What does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus?
According to Merriam Webster a disciple is someone who accepts and assists in sharing the doctrines of another person.
A disciple of Jesus therefore is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ.
We call such people Christians.
If we were to go up to any person who calls themselves a Christian and ask them if they believed they were a true disciple of Christ, the majority of the people would stand up and raise their hands and say, “Yes, I am a true disciple.”
They would do so without giving a second thought to the requirements that Jesus set forth for those who followed Him. They would be insulted if you challenged their claim.
There is a cost to being a disciple of Christ, a cost that most people do not understand.
Father, open my eyes to see Your Word.
Open my ears to hear.
Open my mind to understand.
And open my heart so I may receive Your Word today.
In the July/August issue of the Message Magazine, President Jeff Farmer stated, “Large Crowds followed Jesus but he was not recruiting cowards. He set the discipleship bar high. Many believers in the church assume that they are Christ’s disciples. They are not… at least by Christ’s standards.”
Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23-27 take us to the heart of the matter. What is really needed to be a disciple of Christ?
23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." Luke 9:23-27
Jesus said almost the same thing again in Luke 14:25-27.
25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27
I am not advocating that we are supposed to hate our parents, our wives and husbands, our children and our families.
The point Jesus is making in this portion of Scripture is that we must place Him above all other relationships. In order for us to be Christ’s disciples we must put Him first. He must be Lord of all.
If He is not Lord of all, He may not be Lord at all.
He must be the Lord of your marriage, the Lord of your family, the Lord of your friendships, the Lord of your job, the Lord of your finances, the Lord of your recreation; He must be Lord of all.
Makes me wonder if an armed gunman stood before anyone who calls themselves a disciple of Christ, what would they do?