Reflection on the Gospel of Luke 14:25-33- The Cost of Discipleship
November 04, 2020
Due to the increasing reputation of Jesus, his followers were multiplying in number as well. To this concern, he had set the parameters for those who would like to follow him closely, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (v. 26). Jesus stressed in this passage that the foremost concern of the disciple is the following of Him even forsaking one's family and He further added that whoever does not embrace self-sacrifice and difficulties is not worthy of being a disciple, “Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (v. 27) Jesus even challenged them using an allegory of building the tower in which one has to consider the cost for its completion, “Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?” (v. 28) and the King launching into war have to re-consider the strength of his war machinery to ensure victory, “Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?” (v. 32)
The cost of discipleship is so great that it entails the absolute renunciation of one’s possessions, “In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (v. 33).
Possessions may be persons or things we held so dear to us which we consider cannot do without but in actuality are just vanities, things that don’t last and do not contribute to our BEING. Giving up one's opinions, ideas, dreams, or ambition may be difficult but doable. The ultimate renunciation is giving up “ONESELF” which is a lifelong process. This is the great challenge of DISCIPLESHIP, the giving up of “ONESELF” to BE TRANSFORMED INTO THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST.