So you want to be a disciple, do you? Wonderful! So you want to follow Jesus, wherever He goes, wherever He may lead you? Well isn’t that special! At this point I will ask you to pardon my tinge of sarcasm, but I do think that while it is wonderful that probably all of us have a desire to follow Jesus, I do wonder how many of us have actually sat down and thought about just how costly being a disciple actually is. As we are, perhaps somewhat sadly, just getting past vacation season we know that even going on a short vacation takes a good deal of planning, and effort and also costs a fair amount of money. In the Gospel today, Jesus is telling us that our desire to be a disciple must be much more than a whimsical desire to let Jesus know that we affirm Him. Jesus is telling us that discipleship is something that involves real costs, real planning and real skin in the game.
He lets us know that He is quite demanding. The disciple must put Jesus first, even before family. The disciple must pick up his/her cross and follow Jesus straight to Jerusalem. Remember, Jerusalem? That’s the place where prophets go to die. The disciple must be able to renounce his/her worldly possessions and put them to the service of Jesus and His Kingdom. Of course, that means that before any one proclaims that he/ she truly wants to be a disciple, he/she must first sit down and determine what the costs are, because they are real. He is not trying to chase us away or dissuade us, but He doesn’t sugarcoat it and pretend that discipleship is something that it is not. More than anything Jesus wants us to follow Him to and past the Cross to the resurrection, but we will never be able to accuse Him of false advertising. So, do you still want to be a disciple? Wonderful!