Counting the Cost

Dr. David Jeremiah

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Mark 8:34 

Crucifixion was among the most horrific forms of death known in the ancient world. It was practiced by the Egyptians and others long before the Romans popularized it. So when Jesus spoke of the cross in His teachings on discipleship, the Twelve would have understood the reference. But they wouldn’t have understood the high cost involved until they witnessed Jesus taking up His own cross on Golgotha.
Long after connecting death with discipleship, Jesus made another reference on the night before His death: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). While many followers of Jesus have suffered death for His sake since, the apostle Paul explained how dying for Jesus applies to all: spiritual death when one dies to self and sin to identify with Christ (Romans 6:1-7). Even if one dies physically for Jesus, dying daily to self and sin is also a high price.

Jesus warned against not counting the cost of being His disciple (Luke 14:28-33), a cost that must be reckoned with daily.

Salvation without discipleship is cheap grace.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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