Fool. A word that such a negative definition. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a person lacking in judgment or prudence; a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding” Indeed, no one wants to be called a fool.
However, there is a “fool” we should all strive to be – a fool for Jesus. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:9-10: ” For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake,..”.
Being a “fool” for Jesus, What does this mean? It means climbing uphill in a downward spiraling world, It means swimming upstream against the current of popular opinion. It means dying to self and surrendering our wills totally to Him. A fool for Jesus draws a line in the sand and takes a stand for God’s standards of holiness, not living for pleasure, power, plaudits, or position, but for His glory, A fool for Jesus is on a passionate, relentless, radical pursuit of Him and of holiness.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23: “… If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me”. Denying ourselves means dying to self and handing Him the reigns of our lives. Taking up our cross means to live the life He led, the life that was totally abandoned to the will of the Father. Following Him means to have an uncompromised walk of obedience to Him. A true disciple of Jesus is the true counter culture.
The world looks at such Christians as “fools” and thinks that they are out of their minds because following Jesus, in their eyes, is a mindless journey that leads to failure, shame, and drudgery.”After all”, they say, “why would anyone want to abandon their lives to some religious nutcase that died over two thousand years ago? After all, we are the captains of our ship and the masters of our fate”.
Oh, how wrong they are. The greatest journey on the planet is found on the road of absolute surrender to Jesus and living for His glory. There is no peace, no hope, no purpose in life, and no meaning of life apart from Him. A fool for Jesus will be made fun of and laughed at. They might lose friends, be shunned by family members, and passed over for promotions at work. But a fool for Jesus, one who is deep in intimacy with Him, does not turn back because they know the Truth (Jesus), and the Truth has set them free. As Jonathan Edwards is quoted as saying in his resolutions: “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will”. Fools for Jesus don’t care what others think about them. They only care about what Jesus knows about them.
Are you a “fool” for Jesus? Are you sold out to Him and on the journey of surrender, giving all rights to yourself to Him? Are you on a passionate, relentless journey of holiness? As Jim Elliot said: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.