Continuing through Luke’s Gospel, we’re seeing how Jesus explains what discipleship is all about. It’s not an easy path. It means putting the Lord above all other pursuits in our lives.
He continues with a couple of illustrations.
“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? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
“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? 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.”
Luke 14:28-32 NIV
Jesus gives the crowd two examples of what it takes to decide on the path of discipleship. Too many people start out with good intentions, but with false ideas. They think it will be easy for them.
After all, I just have to go to church, pay my tithes, and pray now and then. They have no idea what it costs to put down the flesh, renew the mind, and build up the spirit. True discipleship requires work.
Listen to how Jesus encapsulates these two parables.
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 NIV
Giving up everything – that’s an attitude that starts us down the road to discipleship. In the parable of the builder, the phrase, is not able to finish, literally means did not have the force required to complete it. It doesn’t imply that he ran out of money. He just didn’t have the willpower to commit everything to the project.
In the same way, the king in the second parable had to ask himself if he was willing to commit his entire army to the protection of his realm. If not, he better surrender before the attack.
That’s what we must go through before we say we want to be a disciple of Christ. We have to see ourselves laying everything down on His altar.
Remember what I said in my last post. You can be saved and on your way to heaven and not be a disciple. I’m not trying to condemn anyone. I’m just trying to get you to see the high road of the abundant life in Christ.
If you find your Christian walk to be easy, then you’re not yet a disciple. The closer you follow to Christ, the harder your choices will become. But there is a bright side. The longer you serve the Lord, the easier it will be to make those choices.
It’s all about cultivating an attitude – I’m nothing else but a disciple. It may sound like a tough road, but in the end it’s worth it.
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 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.”
Luke 14:34-35 NIV
Back when this was written, salt had a higher percentage of impurities than we have today. If it got wet, the actual salt would wash out and you were left with the dirt. You wouldn’t want to use that on your food.
In the same way, there are believers who want to serve God. But at the same time they want to retain their rights to determine what they want to do or not do. That doesn’t work out too well in the Kingdom of God. It’s like putting dirt on your sandwich.
The way of discipleship leads to a fulfilled life. There’s a manifestation of the power of God working through you. When you live at this level it becomes obvious to all those around you.
It’s apparent that you couldn’t produce the blessings that you’re walking in. God is at work in you. That’s the ultimate goal. Living as a disciple shows God’s glory and draws others to Christ.
Question: How much is the glory of God worth to you?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi