Day 15: 10 Toes
“I remember when they said these Christian rappers corny
Shoot I even thought it too
Couple Grammys, plenty plaques
And everybody wanna be a Christian rapper too
Well get to work
Go to these prisons and spit a verse
Spend all your time tryna live the word
Only for people to call you slurs
Nah you don’t want it
Used to pull up in the projects
Knock on every door
And tell the people come outside
A couple speakers and a mic
We was grillin’ and rappin
Watchin’ people come alive
Never did it for the fame or money
You could tell when Christians started fallin’ back
Ten toes down”
I remember once being told the kingdom of God is like a pack of dogs running. If watched long enough an observer would see the pack first running at full steam and in unison until then, after a while, one by one their numbers decrease until finally there is only one dog left still running. In the final estimate the one dog who kept running had just one thing separating him from the other dogs: he actually saw what he was chasing. No amount of difficulty could deter him because he’d seen with his own eyes what he was chasing.
The meaning of this saying is there is a strong cost associated with following Jesus. The disciples saw one of their very own sell out the saviour for 30 pieces of silver! Many crowds came because of the miracles Jesus performed, but a lot of those people left when Jesus made it plain they would have to fully embrace his way of suffering to fully enter the spiritual reality of his presence. Imagine how lonely that may have felt. It was a high cost to pay and a lot to endure, but they saw for themselves that Jesus was the Messiah and in his presence they would always be in the best possible company.
Because I have witnessed the work of the Gospel personally and in the lives of others, I keep going. Despite the cost of abandonment, criticism, and even self doubt I am encouraged to keep going. When I see Jesus’ words to his disciples explaining his lonely road to the cross, I find solace knowing my Savior has been there. I’m reminded he walked the road perfectly, so I don’t have to wear the pressure of doing everything right.
In following Jesus, we may lose friends. We may lose job opportunities, and even aspects of our lives we think are essential to our existence. But if we see the Savior for who he really is, we’ll find the prize in staying with him. Or to put it another way, we’ll see the significance of staying 10 toes down with Jesus.
Prayer: Reflect on these words from Jesus in Matthew. Have you considered the cost of following Jesus? Have you considered the lonely road Jesus endured so we could find the strength and courage to imitate his life? If not, read these verses and imagine his words as an invitation to grow with him and find endurance for the walk. These words are not meant to push you away, but to prepare you for the road ahead. Take a look at the promises Jesus offers to those who would follow him and ask the Lord to give you faith to trust Jesus and walk with him despite the obstacles.