When those of us with a background in the Christian faith hear the word “disciple,” we immediately think of those 12 men whom Jesus chose to follow him. Theirs was a very costly decision. For today’s followers of Jesus, the ancient name still fits and the decision to follow is still expensive. Let’s consider the cost of discipleship.

When those of us with a background in the Christian faith hear the word “disciple,” we immediately think of those 12 men whom Jesus chose to follow him. Theirs was a very costly decision. For today’s followers of Jesus, the ancient name still fits and the decision to follow is still expensive. Let’s consider the cost of discipleship.
According to Jesus’ words recorded in Luke 14:25-35, for disciples of Christ, there can be no rival. Love for and loyalty to Jesus must supersede and exceed all other relations. Father or mother, wife or husband, sisters, brothers, children or any other person or thing cannot be loved more than Jesus! As God, Jesus is Lord, and we must love him with all our heart, soul and mind, (Luke 10:27). He is our number one. No rival.
But being his disciple also means there can be no refusal! “Whosoever does not bear his cross cannot be my disciple,” (Luke 14:27). The cross does not refer to a beautiful ornament of jewelry worn or carried, nor is it some illness or family responsibility dutifully borne. The cross was an instrument of death; so to bear our cross is to daily crawl upon it and die to self that we might live for Christ, (1 Corinthians 15:31, Galatians 2:20). By Christ’s death, his cross became redemptive, and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8) demands that his disciples are to share the gospel with those who are lost – refusal is not acceptable!
As disciples, we cannot retreat. As with the Texans at San Jacinto and the Russians at Stalingrad, we dig in and march forward. Age, retirement, or any other circumstance is not a legitimate excuse to withdraw or quit. “And Jesus said unto him, no man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God,” (Luke 9:62).
As Christ’s disciples, we are a part of the body of Christ – the church. No matter how beautiful the structure is, the church is not the dead four walls of the building; nor is it the headquarters of some denominational entity located in Nashville or Rome. The church is a living organism; and Jesus, the founder, pictured that body marching forward and the gates of hell not able to withstand her onslaught, (Matthew 16:18). For as long as we are on this earth, we are to be participating, praying, witnessing, ministering members of that body. When we are too old and/or unable to perform one function, if we are willing, there are other things we can do. In our culture, we have enough workers in the senior citizen’s group to turn our world upside down for Jesus. As disciples, there can be no retreat. Are you willing to pay the price to be his disciple?
You may contact E.J. Bradshaw at (337) 238-0440, or by e-mail at bradshawej@bellsouth.net.