“Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus teaches the crowds about the cost of discipleship.
Love for Jesus must take priority over all family duties. In comparison we must “hate” father and mother, even life itself. We must die to ourselves as surely as a condemned man carrying a cross is dead.
Before we start the path of discipleship we must first count the cost. A man building a tower first works out if he has enough money to complete it. A king going out to wage war must first consider if he has the army to defeat the enemy. Likewise, following Jesus will cost everything we have.
Jesus does not sugar coat His message. He makes it clear that there is a cost to following Him.
This is no easy religion of “Come to Jesus to make you happy.” No, we follow Jesus because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is a cost to following the Way, receiving the Truth and living the Life.
Jesus must come first in all things. If that separates us from our family so be it. If it costs us money or even our life, so be it.
We are used to having it easy in the West, but this is changing. Muslims who turn to Christ often lose their family, their jobs and even their lives. The time is coming when christians in Australia may face similar penalties.
Is Christ that precious to you?
Lord Jesus, you gave up everything for me. Please give me grace to give up everything for you. Amen.