WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FOLLOW CHRIST TODAY?
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. He was not alone.
The apostles were there, of course, and "great
multitudes were going along with Him" (Luke 14:25).
People love a crowd. Have you noticed? If you have a
big crowd, a lot of people will come. If you have a
small crowd, no one shows up. It is always that way.
Jesus loved the multitudes. He cried over Jerusalem's
multitudes (Matthew 23:27). He fed a multitude of
people more than once (Matthew 14:21; Matthew 15:29-
30). Sometimes, however, Jesus gave the impression
that He did not want large crowds following Him.
Indeed, the larger the crowd, the more narrow His
teachings. Jesus' teaching one day was so difficult to
accept that many of His disciples turned away. Jesus
asked the apostles, "you do not want to go away also,
do you?" (John 6:67).
On this day, to a big crowd of people He spoke these
words: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his
own father and mother and wife and children and
brothers and sisters and yes, 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 costs to see if
he has enough to complete it. Otherwise, when he has
laid a foundation and he 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 take counsel 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 terms of peace. So therefore, no
one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all
his own possessions" (Luke 14:26-33).
What is going ...
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