The Cost of Following Jesus
Sermon shared by Phil Morgan
READ: Luke 9:57-62.
Luke records for us in this passage an account of THREE (3) MEN whom Jesus met as He travelled along with His disciples. Two of these men declared that they wished to follow Jesus; to become His disciples. The other was one whom Jesus SUMMONED to follow Him.
What immediately strikes me is the way in which Jesus handles these inquirers (and I think that this is Lukeís reason for recording the details of these meetings). MOST men with a cause are busy trying to recruit as MANY as they can. Most preachers are busy trying to get as many members for their church as they possibly can (and most have good intentions). I like seeing new members myself!
Itís natural. Itís what we expect to see. But Jesus is radically different in His approach. He seems to spend a great deal of His time trying to DISSUADE men from following after Him - or at least thatís what it looks like.
A minister friend of mine was sharing with me recently some advice he was given by an aging preacher whom he greatly respected. The old man said to him, ďSon, always endeavour to keep your church as SMALL as you can!Ē Thatís strange talk isnít it?! And that was coming from a man who himself had pastored quite a large congregation. But what he meant was, preach the truth of Godís salvation, and the demands of following Jesus, SO CLEARLY that ONLY those who have counted the cost and are ready to give up ALL for Christ will join themselves to you.
Friends, itís my desire to see as many as possible come to Christ - I pray to see them come in their hundreds and even thousands - BUT I DONĎT JUST WANT TO GET A CROWD . . . that doesnít interest me at all! I want to see men and women, young people, boys and girls turning to Christ with whole hearts; becoming TRUE sold out disciples of the Master. Hallelujah!
And so, itís interesting to read of Jesusí way of dealing with those who expressed a desire to follow Him; He seems to be trying to DISCOURAGE them. BUT NOT REALLY. In actual fact Jesusí desire is that people WILL follow Him - but He wants them to think it through first . . . to count the cost involved . . . so that once they DO follow Him theyíll never turn back. Even as He spells out what is required in such clear, shocking terms, inside He is longing for them to accept it - Heís rooting for them - but the cost is the cost . . . itís non-negotiable . . . and they MUST be prepared for it.
Would you look with me tonight at these three men who Jesus confronted with His demands, and consider with me ďTHE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUSĒ.
We read of the first man in VERSES 57-58. And from Jesusí conversation with him we learn that:
1. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS HAS NO EARTHLY SECURITY.
Itís quite a bold statement this one makes, isnít it?! ďI will follow you WHEREVER you go!Ē Can you say that without any idea of where this Jesus may be headed . . . what may be involved in the journey?! Perhaps you need some more information