Counting the Cost
Lord, may Your Word teach me, challenge me, correct me and lead me as I study it before You now.
Read Luke 14:25-35
 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?  For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,  saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’  “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  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.  In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.  “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is Jesus asking his followers to consider?
In today’s church there is a huge emphasis on the personal benefits of coming to Christ—emotional, psychological, even financial. In this passage Jesus challenges the “large crowds” following him to examine their motives. Who is at the center of our priorities, thoughts and energies? Jesus’ politically incorrect words about the disciple “hating” his father and mother need to be understood as powerful rhetoric. Jesus uses this strong image to challenge any potential rivals for the devotion of his followers; a true disciple loves Christ more than even his own life. Probing further into the hearts and motivations of his hearers, Jesus encourages a sober evaluation of the cost of becoming a disciple. Two images are employed: one of a builder who estimates the cost of a project and budgets for it before starting the work, the other of a warring king who ensures his army is up to the task. Both examples underscore Jesus’ warning: think about giving me everything if you are going to become my disciple. Make sure you properly consider it before making a decision.
Jesus warned his followers that discipleship would be costly. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to live all out for him.
Lord Jesus, You paid a huge cost for me and I want to be willing to pay the cost of being Your follower.
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