When world-renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti was a youth, he became the pupil of a professional tenor in Italy. Later, he studied music education in college. Upon graduating, he asked his father, "Shall I be a teacher or a singer?"
"Luciano," his father replied, "if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair."
In Luke 14:25-35, Jesus presented a similar message to a large crowd of people who were following Him. His "sermon" made it clear that He wanted single-minded commitment. He wanted men and women who had truly counted the cost of discipleship and were prepared to follow Him. So He listed the demands (vv.26-27), decisions (vv.28-33), and distinctiveness (vv.34-35) of discipleship.
In His message, Jesus gave illustrations of two people who start a project without counting the cost. The consequences of failing to do so include shame and humiliation.
While counting the cost implies that time and thought are required when one considers becoming a disciple of Jesus, no one has the resources to follow Him on his or her own. He gives us what we need to follow Him. Counting the cost, therefore, is not about evaluating whether we have what it takes to do what He commands; rather, it indicates a real commitment to let go of anything that could come between Jesus and us. We must choose to place Him before family and possessions, and to take up our cross daily. We are then freed to follow Him fully in complete allegiance and dependence.
It's been said that there are only two ways to take a thing seriously, either reject it or risk everything for it. Discipleship begins by recognizing the high price required, and, without reserve, casting ourselves upon the sustaining grace and strength found in Jesus alone. , Poh Fang Chia, Our Daily Journey
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