In Focus: That question, that type of thinking, brings us to our focal point. This chapter culminates with Jesus’ running off a good number of the crowd that followed Him. He points out that the defining relationship for His disciples is the relationship with Him, not with anyone else. He raises the important point that we must “carry our own cross and come after Him” (v. 27, pronouns shifted) if we are to be His disciple.
In Practice: What, then, do we do? First, we consider the cost of our discipleship. The primary cost is paid by Jesus when He dies for our sins. That is the portion of the debt we will never pay on our own. We just can’t. Every action we take to pay for our own sin is a rejection of God’s grace, which increases the debt rather than decreases it. We must surrender to Christ as Lord rather than keep trying to fix ourselves.
Second, notice the motif of discard and abandonment in this chapter. I would suggest this: the problem is not the Jesus will discard if we are not salty enough (v. 34-35). It is that we will be cast out from the world we are here to salt if we are not salty enough. And salt, for all of its uses, is this: distinctive. Salt does what it does, without trying to be mustard, or pepper, or anything else! Be salt. The world will then need the Living Water to quench its thirst.