Now large crowds were going along with Jesus; and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 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. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 14:25-35).
You need to weigh in on the cost factor and count the costs of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. It will cost you popularity. It will cost you promotion perhaps at times. It will cost you an easy life. You will have to discipline yourself. You will have to buffet your body. You will have to say “No” to temptation. You will have to say “No” to this world. You will have to break with the crowd. You will have to be willing to stand alone for Christ. You will have to be willing to walk to the beat of a different drummer and to step out of the crowd even if no one follows after Jesus Christ. You will have to be willing to stand even if you were the only person in the world for Jesus Christ. That’s the cost factor.
You would have to be willing to suffer persecution for Christ; and let me tell you, it will come. It might even cost you your life. He is not coming to play games. He is not coming to be docile. He is coming to dominate. He is coming to slaughter. He is the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. And at the end of this age, He will bolt out of heaven on a white steed and His garments are dripped in blood, the blood of His own enemies. And He is coming back to conquer and to damn.
You need to make terms of peace with this coming King or you will be subjected in damnation forever. And Jesus Christ has made the terms of peace. You need to settle out of court with Him. You do not want to go into that final day of conflict with Christ. For He will be ruthless in the execution of His Justice, but He offers you mercy today. He will agree to terms of surrender. He will agree to terms of peace but they are His terms of peace, not ours. And His terms of peace are very simply this: You must hate your own father and mother and brother and sister and even your own life more than Me or you cannot be My disciple. And you must take up a cross and follow Me or you cannot be My disciple. And if you do not, you will meet Me in the final judgment and it will glorify God in your destruction.
He is pressing you for a decision. He will not be put off. You cannot hit the mute button any longer in your heart. You must answer to Him. Verse 33 concludes, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” 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.
What is our Lord saying? He is not backing off. He is increasing the commitment that He is calling for with every line of this section. He is not saying that you have to buy your way into the Kingdom of Heaven, for none of us have enough gold or enough silver to ever remove the stain of sin that has defiled our inner soul.
What is He saying? “…Who does not give up ALL of his own possessions.” Well, this must be taken in context with other texts of Scripture, and let me just cut to the bottom line of the bottom line: You must transfer the ownership of all that you are and all that you have to all that He is. That’s what He is saying.
Your life is no longer your life, it is now His life. Your time is no longer your time, it is now His time. Your possessions are no longer your possessions, they are now His possessions. Your future is no longer your future, it is now His future. Your treasure is no longer your treasure, it is now His treasure. And you have transferred all that you are and all that you have to all that He is.
That’s what is to meet His terms of peace. Yet, the exchange is not bartered or bought with real money, but it is purchased with the total, complete surrender of your life to Christ. That is what saving faith is. It is coming to the end of yourself and completely and entirely entrusting all that you are and all that you have to all that He is.
This is your eternal soul. This is the only life you will ever live. This deals with the only eternity you will ever have. And so He says, “Salt is good but if even salt has become tasteless,” meaning it gives evidence that it was never true salt to begin with. With what will it be seasoned? And the answer is, nothing. Verse 35 says, “…It is useless either for the soil or the manure pile.” It’s just not good to anyone; not to God, not to Christ, not to the Kingdom, not to the movement. You’re just taking up a seat for someone else. There were other people who were trying to get into this.
“It is useless either for the soil or the manure pile.” You are not even worth the toilet, spiritually speaking. Why? Because you have not come to the place of total surrender of your life and supreme allegiance and supreme loyalty to Christ. You have not yet come under the Lordship of Christ and taken up a cross to follow after Him.
And then He says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” You need to give strictest attention to what God has said in His Son. For God has spoken in His Son to us in these last days and God has brought you to this Scripture. Not one of us is here by accident or by happenstance and it is the goodness of God and the mercy of God that has brought you to this place to also hear Isaiah 53. In this Scripture, if you read it, you will have heard of the suffering Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who upon that cross became sin for us. Upon that cross He died to self that He might live for us and that He might bear our sins and iniquities upon that tree and purchase our salvation. And there is salvation in no other name, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” And He is calling out to you today, “Come unto Me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will take you in and receive you unto Myself. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For My burden is easy and My yoke is Light.” It is. It is! You will have the weight of sin lifted off of you and you will now have the yoke of Christ upon you and then He gets into that yoke with you and He pulls with you. But it will require the total commitment of your life to Him.
Oh, how we ought to search our hearts here today! Have I come to this place of total commitment in my life? Have I yielded my life to the sovereign Lordship of Him who died upon the cross for me? I want you to know that the gates of paradise have been swung open to you. The narrow gate is open and if you will take a step of faith and come through this narrow gate, and commit your life to Him despite the strength of His words. Remember, he also says, “Him who comes unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”
He is calling you today to come, to come to Him, to take a step of faith and to come to Him. But if you come to Him, don’t play games. You must surrender to Christ!
— Steve Lawson, expounding upon Luke 14:25-35.