This Sunday we conclude our study of The Call of the King, being challenged by Jesus to evaluate our lives to see if we are His followers. Jesus makes no commands - He only describes the total commitment a genuine disciple makes. Jesus expects that as we hear this message, we will evaluate our lives and our relationship with Him.
Jesus tells us that unless we love Him more than any other human relationship we cannot be His disciple. He reminds us that unless we give up our lives for His sake and carry our cross, we cannot be His disciple. Further, Jesus describes the genuine disciple as one who gives up all his possessions to follow Him. He illustrates the total commitment that is required of His followers by two brief examples. First, a builder who must count the cost before building a tower to be sure that he will be able to complete the task. And second, a king who is preparing for battle against another king twice as strong, who should consider the odds of victory and consider surrender to the stronger before it is too late.
Jesus is giving us a final exam, and expects us to be “all in.” We want to count the cost and see where we are in relationship with Him. This exploration leads us to see what our issues are and to freshly answer whether we will give our whole selves to Him as disciples. We will explore whether He is the stronger King to whom we must surrender, knowing our inability to fully comprehend and fulfill all that He asks. To be sure, all that we have learned in studying the call of the King over these past weeks urges us to give ourselves more fully to Him, so he may live in us and empower us to follow this radical call to give up everything to be His disciple.
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25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”