And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. ~Luke 14:27
Everything important in life has a cost associated with it. There is a price to pay if you want to be successful. There is a price to pay to be the best in any sport, vocation, or occupation. There is a price to pay to raise children who will turn out right and greatly succeed. Jesus made it very clear that there is a price to pay to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us see this morning what that price is.
We see the crisis.
Jesus was teaching against the sham, hypocritical religious practices of the Pharisees. These religious hucksters made serving God a place of professional recognition and advantage-taking of other people. The concept of what it meant to truly serve the Lord was twisted and despised by the common man. Jesus made it clear that what the people were seeing was not what God had in mind. There was no genuine love and commitment of going all the way out for God. Today, we see a similar frightening crisis in that discipleship is portrayed by the average believer as a lifestyle that accommodates God instead of being all-in for God. The people of our day cannot tell a disciple apart from anyone else.
We see the cost.
“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Jesus makes it clear that one thing differentiates a disciple apart from anyone else. Will you carry your cross? The cross represented everything despicable about a criminal. It depicted shame. It represented tremendous pain and suffering. Loneliness was associated with the cross. Rejection was associated with the cross. A criminal had to carry his cross alone to the site of suffering. Ultimately, it meant death. Jesus made it crystal clear that if a follower of his did not bear his cross, he could not be one of his disciples.
We see the comparison.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” Jesus uses a colorful comparison by use of a builder. A successful builder must think through his construction process as to what material he will use, how many laborers will be required for the project, and what the total cost will be. If he does do not so, he will not be able to finish the construction. He also uses the comparison of a king going to war and the cost associated with winning the war. Discipleship is costly! Living for Jesus means we should be willing to give up everything including our lives for Jesus.
We see the conviction.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Thus, here is the line in the sand. Are you willing to give up everything that is important to you in this life so that you have no distractions in serving the Lord? This does not mean you cannot be happily married, raise a happy family, or you take a vacation. It means that that you have made it clear that no one will question that you are totally committed as a disciple of Jesus! It means you have died to living solely for pleasure, and you are living for the glory of God. It means going the extra mile is not an inconvenience. It means that you will not complain when more effort and time is required for the Lord. Being a disciple of the Lord’s must be a conviction that is lived out.
There is a price to pay if you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Living for Jesus is not easy, but it is worth it all. This morning, why not decide to take up your cross and demonstrate true discipleship?
Have a crucified God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Amos 6-9