“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.Luke 14:28-33
This year our oldest, Zach, and his wife Sowmya have undertaken the task of remodeling Patrina’s parent’s place in Crestwood. A few months ago, Sowmya listened as some other young women in the neighborhood commented on the boarded-up house down the street.
It was true that while some windows were moved around, the house was indeed covered in plywood for a time. Thankfully, things are looking better now.
In the passage above, Jesus uses two examples from real life to drive home the point that careful consideration should be part of the process of following Christ. Just as a builder calculates the costs of a building and a king considers the strength of his army, so should we carefully consider what it means to follow Christ and then He again challenges His hearers both then and now.
“You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”
Earlier we considered how the first will be last, that we must prioritize Christ above the others we love like our family and here He challenges us to give up everything.
Paul recognized the ultimate value of following Christ in these words from his letter to the Philippians –
“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”Philippians 3:7-9a