Summary: Second in the Following Jesus series about the cost of following Jesus.
Counting the Cost of Following Jesus
Oct. 2, 2005, Luke 14:25-35
These are my actual notes and sermon handouts and they probably mean more to me than they do to you. If you don’t understand something in my notes – feel free to e-mail me for clarification (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here’s some deciphering hints: I use hyphens (-) to separate key elements in a thought progression. I use quotation marks when I’m illustrating what some one in the congregation might be thinking or asking at that particular point in the message or to illustrate different character voices in an illustration. Bullets are springboards for thought progressions associated with main points in a thought.
The following are actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members at Bridger Wilderness Area in 1996:
• Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
• Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.
• Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.
• The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
• A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call…
• Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.
• A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
• Too many rocks in the mountains.
Apparently many don’t really understand what it means to stay in a “wilderness area.” - looking for convenience and comfort.
Many don’t understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
• Not always their fault – they follow according to their model or denominational bent
• Look the part – profess – church – offering – not following
• Thinking and living – untransformed – masked by outward appearance
• Outward appearance never an issue with Jesus – transformation
• Jesus seeks is a transformation of the very core of your being.
• When that’s transformed – all the outward stuff takes cake of itself.
The church to blame – easy believism – confused people teaching their watered down version of Christianity – winning converts to inaccurate understanding – many church leaders are waking up to this dilemma and rightfully pointing to the culprit – a misunderstanding of what it means to be Christian – and now find themselves having to push against well formulated systems of theology in an attempt to bring balance back into the equation – so the people in their care won’t perpetuate a careless gospel.
• Jesus said that it will cost you everything to be His follower
Problem is many have this idea that there are different levels of being a follower – “I’ll be one of His ‘followers’ – not a ‘disciple’”
But while on this earth Jesus was very careful to explain what it meant to be His follower / disciple. He never spoke in terms of different levels or categories – “I’ve called some to follow closely – others OK if not as close… I’ll still accept them” – NOT! - He drew a line in the sand and made it clear to everyone what a true follower looked like – sometimes by even telling what will disqualify someone from being His disciple. – as does today…
But before go there I want to explain “disciple”
• Occurs several times in text this morning – 286 times total
• “Christian” occurs – 3 times – Acts 11:26 “…the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”
AC 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"
1 Peter 4:16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
In other words - 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Could say… anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be a Christian. - somehow carries more weight when said that way.
• Disciple and Christian are synonyms – clear that up -
Counting the Cost of Following Jesus
1. A true Christian has no greater allegiance than Christ.
LK 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
• Jesus addressing those interested in Him and message – not antagonists
• “…were traveling with Jesus…” – positive toward Him
• Mistook this for true discipleship – as many do today.
• Considered themselves followers – only casual observers not committed followers.
• Would continue to follow in this way as long as price not too high.