Summary: An examination of the costs of discipleship to Christ in an unbelieving world
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Text: Luke 14:28-33
Scripture Reading: Matthew 19:16-26
1. How much does it cost?
a. How many times have you said that?
b. Especially when building a house or some other large project.
c. To begin to build and run out of money can be embarrassing.
2. In Haiti it was common to start construction and not finish
a. Houses went incomplete for years.
b. Sometimes being finished by children or grandchildren of the original owner.
c. But in most places this is not acceptable.
3. That is the context in which the parable for discussion this lesson is set.
4. So the question answered in these parables is, "How much will following Christ cost me?"
5. We will notice three ways in which discipleship of Christ costs us face:
a. The Hatred we face
b. The Hardship we face
c. The Honesty we face
6. It is the aim of this lesson to help us all see the cost of following Christ and devote ourselves to that cause.
TRANSITION: Let’s look at the idea of hatred in the Christian.
I. The Hatred we face
A. Leading into this passage Jesus says that a man must hate father, mother, wife, children, brother, sister, and even his own life in order to be a true disciple.
1. Does this mean that I John 4:20 is a lie?
a. It says, "If anyone says, ’I love God,’ and hates his brother he is a liar…"
b. These passages seem to contradict each other.
2. These are not challenging questions if we look accurately at what is said.
B. Let us notice three points that shed light on this matter and clarify hating others.
1. First of all notice the general tenor of Jesus teaching.
a. He summed up the commands as Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-30)
b. He also said that the greatest love anyone could have was to lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13)
c. Jesus’ teaching was full of love for fellow man.
d. In fact I John 4 indicates that we show our love for God through service to others.
e. In Mark 10:13-16 Jesus warmly accepts the children into his arms showing true and pure love for them.
f. Jesus’ teaching, even his entire life, was and is about love for us and encouraging us to share that love with others.
2. The overall teaching of the New Testament would not agree with our concept of hatred for others.
a. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25)
b. Peter tells us in I Peter 1:22 to "Fervently love one another from the heart."
c. It is true that from time to time we can love the Lord too little, but the way to correct this is not by loving others less.
d. This concept is contradictory to the truth.
3. The words, "hate his own life", are instrumental to understanding this concept of hatred for others as a price of discipleship.
a. We are to hate others in the same sense that we are to hate ourselves.
b. Whatever I see in myself that is low and evil I am to abhor and resist.
c. Paul realized this when he penned to the Romans in 7:15, "For what I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, I do the very thing I hate."
d. What we see in ourselves that is contrary to the will and desire of God we hate.
e. What we see in others that is contrary to the will and desire of God we hate.
C. Jesus was not teaching a diminished love for others.
1. He had two main principles:
a. One was to hate the sin and love the sinner.
b. The other is that we must love others, but that love must be based on an overriding love for him.
i. Anything that draws us away from his will must be given up.
ii. If our old friends enjoy a lifestyle different from that prescribed by God then we are to separate ourselves from that lifestyle and those evil influences.
iii. We do not love them less, we love Jesus more.
2. Our hatred of others must not be greater than love for ourselves.
a. We are to love others
b. Based on love for Christ
TRANSITION: Following Christ will bring on certain challenges
II. The Hardship we face
A. Jesus was an honest recruiter.
1. Some, who have military experience, have told me that that is a contradictory statement.
a. They say that the recruiter tries to bring up glamorous aspects of life in the Army.