Summary: When it comes to discipleship Jesus reminds us that it is very costly.
Luke 14:25-33 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. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be
What Can You Afford?
Dear fellow disciples of Jesus,
“What’s in your wallet?” With the great influx of credit cards into our economy and society there is a question that seems to have become almost extinct. The current generation of young adults, and my generation for that matter, hardly ever seem to ask the question, "Can we afford it?". The scenario more often than not seems to go like this. You go into a store like, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, or Best Buy. You see a nice 32 inch television on sale for $450. You think, "I have that much credit on my card." So you slap down the "plastic".
Of course there are also the times in life when the question shouldn’t be "Can I afford it", but a related question, "What can I afford?". That may be the question regarding some big situations in life. The old car is rusting out and the engine is dying. There is no question you’ll have to get a different car; you will have to afford it. The question is, though, what can you afford. Or the circumstances of life dictate that you’ll have to get an apartment, or even buy a house. Again, it’s not a matter of can you afford it, but what can you afford. Those are some pretty big issues in life, and they require that the questions be asked. But they are not the most important issue in life. Jesus spoke about that in our text today. The biggest issue in your life is your relationship with Jesus as one of his disciples. And being one of his disciples carries a price tag. Regarding that discipleship Jesus asks you today… What Can You Afford?
When Jesus turned to speak to the multitude following him, he wanted them to ask themselves the question, Can you afford to be a disciple of Jesus? You see, there is a huge cost involved in being a disciple or follower of Jesus. And He wants you to count that cost before you jump into this discipleship relationship. Jesus laid out the cost of discipleship. It amounted to this: Give Him everything! Give Jesus all glory and praise. When success crowns your efforts, to whom will you give the credit? Whose back will you pat? Will you sing your own praises, or will you acknowledge that all your abilities and blessings come from your God? Give Jesus all your love. Every thing you do should be an expression of love for him. Don’t give more of your love to anyone or anything than you give to Jesus. And the love you give to others ought to be an expression of love to Jesus. And regarding possessions? Give them all up for him! The possessions you have can not be allowed to come between you and him, therefore give them up! Jesus simply summed it all up by saying that the cost of being his disciple is to give up your life to him. And his question for those who express a desire to follow him is, "What can you afford? Can you afford to be his disciple?"
Those to whom Jesus put these questions were many people who had been drawn to him by the great blessings he had brought. They had heard about this Jesus. Many had come to him with their problems and Jesus had solved those problems. The ill and diseased had come for physical cures. The disabled had come for healing and wholeness. And Jesus granted those. But now he asked them how long they would stay with him. If he journeyed 2, 3, 4, 5 days or even a week without doing a miracle, would they keep following? When he reached Jerusalem and faced bitter opposition from the Pharisees and other religious leaders, would they stay with him?