Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
Luke 14:25-33 New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus reminds us of the cost of being a disciple. He tells us that being a disciple is not for the faint of heart. We see this throughout the Gospels. Jesus wants to make sure people know the cost of being a disciple of Jesus.
It’s interesting that this scripture comes up today because we are starting a new series at McCrae Brook this morning called Grown-up Faith. We are asking the question, why do people get stuck? One of the reasons that people often get stuck in their faith is that they fail to count the cost.
Recently there have been some rather public figures who have renounced their faith or at the very least they said they are questioning their faith. Perhaps it was because they weren’t made aware of how difficult the faith is. Jesus speaks some hard words when he says, that you must love everything much less than Him if we want to be a disciple. The world in the scripture says hate everything in comparison to loving Jesus. These are strong words and yet they are the words of the one whom we follow. He needs our undying devotion.
Jesus tells us that we must follow him – even to the point of carrying our own cross. We must die to ourselves – that is the cost of being his disciple. He never promised us the life of following Christ would be easy – in fact – he says the opposite. Following Jesus is hard – it will cost us everything. And the question for us is are we willing to pay the price?