First sit down and count the cost ...
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
The story draws you in until the last sentence is uttered. How can it be that the cost of discipleship is so dear? Why is it that Jesus requires so much of those who would follow him? Can we not simply add God into our lives? Is it not possible to follow him by doing religious things like praying and going to church? Why must the cost be so high that we must renounce all? Could it be that Jesus is the true example of discipleship and to love means to sacrifice all?
The cost that Jesus asks us to count is the cost of loving God, loving our neighbor and loving our enemies. He asks us to consider in advance what we are committing to because the kind of love that he calls us to will cost us dearly. Yet who among us realized when we initially said yes to Jesus that it would mean saying no to things that stroke our ego and make us happy. In a way we can only know this kind of cost as we are confronted with opportunities to love.
Thank you Lord Jesus for showing us love that cost you your very life. Empower us to live with such love.