Luke 14:25-33 (ESV)
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
As I was preparing this past week to get ready for my annual hunting trip, I did not plan ahead very well. I have done it so many times, that I thought all my stuff was pretty much ready, and I could finalize things Thursday evening without a problem. But then there was a problem. I went to work Thursday morning, and my wife called me right away. Her computer would not boot up. She had just received an update Wednesday night, and it was now, kaput, broken, inoperative, etc...
So Thursday night after work was a balancing act, spending time fixing her computer which was not an easy task, as well as doing laundry, and packing all my hunting gear. Then there was a couple other minor things as well.
I think this is kinda what Jesus was talking about here, about considering the cost, of following Him. We can’t wait until the last minute. There will always be other things wanting our attention, some more important than others, but always something. Jesus wants us to set it all aside. He is the most important. When He says here that if you do not renounce all that you cannot be His disciple, I think He means that we need to do as Paul did. Paul considered all that he had accomplished as rubbish compared to the overwhelming glory of what Christ has prepared for us.
Anything that prevents us from accomplishing what Christ has for us, needs to be set aside. Our lives do not stop when we follow Him, they change completely. We need to be prepared for that, and consider if we are willing to sacrifice all.
by Virgil Stripes