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Walk This Way

Walk This Way – Count the Cost. And the Cost is… (Luke 14:27-30)

Today’s Reading: Luke 14-16

Today’s Reflection: Luke 14:27-30

27) Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28) 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? 29) Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30) saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

One of the common criticisms of religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is that it is irrational.  Here is one teaching that demonstrates this is a misconception.  As Jesus invites all to follow Him and enter the kingdom of God, He also warns them that there is a cost to discipleship.  In a very practical teaching, Jesus tells His would be followers the importance of understanding this and taking it into account BEFORE making a decision.  And then Jesus explains what the cost of discipleship actually is.  And in short, the cost is everything.

If we truly want to follow Jesus and live out God’s purposes for our lives, we will have to surrender everything.  Everything we know, everything we are, everything we have, everything we could be.  We must be willing to let all of this go for the sake of the Gospel.  Wealth, career, status, even family and friends.

Many of us accept surrendering our claim on material wealth (some more easily than others), but all of us likely find the idea of surrendering relationships challenging.  This is a difficult text to swallow:

Luke 14:26 – “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.”

As we ponder this challenging teaching, consider that everything that exists is God’s.  So if you are called to service that forces you to sacrifice time in key relationships, or to end some of those relationships altogether, know that God has a plan for the people left behind.  Their care is ultimately God’s responsibility.  If God has partially for fully removed you from the equation, He will find another way to meet their needs.

Also consider the witness that your willingness to sacrifice provides to the world.  We live in a society where the most deeply held convictions and values are easily tossed aside for selfish concerns.  The witness of people willing to sacrifice everything is a powerful testimony of the life-changing and life-giving importance of the Gospel.

Romans 12:1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Walk This Way – Count the Cost. And the Cost is… (Luke 14:27-30)

  1. I’ve recently studied these parables and have found (possibly incorrectly) that we don’t have what it takes to be disciples. I now believe the common interpretations of these parables are incorrect. The King’s War Plans is the answer to the question. We don’t have what it takes, so what do we do? We ask the king for his terms of peace. His terms of peace are to be salt of the earth:
    Please see: http://www.lampofthebody.com/48-the-parables-of-building-a-tower-and-the-king-s-war-plans.html

    Posted by David Zelenka | November 11, 2013, 3:55 pm
    • Hi David, thanks for your comment. I read the post you forwarded and while I think what it has to say is interesting, I think this is one instance where what The Word has to say is pretty clear and nothing more needs to be read into it. Also, I don’t agree that we don’t have what it takes to be disciples. Jesus thought His disciples did and thinks those who will believe in Him because of their testimony and example will too

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” –John 14:12

      It may be hard for us to believe because, well, we’re such a mess. But so were Jesus’ disciples. After 3 and 1/2 years with Him, they spend their last night together arguing over who is the greatest and boasting of their faithfulness, but when Jesus was arrested they all fled. Still they became the Apostles that literally turned the Roman Empire on its head because of their faith. We have no less power available to us today. We just need to receive it.

      Posted by Ricardo Alleyne | December 5, 2013, 4:02 pm
  2. Thanks for your response, Richardo. It might be that I’m reading too far into it.

    The part that really interests me is when Jesus says, “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.” Jesus’ disciples sure weren’t able, like you said, and neither am I…without Christ.

    From Mark: “The followers were more amazed and said to each other, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Jesus looked at the followers and said, ‘This is something that people cannot do themselves. It must come from God. God can do all things.'”

    This is what makes the “terms of peace” so interesting from the Parable of the King’s War Plans. We make the terms of peace, which is to be repentant and to allow God to “do all things” through us.

    Posted by David Zelenka | December 5, 2013, 4:57 pm

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