Thoughts of a Radical Pastor - Ansell: The question around having two coats
Jesus told a couple of guys who would later become famous and write part of the Bible to drop their nets in order to follow Him. If they did follow Him, He promised He would make them into fishers of men. Fishing was their business, so they got the reference point. It’s clear Jesus was asking them to leave their family business in order to be a disciple.
I make my living by standing up every week and asking people to do the same. Can we talk? It’s not as easy as Jesus makes it sound and only about half as romantic. Dying to yourself and losing your life is about as much fun as stubbing your toe in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom. I have trouble articulating what it’s like to hang out with Jesus daily, I’m not sure why … I guess it’s like trying to describe one friend to another and hoping the two will like each other as much as you like both of them.
Peter told Jesus later that they had “left everything and followed” Him … hmmm, what’s that like? What I’m trying to say is, we say we have left everything but when I look around I still see my stuff - does that make sense? I don’t have a lot of stuff (especially since downsizing) but the stuff I have I like and I like it a lot.
John the Baptist (gotta love his name) told people if they have two coats to give one away (Luke 3:11). Let me ask you a very serious question: How many coats do you have? If Jesus is the most serious person I know than John the Baptist is the second most serious person I know so, I’m pretty sure he meant what he said. I think the two coat thing fits into the James 2:26 thing, “faith without works.” Faith without some action to support it is not faith at all. Faith with a closet that has two coats is not faith at all? In fact, it could just be a closet with two coats.
Maybe, it’s just me but it’s tough to serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). It’s hard to follow Jesus while carrying all my stuff (two coats). I finally did give away my second coat, my best coat and I’m not bragging, it took awhile to have that kind of faith and then it took awhile to find someone to actually give it to. If I told you I did not miss that coat I would be lying, and if I told you I never think about that coat I would not be telling you the truth. And if I told you every winter when the Orvis catalog comes in that I don’t think about buying another coat, well ... He told me to tell you that.