cost-of-discipleship1

True Knowledge by Leslie Baker

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his most famous writing, The Cost of Discipleship, discusses the suffering of Christ in his final days in the chapter on Discipleship and the Cross, and says that: “to bear the cross proves to be the only way of triumphing over suffering. This is true for all who follow Christ, because it was true for him.”

“And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt …Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done”. (Matt.26.39, 42)

Jesus prays to God the Father that the cup may pass from him, and the father hears his prayer; and the suffering will pass but only by his drinking from the cup. When Jesus kneels in the Garden of Gethsemane for the second time, he “accepts the fact that the cross is the only path to victory over suffering.” The cross is his triumph over suffering. Those who suffer are cut off from God, but those who live in communion with the Father cannot really suffer. According to Bonhoeffer, “Jesus takes the suffering of the whole world, and in doing so proves victorious over it. He bears the whole burden of man’s separation from God, and in the very act of drinking the cup he causes it to pass over him…it is still true that suffering means being cut off from God, yet within the fellowship of Christ’s suffering, suffering is overcome by suffering, and becomes the way to communion with God.”

“Discipleship is not limited to what one may comprehend – it must transcend all comprehension. Not knowing where one is going is the true knowledge and Christ will lead the way.”

During this season of Lent, do not lose the way, but rediscover it through your own commitment to Christ and the cross.