Living a Committed Life #1
In Luke 14:25-35 we read, “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Three times in this passage Jesus repeats the phrase “cannot be my disciple” (vs. 26,27,and 33). These are three conditions that must be met if we are to become true followers of Him. In verse 26 He says that we must put Him first above all other human relationships. In fact, our love for Jesus must so far overshadow our love for others, that our love for others compares as hate.
In verse 27 Jesus reminds us once again that we must carry our cross. This is similar imagery to what we looked at earlier in Luke 9:23. To carry one’s cross means death–death to self. It means death to one’s desires, hopes, plans, and dreams in order to fulfill the plans Christ has for us. Finally, in verse 33, He tells us that we must give up everything if we are to be His disciples. Nothing can claim a hold on our hearts and lives if we truly follow Him. Everything is in an open hand to Christ, allowing Him to remove or add as He sees fit.