“Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple… Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
—Luke 14:27, 35
Traveling with Jesus is not the same as following Jesus! Large crowds gathered around him and even traveled with him, but he called for them to be more involved. If people were going to be Jesus’ followers, they needed to know what they were doing! They needed to listen carefully and to count the cost of commitment. Jesus underscored this by saying, in effect, “Listen up! What I’m saying is important!”
Being a follower of Jesus Christ calls for sober self-denial as well as a willingness to always put Jesus first. Using strong exaggeration, Jesus demands our loyalty to him over our concerns for self or family or anything else. Cross-carrying is not for the feeble. It requires constant dedication and committed obedience. Christ followers are called to finish what they have started.
Half-finished towers are a sign of not planning ahead and counting the cost. They even result in ridicule.
Like a committed soldier able to finish the fight, Christ’s followers must be willing to give it their all. Jesus says we must “give up everything.”
The person who wants to follow Jesus must know that to be useful and effective for the kingdom of God means counting the cost and remaining committed to the end!
Dear Jesus, we hear your challenge and realize that we can serve only in the strength you provide. Empower us to be committed to your kingdom. Amen.
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