Summary: Jesus is looking for true disciples!
Open your Bibles to Luke Chapter 14…
We noted at the beginning of Luke 14 the calling of Jesus Christ. We are to follow Him by knowing our own calling, then to go, do what God tells us, and tell people about the Gospel; Know-Go-Do-Tell!
Jesus then warned people of selfish pride. And last week, we learned about a parable of a man who prepared a great banquet and invited everyone!
Before we read the rest of Luke 14, which of course should be studied in context, let us answer this question: Why did the man give a banquet? The banquet was free! What do you think were some reasons for inviting people to His house to celebrate??
Really, the only good reason the owner prepared a great banquet and invited everyone was He wanted to share what He had; He wanted people to celebrate and enjoy themselves; His desire was for people to be blessed! We can say that the owner prepared a great banquet and invited everyone out of love!
The Owner who prepared the great banquet is a picture of God who desires every person to be blessed!
Now, with the great banquet provided, how do you think people who experienced it responded to the loving Man??
Yes, many will give love back, but some will just enjoy the banquet and just take the love provided for granted (are you getting a sense of where this message is going? or more importantly, what would Jesus say about this?); an attitude could be, “that was a great banquet! I can’t wait for the next one!” and actually forget about the man who provided the banquet!
Let us learn from what Jesus immediately said right after the parable of the Great Banquet. Let us pray first, shall we….
Read along with me now Luke 14:25-35…..
Verses 25-27 is the main point of the passage isn’t it? Jesus then tells 3 short parables to help His hearers to understand. But let us make a point right away of the importance of what Jesus was teaching; it is our Scripture to think about during the week: Luke 14:35b - “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Who has ears??
Every person should listen to what Jesus said! Do we all have our listening ears on?
What is the main point in v25-27? Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ is not easy!
What is a disciple? The original Greek word used here for disciple is mathetes – a learner, a follower, an imitator. Let’s put this passage about discipleship in context. What do we read in v25 – Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. There were many who were following Jesus, why??
Remember that Jesus just spoke about the Great Banquet and everyone is invited! What have we read about Jesus so far in Luke? After Jesus was baptized in Luke 3, Jesus started His ministry; Jesus taught about God, healed impure spirits, healed the sick, loved people, brought the dead to life, performed many miracles, fed thousands of people, and empowered others to do godly work. If you were there at that time witnessing Jesus, wouldn’t you follow Him too?
Many were following Jesus because He provided many things (like being in a Great Banquet)!
What was Jesus telling the many people following Him? There is a difference between just a follower rather than a disciple. Jesus was looking for true disciples, not just followers.
Jesus tells us in v25-27 what a true disciple is to be like.
Jesus may sound harsh here in v26; but let us again note that we are reading the English version of what Jesus said; the original Greek word for hate here is “misei”, which actually means love less. And so what Jesus is saying is that if one loves another above God, even towards a family member or own self, this person cannot be a disciple of Christ.
v26: a true disciple must give complete allegiance to Jesus Christ.
And what does v27 mean? Yes carrying a cross is hardship; but do you know what carrying a cross really meant during Roman times? 2000 years ago when the Romans sentenced a person to a crucifixion, they had to carry their cross, like Jesus did, to the site where they would be killed; and so what Jesus meant about carrying a cross was to crucify one’s self.
v27: a true disciple must kill the old self and be renewed by Jesus! When one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, that person becomes a new creation, born again, and is to grow and mature with the new self not the old!
And what is Jesus saying in v28-34?
In v28 we read, first sit down and estimate the cost.
In v33 we read, you who do not give up everything you have, cannot be my disciples.