Read: Luke 14:26-33
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 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. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Our Lord refers to a cost which any of His disciples has to count. He Himself was one who counted the cost for His mission on earth. That cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three years of ministry and popularity including the hatred of the religious factions, the immeasurable agony in Gethsemane, and the grand culmination at Calvary, the defining moment of atonement. Jesus counted the cost well. And in God’s plan, men are not going to laugh at Him at last and say, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
In our passage for today, we see that Jesus lays down some strict conditions for anyone willing to be His disciple. He says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (vv. 26-27). Jesus gives the bottom-line statement in v. 33, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Our Lord Jesus implies that the only men and women whom He will really use in His Kingdom building projects are those who love Him passionately and devotedly beyond anything and any close ties on this earth. Such a person should be able to forsake whatever the Lord requires of him. The conditions are stern and demanding, but they are glorious and sweet.
These are the days when many are building magnificent projects for God and therein lies the danger. All that we build is going to be inspected by God. And when He does that in His searching fire, is He going to detect that we have built some project of our own on the foundation of Jesus?!!! Have we put anything more important than Jesus? When Jesus takes us over for His Kingdom-building, it is no longer us and our schemes, but His will, His plans, and His desires that matter. The number one position in our life should be occupied by Jesus alone.