Opening Prayer

Thank you, Jesus, that in your call for me to follow you, is the assurance that you go before me, preparing the way and providing all I need.

Read LUKE 14:25–35

The Cost of Being a Disciple

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 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.

34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

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New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Have there been times where following Jesus was costly? How did you respond?

Think Further

Having set his face toward Jerusalem,1 Jesus is walking toward the cross. His choosing to walk the way of the cross is uncompromising. He will not—cannot—allow anything or anyone to stand in his way, as Peter found to his cost.2 Turning to those who would walk this road with him, Jesus challenges them to reflect upon the cost of doing so.

It means, Jesus states, putting the kingdom before family. The hate is not literal, but it’s a powerful way of stating that no other concerns can be allowed to register. Even the legitimate demands of family cannot stop us from pursuing the kingdom. Luke 9:57–62 captures three ways in which these demands are so powerful, constraining those who otherwise desired to follow. We cannot look back over our shoulders when we’ve started to plough, as that means we do nothing well. We have to make the kingdom the first and only priority. Without that clarity, his disciples cannot truly follow him. Walking this path with him, Jesus insists, means embracing suffering. Carrying a cross is burdensome, even if it’s only the cross bar on our shoulders as Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry for Jesus.3 Jesus is clearly emphasizing that this road is one that would be hard and likely to entail suffering. If they’re not willing to embrace suffering, they should not follow after him as disciples.

What this amounts to, Jesus tells them, is counting the cost. If you can’t complete a tower, don’t start; if you can’t resist an aggressor, sue for the best peace terms you can get. To paraphrase what Jesus says in verse 33, if they cannot wave goodbye to everything they have, they cannot be his disciples.


Joshua 24:15 captures the power of a family or household all pursuing God together. To what extent is that true for you and your household or community?

Closing prayer

Forgive me, Jesus, for those times when I am distracted, or even falter, as I follow you. Give me strength and perseverance to walk with you closely, never counting the cost, so that others might see you in me.

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by kingstar

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