Monday, September 28, 2015

Jesus wants Us to Count the Cost of Discipleship

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If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me
(Matthew 10:38-40

In Matthew 10:32-40, Jesus laid it all out for the disciples: Follow Him would come with a high cost. Thus all who wished to follow him should consider the cost before signing up.

Jesus’ followers would encounter enemies on all sides, even in their own homes. They would feel great pressure to turn back, to deny the truth and their Lord. Christ must be everything to them, more important than any family member or loved one. Jesus was not encouraging disobedience to parents or conflict at home; rather, he was showing that his presence demands a decision. In the early church, Jews who became Christians would be excommunicated from the synagogues and often shunned by their families. Jesus did not come to make such divisions happen, but his coming, his words, and his call inevitably causes conflict between those who accept him and those who reject him.

When Jesus used this picture of “take up your cross and follow me”, the people knew what it meant. Death on the cross was a Roman form of execution, the most shameful execution. To follow Christ means denying self and carrying one’s cross, being prepared to die for him. Earlier in these verses, Jesus had described how the disciples should go about their ministry – staying in homes of worthy people (Matthew 10:11-14). Here he added that even giving “a cup of cold water” (10:42) would be important – serving others, not just preaching.

Think about this: The best way to find life is to loosen your grasp on earthly rewards so that you can be free to follow Christ. You will risk pain, discomfort, conflict, and stress as you acknowledge Christ’s claim over your relationships, possessions, and career. But in doing so, you will experience the benefits of following Christ, namely here, having a Life and knowing the Father. Do not neglect your family, but remember that living for God should be your first priority. Jesus is worthy to risk all!


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