Scripture: Luke 14:25-35
It might be because I innately root for underdogs or more probably that I've lived most of my life around the city of Atlanta, but I am unabashedly an Atlanta Falcons fan. I've been through one Super Bowl appearance but more often than not too many embarrassing years to count. With that said, it is not simply the winning ways of their current coach Mike Smith that makes me a his fan. One of his repeated mantra's, and he repeated it again yesterday at his press conference for the upcoming playoff game, is that he is a "life long learner." Based on other comments it is evident he instills this approach in his players as well. More than simply a mantra, if you watch closely, you can see how the coach makes notes and his attitude and speech reveals he is always learning from past experiences, both good and bad. On a recent video from the Falcons' website you can see how detailed oriented he is with regard to his team.
This mantra of being a "life long learner" is a refrain I've heard in Christian Education circles. And that certainly makes sense when you look at the Greek term for "disciple" found in the New Testament. A disciple, biblically speaking, is more than an adherent to a cause. Rather discipleship, especially in the Scripture passage I've referenced, requires commitment and dedication. It calls us to examine our experiences, relationships, values and everything that constitutes who we are and makes them relative to following Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a life long process that we should continue to work on in every aspect of our lives. Just because we attended a short term class or took a religion class in college or even attend worship on weekly basis doesn't mean we can stop there. Life long learning, discipleship as Jesus calls His followers to, requires sacrifice and commitment few of the large crowd (v. 25) would be willing to take on until at least following His resurrection.
What values does this passage call into question for you?
What does Jesus mean in v. 23 by giving up all your possessions? Is this a literal call or even more demanding? What might that look like for you?