The Cost of Discipleship

Reading: Luke 6:1-26


Following Jesus has always come with an opportunity cost. While many wanted to hear what Jesus said, only a few left their old lives behind to follow the Lord. Multitudes desired to be healed of physical infirmities, but only a portion sought the greatest healing from the stain of sin. Everyone was watching Christ, but only good and honest hearts were willing to let the truth of what they witnessed change them from the inside out. Why? Because real discipleship costs us something—everything, in fact. Not everyone wants to make that sacrifice.


Jesus begins his teaching on the plain (v. 17) by contrasting the opportunity costs at stake in following him. The same blessings and woes can be said to those who claim to be Christians today: we may experience poverty, hunger, weeping, and reviling now, but eternity offers far greater promises and pleasures to those that endure this hardship in order to hold fast to God (20-23). In contrast, Jesus pronounces woes on those who seek immediate gratification and ease; they sacrifice the eternal for the temporary. In taking hold of present wealth, satisfaction, laughter, and approval, they turn their backs on the truest realization of those things, which can only come from our Maker (24-26).


Today, let’s take a step back from the immediate fleeting pleasures and momentary afflictions in front of us to see the eternal scope of what’s at stake with every choice we make. Choosing to follow Jesus will cost us everything; but the alternative costs us far greater.