Summary: Following Jesus is not easy, be ready for the long haul
35. Who is Jesus?
May 08st, 2011 (Mother’s Day)
Evaluating the Cost
Happy Mother’s day to all of our moms, we have a really special text for you today as we continue in our series through the gospel of Luke. Grace is free. Salvation is expensive. We spend a lot of time in the church talking about making a decision for Jesus but we don’t seem to have the same desire for Him that His disciples did. It’s like our goal is to do as little as possible to gain eternal life.
We like to start new things but not everyone finishes them. When it gets hard or painful we give up. We walk away. We do this with God, our marriages, our friends, our jobs. We will do something so long as it is easy but when it gets difficult a lot of times we quit. We seem to think that something being challenging means it’s wrong. Anything worth having is going to be difficult. If you walk away every time something gets difficult then you will never have anything actually worth having.
We are in Luke 14:25, this is just after Jesus final dinner with the religious leaders. After Jesus leaves crowds gather around Him and He begins to teach them about what it really means to follow Him. Now we like the play the; I’m saved by grace card. That is true, salvation does not come from being good and it is not something you can earn. Salvation comes from the grace of God. Grace costs you nothing, salvation will cost you everything. It will cost you your friends, your family, your time, your possessions, your children, even your life. Following Jesus is not about getting in, it’s about developing a real relationship with God that leads to life. Salvation is not just about a decision it’s about discipleship.
Lk 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
Lk 14:26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. Lk 14:27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Jesus says you have to hate your father and mother to follow Him. So Happy Mother’s day, we hate you. Some churches give you flowers for Mother’s day, we give you hate. We will explain that in a minute. After the big blow out at Casa de la Pharisee a huge crowd forms to hear Jesus speak. It seems like whenever Jesus goes toe-to-toe with the religious people it draws the interest of the crowd. Huge groups of people come along and they are so impressed with Jesus for the way He schooled the religious leaders that they start offering Him these cheap admirations and shallow praise. They start boasting that they are His biggest fans. Jesus has lots of fans. Jesus is a rock star; everywhere He goes crowds gather. Even today, thousands of years later there are plenty of people who like to talk about Jesus, who discuss His life and teachings as if He were an academic course. Jesus still has lots of fans. He has over 5 million Facebook friends, on one page.
Jesus team is popular and the stadium is always packed full of fans. He just doesn’t have that many people who actually want to play. He has plenty of cheerleaders, but not enough athletes. He doesn’t have a lot of people who are truly willing to follow Him, to live for Him, and to become His disciples. Being a disciple demands total allegiance and unwavering devotion.
A disciple is someone who seeks so desperately to be like Jesus that they pattern their life after Him. A disciple is someone so committed to the cause of Christ that they would follow Him through the gates of hell and back. A disciple is someone who finds their entire identity, purpose, and meaning in Jesus. Who sets Him up as the focus and center of their life and will stop at nothing to see His dream for the world made into a reality. A disciple is a dedicated and unstoppable follower of Jesus. Jesus is their perspective. He is the lens through which they view the world. Jesus is their everything.
Jesus is not looking for a decision He is looking for disciples. So what is the difference? When someone makes a decision they still live like the world. They still share the world’s values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus and they care about the things that Jesus cares about. Being a disciple means Jesus is your greatest priority, even more than your own family.