Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 8th November 2023: The cost of Discipleship

Disciple Following Luke 14 Parable Jesus

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 13


Now large crowds were travelling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I remember playing a parachute game called "Fleas on the parachute!" The children held the parachute taut, and small soft balls were placed in the middle of the parachute. The aim was to keep the balls there and stop them falling off. For best fun it needed the whole group to work together to save the balls from dropping. However, that particular day we had to keep starting again because two participants were not really 'pulling their weight' and were letting the silk slide out of their hands and the soft balls drop to the ground.

In our reading, Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and to his death. There are large crowds following him. The question for Jesus is, have these people got what it takes? Are they a follower, or are they a disciple? A follower is one who is there in the crowd enjoying the spectacle, applauding at the right time, and agreeing to the words they hear. A disciple may do the same, but they see the reality - the mountain-top experiences, the storm that underlies a miracle, the danger that awaits them all in Jerusalem, and they are those who are still willing to 'put themselves on the line' . The follower does not pull their weight, but the disciple is willing to undergo adversity for the sake of the Gospel.

Jesus is not asking us to actually hate our loved ones in this passage, but He is asking us to realise that no love can equate to the love that God has for us and we should have for Him. As for the parachute game, well this is perhaps a metaphor for the Church and the need to work together..


Lord Jesus Christ,
You call each of us to be disciples,
to appreciate the effort
and the possible dangers involved
if we take our commitment to the next level.
You call us to step outside our comfort zone,
and to love You above all things.
Give us the desire and the strength
to commit to this today.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen and/or sing this hymn, which is produced by Frodsham Methodist Church:

This article is hard - you may feel you can tick the first criterion but not others - if so don't panic, save it somewhere and revisit it in the months ahead. Keep praying about it.

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