Summary: If we want to be Christ’s disciple, we must be willing to count the cost.
Are You Willing to Pay the Cost?
Text: Lk. 9:57-62
1. Read Lk. 9:57-62
2. Illustration: In his book "The Cost of Discipleship," Dietrich Bonehoffer wrote "When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die." Bonehoffer was a Christian leader and pastor in Nazi Germany during WWII. He would not give in to Hitler’s tyranny and evil, and as a result, he was sent to a concentration camp. It was there that he was hung by the Nazi’s. He knew what it meant to count the cost.
3. We don’t like to talk about the cost. We just want to reap the benefits. But Jesus tells us if we want the benefits we first must count the cost.
Proposition: If we want to be Christ’s disciple, we must be willing to count the cost.
Transition: To be his disciple...
I. We Must Lay Aside the Future (57-58)
A. The Son of Man
1. In verse 57, the first of three people come up to Jesus and says "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
2. Now a person might expect Jesus to say "Great! Let’s go!" However, Jesus tells the man something totally unexpected.
3. Jesus says, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
a. At first glance, it may appear that Jesus is trying to discourage the man, but on the contrary, he is simply trying to find out what are his expectations.
b. Jesus sensed that this man wanted to follow him like many of the other famous Rabbi’s of the day, which was a plush existence.
c. Rabbi’s lived in the finest houses, and ate the best of meals.
4. However, following Jesus was different type of discipleship.
a. Jesus ministry was more like following a prophet.
b. The prophet was an itinerant teacher, not a part of an established community.
c. He had an uncertain existence and lived on donations of those who responded to the ministry (Bock, NIV Application Commentary, 284).
5. Mk. 10:38 They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
B. Willingness to Follow
1. Illustration: When things are good we sing "I shall not be, I shall not be moved." But things aren’t going so well it sounds more like "Let me hurry and get up out of the way!"
2. I’m not saying that God has not promised us blessing, prosperity, joy and peace, but if that’s why we are following him we are doing it for the wrong reasons.
3. Truly, God wants to bless his people and give us abundant life, but if that’s all we expect when difficulties come we will get discouraged and give up.
4. That’s why people church hop.
a. They’re happy as long as they are getting "blessed," but when things get difficult they jump ship.
b. Once their ears aren’t being tickled anymore the go looking for another "blessing."
5. Sometimes it’s not just about blessing, but it’s about...
Transition: We cannot just follow Jesus because of the blessings, but because He is the Son of the Living God.
II. We Must Lay Aside the Past (59-60)
A. Lord, Let Me Bury My Father
1. A second person comes to Jesus and he tells him "Follow Me."
2. The man says "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
a. Again, this seems like a reasonable request since burying a family member was a priority in Judaism (Bock, 285).
b. But, as before, Jesus saw the intention of his heart.
3. Jesus tells him "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
4. Jesus did not teach people to forsake responsibilities to family, but he often gave commands to people in light of their real motives.
a. Perhaps this man wanted to delay following Christ and used his father as an excuse.
b. There is a cost to following Jesus, and each of us must be ready to serve, even when it requires sacrifice. —Life Application Bible Notes
5. This man needed to be willing to lay down his past with his father and embrace his future with Jesus.
B. Put the Past Behind You
1. Illustration: Paul was a person who had a storied past. While he did not hide from but testified of it, he also did not dwell in it.
2. Phil. 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.