[Jesus said] Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Count the Cost
At first it sounds like Jesus is trying to talk people out of becoming one of his followers. He talks about a king who is planning to go to war against another king with twice as many soldiers. At a certain point, the first king realizes that it would not be wise, so he figures out a way to avoid war. Is Jesus telling us to give up on becoming his disciple? That it’s too hard?
The point here is exactly the opposite. Jesus wants you to count the cost of not being his disciple.
If you’ve been waging war against God himself—his will, his commandments, or salvation through Christ—then you’re fighting a losing battle. God is more powerful. He is always right. The consequence of fighting him is an eternity of punishment, and that’s a cost that should certainly be counted.
So what’s the alternative to fighting him? Ask for terms of peace. God has provided peace for you by the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. You have forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus, complete salvation, perfect rest.
There may be things you’ll want to give up. Most people consider waging war against God when they realize they have desires that God calls wrong. But a life of repentance is worthwhile not just for eternity but right now as well. A clean conscience is a powerful thing.
Lord Jesus Christ, lead me to see the value of following you every day of my life. Amen.