Discipleship Cost: Insights

Discipleship is THE important decision once a person is saved. It is the most important activity in life after the point of salvation. It has been taught and directed by many authors and pastors. One of the main ingredients is “counting the cost.” In order to pursue discipleship, Jesus said,

27 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— (Luke 14:27-28 NKJ)

What is the cost?

Jesus uses two illustrations to explain the meaning of this discipleship concept. The first is the builder who has laid a foundation, but cannot complete the project. The second is the king, who considers the cost of facing another king and his army. Both illustrations make sense and from the human perspective give some understanding. Yet they only begin to illustrate. The point is in what follows those two illustrations. Jesus said, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33 NKJ) That also makes sense, but what does it mean?

Here’s the point. You cannot imagine what the real cost is. You can get an idea of what it will cost to build a building, although there are always extra costs that were not considered. Attacking a larger army has extra costs and challenges that are much more difficult, but attacking an army twice as big is a bad choice.

It’s much like considering the cost of being a parent. What is the cost of raising children to godliness? Or what are the costs of changing careers? What are the costs of not forgiving people who have attacked your character? What are the costs of pursuing a college degree? These and many other questions reveal that we cannot really imagine what all the costs are going to be. How much more difficult is it to imagine the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus said we must forsake all in order to be His disciple. He is calling us to forsake all of our earthly ambitions to pursue His one will.

There is another verse that explains this well, “”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23 NKJ) The one solution is to deny self in every aspect of life for the sake of pursuing God’s will of discipling other people to the Lord Jesus. The cost is beyond what anyone can imagine and the condition of denying self with total dependence on Him is the only solution. Are you willing to pursue that?


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