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.
You must love God and obey His calling, even when that means disregarding what everyone in your family thinks you should do. You have to value your relationship with God above all other relationships. God doesn’t allow you any other options.
The problem is we say we want God’s will, and His Truth, and want Him, but when it comes to the cost exacted we balk. AS Judith Viorst worded it so poetically:
“I made him swear he’d always tell me nothing but the truth
I promised him I never would resent it
No matter how unbearable, how harsh, how cruel
How come he thought I meant it?” -Judith Viorst’s play Love and Shrimp. Quoted from Abdu Murray’s article- http://www.rzim.org/just-thinking/what-truth-costs/
There is a Relationship Cost for Following Jesus; you must be willing to pay that cost if you want to follow Him.
“ 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
There is a Sacrificial Cost for Following Jesus
Illus. Albert Durer
Albrecht Durer Sr. was a gold smith. He had eighteen children. Though he had a good profession, the maintenance of his immense family was a daily struggle. Two of his sons, Albrecht Jr. and Albert, nevertheless, had a dream of becoming artists. There was no way Albrecht could afford to send his sons to art school in Nuremberg, so, after much discussion, Albert agreed to work in the mines to pay his brother’s way through school, and then, Albrecht would support Albert through school.
Albrecht, therefore, went to school in Nuremberg, and became a wondrous artist.