ANYONE WHO DOES NOT RENOUNCE ALL THAT HE HAS CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.
25Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,
26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
28For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
31Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
33So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Speaking about the personal responsibility that each human being has in honouring the commitment that he makes with God at the moment of conversion and in his baptism; our Lord Jesus illustrates his listeners with these two examples. The one about the builder of the tower, and the one about the King on his way to battle.
In both stories there is a constant, the need in each of them to first consider the task in front of them, and prepare themselves mentally and materially to complete it and not abandon it halfway through.
With this story, our Lord JESUS makes it clear that salvation does not consist only in 'believing and professing' our faith in Christ, but that this faith is only valid if it is followed by a total and not a partial, or non-existent, submission to Christ.
Faith alone, or mental Faith, does not save, but a total conversion and total submission to GOD, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, but a submission that must last a lifetime.
The emphasis in these two narratives is on the consideration that both people, the builder and the King give to the budget for the work, and the cost of its execution. It goes without saying that if you really want to complete your plans, you must take into account both its advantages and disadvantages, and start preparing before you start the work, so that you can complete it.
In the same way, the Lord JESUS warns us that He is not only looking for believers, but DISCIPLES. Practicing and professing followers, and this implies that they put JESUS at the centre of their lives, far above any other personal or family relationship or interest they have in this world.
Only with Jesus as the centre of our lives, the rest make sense, wife, family, children, work, business, etc. Without Christ, none of this has any value, because it will only serve as a seed of sin and eternal perdition, if the Son of God does not enter our lives as KING.
By giving the example of the builder and the King, JESUS tells us that it is important that we first consider what this means, and the potential sacrifice that to follow Him may attract.
It is necessary that we complete the race of Faith. That we reach the end of our lives in Faith and fidelity of heart and action. Because it is worth nothing if we later end up apostatizing, be it in Faith or in works.
We must end our lives, through many difficulties and problems, with a living Faith in Jesus, as the Son of God, and our Lord.
We must end our lives in obedience to Him, and not lead a pagan life, denying with our actions what we profess. Because he who calls himself a 'Christian' cannot profess a true Faith in Christ, if with his actions he serves Satan and increases the kingdom of the devil on earth. If we truly 'follow' Jesus, we must contribute to the growth of the Kingdom of God, preaching the Gospel, winning souls for Jesus, and fulfilling his holy will on earth.
Not completing the work means not finishing on good terms with God, bringing eternal damnation at the end; because the work to finish is the mission that God has for each one of us, and the salvation that this entails.
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