Jesus is more popular than ever at this time in his ministry. Large crowds were following him and the disciples, hanging on his every word as he taught. They were astonished at his teaching and wowed by the healings he did. A prominent Pharisee invited him to a Sabbath banquet at his home and yet there were Pharisees who condemned his ministry. King Herod was jealous and expressed a desire to kill Jesus. There were some Pharisees who were supportive of Jesus and they let him know of Herod’s desires.
But large crowds were gathering. Undoubtedly there were those who wanted to swell the number of disciples and follow Jesus. In the midst of the large crowds Jesus says, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” He also indicated that following him takes priority over family.
Then he tells the parables of building a tower and a king going to war. He ends saying, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Jesus is challenging those who may have an idealized view of what it means to follow him day in and day out. They don’t know the pressures, the hardships, but only see the joy. Jesus in effect, is saying, are you “All In.” If you want to follow me you need to be “All In.”
Today, let’s ponder and ask ourselves if we are “All In” as we follow the Lord Jesus. Let’s pray, Lord Jesus, help me to place my life in your hands, Amen.