Discipleship comes at a cost!
In the Epistle reading for this coming Sunday Jesus and His disciples are traveling through the countryside as the Son of God heads for His ultimate destination, Jerusalem. On the way they encountered several individuals who expressed an interest in following the Teacher. Jesus was clear to state, to those who showed a desire to be His disciple, that such a request comes at a high cost. To be a follower of Christ was not something which would end up being a walk in the park by any means.
In fact, the Master noted that He had no permanent place to reside/lay His head. If you were to come after Him, you would have to leave your present responsibilities and take on the responsibility of spreading the news that the Kingdom of God was at hand. And with all such things being considered a person would have to step away from their earthly family ties and commit to a life of service to the Lord. No, this call into ministry was not for the faint of spirit, nor was it to be a half-hearted claim of faith.
As Christians in the 21st Century, to be a disciple of Jesus still carries with it considerable cost. In a day and age, when Christians are being persecuted and even killed throughout the world, to claim allegiance to the Savior can exact some heavy consequences. Jesus told His disciples as He sent them out to share the message of the Kingdom of God, “Go your way, behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” What wonderful words of encouragement, huh?
Yet, the Lord Jesus also told His faithful followers, “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” Luke 10:18-19 If Jesus calls you to it, He will give you what you need to do it! Do we really believe that dear brothers and sisters? I hope so! We can be confident in doing ministry in Jesus’ name because we have the Son of God and Savior of the world in our corner. He is guiding us, coaching us, and strengthening us, so we might share Him with a boldness and zeal that only comes from on high.
Discipleship does cost a great deal for those who would come after the Christ. But it is nothing compared to the blessings and joy which come with serving the King. And I can definitely tell you in all sincerity, the benefits are “out of this world” and are never ending (eternal). Thank you, Jesus, for dying for me! May I be willing, if called to, to die for You as Your disciple. Pastor McCarty