HOST: Ron House
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
This text expounds on what is involved in accepting the invitation that Jesus spoke of in the previous reading. In His day, as in ours, there were many who were enamored with His teaching and the prospect of being His disciple and who quickly commit to following Him. But Jesus says it is not an invitation that can be accepted without thought and true commitment. Following after Jesus requires that He be first and the greatest priority of our lives. The word “hate” in v. 26 is a harsh word and is not intended to be taken literally, but the concept behind the word is important and not always easy for people to accept. Jesus says that, in order to be His disciples, we must be willing to put Him before even our closest and most precious relationships, and in fact before our own lives. It is a firm and unwavering commitment that discipleship requires. Thus, Jesus says that we should “count the cost” before accepting that invitation to follow after Him. Are we willing to pay the price? To see our commitment through to the end? To make whatever choices and sacrifices that it requires? The price of discipleship is high, but the rewards are well worth the effort!
Why is it so important that we put Christ first?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!