What does it take to follow Jesus?
Jesus demanded disciples become slaves of the Master (aka Owner). This isn’t optional even though it sounds repugnant. I am a slave of Jesus. I am totally devoted to Him.
The cost of discipleship involves a denial of all my self-interests and desires: Jesus’ followers were called “disciples” long before they were ever called “the Christians.” Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will to follow Him (Matthew 9:9).
Jesus wants me to accompany him. Jesus wants me to go where He has gone and is going. Jesus wants me to follow Him. I can’t serve Him without accompanying Him, going where He is going. That is how I learn as a disciple.
Let’s get this in context here. Jesus is talking about His death and resurrection. Jesus wants me to go there as well. I am to die to myself and my sin. I am to be resurrected to a new life in Jesus.
Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)
Jesus ushers in the Kingdom of God, explaining to the crowds, not just the disciples, how it works. I don’t think there was an “alter call” afterward. Jesus delivered the message and moved on. Chapters, in the New Testament, can be tricky.