Summary: In this passage Jesus shares with us the true meaning of what it takes to be His Disciple. It's not an A, B, C formula.
Scripture: Luke 14:25-33
Title: Discipleship - It's Not What You May Think
Proposition: In this passage Jesus shares with us the true meaning of what it takes to be His Disciple. It's not an A, B, C formula.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sins of the world!
Recently, we all enjoyed watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. We enjoyed watching such great athletes like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky and Usian Bolt compete against the world's best and win. Their abilities inspire us as we watch them do impossible feats. We may even want to emulate them. What we probably wouldn't want to do is to endure all the countless hours of exercise and training that they have endured. We watch them compete and we think it's all raw talent. We don't see the thousands of hours that they have spent in the gym, at the track or in the pool.
Did you know on average Michael Phelps would swim between 40 to 50 miles every week? In a year's time that over 2,000 miles swimming. Did you know that Simone would spend over 6 hours in intense training six days a week every week? And that is just a part of their daily regime. They had to eat special diets, live apart from other people and sacrifice years of their lives to get to be the best in the world. We get to see the end of their sacrifice, not to daily toil and grind it requires.
Could you imagine sitting down with Michael Phelps at the age of 7 years of age (when he started swimming ) and telling him that it would take over 40,000 hours of study, resistance training and swimming for him to be the GOAT? And that all he would have to do is to swim somewhere around 30,000 miles ? Can you imagine sitting down little eight year old Simone Biles and telling her that all she would have to do is train six days a week twice a day - three hours in the morning and then four hours in the afternoon and she might have a chance to be on the Olympic team?
We can guess what would have happened if anyone would have had those conversations with either one of them. No doubt their little eyes would have glassed over. You might as well been trying to teach them Boolean algebra. No normal seven year old or eight year old child would be able to fully understand the commitment, the sweat, blood and tears it would take to achieve Olympic greatness. Any more than any of us could have at that age or perhaps even at our present age.
In a similar fashion, how many of you could have handled it at the age of 20, 30 or even 40 if someone had told you that in order to drive a car over your life time you were going to have to spend about 200,000.00? And yet, according to AAA and other motorist studies that is exactly what the average driver in America will spend over their lifetime on a car including the cost of the cars, gasoline, maintenance and insurance. By the way, that's a conservative figure.
What about a family? According to the government a car is economical compared to raising a family. To raise a couple of children today in the USA the average family will be shelling out over 450 - 500,000 dollars and that is only up to the age of 18. Can you imagine sitting down with a couple in their 20's and telling them that in order for them to have a car and a couple of children they need conservatively around 750,000 give or take a dollar or two?
That's just the financial side of the equation. Think about the multitude of hours it takes to earn that kind of money. Think about the multitude of hours it takes to raise a family. Even though we may think that we know what it takes when we are in our teens, 20's and even 30's it is only when you are older and begin to reflect that you take stock of just what it costs to own a car, a home and a family.
The same thing happened when Jesus started sharing the cost of what it would take to be His disciple. I am sure those that heard Him talking that day went a little glassy eyed. Even today, it is hard for us to meaning the core meaning of this passage. One thing we do know is that Jesus isn't giving us a list of do's and don'ts in this passage. He isn't saying - Here is the deal. It is going to take A, B and C. Now, sit down and write that down. Then go over there and decide if it is all worth it. Decide if you are willing to do all those things. If you are then hitch up your saddle and let's go.