There was nothing special about today. It was warm and sunny as usual. I took my laptop and was ready to start work in my living room. I opened my Spotify and a familiar song started playing in the background.

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus 

As I listened to the lyrics of this song, Give Me Jesus, I felt a soft whisper in my heart.

Do you really want Me?

What does having Jesus truly mean? He’s definitely not a genie in a lamp who comes out now and then to fulfil our wishes whenever we call. He’s also not a vending machine that dispenses our favourite wants whenever we press a button.

On the contrary, having Jesus means to give up something – the world and all its earthly treasures.

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” (Mark 10:17-27)

What does having Jesus mean to you? To me? To us?

If having Jesus means giving up on everything, then why would anyone want Jesus? What’s there to gain, what’s in it for us?


1. Joseph, husband of Mary

To Joseph, it meant giving up his own dreams and plans for life. Having Jesus was a huge disruption to his plans in marrying Mary, and he almost divorced her (Matthew 1:19).

You could say having Jesus inconvenienced Joseph’s original ideas of married life – and it also meant leaving his comfort zone, his home, friends and community to be on the run for the first few years (Matthew 2:13).

2. John the Baptist

To John the Baptist, it meant giving up any recognition and credit for his ministry. He spent his entire life in the secret place, growing in the Lord, preaching the coming of Jesus and pointing everyone to Him. But at the end of his ministry, he was received by an audience demanding his head on a platter.

3. Peter, one of the 12 disciples

To Peter, it meant giving up his inheritance and livelihood as a fisherman to follow Jesus. It meant constantly getting rebuked, renewed and challenged to step out in faith to obey even when it didn’t make sense. 

4. The apostle Paul

To Paul, it meant giving up his old ways and beliefs – what he grew up learning and excelling in, his pride and ego. It meant having to humble himself and suffer for the sake of the Gospel.


1. Herod the Great

“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.’” (Matthew 2:13)

Herod rejected Jesus. There was too much pride and power to let go. Jesus was not worth his time, his position, his power and his pride. Eliminate Jesus, eliminate all threats.

2. The Pharisees

“…the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:14)

Jesus was too much for the Pharisees – Jesus didn’t fit into any of their realm of logic and knowledge. Like Herod, Jesus was not worth their time, their position, their power and their pride. Eliminate Jesus, eliminate all threats.

3. Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples

Judas rejected Jesus. Having seen all His glory and miracles, Judas decided that Jesus didn’t seem worthy enough for him to fight for, to stay loyal to and to die for. Surely, 30 pieces of silver were worth more than Jesus.

4. Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate rejected Jesus. He washed his hands to symbolise wanting nothing to do with Jesus. He was in a position of power to defend the innocent but chose to turn a blind eye because it was politically correct.

Jesus was not worth his position and his reputation with men. Man’s empty praises were far more worthy than the life of an innocent man.

Will we still want Jesus if there’s nothing for us to gain but everything to lose on this side of eternity?

In some way, having Jesus will mean giving up our rights, comfort, achievements, plans, dreams, conveniences, family, loved ones, time, position, power, pride… Will you still say yes to Him if that means no fame, no riches, no glory, no power, no position?

Following Him will also mean going out of our way to love one another and to obey His commandments. Having Jesus will mean a complete paradigm shift in our mindsets and lifestyles. It will look like foolishness to many. 

So, do you want Jesus? To be like Him – humble and meek – to turn the other cheek? To do His will no matter the cost? To surrender and submit to His ways? To give our lives up to receive the abundant life He offers?

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NASB)

Joseph chose Jesus.

John chose Jesus.

Peter chose Jesus.

Paul chose Jesus.

They gave their lives up for a reward far greater than what anything or anyone else could offer. 

Will it be enough for you if Jesus Himself is the reward?

This article was first published on The Project J and is republished with permission.