It is written, “Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a watchtower [for his guards], does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to finish it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is unable to finish [the building], all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’,” (Luke 14:27-30, AMP).
In this piece of Scripture, Jesus was teaching those around Him two important lessons pertaining to discipleship. The first lesson is that a disciple of Christ must be able to carry their cross and follow Him. He was referring to their public display before others. You see, not all of Jesus’ disciples are crucified but we must all bear our cross. This “cross” that we carry is seen in our Christian living, and in our humility. When we are fully committed to Christ and carrying our own individual cross, it will allow the Holy Spirit to work “in” us and “through” us. This cannot be an option for people who want to follow Jesus. Our salvation comes at a price, and this price is to be able to sacrifice and endure for our faith. Jesus teaches us that this is not an option but a requirement.
The second lesson in discipleship that we can all learn is are we able to finish what we started. Jesus teaches us this in His illustration of building a watchtower. Discipleship must include planning and sacrifice. Jesus identifies that before a person should start a project or work, they should be sure that they are able to pay the full cost to accomplish the task. Jesus’ disciples must be sure they are willing to pay the full price of following Him before they take their first step in Him. You see, Jesus has already laid the foundation for all of us to build upon, however, whether or not we are willing to pay that price is up to us. Whether or not we fully devote ourselves to building ourselves up in a manner that glorifies Christ in everything we say or do is up to us. Are we willing to be less of us and more of Christ or are we doing to be superficial followers?
Jesus is counting on all of us to be fully committed to discipleship. There is nothing lukewarm in discipleship. We are either on fire for Christ or we are not. So, the purpose of this lesson is simple. Can you finish the work you started when you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior or not? At the end of the day, Jesus wants all of us, not just some. He needs us fully committed disciples because He needs others to see His transformation in us. If we are willing to do this, then we are willing to help Him expand His kingdom. If not, you may have not fully calculated the cost of following Jesus. It is only when we can identify our real commitment to Jesus that we can truly bear and carry our cross. The reason why I can say this is because there are so many people in this world calling themselves disciples, yet they have not allowed Christ to finish the work in them and their communities. So, once again, I ask everyone here today “can you finish what Christ started?”