The cost of following Jesus
And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple... So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” Luke 14:27; 33-35
When Jesus Christ was here on earth, He had done things that demonstrated He was perfect and sinless. In Luke 14:27, He expects imperfect people to follow His example. His own experiences provided examples of how Christians should live their lives. Just like Him, He wants them to follow in total obedience to the Father. “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (Luke 14:33). “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Just like Him, we could learn obedience through the trials we are going through. Every day that God allows us to be here on earth is an opportunity to follow God’s will for our lives. In spite of Jesus’ nature as fully God and fully man, several times that His disciples will see Him going away to be alone with the Father to pray. “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray” (Mark 1:35). He had demonstrated to His followers that spending time with the Father in prayer was very important so that decisions will be guided. It was through the working of the Holy Spirit that His death on the cross was appropriated. “For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins” (Hebrews 9:14). All the things that Christ did while He was on earth happened to show us how we can be obedient to the Father. His example of obtaining strength from praying, meditating in God’s word, and reliance upon the leading of the Holy Spirit should be emulated. Our continual reliance upon God’s leading in our lives will enable us to follow Him faithfully. We need to remember that we are not alone living the life He gave us for He promised that He will be our constant Companion. “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Following Christ has consequences. Following Christ is a life-long commitment and it means giving up selfish interests. You cannot run the Christian life halfway and give up for it will end up in ridiculing your faith and your claim about your relationship with Christ. Count the cost and let Him live through you. “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better” (Philippians 1:20-21).
Noel De Guzman