A huge crowd was following Jesus. He turned to them and said:
If you want to be my disciple, you must love everyone else less by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
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? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, “There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!”
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? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!
(Luke 14:25-35 NLT*)
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
He’s the only person truly worth following.
2. What exactly should we do?
True disciples must be ready to abandon everything and everyone else — even themselves — to follow Jesus.
When Jesus was asked to name the absolute #1 greatest command in the universe, he said:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
But loving Jesus first doesn’t mean we don’t love others. As Jesus said, the #2 commandment is:
Love your neighbor as yourself.
If we truly follow Jesus we’ll (1) love God and (2) love others, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
It’s a beautiful thing.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Vital9cbl4)
*In the first sentence, I substituted “love … less” (which is considered a more accurate translation by some commentators) instead of the word “hate” used by the NLT.