Monday, July 2, 2012

The Cost of discipleship

Jesus, taking him up, replied, A certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, unconcernedly leaving him half dead  Luke 10:30 Amplified
Most of us know the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus goes on to describe two men who come along, a priest and a Levite, both very devout religious men, who take one look at the poor man and quickly go around him.  Then, the Samaritan comes along, sees the man, pours oil and wine on his wounds (very expensive in those days), sets him on his donkey and brings him to an Inn where he pays for a room and for any of his additional needs. 

Okay okay, yea.. we all know that the Samaritans and Jews didn't like each other, so this Samaritan guy was a really nice guy to help out an enemy. But did you know that the road between Jerusalem and Jericho was known for its robbers who loved to set ambushes to catch unsuspecting travelers?  In other words, there's no way for the Samaritan to know whether the man lying there was part of a trap or not. Which explains why the other two religious Jews skirted around him. So, this Samaritan wasn't only being kind, he was risking his life. 

Did you also know that there were NO inns along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho? That meant this good Samaritan had to go far out of his way into his enemy's territory, into an enemy town, to find an Inn for the injured man. Are you starting to get the picture of what Jesus was saying?
Imagine this Scenario:  England and the United States are in the middle of the Revolutionary War. They are enemies. A British Merchant ship on it's way back to England from trading in the Caribbean happens upon an American Navy ship that's been damaged in a fierce battle. In fact, it's taking on water and sure to sink within a day. He can see a wounded man lying on the deck moaning.  But it could be an ambush. Those rebellious Americans were known for laying such traps at sea and then once the British board, they run out of hiding and kill everyone and take their ship and goods. 

But the captain cannot bear to see the man suffer.  Upon boarding and inspecting it, the British captain finds the ship abandoned, except for the one wounded sailor, left for dead. What does the captain do? The man is his enemy after all. And they are at war. Shouldn't he just leave the man? Instead, he scoops him up, brings him on his ship, and has his surgeon patch all his wounds.  But he has a bad infection and needs a real doctor on land.  The British captain knows the man won't make it all the way to England. So he turns around and sails back to America (way out of his way and way off his schedule), enters an enemy port and carries the man into the city in search of a doctor, all the while knowing that the Americans could kill him, his crew, and steal his ship, particularly if they think he's the one who caused the sailor's injuries in the first place.   He finds a doctor and pays for the man's expenses.

The story in the Bible doesn't tell us what happened to this Good Samaritan, but we now understand how much he sacrificed for this man. His time, his money, his very life.  

And Jesus said, "Go and do likewise"  Luke 10:37

My question for you (and for me) is, how much are we willing to sacrifice to follow Jesus? A half hour a day for our "quite" time in the Word, a few dollars in the offering plate, our Sunday morning going to church? What about if there's a friend in need and you have the money but giving it to them would really make things tight for awhile?  Or what if helping someone else would take your time away from something you really wanted to do? Maybe even something you planned for a long time? What if helping a complete stranger meant putting your own life in danger?  If a situation arose in which we had to sacrifice our time and money until it hurt, and maybe even our life, would we do it? And if not, are we truly disciples?

So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:33 Amplified


  1. Mon July 2nd,
    "Morning, MaryLu .... who is presently in Jamaica" ....
    Hope you are a having an absolutely wonderful time !!!
    Ouch, yes, the cost of discipleship ... this is where the rubber-hits-the-road, for sure. Wow, often I do not pay that price ... to put someone else first and foremost, and put myself out (so to speak), when it is a hardship or inconvenience to me. Thank-you for sharing yet "amother timely Word in due season" ... something I need to be working on, without a doubt !
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda Hurley

  2. I hope you are having a wonderful, tropical adventure, MaryLu!!

    Oh my, this is sooooo much easier said than done! I have to remind myself of Matthew 5:44-47 often!

  3. I just checked the mail and guess what.....I received the copy of Veil of Pearls I won from your amazing giveaway! I was so excited I actually let out a squeal! Your address label is amazing! The cover is so lovely! I cannot wait to read it! I am in the process of doing a massive reread, and I only have two books left until I was going to start rereading all of your books! I don’t think I can imagine a better start to that than a brand new MaryLu book! Can you tell I am excited?! Haha, thank you sooooo much, MaryLu!!

  4. I don't think a lot of Americans truly take this question seriously. I've had to, and my family had to. My grandpa was a pastor in a small town in Translyvania, Romania. Now that place is a politacal powder keg between the Hungarians and the Romanians-at any minute it could blow. But my grandpa was arrested so many times, and spent many nights in one of their nasty jails (he told me his experiences). He came to America because a friend warned him to leave before they could arrest him or his family. It made me rethink about how I value my faith. Because we are in such a blessed country (which happens to be going down the drain), many don't understand what other people around the world experience. Great post!

  5. Very inspiring.
    I like your comparison.
    It reminds me of the song Lead me to the Cross when it says, "Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss...". (Isn't that a verse in the bible, as well?)
    I've been thinking. Since we can't take anything with us when we die, why would we not be willing to give it up now?
    -Rebekkah xD

  6. Eszter, I keep being reminded of that. I don't have any family that that happened to, but God keeps showing me about this. I subsribe to Voice of Martyrs. I read, Tortured for Christ by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. I also read Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose.
    Finally I felt God pushing me to talk to a church congregation about it. He opened the doors, and now this Sunday I will be telling a congregation about Christians in non-free nations.
    -Rebkkah xD

  7. Thanks MaryLu again for a great post - I love the comparison too. What an amazing thing to do - and the question of would we do it too is one that hits the mark. Ahhhh.

    I hope and pray you are enjoying your vacation (I'm sure you are!). Thank you again for giving opportuniy to win Veil of Pearls - I can't wait till it arrives and I can read it! I'll probably let out a squeal too, like Emma did! :)

  8. MaryLu, I love this post! I am so excited about winning Veil of Pearls!! Hope you are having a wonderful time!
    Jackie S.

  9. Ouch. Convicting post. We have to be as wise as serpents but innocent as doves. I think we have to be aware of Gods prompting because sometimes we may have to walk away, depending.