Surely the people following Jesus were surprised by these hard-hitting words, but they would also have been used to hyperbole as it was quite commonly used by storytellers and speech-makers. But still Jesus is making a point about the urgency and the demands of discipleship….it cannot be left until tomorrow, and it will not be easy! Jesus knows that he is heading to certain death in Jerusalem and his followers will need to be “all in” in order to survive the ordeal of that “awful” first Good Friday. Jesus wants to be sure that those who seek to be his disciples understand that the road ahead will be difficult and the cost of discipleship is great. It almost seems too great of a demand…but we do not travel the road of discipleship alone, Jesus is at our side…and that makes all the difference.
What am I willing to give up to be a disciple of Jesus? What does my discipleship call me to do this week? What choices am I being called to make as a disciple of Jesus in light of the current social and political realities here in the United States and around the world?