The Cross of the Disciple
Luke 14:25-26 – Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
What is the meaning of this passage? Are we to hate everybody in our life, not care about them or take care of them and follow God and anything else we hate?
When we compare this to other scriptures we can safely say that this passage is a slight exaggeration. We are not to literally hate everyone, or that would be considered murder.
This passage means that to be a disciple we MUST put Jesus first in our life, to the point where we would sacrifice anything for Him. It is as if nothing else mattered except for Jesus. This is how it should be, He IS the creator of the world and the almighty God, for that reason alone we should always respect Him to the point where nothing else matters. God deserves our respect and worship, He deserves our very lives as a living sacrifice for Him.
We can still have a relationship with others, and as we follow Jesus those relationships will become stronger and we will know more how God wants us to treat those relationships, but before everything else, Jesus must come first in our life!
Luke 14:27 – “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
When Jesus carried His cross, it was a death sentence waiting to be filled. Walking down the road to the place where He would be executed, there was no turning back, no laying down to take a nap. It was a brutal walk, the last walk that He would make before being executed.
As we go through this life being torn down by sin and being attacked on every side by the pressures and distractions of this world, we know that this is our last walk. We should have the same focus that Jesus did. No matter what it cost or how hard it would be, the will of the Father MUST be filled.
Through our life we need to be focused on His will. What does God have in store for you, what is your mission and where does He want you? A lot of people get lazy and just don’t care. Their idea of carrying a cross is to pray before dinner and go to church most Sundays. That type of cross is the cross that you wear around your neck. Very little pressure, or benefit, just the look that says “Look at me, I’m trying to be good”. Is this the type of cross that Jesus had in mind when He said to carry your cross daily?
I think Jesus had something more in mind. The cross that He carried was capable of killing Him, a giant beam across His back with tremendous weight behind it. It is something that we would never be capable of doing alone. That is why Jesus said that His burden is light. But just because it’s light doesn’t mean that Jesus takes the cross from us. I think it means that He works with us to make us strong enough to bear the weight easily.
We are to carry our cross daily, this means that we focus on Jesus and not on the things of this world. While we follow and serve Him He will make it easier for us and give us the strength to handle the fight that the world will give us because of Him.
Luke 14:28-30 – “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”
In order to follow Jesus we must analyze what it will cost us. We must prepare the resources for it and prepare our minds to deal with the problems that will come as a result. Following Jesus, being His disciple and carrying our cross is not an easy thing. Our bodies are tied to this world and attracted to the lusts of the flesh. In order for you to be best prepared, you must look ahead at what being His disciple may cost you, and be willing to pay the price.
This goes back to the beginning of the passage, are you willing to give up your family and others that you love in order to be His disciple? Can you give up the comforts of this world if He calls you?
Luke 14:31-32 – “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”
The war that we have to fight is a spiritual war, we may not see it but it is very real. Again, we must be prepared for it. We fight the war with or without Jesus on our side, that is just one more thing that we must be prepared for. Imagine the cost. The cost of following Him and the cost of not following Him.
Luke 14:33-35 – “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Are you willing to give up EVERYTHING that you have to serve Jesus? Everything we have belongs to Him. It is not by our will that we are alive or acquire stuff. If it wasn’t for His goodness we would have nothing. Would you still follow Jesus if what happened to Job happened to you? He lost everything, wife, kids, riches, house, even his health, but STILL he followed God.
Are you willing to follow God when the only thing that you have is an old wooden splintery cross on your back and a long rocky road in front of you? Are you willing to give up everything you own to be called a disciple of Jesus?