Summary: To be good disciples, we must be prepard. Jesus highlighted the need to count the cost (commitment), to consider the priority (value) and to clear the distractions (focus) of life.
[RECAP] Jesus calls us to FOLLOW HIM. What is the cost of following Jesus? [Read Luke 9:57-62]
• Jesus was travelling on the road when the talk of FOLLOWING ME arises again.
Three men here were considering about following Jesus.
• Two of them declared that they wanted to, and one was called by Jesus.
• But what shocked us here is the way Jesus responded to them. They showed interest, but Jesus seemed hesitant.
For someone who is eager to recruit, this is odd. People with a noble cause will get as many followers as possible. The more the merrier.
• But Jesus took a different approach. On the surface, it looks like He was trying to DISSUADE men from following Him.
• But on a deeper level, you can say that Jesus was being very honest and truthful.
• He did not want them to be ignorant of what they were getting themselves into.
Do we know what we are signing up for when we say we want to FOLLOW JESUS?
So Jesus laid out the cards so that they could see them and be prepared for it.
• It’s like running a race. Many burst off the starting line with enthusiasm and great energy, only to realise later on that they could not finish it.
• They were unaware of its distance, the obstacles, the difficult terrain, the endurance required, and the training they need to put in before the race.
Last week I just saw an interesting link on FB sent by Caleb – a professor spoke at TED Talks (where experts talk about their fields of expertise). Professor Angela Duckworth (in Psychology) found out in her studies that success does not come to those with high IQs but those with grit. Grit – determination, fighting spirit. She says GRIT is a better indicator and predictor of success.
Jesus wasn’t discouraging them; He was preparing them for success.
• We need to be prepared – spiritually, mentally, and psychologically – for what we are signing up for when we say we are going to FOLLOW CHRIST AND SERVE HIM.
• If we are prepared, we will not give up. If we are prepared, we will make sure we will run this race well and finish it, by the grace of God!
So what are the preparations we need?
• If we heed Jesus’ warnings, we will be better prepared to follow Him with grit.
Luke 9:57-58 “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
1. COUNT THE COST … the issue is COMMITMENT
In every endeavour, we count the cost. It is crucial for success, whether in setting up a business, making a deal, getting married, investing in a house…
• We do our calculation and count the cost. Accountants call it budgeting. It does not guarantee success, but without it, you are unlikely to succeed.
• Counting the count is an issue of COMMITMENT. Are you prepared to pay a price? Are you ready for sacrifices? How much are you willing to give up?
This man said, “I will follow you WHEREVER you go.” He was presumptuous.
• Can you say that without any idea of where Jesus may be headed? Or what may be involved in the journey?
• Jesus replied that to go wherever He is going will not be an easy road. He is not one of those high-flyers travelling from town to town on chariots (personal jets today), staying in 5-stars hotels, and collecting offerings from the crowds that come to hear them.
In fact, Jesus collected no offering in His 3-year of ministry. It’s a ministry that gives, and gives, and gives.
• “Are you prepared for that?” That was Jesus’ unspoken question.
• Is this too much to ask? No, if you consider what the Lord has given up for us, and understand what we are investing in.
Jesus counted the cost when He stepped into this world. It was a price worth paying.
• He did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped but emptied himself (Phil 2:7 NAS), to give us everything we have today.
• He was born in a borrowed manger, lived in borrowed accommodation during his ministry, ride on a borrowed donkey, and was buried in a borrowed tomb.
• Jesus gave Himself, to give us our salvation, the forgiveness of our sin and a reconciled relationship with God!
What about us? Have we counted the cost? Are we willing to pay a price to serve Him?
• It would not be too much to ask if we understand what Jesus has given up for us.