Counting the Cost of Discipleship
“Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple – Luke 14:27″.
As Christians, we are in this world but were not to be conformed to this world’s thinking and actions. The world’s advertisements, its conversation, and philosophy are engaged in influencing the none-believer as well as the believer. Sometimes unconsciously as well as consciously. As Christians, we can easily absorb the influences of the world and culture without even realizing it.
Jesus was in the house of one of the top Pharisees, after healing the man with dropsy He gave some pointed teaching to those present through a couple of parables. Emphasizing the necessity of a humble and submissive attitude if one is going to follow Him and live by the principles of God’s kingdom. We can’t imagine what the people thought when Jesus talked about hating family and self. After all, He had already taught that they should love even their enemies so this may have sounded contradictory. Jesus was using “hate” in a hyperbolic sense, and obvious exaggeration to make a point.
His point was love for Him needs to be complete and wholehearted that love for family and self couldn’t compare to their love for Him. When a person decides to follow Jesus, he or she needs to realize the importance of being submissive to Him, a superficial loyalty will not do! A disciple’s loyalty needs to be deep and self-sacrificing.
Love for a spouse, parents, siblings, or children as well as grandchildren, and great grands can overshadow our love for Jesus. Jesus listed the people closest to us, the ones we most seek to please, who consume our time and affections, who tie us up emotionally. Self -love can also consume us, our focus on our needs and wants, sleep, relaxation, recreation, work, relationships, health, and finances. The Lord wants to be first in our lives; He’s not saying forsake family, but our focus should be pleasing Him and as we please Him, He will instruct us how to take care the needs of our family, and He will supply every one of our needs as well as our family needs.
True love for Jesus will help us to truly love others without conditions. Our love for Him will enable us to submit ourselves to His teachings. We will take the time to read His instructions, we will submit ourselves to His instructions. We will talk with Him on a daily basis because not only is He our Saviour, but He is our friend.
Being a friend of Jesus does not mean everyone will love you because they will not, just as they hated Jesus, some will hate you too. You will lose friends and sometimes family members because of your love for Jesus and your dedication to Him. You will be misunderstood, talked about, and lied on. You will also be a target for Satan and his co-host, but the Greater One lives within you if you have truly given yourself completely to Jesus.
Your love and dedication to Jesus is what the Father wants. If you love His Son, you will Love Him. Your dedication to Jesus is not in vain, it will pay off in this world and the world to come!.