The Irony of Modern Discipleship

Ceara Milligan
2 min readFeb 16, 2024
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

In the grand spectacle of human history, one can’t help but wonder what the original bearded wonder, Jesus of Nazareth, would make of his supposed followers in the present day. If he were to stroll through the bustling streets of our modern world, he’d likely mutter, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

The man who allegedly advocated for compassion, humility, and loving thy neighbor seems to have spawned a breed of disciples more interested in selective mercy, conspicuous displays of religiosity, and fervently judging thy neighbor. If Jesus were here today, he would roll his eyes at the pious parade of sanctimonious self-righteousness that has become a hallmark of so many religious circles.

The refugee carpenter who championed the meek and downtrodden now has followers who seem to believe that material wealth is the ultimate sign of divine favor. Picture Jesus adjusting his halo and asking, “When did ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ become a quaint saying rather than a way of life?”

And let’s not forget the religious leaders who cloak themselves in purity while engaging in scandals that would make the most seasoned soap opera writers blush. If Our Lord and Savior were here, he might be tempted to flip tables in righteous anger at the hypocrisy displayed by those who claim to represent his teachings—not to mention those who wear the crucifix as a defensive tattoo or piece of jewelry.

Imagine Him logging into social media, scrolling through divisive posts from his worshippers who seem to have skipped the part about loving their enemies. He might be inclined to ask, “Didn’t I teach you to turn the other cheek, not engage in petty Twitter wars?”

In a world where exclusion often masquerades as divine inclusion, JC might find himself shaking his head at the intolerance perpetrated in his name. The man who dined with sinners and outcasts would struggle to recognize those who build walls instead of bridges.

He would be utterly disappointed at how some of his so-called disciples have taken his message and twisted it into a self-serving, judgmental, and hypocritical ideology.

The irony is palpable, and Jesus might just be tempted to stage a celestial intervention to set the record straight.