Luke 14:25-33 (New Revised Standard Version)
The Cost of Discipleship
25 Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
In these verses from Luke Jesus is talking about what it takes to be a disciple. A pastor friend who is writing a sermon on this same text is calling her sermon “Did Jesus Really Say That?” The title comes from what Jesus is saying in Luke about being willing to hate family and life itself in order to become a disciple.
Hence, the question: “Did Jesus really say that?” This is another text where context matters. While modern day readers can look at these words and think about what “hate” means, in Luke, it is believed “hate” is better equated with not being first in order of importance. So, Jesus is saying that he/God must come first in our lives. And, out of this cornerstone and foundation, everything flows. Love flows. Compassion flows. Our moral compass is in place.
With Jesus at the heart of our lives and first, we are better able to respond in life to the challenges and temptations that come our way. Otherwise, we can often live day to day in reaction to whatever life throws at us…kind of like infants reacting to stimuli.
Jesus compares discipleship to considering its cost/what it requires before beginning our faith walks. He is our guide as we consider how to love and live with the people in our lives. We respond in his ways. Old ways of reacting requires us to give up things. Restraint is required. Acting on behalf of others and being part of something greater than ourselves is primary. Do we give up some old ways when we become disciples? Most likely. And these were the things that kept us from loving and serving selflessly and abundantly.
Peace and Grace,