Calculating the Cost


Bargain hunting has become a national pastime. Our love for a deal often pressures us to buy without really considering the value of the purchase. One reality television show features people bidding on abandoned storage units without the opportunity to examine the contents. They definitely get some stuff, but it’s often not worth hauling off. While spending like that seems frivolous, there are some things that are worth the cost, no matter the price.

  • What do you value so much that you would pay top dollar for it?


25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was Jesus offering the people at such a high cost?  What three things did Jesus require to become his disciple (vss. 26, 27, 33)?
  2. In Luke 6:27, Jesus said we are to love our enemies, so why would he use such a strong statement of hating our loved ones in relationship to being his disciple?
  3. What illustrations did he use to emphasize the importance of first considering the cost before following him?
  4. What do you fear you may have to give up to truly follow Jesus?  How does your commitment to Jesus reflect your love for him?


The crowds followed Jesus out of curiosity, to hear his teachings, and to witness the healings—as if he were a traveling miracle show. Yet, he warned them that if they truly wanted to follow him, they must consider the cost. Not only was it not a free ride, it would actually cost them everything. He asked them to love him beyond all others. To follow without cost would be like salt without taste, cheap, but of no value. But Jesus is of infinite value; may we count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing him (Philippians 3:8).

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your level of commitment to the Lord, your amount of love for him, and your willingness to follow him anywhere.
  • Ask God for mercy and help, and thank him for the cost he was so willing to pay for us.