Free and Expensive
Holy One, sometimes my circumstances can be overwhelming. Let my heart trust You that You will see me through.
Read Luke 14:25–35
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Discipleship is a decision, not an emotion” (Malcolm Duncan).
Though the offer of the kingdom is generous and free, taking the pathway of the kingdom and following the King can be costly. A large crowd had gathered around Jesus, drawn by the miracles and expression of grace so lavishly given to all. However, as he often did, Jesus challenged the crowd with belief and truth, which usually had the effect of thinning the multitude (John 6:1–15,25–71). He now wants to separate those who are coming for the blessings from those who are coming for him!
The words of Jesus in verse 26 have caused much confusion. His words cannot be a contradiction to the Law, in which we are clearly instructed to honor our parents; or to the New Testament, which teaches that faith expresses itself in the provision for and protection of our family (Exod. 20:12; Mark 7:9–12; 1 Tim. 5:8). Jesus, through idiomatic language, is not really telling us to hate our family, but rather to love God more passionately. When we put this statement together with the two examples given—of the tower (28–30) and the war (31–33)—it is clear that Jesus is encouraging his would-be followers to weigh the call, look closely at the cost and then make a decision to pay the price, or not!
Jesus does not want you to say yes and then turn back. He wants the crowd—and us—to know that there is a cost in carrying the cross and that there will be moments when everything is demanded of us for the cause of the kingdom. This is a risky strategy from Jesus, for such demands and strong language could cause us to leave, but that decision to trust is exactly what he wants. Jesus is at ease with those who want to be blessed and then go home; but he calls, through cost, those who want to go further.
However much we have given up for him, it is still a bargain. How can you continue to give your all and your best?
Lord, I can so easily be ruled by my emotions. Help me to love You with my renewed mind.
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