Forsake all? – All what?
“All” cannot possibly mean “all,” or “everything.”
If we were to forsake the necessities of life, we would die.
So, what does Jesus mean?
Luk 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Everyone has at least something, no matter how meager.
Have we all failed?
I have a house, and family, and a car. Many have good jobs, and many blessings.
Are we neglectful or disobedient for having these things?
To follow Jesus, and be his disciple, we must consider the cost.
To “forsake all” is the conclusion, so what factors led to that conclusion, and what is to be forsaken?
Since to “forsake all” concludes the chapter, let us go back to earlier in the chapter, to see what must be forsaken.
The 5 things to forsake:
1. Luke 14:8-11. Pride. Instructions not to sit in the most honored place, but in the most humble.
Luk 14:11 For whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
2. Luke 14: 12-14 Need for temporal, earthly rewards for good works
Luk 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor your] rich neighbors; lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made you.
Luk 14:13 But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luk 14:14 And you shall be blessed; for they cannot recompense you: for thou shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
3. Luke 14: 16-24 Worldly cares and desires that take priority before God.
Luk 14:18 And they all with one [consent] began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
Luk 14:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
Luk 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
4. Luke 14: 25-26 Family, or family activities, that prevent discipleship
Luk 14:26 If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Here, Jesus is not instructing to hate loving family members, but that they should love God so much, that their love for their family is hate by comparison.
He is also referring to those family that will reject and oppose the gospel.
Also, putting superficial family desires before Jesus is not discipleship.
For example, you would prefer to have your kids in 10 different sports activities rather than Bible study or preaching the gospel.
You have chosen NOT to spend your time serving God, but your family instead.
Sports is ok, but it should not cause you to have no time left for spiritual things.
5. Luke 14: 27 Avoiding the Cross
Luk 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Finally, we must realize that following Jesus is not having a happy time at church.
It is a responsibility. It requires self –sacrifice, and preparation.
Jesus says to “consider the cost.”
Luk 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?
Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sits not down first, and consults whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Following Jesus may cause us losses. Loss comes in many forms.
I talk to those whose families have been attacked, spouses have rejected them, they have terrible health issues that come out of no where, with unknown medical causes.
I have many on my prayer list suffering from witchcraft related attacks, and they have lost loved ones because of this.
We can be attacked directly for our faith, or we can suffer indirectly, where the accuser does not admit the true reason for the attack. They may claim it was our fault, something we did, not them.
In the meantime, we have to respond as Jesus would have us respond. This is very hard. Instead of getting in the flesh, and reacting in a like fashion to others who are hateful or ungodly, we have to respond in a Christ like manner.
This can actually make things worse for us. But we must continue in faith, and endure to the end, knowing that God will not allow on us anything we cannot handle.
Many times, it is our love of the world, or our pride, which is being broken in the trial we have to endure.
This is our “cost” – the price we have to pay.
To follow Jesus means we must be ready to give up our pride, and our desire to be paid and recognized for what we do for God.
We must put God first, and not even our families, jobs, recreations, earthly cares and desires should take precedence over serving Jesus.
Finally, we must see our flesh for what it is, and allow it to be put on the cross to die.
Because, it is the flesh that will not heed the invitation to follow Christ.
Until our flesh dies, we will be prideful, selfish, wanting credit and acknowledgment for everything we do, and putting our social lives and families first before Jesus, to the point where we ignore Jesus completely, because we have no time left for Him.
So, are you a real disciple of Jesus?
Or, are there some things you need to forsake first?
*** Final note
The requirement to “forsake all” reminds me of marriage vows, where the two parties promise to “forsake all others.”
In a way, Jesus is asking the same thing.
Will you forsake all others for Him?
If you are the Bride of Christ, you will say “I do.”