Luke 14: The Cost of Discipleship

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 65

President Marion G. Romney, then Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “Christ’s invitation to become his disciple is universal. He extends it to everyone. His call and promise is ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28). … Jesus put no money price tag on his invitation. Nephi quotes him as saying, ‘Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price’ (2 Nephi 26:25). This does not mean, however, that because he put no money price on it that there is no cost involved. There is a cost to be paid in becoming a disciple of Christ, a very real cost. But the cost is a performance cost, not a money price” (in Conference Report, Sept.–Oct. 1978, 53–54; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, 38).Look for some of the costs associated with becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ as you read Luke 14. Also pay attention to the Joseph Smith Translation changes in this chapter.

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 14

Dropsy (v. 2)Swelling, or an accumulation of fluid that indicates an illness 
Bidden (vv. 7–8, 10)Invited 
Marked (v. 7)Noticed 
Abased (v. 11)Humbled or made low 
Recompense (vv. 12, 14)Be repaid 

Luke 14:26–27—Should We Hate Our Family?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained: “[Jesus did not mean] hate in the sense of intense aversion or abhorrence; such is contrary to the whole spirit and tenor of the gospel. Men are to love even their enemies, to say nothing of their own flesh and blood. (Matt. 5:43–48.) Rather, the sense and meaning of Jesus’ present instruction is that true disciples have a duty toward God which takes precedence over any family or personal obligation [see also Matthew 10:37; 19:27, 29; D&C 103:28]” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:503).

Luke 14:28–33—“Which of You, Intending to Build a Tower, Sitteth Not Down First, and Counteth the Cost?”

Those who join the Church should be prepared to make the sacrifices required in the gospel. Converts should consider these costs even before baptism and commit themselves to fully follow the teachings of Jesus. Facing the challenges of a new calling, President John Taylor once said: “When I first entered upon Mormonism, I did it with my eyes open, I counted the cost. I looked upon it as a life-long labor, and I considered that I was not only enlisted for time, but for eternity also, and did not wish to shrink now, although I felt my incompetency” (in B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor [1963], 48).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study Luke 14.

Activity A iconWhat Is the Principle?

As you read the scriptures, it is often helpful to stop and ask yourself “What question or problem is answered or resolved by the teachings in these verses?” As you read Luke 14:7–14 write at least one important question that is answered by what is taught there, and then in your own words write the answer to the question.

Activity B iconList the Excuses

The parable in Luke 14:15–24 tells of many people being invited to a great supper.

  1. 1.

    Draw the following chart in your notebook. List the excuses made by those who were invited in the parable, and then list modern excuses that are similar to those in the parable.


Parable Excuse

Modern Excuse

Luke 14:18



Luke 14:19



Luke 14:20



  1. 2.

    Summarize the main principle of the parable.

Activity C iconConsider the Cost

Luke 14:25–34 tells of some expectations Christ has for His disciples.

  1. 1.

    Read those verses and list as many expectations as you can find.

  2. 2.

    Why do you think the Savior wants us to sacrifice so much to follow Him?

  3. 3.

    What are some specific things you could do to follow these teachings?

  4. 4.

    What blessings do you believe will come to those who are disciples of Christ?