What will it cost you to become Christ’s disciple?
Well, the word disciple means “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: such as [a] Christianity”. However, being a disciple doesn’t just mean spreading the good news of God’s Word, but also knowing that by choosing to follow Christ; there will be trials that you will face and you will be ridiculed because of your belief in Christ. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus has repeatedly mentioned and discussed the costs that come with being His disciple. In Luke 14:33, Jesus talks about what happens if we don’t give up all we have to be His disciple.
“33. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple”
In this scripture, Jesus is saying that whoever doesn’t give up their physical possessions cannot truly be called His disciple; because if you continue to hold onto your possessions yet you want to become a disciple of Christ, it will be impossible. When I first read the passages on the costs of discipleship, I just briefly glanced at them because I was doing what I thought “discipleship” but somehow, I always came back to those passages and I thank God that I did because I am now starting to understand that discipleship requires so much more than what I initially thought.
Once we decide for ourselves that we want to be a follower of Christ, we must realize that by becoming a disciple of Christ, you must understand that there will be trials and you will be judged by others because of you following Christ.
However, don’t feel worried or just throw in the towel because Jesus said this is Matthew 5:11; “11. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”
As a disciple of Christ, there will be difficulties but rest assured that despite the persecution that awaits you can find comfort in Christ Jesus. Blogger Call 2 Witness wrote a blog post entitled, “The Cost of Discipleship” where he talks about this very subject. In the blog post, he said a statement that I think should give Christians the determination and drive to be His disciples saying, “The purpose of this discipleship is that we in turn can do the same work that the master has done.”
This statement for me is saying that we should; as disciples of Christ we should look to emulate Jesus’s behavior on Earth and that the works Jesus did on Earth, we can do as well (see John 14:12).
Call 2 Witness Bruce Sims said, “Being a disciple is no easy task. There is great cost involved. “
Although people may think that being a disciple of Christ is easy, it isn’t and Jesus said so many times throughout the Gospels, but I think an aspect of being a disciple of Christ that people; especially Christians have forgotten is: going out into the world and making disciples which Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “19. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
By not going out in the various nations of the world and making disciples for Christ is in my opinion; breaking the commandment Jesus gave us before He ascended into Heaven. I recently read a blog post by Web Consultant Mike Mobley who wrote, “Scripture on Discipleship” and in the blog post; he said, “As we follow Jesus and make disciples, we’ll experience God in amazing ways” and I think that this is a great reminder of what we; as people and Christians were called to do.
Mike Mobley said, “Disciple is an identity; everything else is a role.”
Mike Mobley also wrote another blog post called, “We Don’t Have to Force Discipleship” where he talks about how we as Christians are supposed to make disciples, but not force people to become disciples of Christ. In the blog post, he said, “God keeps bringing me back to a main point over and over again – be obedient to what I am calling YOU to do and I will take care of the rest.” This statement by Mike Mobley should be a reminder to us that sometimes as disciples of Christ, God will “nudge” us repeatedly because He wants us to either re-read a certain scripture or get us to understand what He wants us to do and be obedient.
I recently watched a YouTube video called, “It Will Cost You Everything” where Steve Lawson talks about the cost of discipleship. While watching the video, I was reminded of what it really means to become a disciple of Christ. In the video, Steve Lawson said, “He will agree to terms of peace. He will agree to terms of surrender but they are His terms of peace, not ours and His terms of peace are very simply this…”
- “You must hate your own father, mother, brother, sister, and even your own life More then Me or you cannot be My disciple.”
- “And you must take a cross and follow Me or you cannot be My disciple.”
Steve Lawson said, “You cannot hit the mute button any longer in your heart, you must answer to Him.
Also in the video, Steve Lawson makes a reference to Luke 14:33 where he says, “He is saying none of you can be a True Christian. None of you can be in My kingdom, None of you can be in right relationship with Me or the Father, None of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” and in that statement, he goes onto say what the above statement means, “You Must Transfer the ownership of all you are and all that you have to all that He is.”
When I initially read and listened to the phrase above, I was surprised by how much we would have to give up in order to become His disciple, but as I am writing this blog post; I am beginning to understand that by becoming His disciple; I will face rejection and ridicule because of my faith in Christ, but that is okay because I know who I am serving.
Jesus made several references in the book of Luke about what the costs of following Him entail. In Luke 9:23-26, Jesus says a scripture that we are all familiar with but probably don’t understand its true meaning.
“23. Then He said them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26. For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s and of the holy angels.”
Mike Mobley’s blog post “We Don’t Have to Force Discipleship” has several statements that I think as disciples of Christ; we should take to heart in every day as we go and make disciples of all the nations.
- “Note that Jesus did not force the lesson on them, but rather He just kept praying until at last the disciples got so hungry that they asked Him to teach them what He was doing.” (Master Plan of Evangelism)”
- “… the more we would be obedient to what the Lord is calling us to do…. that would be contagious for others to see and would spur them on to do the same ten times more than if we were to just tell them.”
- “Not forcing the issue as you go and make disciples, but modeling to them what obedience truly looks like.”
In the end, though taking up your cross and following Christ is probably one of the difficult challenges that we as Christians face every day because it requires that we take our pain, our failures, and our difficult circumstances in life and carry them onto our cross. As disciples of Christ, discipleship is doing more than just preaching the gospel to all nations; in my opinion, it’s a way of living for those that choose to be His disciples.
So, here is the real question. Are you willing to take up your cross and follow Christ? Are you willing to make the hard choice and stand out amongst the crowd?
“It Will Cost You Everything”. YouTube, uploaded by I’ll Be Honest, 7 years ago, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzpl6CJP6lo5vjsEAeIHnsg . Accessed 5 Sep 2017.
Mobley, Mike. “Scripture on Discipleship” beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/scripture/discipleship/ . Accessed 6 Sep 2017.
- – “We Don’t Have to Force Discipleship” beforethecross.com, https://www.beforethecross.com/biblical-teachings/dont-force-discipleship/ . Accessed 7 Sep 2017.
Sims, Bruce. “The Cost of Discipleship”. 5 Sep 2016, Call2Witness.com, https://call2witness.com/2016/09/05/the-cost-of-discipleship/ . Accessed 6 Sep 2017.
Author Unknown. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” https://sermonquotes.com/jesus-3/12142-whoever-wants-to-be-my-disciple-must-deny-themselves-and-take-up-their-cross-and-follow-me-mark-834.html . Accessed 6 Sep 2017.
Author Unknown. “Matthew 5:11 BIBLE Quotes HD Wallpapers Download” http://spreadjesus.org/bible-quotes/1807-matthew-5_11-bible-quotes-hd-wallpapers-download.html#.WbKXJ8iGPIV . Accessed 7 Sep 2017.
Author Unknown. “Matthew 28:19” https://i.pinimg.com/736x/f0/bf/7f/f0bf7f660ba00ba9e36c50985aed9006–daily-bible-verses-scripture-verses.jpg . Accessed 7 Sep 2017.
Author Unknown. “The Cost of Discipleship” http://releasepotential.org/the-cost-of-discipleship/ . Accessed 8 Sep 2017.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. “Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life” http://www.azquotes.com/quote/798488 . Accessed 6 Sep 2017.