The Cost of Being a Disciple of Christ (Luke 14:25-35)

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  (Luke 14:25-35)
 Learn it:

            Jesus is now shifting gears and is beginning to prepare his disciples for his departure.  When Jesus leaves, he wants to make sure the disciples understand what it takes to follow after him.  He starts out by saying that Jesus must be the priority in their life.  Compared to how much they love Jesus, it should look as though they hate their family.  That is how much they are to love him.  That’s some intense love! 

            He goes on to tell two stories.  One is about a person planning to build a tower.  They need to have a plan a be sure they have all the supplies they need in order to build the tower.  They do not want to be close to finishing and then run out of supplies.  In the same way, when a person follows Christ, they need to understand what it is going to take.  It is always sad to see someone turn from their faith because they did not count the costs.              

            Next is a story about a king going to war.  If he sees he is not going to be able to win, he would be wise to make peace.  We too must make peace with God in our own lives.  He is the creator of the universe and no matter how smart we may think we are; we are not going to win eternity on our own strength.  We must surrender our lives to God.  He ends with what seems to be a confusing story about salt.  If salt has no usefulness, then it should be discarded.  If a disciple of Christ is not pursuing after things of God, they become useless to God.  This can raise serious implications like, was that person ever saved?  Or are they going to lose rewards or face judgment at the end times? 

 Live it:

            Deciding to become a follower of Christ should not be taken lightly.  To follow Christ means that you should give up your life, your desires, and your plans.  While we want people to know of the saving power of the cross, we want them to also understand what changes are going to occur in their life.  Have you thought about what you have sacrificed to follow Jesus?  Have you considered the cost?  We all should be pursuing things in our lives that glorify God.  How are you making him famous and humbling yourself to his ways?  I pray that God would reveal ways in your life and my life that we can lay our desires before him and he would guide us to where he wants us to go.   

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