When we think about what something costs, we usually equate that to price. What is the sticker price of an item and can we afford it? Routine items are generally affordable for most people. It is when we begin to consider items outside of our normal purchases that the issue of affordability comes up.
- Can we afford a new TV?
- Can we afford to buy a new car?
- Can we afford to take a vacation?
In the final instance the word afford takes on additional meaning. First, can we financially afford to take a trip. Second, can we afford to take the time away from work or other commitments? It is interesting how often the second instance comes up. We all know we need time away for rest and renewal but sometimes we are very reluctant to allow ourselves that luxury.
In Christian discipleship cost and affordability contains another very personal dimension. It is not a question of whether we can afford to be a Christian. Jesus never demanded that the disciples be rich and then prop up his ministry. In Luke’s gospel we read that many of the women who Jesus was friends with helped to support Jesus out of their own resources (Luke8:3).
The question for the Christian becomes can we absorb the cost of being a disciple socially and perhaps even politically. Christian discipleship is a way of life, it is not simply showing up on Sunday morning for an hour of worship. Sometimes following Jesus means making a personal sacrifice or standing up for injustice.
Often taking such a stand can have a personal cost. It could cost you your job or block your opportunity for promotion. Perhaps a personal relationship is damaged because of the stand you take. When these and other issues arise do you as a Christian stand with Jesus or do you stand with the crowd?
That is the question Jesus is asking us this week. I hope you will join us as we explore this issue as presented in Luke’s Gospel.
Text: Luke 14: 25-33
Questions for Sunday
- What does being a disciple of Jesus mean to you?
- In The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “When Christ calls a man, he bid him come and die.” How does this quote make you feel?
- Have you ever paid a ‘price’ for your belief in Jesus?
Prayer for Sunday
Gracious God, I come before you humbly. I acknowledge my faults and my fears. I tremble at the thought of loosing to serve you, for you have blessed me so greatly. I pray that when the time comes I will be able to stand before you recognizing that what you asked me to give up only prepared me further for what I will receive in glory. In Jesus name, Amen.