Summer Travels with Jesus: Love, Hate, and the Challenge of Possessions

Luke 14:25-33

“How much does this cost?”   

It’s a phrase you can hear repeated in stores and marketplaces all over the world, as buyers and sellers come to terms with one another. Some people will spend hours negotiating, haggling, offering to barter and trade, stating and restating the value of their merchandise or their hard-earned cash. In the end, one of them will wind up saying “final offer...take it or leave it.” Haggling over a good deal starts out with a wink and smile, almost like a game, but getting a bad deal in the marketplace leads to bad feelings if we are on the “losing side.”

Jesus came to show the world that God’s love is more valuable than all the products in all the marketplaces, bazaars, car lots and real estate offices in the world put together.  He never leveraged its value. He never haggled or bartered with it for one second. Breaking all the rules of the marketplace, he simply gave it away. For free. He flooded our “marketplace” with love and grace. Of course the suspicious marketeers—knowing nothing is free in their world—are the first to ask him, “how much will this Kingdom cost?”

“Everything” is Jesus’ reply. At that point many people walk away muttering “I knew it.” If these people could only let go of their clutching grip on the world of buying and selling and possessing things, they wold discover that this enormous cost of God’s kingdom had already been paid...