"The master said, 'Then go to the country roads. Whoever you find, drag them in. I want my house full!
Let me tell you, not one of those originally invited is going to get so much as a bite at my dinner party.'"
One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them,
"Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters - yes, even one's own self! - can't be my disciple.
Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple.
"Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn't first sit down and figure the cost so you'll know if you can complete it?
If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you're going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you:
'He started something he couldn't finish.'
"Or can you imagine a king going into battle against another king without first deciding whether it is possible with his ten thousand troops to face the twenty thousand troops of the other?
And if he decides he can't, won't he send an emissary and work out a truce?
"Simply put, if you're not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can't be my disciple.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)