Learning About Jesus — Lesson 10
The Cost Of Following Jesus
In this lesson we will look at some things Jesus said to people who were almost ready to follow him, or who had just begun to follow him. The passage to read is Luke 14:25-33.
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' 31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not 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, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Large crowds were going with Jesus, but he knew that not all of them realized how much he really demanded of them. Maybe some thought they would follow Jesus just because it seemed to offer an exciting change from the routine, or because they found his teaching interesting.
The first thing he told them sounds shocking: "If you want to follow me you must hate your family members." Did Jesus mean that we are not to love our parents or that we should mistreat our brothers and sisters? No. In the language of Jesus’ time the word "hate" was often used to mean "to love someone less than someone else." For a follower of Jesus, love for one’s own family must take second place.
1. According to Jesus, who should his follower love even more than his own family?
2. If a follower has to choose between doing what his family wants and doing what Jesus commands, whom must he obey?
Jesus also said that to be his follower one must hate even his own life.
3. If a follower has to choose between doing what he himself wants and doing what Jesus commands, whom must he obey?
Then Jesus told two parables. The first was about a man who wanted to build a tower, the second about a king going to war. Both parables make the same point. Think about them carefully, then answer the following questions.
4. Why is it important for a person who wants to build a tower to carefully estimate how much it will cost?
5. Why is it important for a person to consider what it will cost him before deciding to follow Jesus?
6. Why does a king need to consider the strength of his enemy before deciding to fight a war?
7. Why must a person who wants to be a follower of Jesus first consider how strong the opposition will be?
8. What do you think it would cost you to follow Jesus?