25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Nothing about Christianity is accidental.
In this passage, Jesus invites us to weigh how much we want Him. Sacrifice, by nature, is a calculated choice: “...calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”(v. 28).
It is necessary to “calculate the cost” to be a disciple of Christ.
Like a person who does not foresee the full cost of building a tower and suffers ridicule for starting something he cannot finish, a disciple must understand what it will take to complete the Christian life before he makes the commitment. Similarly, a king must soberly consider the odds before deciding between war and peace.
Christ does not want flippant decisions: He wants all-in commitment.
To wish for the cross is to wish for a death sentence.
Nothing about the cross is comfortable or easy. It is death. Upon the cross, we die to the old—our old desires, our old habits, our old ways of thinking. And what’s great about Jesus is that He doesn’t expect you to die alone.
We die with Him—we join Him in His sacrifice.
As Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). And when we die, our old lifestyle is so dead that nothing but Christ lives in us—He is who other people see.
Ironically, upon death, we find life. Upon surrender, we gain freedom: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25).
The essence of being a disciple of Christ is unreserved commitment to Him.
- According to this passage, why might discipleship cost you relationships?
- What things in your life would you find most difficult to give up for the sake of following Christ? What makes such sacrifices worthwhile?
Thank God for bringing us to Himself through the sacrifice of His Son. Repent from giving your heart in worship to anything but Christ.