Summary: Who is a disciple and what does it cost?
Luke 14:33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.
Salvation is free but it’s not cheap, did you catch that? Salvation is free but it’s not cheap. Christ said, and I quote So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.What a statement, any one of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
We don’t preach on that enough do we, we preach on salvation that’s given so free, but we don’t preach on the cost of serving Christ.
We have probably read these eight verses a dozen times, maybe more but somehow this concept of giving up every thing we own seems to apply to others. “well that’s fine for them but Jesus wouldn’t expect that of me, would he?”
You say “But hold it Denn, what if I don’t want to be a disciple, what if I just want to be a plain, ordinary, everyday, average Christian?” Well it shouldn’t take long in reading the New Testament to discover that Christ doesn’t want plain ordinary, everyday, average Christians.
We have come to the place where we want to divide Christians into a couple of different categories. “You see pastor there are your nominal Christians, they’re your C & E Christians, you know what I mean, you see them on Christmas and Easter. Then there are your Christian Christians, that’s what most of us are you know just your average, everyday, semi-committed Christian, then there are the disciples, you know what I mean, those super saints. They pray more, they give more they are more disciplined.”
The only problem with this theory is that disciple simply means one who follows a teacher or leader. A communist is a disciple of Marx, a Buddhist is a disciple of Buddha, a Moslem is a disciple of Mohammed. And so by definition if you profess to follow Christ then you are a, you ready for it, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Now with that out of the way let’s go back to Luke 14:33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.
So Christ is saying, anyone of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be his disciple. You ok?
You say “Yeah but pastor you don’t really think that is what he meant do you?” I don’t know, how many different meanings could there be to that statement, So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. Sure sounds like that’s what he meant to me. “But everything pastor?” well that’s what the book says, and we know that we don’t debate the book, right?
Let’s start at verse 25, these are the last days of Christ, and as he makes his way to Jerusalem and his final sacrifice the crowds push in and gather around to hear the teachings of this young influential rabbi.
And as Christ turns and sees the multitude pressing around him I wonder what thoughts crossed his mind, here are his followers, those who seek to learn from him and they expect great wisdom to come forth from his lips. What will they hear, “blessed be the peacemakers” “love your neighbours”, “do unto others” “love God”. What great insight would come forth from the mouth of Jesus?
But no the words of Christ were unlike any others they had ever heard from the master, in Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
That must have floored them; I would suspect that for what seemed like eternity that those pressing in tight around Jesus just stood in stunned silence. Who could believe that the one who had spoken so eloquently about love could change his tune so completely? What an about face, he’s gone from love your enemies, to hate your mother. Love those you barely know, and hate those you know best? What could possibly, have provoked this radical shift in perspective?
I mean let’s face it; he’s not discussing something that’s relatively insignificant, if you’re going to love Whoppers with cheese you are going to hate Big Macs. No problem. But he’s not talking about trivial things, he’s not even talking about in-laws, he’s talking about flesh and blood, he’s talking about, “I carried you for nine months, my feet swelled to the size of bedroom slippers, and I was in heavy labour for a week and a half.” that’s what Christ was talking about.
But he probably isn’t saying here that we need to consciously hate all that is dear to us read it again this time in the New Living Translation Luke 14:26 “ If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.