The cost of discipleship

Three times in Luke 14, Jesus describes those who cannot be His disciples.

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:26 *ESV, emphasis mine)

“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:27*)

“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:33*)

These are not wishy-washy statements. They’re strong. Forceful. Hit us where it hurts.

Does my life reflect the true reality of being a disciple of Jesus? Am I really ready to renounce all that I treasure in this life … today, tomorrow, and every day until eternity? Am I willing to say goodbye to friends, willing to live a nomadic life like Jesus? “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Lk. 9:58) Am I ready to face persecution — physically, emotionally, spiritually?  “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim. 3:12)

Have I really counted the cost? Am I able to finish building what I’ve started?

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.” (Lk. 14:28-30)

Thankfully, this sacrifice is not without reward, on this earth and in the life to come. We will gain far more than we have lost.

“Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.’” (Mk. 10:29-31)

I have counted the cost. I’m in.

May I be found worthy of His life and death, not making Him out to be a liar by shrinking back when the day of trouble comes.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Phil. 3:12)

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