The cost of discipleship is one thing so many Christians overlook, and on this sermon we are going to help you understand what it really means.
First of all make your cost before you start building.
Now think about a man who has just won a lottery, or landed a contract; embarking on building a house.
But sadly, he does not even know whether the money he has at hand will be enough for him to complete it. let us see what will become of that man in the teaching that Jesus gave us below.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—“Lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘this man began to build, and was not able to finish.’Luke 14:28-30
We can all witness what our Lord Jesus said above when looking around our environment and seeing uncompleted buildings, whose owners ran out of cash due to one reason or the other, and was unable to complete it.
Now if you go and stand near people who are passing the building by, you will discover that they are mocking the owner of the building for his inability to complete the house.
But if only the owner knew, as Jesus revealed to us above, that he ought to first of all sit down and make a cost to know how much will be enough to complete the kind of building he has in mind, before he can then go further to start up his building project.
What is the cost of discipleship?
But I hope we all know that this is not what Jesus was literally referring to; because He was using that illustration to figuratively refer to those who wants to become His followers i.e. Christians.
In a plain language; Jesus was trying to make us understand that there is a price to pay for becoming His followers.
And when you check the preceding verse before He made the above statement i.e. Luke 14:27, you will discover that He had earlier established the fact that those who will not be willing to carry their cross and follow Him will never be fit in His disciple position.
And as we all know the cross has already been interpreted as persecutions. And from there it is right in every sense to conclude that the cost of discipleship Jesus was talking about here was the persecutions we will face; when we decide to follow Him.
We have already evidenced this by what became of all His disciples.
It is true that people definitely mocked the disciples, in one way or the other; before leading them to their untimely deaths which was accompanied by so much torture.
But when you re-examine the above text; you will discover that those disciples that died are no more being mocked today again. Instead people are erecting cathedrals and statues in their remembrance; and according them all forms of respect and honors.
And if we bond that to the reality of an uncompleted building; there is no way that people will begin to look at where the building stood, and say anything good about it; after demolishing the building.
And so we can understand that the carrying of the cross was a reference to His follower’s persecutions and death.
While this uncompleted building was a reference to any of the disciple who would fall in one way or the other; and be a thing of mockery where ever his name is being mentioned.
Judas – The son of perdition.
To be very straight about it, Jesus was making this reference to Judas Iscariot, the man the whole world continues and will continue to mock as the son of perdition who betrayed his Master because of money.
And as the Spirit says; if only Judas had known that his gambling lifestyle will make him to owe someone in a time like that.
In trying to find the money to repair his debt; be faced with the offer of selling out his Lord and Master, he would have repented, or better still told Jesus His problems after he realized his faults.
And He surely would have found a way to help him solve it; even if it meant telling him to cast a net in the river, catch a fish; and open its belly to remove the amount he wanted.
But since he was already sinning behind Jesus and the other disciple’s back by gambling, dining with prostitutes and so on; while still countinh himself as one of the followers of Christ; He was unable to tell Jesus that he has lost all his money in gambling and even ended up in a debt.
Thus in order to avoid the person he owed coming to tell Jesus what he has been doing behind His and the other disciples back.
He had to find a way of covering up his sin; by collecting the chief priests money with the intention that once they are unable to catch his Master, as it always happened; they will have nothing on him which will make him refund the money.
Because he had done his own side of the bargain which was taking them to where Jesus used to hide; and they should have done their own bidding by arresting Him.
But since things did not turn out the way he thought, he had no option than to return the money to the chief priests and go hang himself; in order to escape the shame of withstanding the other disciples.
It would have been better if this was to happen to Judas alone. But it is rather so sad to realize that this is the same thing that continues to happen to each and every one of those who continue in sinful life styles; especially in secret, while still parading as the followers of Christ.
The cost of discipleship meaning.
Without much ado, the cost of following Christ, which our Master was talking about here; is abstaining from those sinful acts; that used to give us so much pleasure, while we were not yet born again.
For example, if we were gamblers like Judas Iscariot we saw above; when we were never following Christ, once we begin to follow Him we must put a full stop to gambling.
Same thing goes for fornication, adultery, carousing, drunkenness, stealing, covetousness; and every other sinful act that gives pleasure to human beings.
Because if we continue in this sins we will give way for the devil to enter us one day; and lead us to do the worst that all the world will witness. And from that day on, we become a laughing stock for even generations yet unborn; as we can all witness in the case of Judas.
How to be a good disciple.
In order to pay the cost of discipleship and be a good disciple, let me hereby remind you of what happened to Judas.
Then Satan entered into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him to them.
And they were glad and agreed to give him money. T
hen he promised and sought opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of multitudes.Luke 22:3-6
Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.Mathew 27:3-5
Therefore, whoever wants to follow Christ to the end must put away every form or nature of sin; and pray always for the help of the Holy Spirit, Who was given to help the believer live a life of obedience to God.
“I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:27
And if you however find yourself being a victim of this circumstance; there is still chance for you to repent and go to God to ask for forgiveness; so He can send Jesus to bring you those times of refreshment:
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that time of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord., and that He may send Jesus Christ Who was preached to you before. Acts 3:19-20.
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