So, are we willing to follow Jesus no matter what? When real sacrifice is required to be obedient, are we willing to do the hard things? Jesus said there is a cost to be a “disciple.” He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24–26, also see Mark 8:34–37; Luke 9:23–25)

The cost of discipleship is to deny yourself, pick up the Cross, die to yourself, and change your life direction! Yes, we must follow the one who calls us to turn from sin in repentance. Discipleship is not just stopping sin. It is following Jesus as our teacher. He is calling all who desire to be His disciples to die, to live for Him. We cannot add Jesus to our old life. We start over with Jesus. At least that is what we are supposed to do. 

Now, anyone can choose to be a disciple of Jesus. He will refuse no one. Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galatians 2:20–21) That last part reminds us that our obedience and faithfulness to God (discipleship) is not what saves us. Paul is not saying he now does not need grace because he is serving God. On the contrary, it is still all about the grace of God.

There is a great old Jewish saying, “May the dust of your rabbi be upon you.” Are we following Jesus so intently that we have the dust on us from the road we walk with Him? Are we spending time with Him? Are we learning of Him? Do we live like Him? Will we allow God to give us new life, vision, direction, and purpose? May we answer the call of Christ to “Come follow me.