Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
This is what it’s about. Jesus paid a price for us to be saved. It isn’t just about saving us. That’s not our only responsibility in life. Jesus paid too big a price to have on his hands a bunch of people trying to live on both sides of the fence. If we believe Jesus died on the cross and confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, this is where there is misunderstanding. Man wants to be religious. A great multitude followed Jesus. They were having trouble. The devil makes it hard for us to grasp what it means to be saved. It’s more than knowing we’re forgiven from sin and hell. We’re saved to something. We turn from the old life to Jesus. This is not a private, ceremonial thing to do that earmarks us for heaven so that we go on about our lives. Jesus said we turn to him to follow him. To be our Savior he must be Master and Lord.
These are strong statements. We may think Jesus went to the extreme. The people were having prayers answered. Even before we were saved Jesus watched over us. The extent of his grace and mercy is that he still loved us and paid the price while we were in our sins. Salvation is completely free. It’s not being a disciple first. It’s our complete turning to him, calling on him. Before we were saved the devil was leading us around. We knew Jesus suffered and died paying the supreme price for us. A person must call on the Lord to save him or her from their sins. You cannot follow the devil and be saved.
This is not Jesus saying “I own you” without knowing the consequences. If we don’t follow him we will follow the devil. We all deserve to go to hell. It’s by God’s mercy and grace that any of us are saved. We cannot boast anything of ourselves. It is all by the hand of the Master. Can sheep, and we are just dumb sheep, do anything without their shepherd? Thank God for a Master who takes care of his sheep! All he wants is for us to follow him.
Do you think you can’t? Well, you can’t BUT if Jesus is Lord and Master he provides enabling power. Nothing is impossible with God. We can never be the master and get him to follow us. Always have an attitude to do what he says. What he calls us to do, we can do. We can make it.
The devil has caused suffering, and trials and tribulations. I could have chosen the devil and cruised right along. But I’d either be in jail or hell right now. I said yes to Jesus. As the saved, we follow behind him letting him lead. To be a Christian, we must line up behind the Master. Life is hard. There is too much wickedness. We need somebody with us besides “the crowd” we used to know. If I had depended on them to provide and encourage me I’d be completely broke and flat. We were going around in circles on the way to hell. Jesus saved us with an offer to lead our lives and the promise of a home in heaven that is free of suffering and sin, troubles and trials. He offered to be our Master through life. Between the altar of salvation and the grave we need a Master who is more helpful than anyone else. He can do all things; in case I need something, he can do it.
We might look at others who seem to be cruising happily down the river, but their souls are going over the edge into hell. It took our calling on the Lord to turn the other way. This is the demand, the price we have to pay: deny ourselves. Put Jesus first and take up the cross. It may be heavy. It may not be smooth sailing. It means going against the current style and way of thinking. It calls for us to be different and Jesus can help us. Just follow him.
It’s a high price to pay but think about the price Jesus paid. If you will not get committed and take up the tough parts, the snares will come. Those who continue in sin, refusing the Savior, will be completely ensnared by the traps and be taken into everlasting torment. The Master will lead us on the paths we need to be on. We cannot do it by ourselves. He has never failed any of his sheep. He’ll even leave 99 to go find one who goes astray. Don’t make him have to work harder than he already does. Stay in line. Follow him. Be more committed. Be decided to be who he wants you to be. Be obedient.
We ought to gladly pay the price because he has paid the higher price. Make his job of being your shepherd easier. Let him be Lord and Master. What price is he asking of you today? Is it time to recommit to the Shepherd?