25 A large crowd was following Jesus.
He turned around and said to them,
26 "If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison;
your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters;
yes, even your own life.
Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.
27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
28 "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?
29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.
30 They would say, 'There's the person who started that building and couldn't afford to finish it!'
31 "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?
32 And if he can't, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.
33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.
I have heard my friend, colleague, & sister, Beth White, say more than once...
“Salvation is free, but everything else costs you everything.
What Jesus is saying here is not that you have to hate your family & friends, & even yourself.
He's saying that the person who is His disciple, a person who has decided to follow Him, has to make Jesus the highest priority.
Whatever He says for us to be & do has to be the first consideration.
And there's a lot of us who can't seem to make that priority change.
We always put family & friends first – what they think & want supercedes what God may be saying to us.
That ain't the way it works.
We're either gonna follow God or not.
We can't follow God a little bit any more than we can be a little bit pregnant.
Jesus does tells us to think about it before committing to follow Him.
He doesn't want us to follow Him just because.
He wants us to follow Him because we've looked at what following Him means & made the conscious choice to be His disciple.
Yes, we have to give up everything to follow Jesus.
But in return, we get all of Him.
I think that's a fair exchange.