Jesus doesn’t want anyone to accuse him of not being forthright about the cost of being a disciple. He uses hyperbolic language (“You have to hate your own family”) to show that the only way discipleship works is for faith to be first, and everything else second. (How do I know that Jesus doesn’t literally want us to hate our families? Well, to honor your father and mother is one of the Ten Commandments, among other reasons.)
Then, the little Parables of the Tower Builder and Warring King make the same point: understand that following Jesus comes with a cost, and don’t say he didn’t warn you. And if you aren’t willing to pay the price, discipleship just won’t make sense for you–you might as well be salt without saltiness.
For me, this raises the question, “Why would anyone choose to become his disciple, knowing that discipleship is so costly?” Here’s my answer: because his way leads to life, and no other way will ultimately give us what we want.
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