©Jeanne E Webster
Luke 14:25-35 Now there went with him great multitudes: and he turned, and said unto them,
“If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he CANNOT be my disciple.
“Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, CANNOT be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have wherewith to complete it? Lest haply, when he hath laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, saying, ‘this man began to build, and was not able to finish.
“Or what king, as he goeth to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is 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 asketh conditions of peace.
“So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he CANNOT be my disciple. Salt therefore is good: but if even the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill: men cast it out.
“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Did you think? Did I think?
Did I know? Did you know?
Not at first, I didn’t. Did you?
Some days I’d rather not go there. How about you?
By now, the gist of the above scripture is slowly seeping into the thought process. Let us review the latter part of Luke’s 14th chapter.
“Now there went with Him great multitudes, and He turned and said to them, ‘If…’”
That mighty big two-letter word. If. If what? “…any person devoted more to family members and also to his/her own life, than to Me, than he/she CANNOT be my disciple.” This is a hard saying coming from our Lord.
In a nutshell, Christ asks us to put Him first in our lives, our family ties secondary. We all know how difficult that can be at times. Current-day relationships and lifestyles throw so many entanglements our way, distractions, subtle splash pits, powdery smudge puffs to distort our focus on Jesus. They are the great escapes from the monotony of life. Right?
Jesus continues, “Whoever does not bear his/her cross and come after Me CANNOT be my disciple.” A most distinct warning that we walk alone with Christ, not in our parent’s shoes or Pastor So-so’s shoes, but our own shoes in the footsteps of Christ.
“For haven’t you counted the cost of following Me BEFORE you raised your hand and came to the altar?” Once we signal to our families, friends and to the world that we are on the Lord’s side, watch out when we stumble. The mocking and squawking begins: “We told you so!”
“Once you have decided to go to war against the hell bound entity called Satan, do you know if your strength and wisdom is of the Lord or manmade?” Again, possible catastrophe ahead.
“So…be ready to renounce all you have and are, or you CANNOT be my disciple.” Our lives and means should be at the constant disposal for our Lord’s purposes.
“Salt is good but if it loses its strength, what good is it? It will be thrown away, fit for no good use and end up in the garbage heap. You that hear the still small voice of God, hear this.”
The old adage, “If it acts like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, …” seems fit here. It a disciple does not act like a disciple, nor walk like a disciple or speak like a disciple, he is useless for God’s works.
My firm belief here is that Christ knows discipleship is hard and the ground will be shaky under our feet at times. But He promises to walk with us, to strengthen our way and impart wisdom in our actions. The key word here is to endure. With His presence, we shall persevere til the end. As the hymn so eloquently professes, “I have decided to follow Jesus…He’ll go with me all the way.”
Yielding to God is “like a flower at dawn, touched by the warmth of the sun, opening to those sunrays and giving to the world its beauty, its perfume—being for all to see what it was meant to be.” ~unknown