Luke 14 v 33. “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
To further illustrate what it means to follow him, Jesus uses an illustration from one of the sad facts of human life on this earth – war! He says simply that it is no good one king going to war against another, if he does not have the army or weapons to fight the war. Rather give up the fight, arrange for peace and risk losing your independence, than unnecessary bloodshed in a hopeless battle.
A king under these circumstances would lose his rule, his lands, his servants – all, except that which the conquering king would allow him to keep as a vassal king – i.e. a subordinate ruler to himself.
Well, says Jesus, I am the conquering King and if you would be my disciple you must be prepared to surrender all to me. This includes money, goods, time, energy, talent, body, soul, wife and children. NOT obviously to give these all away to others, or to forsake them, for all of us are to love and care for our families. Rather Jesus is saying that as a disciple we accept His authority over everything. He is the Lord.
From now on we run all our affairs, view all our possessions from the vantage point of being a disciple. And so too with our families. A disciple, with eyes newly opened, sees his wife and children as special gifts from God, to be loved, cherished, nurtured, and taught to believe in Jesus. And he gives himself to this task.
But it just might be that his wife and grown-up children reject his faith. Even then such a man must remain faithful to Christ first and foremost, while he continues to love and pray for his family.
Salt is good says Jesus, but not if it has lost its saltiness. Then it is good for nothing. Salt has got to be salt. A disciple has got to be a disciple. Salt that has lost its saltiness is thrown out. A disciple who has lost his commitment to his Master is likewise of no spiritual good at all.
Let’s check ourselves.