Summary: Once we believe in Jesus, we are saved from sin and become children of God. But believing is just the beginning of God’s plan. God wants us to become DISCIPLES. In Luke 14, Jesus teaches us three tests of discipleship.

Names for the People of God: “Disciple” (Part 1)

Series: Names for God’s People

Chuck Sligh

April 17, 2016

NOTE: A slide presentation is available for this sermon upon request at

BIBLE READING: Luke 14:25-33

TEXT: Turn to Luke 14 (Will be read throughout the sermon.)


For my introduction today I was searching online for odd or funny, but real names.

I found some interesting examples,

• like a law firm known as Ruff and Manly;

• two siblings whose last name of Dye named May Dye and Will Dye;

• a girl name Kris whose husband’s last name was Miss, which changed her married name to Kris Miss, and a bunch more.

But my favorite site had photos of some classics: [NOTE TO READER: Request the slide presentation to see these funny photos]:

• Here’s an expert on a TV news show. – Look at the name of the expert (Dr. Rollo Koster)

• Here’s Mr. Dyl Pickel at your service. – He’d be perfect at McDonald’s, wouldn’t he?

• Speaking of food names, how would you like to be named Filet Minyon? – Man, what was her mama thinking?

• Or what about Tyrannosaurus Rex’s mom? – SHE’S the one who ought to be arrested!

These last two take the cake:

• Here’s Mr. Perv’s 5th grade class! – Would you keep your kid in his class?!

• And how would you like to have this guy’s name? (Moe Lester)!!!!

As we have said over the last two weeks, names in the Bible are important. We’re in a study of the “Names of the People of God.”

The first name we examined in our series was the name believer. – Above all else, first and foremost, Christians are believers.

Next we looked at the term child of God. When you trust in Christ, you’re born into God’s family and become child of God. And when that happens, God wants us to grow in the Lord to spiritual maturity.

Today and next Sunday I want us to carefully consider the name DISCIPLE. As we’ll see shortly, the term is found three times in our text: in verses 26, 27, and 33.

The Greek word translated disciple is the Greek word mathētés (μαθητἠς) which in normal Greek usage simply meant “a learner, or a pupil,” which had primarily an intellectual emphasis. However, Jesus gave the word a new and richer meaning than simply “a pupil.” Rather than simply meaning A LEARNER with mostly an intellectual emphasis, to be a disciple of Jesus meant a person who seeks to be TOTAL COMMITMENT to his Master.

Note verse 25 – “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them…”

Jesus intended to impress on the people their need to examine their resolve to follow Him. Just as today, no doubt there were many “believers” in that multitude who undoubtedly were truly saved.

But then, as now, Jesus is looking for more from believers than simply faith in Him. Once you a believe, Jesus wants you to advance to a deeper level of commitment to Him.

You see, there’s a difference between a believer and a disciple. You become a believer instantly. But there’s no such thing as an instant DISCIPLE; it takes DISCIPLINE. Discipleship is a lifelong process.

Illus. – A Russian comedian, Yakov Smirnoff, says that when he first moved to America, he was amazed at all the instant products he could buy in the store.

• There’s powdered milk: just add water and you have milk.

• There’s powdered orange juice: just add water and you have orange juice.

• Then he saw BABY POWDER and thought, “What a great country! If you want a baby, just add water!”

Some people think that’s how discipleship works. You take a believer, add a little baptism water, and “poof” you have a fully-devoted follower of Jesus—a real disciple. But it takes more than water to make a disciple. Disciples are made, not born.

To be a disciple of Jesus is a quest for nothing less than TOTAL commitment and dedication to our Teacher, Jesus Christ.

Illus. – A hog and a hen, sharing the same barnyard, heard about a church’s program to feed the hungry. The hog and the hen discussed how they could help.

The hen said, “I’ve got it! We’ll provide bacon and eggs for the church to feed the hungry.”

The hog thought about the suggestion and said, “There’s only thing wrong with your bacon and eggs idea. For you, it only requires a contribution, but from me, it will mean total commitment!”

That’s the cost of discipleship. Now in our text, notice with me three tests of discipleship Jesus give us.

I. FIRST, TO BE HIS DISCIPLE MEANS TO LOVE HIM SUPREMELY – Luke 14:26 – “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

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