“Look at what they make you give.”

The past few weeks, I was reminded of this phrase, spoken by Jason Bourne (acted by Matt Damon) in the third of the Bourne sequels, “Bourne Ultimatum”. He had come to the end of any desire to play the game, and spared the life of another agent who was assigned to kill him. When the other agent asked why he didn’t kill him to save himself, he answered with these words. “Because, look at what they make you give.” He realized that they were all being driven by a third party to play a game that none of them could win. They were pawns, and the only way out was to stop playing, possibly at the cost of their lives – which were already forfeited anyway.

None of us gets out of this life alive. All we can choose is what we will say to the world we live in with the time we have. There were many things in life that Jesus pointed out we could not hold onto as tightly if we were going to follow Him, and (as we would say) “Get a life!”

  • Devotion to extended family;
  • Devotion to employers without boundaries;
  • Devotion to financial gain;
  • Devotion to religious traditions.

I think we all see the battle in one or more of these areas on at least a weekly basis. For us in the journey, we are finding out the cost of carving out a different life rhythm as we try to walk with one another in closer proximity…and finding out that transformation always comes at a price: something like taking up our cross. It’s not that Jesus didn’t pay it all, it’s just that getting the “flesh” (patterns, habits and attachments) out of the way is really painful. But God gives enough grace to survive it.

So, why did Jesus have to die? Partly, to show us the cost of following Him in life. Why would anyone follow Jesus in dying to what is a “normal” life to us? Maybe my answer to that is to say, “Because,…look at what we made Him give!”


  1. Red Path on June 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    In your list of things we cannot hold onto tightly you specified extended family. I am not sure where you are getting this from scripture. Does the Bible not refer to the immediate family as well as extended family in verses such as Eph 5:31, and Luke 9:59-62?

  2. Nogah on June 5, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Check out Matthew 19:29; Mark 6:3-6, 10:29-30; Luke 14:26. Compare with John 12:25, speaking of hating our own life. These passages are all using "love" and "hate" in the context of the devotion that belongs only to God, as in "idolatry". These are to tug on our readiness for finding what may be taken from us in an attempt to get us to curse God (see Job 2:9, Revelation 12:11) and decide that following Him is just not worth it. But see Phillipians 3:8 for Paul's comparison of Knowing Jesus with everything else in His life.