Cost of Discipleship

The thought of becoming a disciple of Christ is amazing. There are so many promises that come with it; love, new life, forgiveness, fellowship, redemption and so many more. Is it free? Is this amazing gift of Christ completely without cost or is there a price to pay?

Luke 14:25-35

[25] Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: [26] “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. [27] And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

[28] “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? [29] For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, [30] saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

[31] “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? [32] If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. [33] In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

[34] “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? [35] It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

This passage from Luke gives us the understanding that there is indeed a price to be paid. There is no free ride as a Christian. To have your life saved and completely reconciled to God through Christ’s sacrifice change needs to take place.

The start of the passage is telling us all the Earthly relationships that we cling so closely to need become as nothing in comparison to our walk with Christ. Not even just our relationships with others but our own lives need to be cast off. Our love for God needs to be so devoted that the loves of our life need to seem like hate. If we can’t die to ourselves and take up our cross we can’t become a disciple.

The next two parts are a clear warning to us all. Don’t start down this path unless you know the cost. If you merely start the walk and waver before the journey has come to an end we will see like a fool to the world. If we claim discipleship but aren’t willing to pay the cost we will be like the man with a half built house. Even worse we may come to destruction as the foolish King going off to battle without thought of the cost.

Christ doesn’t stop here though He presses on. To claim discipleship for a season we become salt that loses its saltiness. This salt isn’t even good enough to be tossed to the ground or to sit in manure. It is garbage, completely worthless.

This passage and topic are hard to listen to and accept. We are so open to endearing love we know in Christ. The salvation is free but to be a disciple comes with a high cost, your life! If we as Christians truly come to love and appreciate all Christ has done for us the cost is our lives. It is a high price but worth so much.

There is a quote from the film “Kingdom of Heaven” in which the European crusader asks of the Mulism commander “What is Jerusalem worth?” The commanders response is truly telling to the worth of the Gospel. He responds with a simple answer “Nothing….EVERYTHING.”

To hold the Gospel that Christ has for us in the eyes of the world is worth nothing. But, to realize the cost that was paid to redeem our lives and the cost we pay to be Christs disciple the Gospel is truly worth everything. The cost of discipleship is everything.