I stood at the meat counter of our locally owned community grocery store, surveying their meat counter.The white board announcing specials and meats in the freezer caught my eye. One item grabbed my attention, the quail. I check out the price, $5.99 for a box of 4! That’s a deal. I toy with the idea. Before requesting a box, I lick my lips and glance back at the price. My bifocals had betrayed me. I had not seen the 1 in front of the 5. I sighed. The cost greater than I wanted to pay, I walked away with my ham salad.
The multitudes flocked after Jesus. After all, He healed their diseases and fed their bellies. But now, it was time to take a second look. What would this journey cost if they continued to follow Him?
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27
When comparing scripture with scripture we know Jesus is not advocating hate as to detest but is using the word in the sense of loving less. Jesus must be first.
“…Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matt. 22:37
And what is this cross the multitude must bear if they are to come after(follow) Jesus? The hatred, reproach, persecution and separation of the world.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22. See also, Luke 6:22-23 and John 15:18-20.
The Cost: A surrendered life. You trade your filthy rags of self-righteousness and receive the righteousness of Christ. You surrender your plans for His purpose, your worry for His promises, your sentence of death for His gift of eternal life. You take up a cross and receive a crown.
The cost of not following the Lord: “he also will drink of wine of the wrath of God…forever and ever.” Rev. 14:10a-11a
Heavenly Father, you have given us all things pertaining to life and godliness, removing from us the stain of sin and the stench of death through the blood of your precious Lamb. May we sing your praises now and forever, offering you a living sacrifice of ourselves. Amen.