In (Luke 14:25 – 33) we read that a great crowd was following Jesus. Their reasons for accompanying Him were varied, but many were simply curious to see and hear this “teacher”. Others were in great need and word of His miracles were rampant. Jesus wanted to “weed out” the unbelievers from the committed followers and He did so by informing His audience that to be His disciple was difficult. A disciple of Christ is confident in declaring “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus took the time to articulate four specific requirements to be one of His disciples. A disciple of Jesus INTENTIONALLY counts the cost.
Here are the first two requirements in review:
1. First requirement: Our loyalty, love, and devotion to Christ must supersede our love for everyone else. (Luke 14:26)
2. Second requirement: Death to self. (Luke 14:27)
New for this week:
3. The Third requirement: Discipleship is costly (Luke 28 – 32). Jesus used two stories to illustrate this truth. He described the importance of counting the cost before building a tower and of evaluating an army’s strength before going to war. Many people will sign up for an easier gospel that promises them only benefits, but that’s not the message Jesus preached. When He called His disciples to follow Him, they left everything behind and devoted themselves fully to Him. They and countless other disciples through out church history have endured hardship, suffering, and persecution, yet today we sometimes mistakenly assume the Christian life will be easy.
4. The Fourth requirement for discipleship is full surrender of all we own. Jesus said, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Luke 14:33). When a rich, young ruler came to Jesus and asked what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell everything he owned and give it to the poor (Mark 10:17 – 22). He knew this young man was attached to his possessions, and that’s what was keeping him from wholeheartedly following Christ.
Charles Stanley comments, “Although Jesus doesn’t call all of us to literally give up everything we own, we must recognize that God is the owner of all we possess, and we are just the caretakers. Therefore, we should hold everything loosely. A true disciple of Christ walks through life with a detachment from things of this world in order to become fully attached to Christ.”
Stanley concludes, “Discipleship is what God desires for each of us. And the rewards of being Christ’s disciple are worth every sacrifice. Yes, the cost may seem high, but Jesus hasn’t left us to manage on our own. He’s given us His Spirit to guide and empower us and has promised that He will be with us to the end of the age. So take comfort in His faithful presence.” That’s good isn’t it!