Once, when large crowds of people were following Jesus (139), he challenged them: “Whoever loves family members more than me, cannot really follow me. And whoever is not willing to be put to death for following me, cannot really follow me.”
Then Jesus used a couple of examples to help people consider carefully the real cost of following him. “If you plan to construct any kind of building, you normally figure out the cost beforehand, to make sure you’ll have enough money to finish the job. Otherwise, you may get the foundation laid, but be unable to finish the job. Then people won’t think you’re much of a builder.
“Or look at it this way. When a king, with an army of 10,000 soldiers, is facing another king, with an army of 20,000 soldiers, he normally considers his battle plan very carefully, to make sure his forces are strong enough to win. If he cannot assure himself of victory, he’ll send messengers to ask for terms of peace, rather than sending his troops to certain defeat.”
Jesus concluded, “In the same way, you need to consider carefully the cost of following me. Following me will require you to give up everything else you have in this life. Otherwise, your service for others in my name will be as worthless as salt that has lost its flavor.
“Listen to what God is saying to you!”
(139) Luke 14:25-35