jesus, does it have to be like that Jesus?!
To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord let me first go and bury my father." And Jesus said to him, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Yet another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home," Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9: 59-62
As I type this post, the rapper Tupac's song "Hail, Mary" is playing in my head. You know the one where he asks if you are going to ride or die? Jesus told people, if they wanted to ride with him they must first die to themselves. He must be number one in their lives even above their families.
In the past when I read these scriptures, I would just gloss over them ready to get to the more gentle messages like "I can have the desires of my heart" but conveniently leaving off the "delight myself in the Lord." But the inconvenient truth is in order to ride with Jesus, I must die. Lord give me the grace to be a true ride or die chick.