Day Three Hundred Eleven, Luke 13-18, Matt. 20
Today's reading includes some interesting passages that teach two very important points:
1. We should consider God's kingdom worth everything we have
2. God considers us worth everything He has.
We again see Jesus teaching about the cost of discipleship, and about considering what it is we must be willing to give up in order tof ollow Him. He teaches:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
However, in this reading we also see Jesus' love for Jerusalem, as He laments for the city:
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left unto you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
Finally, we see a couple of parables which demonstrate just how valuable we are to God. In the parable of the Lost Sheep, scripture says, "there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." In my personal favorite, that of the Prodigal Son, we see a son who has basically disowned his father and gone off on his own way. Ater his life becomes a disaster, he decides to come back home and just beg for his father's mercy. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son,t hrew his arms around him and kissed him." He tells the son's older brother that "we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found."