The Demonstration of Discipleship

The Demonstration of Discipleship

Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
—Luke 14:31–32

After the parable of the builder in Luke 14, Jesus gives a second parable of not calculating the cost of discipleship. This parable is an illustration of a warrior. Look at verses 31–32: “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.” In other words, if you are going into battle with someone who has twice as many forces as you do, you better determine whether you have the ability and the willingness to win the war. Otherwise it is better to negotiate for peace from the start.

What Jesus is alluding to here is the great conflict you are going to experience if you become a follower of Christ. It is not going to be all health and wealth and peace and prosperity, like some TV charlatans promise today on religious television. The life of a true disciple is not like that. If you are going to live as a disciple of Christ, it is going to cost you something. You better be prepared to pay that cost. You better be prepared for the spiritual attack you will come under and commit in advance that you will stay with it until the very end—or else it’s better not to enter into the battle to begin with.

Then Jesus, beginning in verse 33, talks about the demonstration of discipleship. “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” By possessions Jesus is not just talking about money. He is talking about anything of value to us. If you are going to be a follower of Christ, it means giving up everything important to you.

By the way, notice Jesus doesn’t say, “To be My disciple you have to give away your husband, your wife, your bank account, your job, or even your dreams.” You don’t necessarily have to give them away, but you do have to give them up. That means that you say, “God, You are in control. These things belong to You, and You are free to do with them whatever You choose.” When you hold the things God gives you loosely in your hands, then it doesn’t hurt quite as much if God decides to pry them from your fingers. That’s what Jesus is talking about here. To be a disciple you have to hold your life and the things in your life loosely, realizing they all belong to God. That’s the demonstration of discipleship.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Becoming Salty Saints” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.