Not What We Signed Up For

In Luke 14:25, the setting changes from the meal at the Pharisee’s house to Jesus on the move with a crowd in tow. Sensing many “fanboys” amongst them, he turns and explains what it means to follow him.

“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. He goes on. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26-27 (NAS)

This is one of those passages you want to quickly move on from. There’s a lot said about shedding the shackles of sin, but the exchange of those chains for a cross is under sold. Here the Lord shares the terms of engagement and the cost is very steep. He says true discipleship starts with emptying your pockets and ends with a cross.

If you examine those who have answered his call, yes, they did drop everything to follow him (Peter and Andrew), their fathers and mothers (James and John), their profitable enterprises (Matthew), and their associations (Simon the Zealot). The rich young ruler is the most obvious exception (Luke 18:18-26). He counted the costs. He assessed the risks. He walked away.

In response to the young man’s decision, Peter recalled all that he had left behind, only to hear from the Lord that there would be ample compensation in return now and later.

Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.”  And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time, and in the age to come, eternal life.” Luke 18:28-30

We all would surely like to follow Jesus. He feeds us. He heals us. He leads us. He saves us. But he appears to be an exacting taskmaster.

Yet we read…

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 1:28-30.

Back to Luke 14:25, his true disciples in the crowd offered a hearty amen to these words and kept in lockstep. The others likely slinked away as the rich young ruler did, muttering under their breaths, “we didn’t sign up for this.”

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for 40 years and counting.
This entry was posted in Devotionals, Luke and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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