Day 14 | Luke 14
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27)
Counting the cost is everything. Jesus asks his disciples and those who were listening to count the cost and not be like people who start something and then never finish. Two years ago I was going away on vacation and my brother had this great idea, replace my deck (which was also the only way to enter the house on the 2nd floor) while we were gone. The drawings were done, the lumber was purchased, and the materials were bought and paid for. Well at least that is what I thought. As they began building the deck, the drawings weren’t as detailed as they needed to be, and some additional purchases were required, but since I was in another country I didn’t find out until I got back. So instead of coming home to a finished deck, I came home to some stairs, a platform, and receipts. (The deck eventually got finished.)
Following Jesus is not always going to be easy, it is sometimes going to be difficult. Here Jesus compares it to being willing to take up the same fate that he would take up, death on a cross. There are not many people who want to sign up for something that could kill them, and much less a shameful and tortuous ending as in crucifixion. Yet, Jesus says to follow Him means we must be willing to let go of everything. We must be willing to abandon all our securities and our desires to seek out his for our lives. This begins with the denial of ourselves. Jesus knows this is not simple, and requires people to understand what they are getting into prior, and he tells them, to count the cost and ask yourself is it worth it.
While the Pharisees are concerned with where they are going to sit at the table (14:7-14), Jesus is concerned with where their priorities lie in relationship to Him. To follow Jesus is to be willing to give up everything. To reject your allegiance and loyalty to your family and friends in order to devote yourself to the Kingdom.
Today take a moment and reflect, where are your priorities? Are they aligned with the teachings of Jesus? Take a few moments to pray and invite God to speak to you about how you can be a better follower of Him.