What’s the cost of following Jesus?
Coming up above ground from a subway station can be disorienting. You have to get your bearings all over again. Jesus uses a similar technique when telling parables. He challenges his hearers worldview using striking or jarring images and phrases.
In todays text Jesus shakes up our notions of discipleship. We cannot follow Jesus and something else. The cost of being a disciple involves rejecting our current system of values. Jesus goes so far as to say that we must crucify our whole self to follow him.
Pastor Jonathan shows how Jesus uses hyperbole and two parables to reorient and redirect all who follow him away from themselves and self glorification towards Him, the shame of the cross, and the glorious gift of His resurrection.
“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself.” The disciple must say to himself the same words Peter said of Christ when he denied him: “I know not this man.” Self-denial is never just a series of isolated acts of mortification or asceticism. It is not suicide, for there is an element of self-will even in that. To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us. Once more, all that self denial can say is: “He leads the way, keep close to him.”