Read: Luke 14:25-35
[Jesus] said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
A Free Lunch
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Have you ever heard the saying, “There is no such thing as a free lunch”?
A person would use that phrase to explain that even though a person might receive something for free, it wasn’t actually free. Use a lunch as an example—someone had to buy the food, someone had to pay the person who cooked the food. Even when something is given away for free—there is almost always someone who is paying. It just might not be you.
Jesus tells us that there is a cost to following him—a cost to being a believer. Our sin separated us from God and Jesus paid to bring us back to God. He paid for our sin with his life and death on the cross so that we could be believers.
As a believer, Jesus tells us that there may be another cost. Not to save us from sin—Jesus already did that on the cross. But a cost that comes as a result of following Jesus. People may not like us or they may make fun of us—even people that we love like family and friends. People have even been killed because they followed and believed in Jesus! Jesus calls this the “cross” we carry. It is not a cross that saves us, but a cross that we carry because we believe that Jesus is our Savior.
Hopefully, those things don’t happen to us—but they might, so Jesus wants us to be ready. He wants us to know that there is a cost to following him. But, as hard or as scary as the cross might be, Jesus is with us. He loves us, he has forgiven us, and he gives us eternal life with him. Knowing that Jesus is always by our side, we can “take up our cross” and follow him.
Dear Jesus, thank you for living and dying on the cross so that I could be with you forever in heaven. Help me to daily take up my cross and follow you. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What is your favorite thing to have for lunch?
- What did Jesus do for you so that you could be with him in heaven?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Which do you think is the harder cost to pay—the price to save us from sin or the cost to follow Jesus? Why?
- The cross we carry can be a hard thing to think about. How does Jesus encourage you?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- Have you experienced a cost to following Jesus? If so, what happened? How did you react?
- How can you prepare to take up your cross and follow Jesus?