23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18: Who can divine the will of the Lord?
II Reading: Philemon 9-10.12-17: Have him back, not as a slave any more, but as a dear brother.
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33: None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.
The Cost or Conditions of Discipleship, Lk 14:25-35
Jesus is not interested in cheap invitations and discipleship. The call to discipleship is to receive the eternal benefits and advantages offered by God. A person must pay the ultimate price to get salvation, all that one is and has to follow Jesus Christ. What does it cost to follow Christ? Jesus explains vividly:
The cost or conditions of discipleship involves the supreme sacrifice: renunciation (v.26), self-denial (v. 27), thoughtfulness-counting the cost (v.28-32) and forsaking all-giving up everything (v.33-35).
There are three other conditions for discipleship given by Christ elsewhere. 1) Love to others-love one another (Jn 13:35;34)
2) Steadfastness-hold my teaching (Jn 8:31)
3) Fruitfulness-you bear much fruits as my Father’s glory to be my disciples (Jn 15:8).
This is the all important subject of this passage.
1. Huge crowds followed Jesus and he challenged them (v.25)
2. A man must put Christ first: Before family and even before self
3. A man must bear the cross of death: Death to self (v.27)
4. A man must give thought to discipleship: Count the cost and the consequences (v.28-33)
a. Illust. 1: A builder-must count his resources
b. Illust. 2: A king at war must count the consequences
c. The point: A man must pay the ultimate price-give up everything
5. A man must have the salt of discipleship: The Salt of self-denial (v.34-35)
a. A half-hearted choice
1) is worthless
2) is to be cast out
b. an invitation: hearing is a choice
Thought: A half-hearted choice worthless and is to be cast out. Salt that is worthless and useless is always thrown out, for it is good for nothing. A person must bear the cross of death-to self (Lk 9:23; Mt 16:24).
We cannot understand God’s plan unless He reveals to us. Only the Spirit can help us to understand God’s plans of love for us; only He can give us the strength to follow Christ.