What Has Following Jesus Cost You?

There are two very interesting things to note about this passage in Luke.

First, is in verses 18-19.  This wealthy ruler asserts his belief that Jesus is God by calling Jesus “good teacher” (Luke 18:18, NIV).  It was believed that no one was good, except God (Luke 18:19, NIV).  We throw the word, “good” around quite a bit.

  • That was a really good movie.
  • That was a good meal.
  • This is a good show.
  • I really enjoyed that book.  It was really good.
  • She is a good person.

The Jews of Jesus’ day believed (rightly so), that only God was good.  Why?  Because only God is always good.  We’ll use the phrase, “God is good.  All the time.  All the time.  God is good.”  That’s true!  God is good all the time.  Nothing and no one else is good all the time.  

The second interesting thing to note is that Jesus has high expectations of His followers.  Kyle Idleman, in his book Not A Fan, says that the problem wasn’t that this wealthy ruler had money.  His problem was that money had him.  There is probably something that has each of us that keeps us from fully surrendering our lives to Jesus in full devotion.  What has you?  Is it your job?  Is it your family?  Is it your checkbook?  Is it your time?  An addiction?  A relationship?  What is the one thing that you keep to yourself and won’t give to Jesus?  You may say, “I surrender all…except this one thing.”  What is your one thing that is preventing you from saying, “All to Jesus I surrender?”  That is the one thing that Jesus wants you to give up and follow Him.  Following Jesus always costs us something.  To fully surrender your life to Him means that you’ll have to give something (or some things) up for Him.  Jesus isn’t mean.  He doesn’t want you to not have a house or a car or a job.  

  • But what if Jesus is asking you to give up an hour of television a week to go and volunteer at church?
  • What if Jesus is asking you to give up a few lattes a month in order to sponsor a child in Haiti?
  • What if Jesus is asking you to give up your job to go to Bible college and get into full-time paid ministry?
  • What if Jesus is asking you to move out of your boyfriends’ or girlfriends’ house to honor Him in your relationship?
  • What if Jesus is asking you to invite someone to church though it may feel awkward and weird?
  • What if Jesus is asking you to give up an hour of Facebook each day to spend that time in prayer for your church or missionaries?

Following Jesus isn’t easy.  There’s a reason that the road and the gate are described as narrow.  There is a reason that the road to destruction is described as wide.  Jesus knows that not everyone will accept His terms of what it means to follow Him.  Will you?

Luke 18:18-30 (NIV)

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”


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