Luke 14:25 Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
Following Jesus requires a commitment. Jesus never said it was going to be easy and here he lays it out with three illustrations. He’s warning the people who are listening to him and telling them that this will cost them — everything.
They had witnessed crucifixions and they understood that this was a symbol of complete and total submission to Roman authority. To take up a cross and follow Christ was a sign of complete and total submission to the authority of Christ in all things.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a journey which has a beginning and an end. It’s not one that just stops half-way through the process. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a journey of ever-increasing participation in an eternal holy God. Therefore, before getting into this relationship, realize what it means. There is no plan for this to go half-way, but it must be a total commitment for if you only go so far, the world will ridicule you. A half-built tower looks ridiculous — and so does a sort-of Christian.
Look around and determine whether you have the tools necessary to become a true follower of Jesus. To participate in God’s resources means we have to get rid of our stuff which may weigh us down. To go into spiritual battle we must be prepared with the right equipment but it’s hard to get our hands on the right stuff when our lives are already filled with stuff.
Jesus wanted them to understand the seriousness of this relationship with him. Discipleship — it will cost you everything.
The cost of discipleship was not just a price tag for those in the first century. This is a timeless message for those who are looking for a cheap religion. There is no such thing as cheap Christianity for cheap Christianity is not Christianity. Genuine disciples of Jesus Christ must give up all that they have for the sake of the kingdom. This may require submission on a daily basis to the will and leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Count the cost today. Is there anything getting in the way of true discipleship?
Lord, please search my heart and life and help me be rid of the things that are obstacles to being your disciple. Amen.
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