Saturday, January 16, 2010

Counting the Cost of Discipleship

"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 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 of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple."
- Luke 14:27-33

It is proper for a potential convert to weigh the consequences of choosing to follow Jesus in a true, life-transforming way. While I do not believe that Jesus here is commanding everyone, or even anyone, to take up the life of a hermit, I certainly do believe that He is warning the potential disciple that he must count all his belongings, position, friends, and family, as disposable, because he may face their actual loss in his new life. While we don't usually face consequences on that level in modern America, discipleship in other countries can result in the destruction or forfeiture of material property, rejection by family, beatings, or even death.

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