Read Luke 14:25-35
There were so many reasons that crowds gathered around Jesus. The way He taught and the content of His teaching were like none other in His day. He extended compassion and healing to those in need. He cared for those who were neglected by others.
So people flocked to Him.
But His ultimate purpose was not to gather a crowd; not even one that seemed to follow Him from place to place. Beyonce and Lebron James can do that. Instead, Jesus wanted people who would do more than appreciate Him. He was after those who would sacrifice all as they prioritized Him.
And so, as the crowds gathered, He had this frank conversation with them. Allow me to paraphrase:
“Do you really understand what following Me entails? Well, let Me help you. Are you ready to give Me a higher priority than your closest family members? Are you willing to value Me more than you do your own welfare, even if it means laying down your life for Me? It’s a cross-walk . . . a journey towards crucifixion really. You have to die to self daily and be prepared to physically do the same if it comes to that. Are you ready? Are you willing?”
“This is not a decision that you can afford to postpone. It is one to be made at the outset. And if you did not make it then, make it today. Decide the way that a builder does. After getting an estimate on construction, the builder sits down and decides if he is able and willing to pay for it. Are you willing to pay the price? Decide the way a Commander in Chief does. He doesn’t intentionally send troops into harm’s way when he knows that the loss of life and strategic locations and resources are inevitable. Are you willing to do what is necessary to come away victorious?”
No matter what your devotion to Christ looks like, there is likely room for greater surrender . . . greater devotion . . . greater sacrifice, in order to reflect the greater priority that Christ is coming to have in your life.