Sayings on Discipleship
Nathan C. Schaeffer of his, At Life’s Close, said that at the close of life, the question will not be: “How much have you gotten?” but “How much have you given?”
Not “How much have you won?” but “How much have you done?”
Not “How much have you saved?” but “How much have you sacrificed?”
It will be “How much have you loved and served,” not “How much were you honored?”
In today’s gospel passage, when a large crowd followed Jesus, He senses that the demands of discipleship are not getting through. We hear Him telling two parables and inviting us to take up our cross and follow Him. St. Luke here expects a very close, we might even say, literal following of Jesus in His suffering and death. In these parables, somebody explained, we learn the three great requirements of discipleship. That to follow Him:
First, we must establish our priorities. Through this gospel passage we learn that a large crowd travelled with Jesus but have many motives and priorities. Like for example: they followed Jesus because they have seen Him feed the people and wait to be fed; they have heard of His ability to heal and wait for an opportunity to approach Him and wait to be healed; for excitement. Sad to say, only few are truly committed to Him and His teaching. And so we must establish our priorities and not to allow things to stand in the way of that which we consider important.
Brett Blair said that someone has calculated how a typical life span of 70 years is spent. Listen to these surprising numbers: Sleep (23 years or 32.9%); Work (16 years or 22.8%); TV (8 years or 11.4%); Eating (6 years or 8.6%); Travel (6 years or 8.6%); Leisure (4.5 years or 6.5%); Illness (4 years or 5.7%); Dressing (2 years or 2.8%); Religion (256 days yr or .07%).
Second, we must count the cost.Donald William Dotterer said that in order to fully and happily live our life, we must be able to count the cost in almost every area of living.Marriage is one of those institutions which demand a high personal cost. It is becausehusband and wife agree to stay with each other “for better, for worse, for richer and for poorer ‘til death do us part.” And so also with having children, that parents should be patient and more appreciative of their children. It is because there are just too many lonely and neglected and deprived children out there with parents who have not done so.
Third, we must pay the price. Jesus said to His disciples, “You must take up your cross and follow me.” What happened to the Twelve Apostles? They paid the price: Andrew died on a cross; Simon was crucified; Bartholomew was flayed alive; James (son of Zebedee) was beheaded; The other James (son of Alphaeus) was beaten to death; Thomas was run through with a lance; Matthias was stoned and then beheaded; Matthew was slain by the sword; Peter was crucified upside down; Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows; Philip was hanged. Only John made it through alive but he was exiled to a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. This means that Christianity is not a Sunday morning religion. It is a hungering after God to the point of death if need be. It shakes our foundations, topples our priorities, pits us against friend and family and makes us strangers in this world and people call us: “out of our minds!”
At the end let us reflect these words from Martin Luther. He said: “A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.”
OPTION 01, 02, 03,