THE PARABLE OF COUNTING THE COST
TEXT: LUKE 14:25-35
MEMORY VERSE: And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:27
Is anyone playing sports? Instruments of music? Artistic efforts? You have to train, do the drills, and make attempts to improve in order to be better in athletics. It would be best if you practiced and maybe even took special lessons to play an instrument. You will need to maintain the equipment, whether it’s uniforms, mats, instruments, and accompanying pieces. Is all of this effort worth it? Well, that’s if your pursuit is passionate and you want to do it well! We have a comparable calling when we speak about following Jesus. It’s not always easy. It’s always very difficult, in truth, and Jesus told us about that.
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27
Is Jesus asking us that we have to disown our families and hate people? That doesn’t sound like a good way for blessings to be done, does it? We are ordered, after all, to honor our ancestors. The warning here is that we must not let families come before Christ’s faith. For us, nothing can be more important than following Jesus, so He admonishes people to search their hearts and be willing to do whatever it takes to be a disciple. He warns them to be ready.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:28-33
If you’re planning to drive, play a sport, or go hiking, or bake bread, or do something, you’ve got to get ready first. You must look at what’s needed before achieving your goals. Here, Jesus tells people they must be prepared to be disciples. They must understand what it entails. What does that mean? Luckily, most children, at least in First World countries) do not have to fear heavy persecution for their religion. But there are things to be set aside for Christ’s sake.
Maybe they can’t practice Sunday morning soccer squad because they have church. Maybe to wake up early in the morning to read the Bible.
Maybe they put a dollar in the offering plate instead of buying sweets. There are smaller and larger ways of calling young people to embrace Christ. Know, however, that we need to focus on it. To follow Jesus, you must be diligent to pray, read the Bible, and follow-through.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear let him hear. Luke 14:34-35
The price for our salvation was already paid by Jesus. He is still doing that job. The one who brings grace is God. It is important to practice discipline and be willing to work for Jesus, but all things that we do are still through HIM and not our own efforts. And there are wonderful blessings that come when we’re ready to do these things! Of course, we know that our home in
Heaven will ultimately be the greatest blessing.
But in this life, we also have the promise of marvelous things. We are in communion with God, the creator, and savior of the universe! By bringing in more disciples, we also have the opportunity to develop the kingdom of God. When Jesus called His first disciples, He revealed His strength and assured them that they would be able to go out and make more disciples.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. Luke 5:8-11
Today, a lot of people say they want to follow Jesus. They enter the church, and you will see them every week for a while, then they fall away when they find out how much it’s going to cost. Being a true follower of Jesus is not always easy, but it is always worth it when you are willing to pay the price.
In God’s family, we get to do amazing things as children and followers. The best part is that we know that these things don’t have to be done alone. God will be with us. Anything that we do is through Christ. We are learners, disciples, followers of Him. And as such, we’ve got the best and most caring leader we can ask for. What a blessing there.
Heavenly Father, it’s easy to say we want to obey Jesus, but not always easy. Please support us, whatever the cost, to pursue YOU.
We pray in the name of Jesus.