When I set out on a hike, I have to decide up front how far I want to go. If I leave too late in the day for a five mile hike I could end up lost in dark woods as the sun sets over the west side of the mountains. Or if I have four hours to give to hiking, but choose a simple in and out hike. I waste a precious opportunity to explore a little further, climb a little higher, or even stay a little longer.
Yes, it’s important to calculate the distance accurately and measure carefully the time I have to give to my hike. I need to know how far I want to go and how far I can go.
And then I have to work the plan!
Today I’d like to ask you a simple but loaded question.
How far do you want to go with Jesus Christ?
As Jesus traveled the country paths of Galilee, He encountered “followers” who tagged along for varying distances. Some kept up with Jesus just long enough to hear a good story or two. Others persisted along His path until He healed them of their ailments. Still others walked alongside Jesus until He graciously fed them. In fact, many of those He fed with a little boy’s lunch of bread and fish continued to follow Him around to the other side of the Sea of Galilee so they could hear a little more and perhaps cash in on another free lunch.
But as Jesus’ words began to penetrate a little further into their hearts, as His requests became more weighty and as His questions became more pointed, He began to lose many who followed Him. Jesus looked behind Him to see that where once hundreds and even thousands were in His wake, now only a handful remained.
Following Jesus is not easy, especially for the one who has not counted the cost or measured the distance. But in Luke 14, Jesus challenges those whose interest He has piqued to weigh out their decision carefully before hitting the dusty road He walks.
- allegiance to truth