Don’t follow Jesus until you consider the cost of discipleship.
You don’t hear that much in the church. We don’t tell people to count the cost before becoming a Christian.
Perhaps we are worried that people won’t join the church if we laid out what Jesus taught. Or maybe, we are so focused on getting people saved that if we forget discipleship is more than just belief. We simply tell them to believe in Jesus and they will go to heaven when they die.
Contrary to our message, Jesus never said anything like that. In the church’s defense, its difficult to lay out discipleship fully in a half-hour message on Sunday morning. But just what did Jesus say about following him?
Luke 14:25-33 records the words of Jesus:
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “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. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“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? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“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? 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, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Sure sounds like Jesus had some expectations. He certainly cautioned people not to make a hasty decision about following him.
Read Matthew Chapters 5-7 if you want a good idea of what it means to follow Jesus. Matthew 25:14-30 and 25:31-46 provides a good bit of insight also. There is a lot more to following Jesus than just being baptized.
Go read the verses listed above. Consider them carefully. Then ask yourself, “Am I willing to follow Jesus as Jesus taught?”