Have you ever admonished someone, “Listen to me!” We want them to not only hear our words but receive them and apply them. Jesus was telling His followers to be receptive to what He was saying. Interestingly enough, Jesus never “watered down” His message so more people might accept it. What was the purpose of accepting a half-truth? How would that benefit them? Instead He encouraged them to hear all of His words and act upon them.
Every person is faced with the decision to follow Jesus or not. The price of following Him, as He pointed out, is high. But the cost of NOT following Jesus is even higher. Choosing self and the things of this world over Jesus Christ is choosing death. When we make the decision to follow Jesus, we sacrifice temporal things we cannot keep, and we gain a relationship that lasts into eternity. “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen”—He’s calling. Will you follow?