Summary: what it cost you to be Christian
THE COST OF THE CROSS
Years ago when I was in the College, accommodation on campus was very scarce. It was very difficult to get accommodated throughout one’s study period.
But no sooner I stepped into the University that I learnt from “satellites’ that it was possible to get accommodated throughout if I participated in sporting activities. So I decide to become a sportsman even though I didn’t have previous experiences. I obtained a registration form for participation in across- country race and begun to train for the d-day.
But before the very day of the competition the sports commissioner gathered all registered competitors together in a large bus to be driven round the routes for familiarization. As we cruised along up and down the hills, many competitors suddenly decided to opt out of the race as they now realized how long the journey was while still been driven in a bus. They have considered the cost of the race and found out they would not be able to pay it.
This morning we want to talk about the cost of the cross of discipleship and our text is taken from the book of Matt 4:18-20.
And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee saw two brethren, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And he saith unto them follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. And going from thence he saw other two brethren, James and son of Zebedee, John his brother in a ship with Zebedee their father mending their nets and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father and followed him.’
For anyone to follow Jesus there are some prices to pay. It must cost you something. The cross of Jesus cost these disciples, just read about, some things. It cost them their nets, ship and even their parents. As many of us who have decided to be followers of Jesus must be ready to pay the price. The cross may cost you your family. I mean the family attachment you used to cherish before you gave your life of Jesus. It will certainly cost you your comfort, social status and money. It could even cost you your profession.
Immediately you give your life to Jesus your immediate enemies arise from the members of your immediate family. You suddenly find yourself an outcast because of your belief and they will tell you that you have gone crazy. This is why I am telling you in advance so that when enemies arise against you out of your families you will not because of that go away from faith. It must happen except your whole family has been converted. Our Lord Jesus said:
“For I am come to set a men at variance against his father and the daughter against her mother, and daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household’ Matt. 10:35-37
I am assuring you that your new – found faith in Jesus would bring you enemies from your own house. And this is what you have to consider immediately you enlist in the “Army of the cross”.
And because of the enmity between you and your own family you will suddenly realized that you now have a new family, a new set of people, peculiar and holy. Even our Lord Jesus Christ had a new family since he had decided to do the will of the father. The Bible makes us to understand that even the members of Jesus family did not share his belief, And so it happened one day as he was preaching somebody came in and told him:
“…….Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told. Who is my mother and who’s my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand towards disciples and said behold my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister and mother. Matt 12:46-50
The only reason why Jesus blood family stood outside at this period of his teaching ministry was that they did not want to be identified with his message which some have described as heretical. Jesus had to identify with a new family where there is joy, peace and happiness. It is only those who sit and listen to the word of God that are our new families. As you are listening to me, you are my mother and father, brother and sister. Your family is that which does the will of God.
I read a letter of Mr. Walter Gowon one of the founding fathers of (Evangelical Church Of West Africa) E.C.W.A written to his dear mother in 1894 from the Soudan. This letter reads in part: