The Cost of Discipleship

Memorize: Luke 14:28—“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?”

Read: Matthew 8:18-22; Luke 14:25-35


Monday—By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ. Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christ-like. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God.


Tuesday— The followers of Jesus’ day knew what it meant to be a disciple; there were many disciples of many rabbis. This form of instruction was the first “college”. A student (disciple) would follow their teacher (rabbi) for several years studying their every move. However Jesus, the rabbi, was different. When one followed him, they saw miracles, were fed, and were always curious about what would happen next. People who followed Jesus grew into a “me first” mentality. Those who are following Jesus simply for what they can get won’t stick around when the going gets tough.


Wednesday— Jesus knew the hearts of his followers. He knew they desired the benefits of what He did rather than an understanding of who He was. They loved His gifts, not the life He was calling them to. So He explained what it takes to be one of His followers. First, a disciple must put Jesus above all things (Luke 14:25-27). The language Jesus uses in this passage is tough. After all, doesn’t Christianity teach to love our families (I Tim 5:8)? When Jesus spoke of hating your father, mother, brother, and sister in this passage, he isn’t telling us not to care for them. He is saying that He (Jesus) must come first. Sometimes our families will not understand what we do because we are following Christ. They may not “like” our decisions that are prompted by the Holy Spirit. We need to be sure that we are listening more to the Holy Spirit and not to our family if we are to be true followers of Jesus.


Thursday— Jesus ended His description of the cost of discipleship with a breathtaking statement: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). “Renouncing” may mean we give up something physically, but more often it means we let go emotionally so that what we possess no longer possesses us. When we become one of His, we cannot continue to belong to this world (1 John 2:15-17). We must make a choice, for we cannot serve both God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24). The rich young ruler, when confronted with that choice, turned his back on Jesus (Luke 18:18-25).


Friday— We cannot earn salvation by lifestyle change or any other good deed (Ephesians 2:8-9). But when we choose to follow Christ, we are releasing control of our lives. When Jesus is in control, pure living results (1 John 3:4-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). What is the cost of discipleship for you? What do you need to give up in order to follow Jesus fully? Let it be said of us that we have counted the cost and we are prepared to finish the task. (Luke 14:28-30)