Friday, February 10, 2017

Counting the Cost

Luke 9:57-62
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

This section of Luke 9 is commonly referred to as "The Cost of Following Jesus."  Even if we have come to appreciate that salvation is free and leads us to experience the blessings of being free in the Lord, Jesus is talking to these people along the road who are apparently quick to say they will follow him, without considering everything involved in such a commitment.

Truly, there are some dangers of misunderstanding the cost.  There are some things we may be called on to give up. Other things which have been priorities to us will slide down to a lower level of priority.  Jesus is still calling people to follow him and that is a glorious invitation. But consider the seriousness of the commitment, and the examples Jesus gives of those who were vocal about following him, but other things suddenly took the place of their commitment. 

Even those of us that have been serving the Lord for years, can experience periods of misunderstanding the cost of discipleship, too. We may have began our Christian walk with enthusiasm and determination to accomplish great things in the work of the Lord. After years of such activity we have a tendency to step aside and let someone else do the work. We may even get to the point where we think we have reached the peak and have no more growing to do. We want the younger ones to step up and take a leadership role. 

Hopefully we can see the point Jesus was making in Luke 9.  He wants us to follow him and be active in service to him and to others. Be aware that the Christian life is a journey from beginning to end. The importance of commitment will be with us until we take our final breath. 

The Marines say they need a few good men. The coach demands hours of practice and perfect execution of planned plays. The conductor asks each member of the orchestra to follow his lead. Only Jesus asks us to follow him, and promises eternal life.  It's worth the cost of discipleship.


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