What does it cost to become a child of God, and to meet His approval in our onward journey? Great multitudes gathered around Christ for various reasons – for the loaves and fishes. Doubtless out of curiosity. Wanting to see the great miracles, signs, and wonders.
It really costs a lot to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. – “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” – Luke 9:23.
Jesus gives a short message with heavy ramifications in the text of Luke 14:25-33. Let’s take a look at what our Savior has to tell us…
THE CALL – verse 26:
Hate father? Hate mother? Twenty-two years I have walked with Rachel by my side. We have two wonderful girls. My own life is precious to me. “Hate” is not used in the sense in which we use it today. Today, it means to “despise, dislike, detest, abhor, abominate.” It does not mean that in the Bible (see Matthew 10:37 where it means “love less;” see also Genesis 29:30-31).
THE CHALLENGE – vs 27:
A similar challenge is issued in 1 John 2:15. Do not love the world. That is another hard saying. I do love this world, the world in which I was created. I like sight-seeing. I like camping. There are monuments I want to see. There are canyons I want to see. There are coastlines I want to see. There are memorials I want to see. There are waterfalls I want to see.
The passage is not forbidding us to have regard for these things. “World” in that sense does not refer to things material. It is used in distinction to that of the “spiritual.” It refers to being worldly-minded, yielding to the desires of the flesh, whatever is without the written approval of Jehovah God.
ILLUSTRATION #1 – vss 28-30:
We’ve got to count the cost. Will it pay for me to make this investment? If I spend so much, do I have the assurance of a return? If we are wise when we buy a house, we ask ourselves, is this going to be a good investment? Will I likely be able to get my money back (at a minimum), plus more when I decide to sell? We also have to ask that same question when it comes to spiritual matters – Is my present behavior going to help me spiritually or hurt me?
The disciples asked Jesus Himself – “Behold, we have left everything and followed you; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children of farms for my name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:27-29).
Does it pay to become a disciple?
ILLUSTRATION #2 – vss 31-32:
The second illustration comes to us from the battlefield. A king has to meet another king in battle. But before engaging in war, he sits down and considers “whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand.” If he does not have the men, the supplies, the support lines, etc., he would be wise to send a delegation and ask for terms of peace.
David writes beautifully in Psalm 37:25 – “I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” The time has never been when the really righteous souls of earth were forsaken or their seed begging bread.
CONCLUSION – vss 33-35:
A disciple of Christ who does not live a whole-hearted commitment to Christ is not worth useless salt. If we who have invested in Christianity can but be faithful to the end of life, we are certain to receive the fullest reward for our labor and hope and desires.
Take home message: It is worth your while to invest in the service of Jesus Christ