Cost of Following Christ
Peter once asked Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (Matthew 19:27). We might paraphrase it like this: “We’ve given up a lot to be here. Is it really worth it?” Some people today might ask the same thing. We have given up a lot — careers, families, jobs, status, pride — in our spiritual journey. Is it worth it? Is there some sort of reward in store for us?
One of the things I appreciate about Mark Dever’s view of evangelism is his insistence that we tell people who are not yet Christians that it will be costly to follow Jesus, but it’s worth it. As preachers and evangelists, we can be guilty of stressing the “worth it” aspects of following Jesus, while feel the pressure to share honestly the costs of following the Lord. When Mark talks about the costs of following Jesus, he is, of course, only paraphrasing the Lord’s own teaching. When one teach of the Law cried out, “Teacher, I will follow you anywhere you go.” The Lord didn’t grow giddy with the thought of “one more” in his corner. He told the man to count the cost in these words: “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head” (Matt. 8:18-19). Which basically means “welcome to a life of homelessness and costly sacrifice.”
Life is a non-ending circle and sometimes is moving way too fast, but if we try to open ourselves to Jesus and listen to His sayings we will find out that there is peace and love around us. Jesus was tortured and humiliated, he died on the cross as a consequence of our sins. Although Jesus knew He would die, it didn’t stop Him to show care, love and understanding to people, even to those who were responsible for his suffering. Until His last breath, as it is written in the Bible, Jesus was praying to God saying: “Father, forgive them, for they do not now what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus shows compassion and forgiveness to those who wished for His death and this is another thing that we learn from Him- the aptitude to forgive, as he says: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Jesus teaches us not to live with the weight of hate or torment, for it will cause us to suffer more.
As shown above, we must count the cost in order to be a disciple. The cost is total in principle and may be total in actual experience. In the end, having Jesus means gain, like Paul says: “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8)
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984. Print.
Matthew 5:44 King James Version
Luke 23:34 King James Version