The Cost of Discipleship

These two statements by Jesus must have stunned the would-be followers who had come to Him. The first man eagerly offered his allegiance: “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Perhaps he had heard of Jesus’ call to the original disciples, “Follow Me!” Certainly, he had seen the crowds following Jesus because of His teaching and healing ministry. Why did Jesus apparently discourage him by stating so starkly the demands of discipleship? Maybe the Lord saw that the man did not appreciate how much he would have to give up in order to follow Jesus. He would lose security, stability, and self-sufficiency. Was he ready to give up material comfort and convenience, not to mention financial prosperity? The second man was already, in some sense, a “disciple” (8:21), but he wanted to wait until he had buried his father before joining the wandering band who accompanied Jesus. It is possible that his father had not even died yet; otherwise he would have already gone home to bury him. Maybe he was just putting future family considerations ahead of present commitment to Christ. How about us? Do we see Jesus as Lord of heaven and earth, and Lord of our lives also? Are we prepared to lay down both material comfort and family considerations, if necessary? Jesus will never call us to waste money or desert a spouse or children, but He does insist that we put Him first in our lives.