Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
If you have ever purchased a home, you probably had to take out a loan. Lending institutions are not in the business of loaning money because of their benevolence. It is a business to them. As such they don't just give money to anybody who asks. To get a loan large enough to purchase a home you must go through a rigorous qualifying process. There will be loan applications to fill out, verifications of your income, work history and assets. In the end, if all of your ducks are in a row, you will qualify for the loan. If you do qualify it will be because you have met all of the necessary requirements as set forth by the lending institution that are a prerequisite in order for you to receive a loan.
The verse above is given right after the parable of counting the cost. Jesus was making it clear that being a disciple is a decision that we must make, one that is made with an understanding of everything that comes with being a disciple. It is not a decision that is to be taken lightly, as it will be a life altering decision. Think of His disciples who traveled with him while He was ministering on this earth. Their answer to His call of “follow me” came at a great cost and required a great deal of sacrifice and commitment on their part. The same is still true of those who wish to be disciples today.
Jesus made it clear in the gospels that He wants us to be His disciples. But Jesus also made it clear that not everybody may be his disciple. If we are to be His disciple there are some very clear requirements that He makes in Scripture that we are to follow. Being a disciple is not some type of social club we join. It is not designated by putting a bumper sticker on the back of your car. It is not something that is identified by a swearing some Christian T-shirt with a pithy saying. Being a disciple requires much more than that. In fact, before He gave the parable, He told them that same thing.
Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
The question is, “Are you willing to meet the requirements that are necessary to be his disciple?” Are we really willing to take up His cross and all of the hardships that it entails? Are we really willing to come after Him, following His will wherever that leads us, no matter how hard? You see most of us come into Christianity thinking that it is more about us then it is about Christ. Yes, Christianity has tremendous benefits for those who have trusted Christ, but we are bought with a price, our life is no longer ours.
If we are truly willing to be His disciples, then we will willingly accept the requirements set forth by Christ to be one. If we are to qualify to be His disciples, we will need to understand the requirements ahead of time. We will need to count the cost so that we do not start to run the race and yet fail to finish, as many have done. We live in a society where people are living by their feelings and, at the first sign of adversity, fade away. Let us take the challenge, the challenge to pay whatever price it is to be identified with Christ by being His disciple.
The success of the men of faith, their efforts, and their courage, came because they had something in common, they were people who lived in the Word of God.
Life does not consist of that which we possess. Joy doesn’t come from getting what we want.