SALVATION IS BY “GRACE ALONE” – God’s free gift through faith in Christ! (Ephesians 2:8-9) DISCIPLESHIP, HOWEVER, IS NOT FOR “WIMPS”! (Luke 14:25-33)
“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Three key figures of speech dominate this passage dealing with the cost of discipleship…
“HATE” – not literal hatred, or the meaning would violate other passages that demand that we “love.” The sense seems to be that in comparison to our love for God and our commitment to follow His will regardless of the cost, all other relationships are “hated” (i.e. there is no comparison).
“BEAR HIS OWN CROSS” – Those followers of Jesus who have had to actually die on a cross, like their Savior, have been rare! The meaning that appears to be intended here focus on the depth of our self-renunciation in order to follow Christ and do His will. We “die to self” in order to follow Christ completely (Romans 6:5-14)
“COUNT THE COST” – This figure of speech and its intended meaning is reinforced by two other images: First, the appropriate consideration of the cost of building a tower before beginning to build it. Secondly, the image of warfare and the importance of weighing carefully whether there are enough resources at the disposal of the “king” to defeat the enemy and win a victory.
So the point is, “DISCIPLESHIP IS NOT FOR WIMPS!” Jesus put it this way at the end of the passage: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple!”
My response? I’ve heard Your call Lord, and I’ve seriously considered the cost… I still choose to be Your disciple! How about you?