So, you say you have an interest in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s see how much interest you really have. First, in Luke 14:26, Jesus says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Tell me, are you willing to put Jesus Christ above every other person in your life? It’s not that He wants you to literally hate your family members. There are scores of other Bible passages that teach us to love our families. The point is that your love for Jesus should be so much greater than your love for your family members that, by comparison, it is almost as if you hate those family members. How are you doing on that?
Second, in Luke 14:27, Jesus says, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” In those days, a cross was an instrument of death. Nowadays, we would say, “And whoever does not extend his arm for the lethal injection (volunteer to enter the gas chamber, place himself in the electric chair) and come after Me cannot be my disciple.” Here again, Jesus isn’t speaking of a literal physical death. How could He be when He follows it up by talking about coming after Him? The point is that you must die to self (self interests, self desires, self motivations, self opinions, self agendas, self goals) before you can qualify as a disciple. How are you doing on that?
Third, in Luke 14:33, Jesus says, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Again, we mustn’t run off too far with the literalness. Jesus isn’t demanding that you quit your job, sell your house, and give away all your possessions just so you can be His disciple. The point is that, just as no other person should come between you and Jesus, no other thing should either. How are you doing on that?
You see, there is a very good reason why Jesus has so few true disciples. The requirements are HARD!! The average person just isn’t willing to make the necessary commitment. But are you? Please think carefully before you answer. Business doesn’t get more serious than this. Jesus asks for nothing less than a full scale, all out, no holds barred devotion from you. He demands to be given priority over everyone and everything in your life. And if you shy away from meeting this standard, then I’m sorry, but you cannot be His disciple.