The Cost of Serving Jesus
In Acts 12 we read of king Herod’s persecution of the church. The main portion of this chapter talks about God miraculously rescuing Peter from prison before Herod has the chance to kill him. It is quite an interesting story and I suggest you read it and think about it. But my focus is on the first few verses of the chapter: Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. One of the twelve disciples, James, is killed and the mention of this murder only gets one sentence. There’s just one sentence given to the terrible taking of the life of one of the close followers of Jesus. From church history we are told that all of the original disciples were killed because of their desire to follow Jesus, except for John who was exiled to the island of Patmos.
I wonder if the reason this death only gets one sentence is that, unfortunately, the death of the followers of Jesus had become so commonplace that there really wasn’t a need to elaborate. Could it be that by this time, even early in the history of the church, that the cost of serving Jesus, which included death for many, was just understood to be a part of the job description? Those of us who follow Jesus in the comforts of safety and security should consider our part in helping those who labor for Jesus in very dangerous parts of the world. Let’s not forget to pray for them on a regular basis and when possible, get involved in a practical way to help.