Near the end of Mark 10 we read the story of the rich young ruler. This man was seeking eternal life, but when Jesus told him to sell all that he had, he went away sorrowful. In short Jesus asked for a total commitment of his heart, but the man loved the comfort of his wealth more than he desired to follow Jesus. For this man the cost of discipleship was too much.
Don’t get me wrong we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. No one earns or can work for his or her salvation. I believe we are even made more in the image of Christ by His grace as we walk each day, not by our works. But discipleship does have a small cost to it. To truly be a disciple I need to forsake all things that would compete for my love and obedience to Christ. But to be honest this really doesn’t cost me anything.
I gave up my free agency on the singles market the day I married my wife. I forsook all other potential relationships for her. My marriage cost me my free agency. But I’ll be the first to tell you I got way more than I ever gave up! I’m glad married my beautiful wife and I wouldn’t trade her for anything. But in order to have an exclusive relationship you must give up all rights to whatever would compete for your attention. This is the cost of discipleship.
Though the cost is small, it is one that must be paid non-the-less. We must forsake all in order to follow Christ. What we get by following Christ by grace is more than we could ever afford or deserve, but requires that we let go of lesser treasures that do not satisfy in order to gain the ultimate treasure of trusting Christ (matt. 44-46).
The question is are you following Christ? Are you letting of the things that would become an idol in your heart? Have you given Christ your all, so that you might have the true joy of following Jesus?
Yes, there is a cost to discipleship, but it is not the price of admission, it is the price of exclusivity. Are you willing to pay it today?