Read: Luke 14:25-35
By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Costly grace… is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
In Luke 14:28-30, Jesus asks us to consider what it will take to be his disciple: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”
If you’ve ever bought furniture from IKEA, you know there’s a commitment when you buy it. You know there’s a whole list of instructions (without any words…just pictures – who gives instructions without words?!), many parts and pieces, tiny tools to that “help” with assembling the items, and time; lots of your time and attention are needed when putting the furniture together. But in the end, after some blood, sweat, and tears, you are left with a beautiful, cost-effective piece of furniture for your home.
Our relationship with Jesus is kind of the same. When He calls us, He wants us to consider the commitment that lies ahead. He wants us to calculate the blood, sweat, tears, and time that will need to be devoted to him. When Jesus calls us, He wants us to detach from everything. He wants us to give our whole selves to him; he wants all of our time and all of our attention. (And lucky for us, He has given us instructions with words!)
But in addition to the much-needed consideration of our commitment, He also wants immediate action to our commitment. He doesn’t want to see hesitation and he doesn’t want to hear excuses. He wants us to be like Matthew in Matt. 9:9: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”
We need to be more like Matthew. We need to come to a place in our lives where nothing stands in our way between us and Jesus. We need to come to a place, where not only have we calculated the costs, but we are ready and willing to give it all up to follow him. When Jesus calls us, there should be nothing holding us back; we simply need to get up and follow.
This might seem daunting at first, and maybe a little bit extreme, but the rewards are well worth it. Just like in our IKEA purchase, we are left with a beautiful piece of furniture; Christ also leaves us with a gift: the gift of eternal life. And on top of this, He makes us into new creatures, giving us purpose and mission. We no longer feel lost or have the urge to “find ourselves.” We know who we are because of Christ and all his great promises he leaves for us in his Word. So, be sure to calculate your decision, but don’t wait too long to respond. Although it is a costly grace, there are priceless gifts to be received.