Are you ready to die?
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even their own life — such a person cannot be My disciple. And whosoever does not carry their own cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14 25-27)
Our Father requires total commitment if we are to be Christ’s disciple. Unless you are one of the willing you are part of the crowd, but if you are willing you learn that Jesus meant ever word. There can be no compromises. The disciple favors his Lord above all human relationships, even over his very own life. As Jesus spoke to His Father so the disciple must say, “Thy will be done.” The disciples were few.
The crowds were large. They followed the blessings. What a thrill it must have been witnessing the miracles. The blind received sight, devils were ejected and even the dead were raised; entertainment at its best. Some received the word Christ spoke, the rest enjoyed the picnic as long as it was without cost.
“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and He said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35; Matthew 16:24-25; Luke 9:23)
Are you counting the cost?
Christ is talking about discipleship. “He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them,….” Many heard the requirements. Have we not also heard Jesus’ words when He said, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33) Jesus asks for everything. Nothing is to be denied; be it relationships, possessions or our very life.
How does one know if they are a disciple of Christ? “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.” (John 8:31) To continue in His word is to hear and obey no matter what it cost to do so. There are crowds and there are disciples.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (John 15:7-8)
I have written this because of my love for those who are still part of the crowd.