Does Jesus really mean what He says? Am I to:
- Give up my family.
- Give up my money.
- Give up my house.
- Give up my hate.
- Give up my lust.
- Give up my pride.
- Give up my contempt.
Jesus means exactly that and the list goes on and on. Give it all, Jesus demands. Following Jesus is to make Him our Master. Jesus wants total and absolute devotion.
The call is simple. Follow me!
Jesus is walking along. Jesus turns to me and is direct. Jesus asks me if I will give up everything. Jesus is serious. Jesus is waiting for an answer.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Matthew 16:24–28). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
And then, here it is again. Jesus is serious!
Now great crowds accompanied 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.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Luke 14:25–35). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.