25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:25-27 ESV
I once thought this was a question that wafted away with maturity in Christ. Um, no. This is a valid question that requires attention almost daily. Time is a gift, and it is fair to ask ourselves if we are making the best use of it. That’s just life. Factor in discipleship, and add the idea of cost and value to time, and life.
Is it worth it? To walk with Jesus. To live for Jesus. To embrace his grace for a calling and use his gifts to reconcile others to him. Yeah, no pressure. It’s a good question.
Jesus lays down the facts: there are some conditions to being my disciple. First, I have to be first. Then comes everyone else. Also, there’s a cross included and you have to bear it. Yes?
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, 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 begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’Luke 14:28-30 ESV
It seems Jesus endorsed asking if it’s worth it to follow him. He called it “counting the cost.” Do we even have an assets and liabilities list for our lives? How often do we consider the trade-offs for following Jesus? Like, for him to be the first priority others have to know and adjust. Like, embracing sacrifice and suffering instead of a bandaged life.
Truth be told, I respect people who count the cost. People know their limits and many have yet to come to saving faith because 1) they want to do right by God and 2) they know they are at a place where they cannot keep their commitment. This is the power of truth, and I believe God respects it (Ps. 51). Why go all in, tell everyone we are born again, and then before we get started good, we fall apart in faith when the building begins? People mock our lack of commitment, discipline, and willingness to back up our confession.
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.Luke 14:33 ESV
Bottom line: give it all up for me, Jesus says.
This is like one of the running themes of our day: know your value and know what you bring to the table. Jesus makes an offer of salvation followed by lifelong discipleship. He offers a finished work on which we can have an entirely new life, in him, if we accept his love and obey in response. He’s laying out the best deal ever. And says, essentially, here are the terms. Think about it.
This is not for me to convince you, but for you and I to consider our WHY and reaffirm the WORTH of the journey. For me, it is worth it. Over and over again when I ask myself this question, I have a similar response to Peter in John 6 after Jesus shared some terms for discipleship. Many heard Jesus’ terms and walked away.
When Jesus asked the twelve if they were leaving too, Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
Seriously, who else has LIFE in his words? We chose to believe you and in walking with you, have come to know who you are.
There is so much about the Christian life that must be lived and experienced. The bible has to come alive for us to work through us in reconciliation. We have to come to know God’s love, his sacrifice, his ways, his heart, how he speaks to us, how he disciplines and convicts us, and how we take our relationship with him and demonstrate care in the world. We learn these things over time, through circumstance and experience, and we confirm our belief each time.
Dear Ones, my hope is that we sit with the question ‘Is it worth it?’ and encourage those we know to do the internal work this question requires. Let’s remember that we have no control over others’ choices, and they may walk away. And, they may make the choice to follow him later. Others will choose this glorious adventure of faith in Jesus. Either way, counting the cost is must. Selah, and love to all.
Studying the Bible for love and with integrity.
Educator - Advocate - Writer
"In the darkness of night, I wait expectantly for understanding and knowledge for your people."