Summary: A deductive exposition of the text with illustrations challenging people to count the cost of following Jesus.
Text: Luke 14:1—35
Title: Count the Cost
Series: Lent 2001
Topic: Christian Living/Discipleship
Theme: Cost of following Jesus
Purpose: to be the Holy Spirit’s second witness challenging God’s people in my care to count the true cost of following Jesus.
Response: Individuals will fill out cards requesting God’s help and life changing power during the next 40 days of Prayer & Fasting. The cards will be left on the altar rail so I can pray for each one during this special time of seeking God.
Pattern: A deductive exposition of the text with illustrations.
What would you say to someone who asked you about becoming a Christian? What if a friend asked you how much you had to give in order to belong to God’s family? What would you say to someone who wanted to know what it would cost him or her to become a disciple of Jesus?
What will it cost me to follow Jesus?
The cost of following Jesus is very high.
1. Following Jesus will cost your old mindset of being RELIGIOUS (14:1-6).
Author Calvin Miller points out that “many Christians are only ‘Christaholics’ and not disciples at all. Disciples are cross-bearers; they seek Christ. Christaholics seek happiness. Disciples dare to discipline themselves, and the demands they place on themselves leave them enjoying the happiness of their growth. Christaholics are escapists looking for a shortcut to nirvana. Like drug addicts, they are trying to "bomb out" of their depressing world.
“There is no automatic joy. Christ is not a happiness capsule; he is the way to the Father. But the way to the Father is not a carnival ride in which we sit and do nothing while we are whisked through various spiritual sensations.”
Citation: Calvin Miller in The Taste of Joy. Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 17. © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International
The Bible tells us that “one Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?" But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?" And they had nothing to say.”
2. Being close to Jesus will cost you your desire for PLACES OF HONOR and RECOGNITION (14:7-11).
Another Christian writer said: “Everything in me wants to move upward. Downward mobility with Jesus goes radically against my inclinations, against the advice of the world surrounding me, and against the culture of which I am a part.”
Citation: Henri Nouwen in the New Oxford Review (April 1987). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 5. © 2001 PreachingToday.com / Christianity Today, International
When [Jesus] noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, `Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, `Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
3. Becoming a Christian will cost you all claim to the STUFF in your life (14:12-14).
A pastor from Florida says: Years ago I worked part-time on the loading docks of various trucking companies. At one company I met a fellow part-timer, a fine Christian man named Rufus Kidd. He had just completed his associate’s degree in transportation and was seeking a full-time career. Since the company was beginning to open up to minorities at that time, Rufus, an African-American, went in to interview for a position.
Later, I asked him how the interview went, and he said they offered him a job in sales, something that would pay well and offer unlimited opportunity. I was excited for him, but he said he wasn’t going to take it. Although it was everything he wanted, in order to take it he would have to give up his ministry with singles at his church. He said he would wait for a job to come along that would allow him to continue to teach his class.