Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 8:12, New King James Version
Last summer, some friends and I went on a hike in the dark morning hours before dawn. We wanted to watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain. While we were walking, my friend and I shared a flashlight. When he held the light, I had to choose to follow him—keep his pace, walk in his same path. If I didn’t, I would be left to find my own way in the dark.
In the verse above, Jesus gives us an invitation to follow Him. He gives us the choice of discipleship. We can see Jesus give the same choice to the rich young ruler in Mark chapter ten:
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”  And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Mark 10:17-22, English Standard Version
Jesus recognized this young man’s heart. He loved him and had compassion for him. Jesus presented this man with the same choice he presents each of us with: the choice to follow Him. The problem is, this choice doesn’t come without sacrifice. Luke 14:33 says,
“Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (ESV).
Notice that when the young ruler saw that he had to give something up to follow Jesus, he left sorrowful. Andrew describes the situation perfectly: “This guy was willing to make Jesus good. But he wasn’t willing to go as far as to make Jesus God.” Following Jesus means choosing the Gospel above everything else.
Andrew explains, “God has given us the choice. He said you choose life or death, blessing or cursing. . . . You can become a disciple, and you can begin to start living in victory right now. But you have to make that commitment.” And that commitment is laid out clearly by Jesus when He says,
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,  and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32, ESV.
You see, if our life is a hike through the dark, the Word is like our flashlight, a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). The Word leads us to a place where we can follow Him to greater heights, but we have to choose to stay close. Andrew says, “A disciple is a person who has put their commitment to God above everything else.” We must choose the Gospel above everything—above what we see, what we feel, and above what it costs us.
We must make the choice for discipleship, and when we do, we will know more fully the light of life. Choose discipleship through Andrew’s course Discipleship Evangelism! It is available in CD, DVD, book, and study guide format. To go even further, we also offer Destiny Stories. Use these teachings to begin your discipleship journey today!