Our men’s group is going to launch into reading The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Because of that, I am going to try and post some of my thoughts about this book along the way.
I have read bits and pieces of this book previously, but I have read and re-read the introductory chapters and chapter 1 again and it seems like a book written for our times today. Do we understand the gospel call of Jesus to be one of His disciples? In the introduction, he rhetorically asks the question of whether or not the church in Germany at that time had hidden the command of discipleship from humankind. Through the church’s dogma, had the church made following Jesus difficult in the sense that the call was no longer heard from Jesus? He will go on to assert that the church indeed had done that atrocious deed.
In the “Introduction,” he asks “And if we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us?” This is an important question to ask of any disicple-wanna-be of Jesus. Bonhoeffer answers this question according to how the NT answers it. “Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows the journey’s end” (see John 21:15-23). The final end where Jesus will take us is to be with him and to see his glory (John 17:24). But, in this life, only Jesus knows what He will choose to put us through. The path is not ours to choose. We don’t look at the path Jesus has us on as much as we look at the One who leads us. He draws us by his glory and grace and where he takes us is inconsequential compared to who he is for us.
Seven years later, in a concentration camp in Flossenbürg, Germany, Bonhoeffer finally came to the end of his discipleship journey with Jesus in this life. Because of his discipleship calling from Jesus, Bonhoeffer gave his own life to Jesus on April 9th, 1944 as he was executed for opposing the National Socialism of Germany and the Nazi Fuhrer Adolf Hitler.
Where will Jesus take us as we follow Him? I would ask myself and you “Does it matter?
Is not Jesus greater than anything we could face? Is not Jesus more than anything we could lose?
Lord, help us to follow Jesus as He leads us in paths unknown to us but known to Him; all for His glory and all for our Christ-likeness.!
For more information, you can find some general information on him at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer.
See also http://www.britannica.com/biography/Dietrich-Bonhoeffer