So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
Scripture: Luke 14:25-33
Wow! Following Jesus is not for the fainthearted! Large crowds have been following Jesus and He turns and says to them, “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.” Wow!
Then Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me, cannot be My disciple.” Wow!
In the first example, becoming a disciple of Jesus means that a person must recognize the relationship between Jesus and himself or herself must take precedent over all other relationships. That person is to show primary allegiance to Jesus Christ.
In the second example, becoming a disciple of Jesus means that person is willing to take up a cross and follow Jesus wherever He leads. Obviously, becoming a disciple of Jesus means that a person may experience emotional pain and psychological suffering by putting Jesus first in his or her life above all others. It means that the person may experience physical hardship and fatigue by carrying his or her own cross as Jesus would carry His cross.
So Jesus stresses the importance of counting the cost of becoming a disciple. He tells how someone constructing a tower would estimate the cost before beginning building lest he runs out of funding before the project would be completed. To build without counting the cost could lead to ridicule for not having planned well. Similarly it is best for a king waging war to determine if his army can defeat the opposition knowing that their forces significantly outnumber his own. If he determines that he will not succeed, then it is better to send a delegation to seek terms of peace. It is best to count the cost or else the outcome will suffer for not having done so. If we are going to become disciples of Jesus Christ, then we need to count the cost and determine if we are willing to make that commitment.
Lord Jesus, we wonder if any of us could become Your disciples based on what we are expected to give up and to take on, to do so? We thank You for reminding us that while there is much to be gained, we are also called to make sacrifices. Forgive us for not counting the cost of becoming one of Your disciples. Help us to follow wherever You lead. Amen.