25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even life itself—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Following Jesus has a very high cost. We must love him so much that the love we have for any other person looks like hate in comparison.
A tough teaching from Jesus.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
…And a man who wants to build a building will first make sure he has enough money to complete the construction. He must count up the cost.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
The last couple of verses of this passage almost don’t seem to fit; Jesus starts talking about salt. If salt loses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything, and must be thrown out. What is Jesus even talking about?
Passion, love, excitement, can be equated with saltiness. But in the (very long) narrow road, these feelings will not be enough. There has to be something else to it. There has to be a commitment that goes so much deeper. That even if we never received a single blessing from God, we would still follow Him, JUST BECAUSE OF WHO HE IS.
THIS is the cost.
Who HE IS comes first.
You should definitely listen to the above song, but better than the lyrics of RCE, I will leave you with some words of Jesus. I share them because they are convicting to me, and I need to examine myself as much as anyone else.
The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tend to have many similarities. So this passage may be similar to the above passage in Luke, but the way Jesus ends in is, well, scary. If not scary, at least something to be taken very seriously:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” --Mark 8:34-38