ODJ: Oddly Honest

June 4, 2016 

READ: Luke 14:25-35 

You cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own (v.33).

“Do you have a problem with spicy food?” the owner asked as we entered his small neighbourhood restaurant.

“No,” we assured him.

“Excellent,” he said. “Because if you did”—here he gestured with both hands towards the exit—“there is the door.”

You may think it strange that a business owner would invite us to leave the moment he met us, but this man did so with warmth and respect. His establishment offered authentic Ethiopian food served in the traditional way. He would not mislead us into staying if we expected French fries with our zilzil tibs combo. The payoff was that we got to try new and interesting food. And it was fun to eat with our hands as we dipped injerra bread into the main dish—also a new experience for us.

Jesus had some oddly honest words for a crowd as it followed Him. “If you want to be my disciple,” He said, “you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Pointing out that no one would start a construction project without first calculating its cost, He warned that it was no different when it came to discipleship. “Don’t begin until you count the cost,” He said (v.28). He even told them “you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own” (v.33).

Jesus wasn’t pointing the “large crowd” towards the exit, but neither would He turn the gospel into a sugarcoated sales pitch. A life spent following Christ might not look anything like traditional success. The payoff is a life invested in true purpose. Discipleship is no short-lived thrill ride; it’s an eternal adventure based in God’s leading and provision.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: Jonah 3:1-4:11

Note how Jesus challenged a rich young man in Mark 10:17-25. 
What things do you sense the Holy Spirit is asking you to give up in order to become a more mature disciple of Jesus? What did Jesus mean by “giving up everything you own”?