Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand ? So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Discipleship is never an option. A believer has to be a disciple. Jesus would rather have few sincere disciples obeying His demands than to have many professing believers among the big crowds which would not be with Him for all eternity. Matt 7:13-14.
Jesus had obeyed the same 3 demands He demanded of His disciples. Indeed, He had asked nothing of us which He was not willing to do Himself. He had “hated” His own heavenly home to come to live in a sinful world among us with no roof over His head. He had gone to the ultimate Cross dying for our sake for which the wages of our sin is death. He had renounced all that He had for our sake. Though He was rich, yet for our sake, He became poor. 2 Cor 8:9.
In view of the coming glory to which nothing can be compared, is it too much to ask of His disciples to go through the process of daily death to the lure of the world and the endurance of reproach and suffering for His name’s sake ? Is it too much to ask to renounce the hold of possessions on our lives ? We know we are in Him when we walked in the same way in which He walked. 1 John 2:6.
He shared two parables about considering carefully the cost of discipleship before making His third demand of renouncing the hold of possessions. The emphasis is about careful consideration before making the commitment. Today, the false teachers are making the gospel message big on emotions and small on the cost of following Jesus.
Like going into a war with numerically inferior forces implying an uphill task, the king must consider very carefully whether to give 100% commitment to winning the war or back off from the war.
Or like building a tower with careful consideration of the cost and having enough to complete it. If we follow Him for the wrong reason – when the going gets tough and we depart from the faith – we are going to cause even more damage to His cause. People will ridicule our faith when we cannot “finish building the tower” or finish the race. (Anyway, it is predicted that many will depart from the faith following false teachers in the last days. 1 Tim 4:1.)
He ended His above sermon addressing the large crowds with a very serious exhortation, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Luke 14:35.
I pray that all believers will heed this exhortation and not believe the false hyper grace teachers whose main doctrinal tenets are diametrically opposite to the 3 costly demands of discipleship :
1. Hyper grace believes solely in self love and doing good to oneself as the will of God. Hear what Victoria Osteen said in her own words.
2. Hyper grace believes the finished work of Christ on the Cross to mean He has taken all your self-renunciation, reproach and suffering upon Himself on your behalf and you need not carry your own cross daily anymore.
3. Hyper grace believes in claiming all instead of surrendering all.