Summary: Jesus paid the price for our lives. We must bear the Cost of Following Him.
The Cost of Discipleship-The price is what you pay initially- The Cost is what comes later. You pay a price for a piano & music lessons. The cost is the hours of practice and work and rehearsal. Jesus paid the price for our lives. We must bear the Cost of Following Him.
“When Jesus calls a man, He bids him, ‘Come, and die’”. Dietrich Bonheoffer, the Cost of Discipleship
Illus. Bonheoffer was imprisoned and eventually executed for doing what he felt was the fulfillment of his calling to follow Jesus. He publicly and openly taught against the tyranny of Hitler’s regime as anti-Christian. He paid the ultimate price for his faith. He understood the Cost of Discipleship and wrote a book with that title from a German prison cell.
Luke 14:25 “Large 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.”
There is a Relational Cost for Following Jesus
Illustration: Abdu Murray relates the story of his visit to an elderly Muslim man in the hospital. Abdu was a Muslim who examined the evidence for Christ and gave his heart to follow Jesus. He answered the man’s questions and perceived even with his best efforts at answering questions the man seemed to become harder hearted as the conversation progressed.
Finally, he shares, he asked the man a question that changed everything
“I swallowed hard and asked the question I feared might derail the discussion for good. “What would happen if you did become a Christian? What would your kids think or do?”
His eyes lowered as a slight sigh left his lungs. “They would disown me. It is unforgivable and a shame for me to become Christian.”
I knew that fear all too well. I had to face the possibility of such losses when I was wrestling with (and even against) the answers that Christianity offered to my toughest questions. “I know what it’s like to have to face that kind of rejection. I also know that the possibility of losing the people you love the most is a powerful reason to close your ears to the answers the gospel provides.”
The historical evidence, the philosophical and theological arguments—none of them—broke through the man’s stony veneer like the words I had just spoken. A tear escaped his eyes and rolled down his cheek. “Thank you,” he said, surprising me. “Thank you for understanding that I might lose everything if I even consider what you are saying.”
This kind of rejection is common here in India, and, I believe, it only will grow in very few years as the tensions against the Gospel and political and social pressures against Christians become more and more common. Following Jesus may mean losing popularity, losing privilege, and, even, losing the most valuable relationships in your life.
And this is not limited to those in religious communities where acceptance of the Gospel is tantamount to rejection of your family, heritage, and traditions. It is also the case in traditional Christian families where the calling of God on your life does not match the expectations of those you love.