Summary: What does it take to be an authentic disciple of Christ Jesus?
Luke 14: 25 - 35 / My Disciples
Intro: A wise grandfather once told his grandchild the following story: “One day as I sat quietly with my dog in the sun of the front porch a large white rabbit suddenly ran across in front of us. The dog jumped up and took off after that big rabbit and began to barking and chasing it through the neighborhood. Soon other dogs joined him attracted by the barking. What a sight it was as the pack of dogs ran barking across creeks, up stony embankments and through thickets and thorns! Gradually, however, one by one, the other dogs dropped out of the pursuit, discouraged by the course, frustrated by the chase and exhausted by the effort. Only my dog continued to hotly pursue the white rabbit.” “Why was he the only one?” asked the grandchild. “Because he was the only one who actually saw the white rabbit.”
I. Multitudes followed Jesus. A variety of people: revolutionaries, visionaries, self-seeking individuals, those who thought Jesus could give them what they wanted.
A. Things haven’t changed much. It is possible to be a “follower of Jesus” without being a disciple: camp-follower instead of a soldier / hanger-on instead of leading, a pew-warmer instead of a doer.
B. In VS. 26 we have a strong word HATE used in connection with family. This word carries the same meaning in GK as it does in English.
C. Matthew puts it another way. MT 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.”
II. Vss. 28 - 32 Jesus goes on to give 2 illustrations of why a person should count the cost of discipleship.
A. Failure to finish, to persevere to the end, leads to mockery from others. Herod, the king at the time of Jesus, had many unfinished building because he ran out of money.
B. Failure to finish leads to frustration and guilt. Causes others to wonder if you mean what you say.
C. When Barbara and I married 10 yrs. ago, I bought a counted cross-stitch kit of 30 Christmas ornaments. I brought all that I have finished to show you this morning. (Only 1 and ½ are even close to being finished.
III. Sometimes seeing a task thru to the end means changing directions and rethinking the plan rather than “beating a dead horse.” It does not mean that we should throw up our hands and quit when the going gets tough or when the cost is high.
A. Vss. 33 - 35 speak of the ALL OR NOTHING FAITH required by Jesus. Vs. 34 / SALT = follower of Jesus.
B. At the time of Jesus, salt was used for 2 things: PRESERVATIVE = saves from corruption - true faith acts as a preservative against the corruption of the world. FLAVORING = adds zest to meal Christians must bring flavor to life.
C. VS. 35 serves as a warning of the consequences of unworthy discipleship or lack of perseverance. It is fit neither for the oil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
Conclu: Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book “Cost of Discipleship” (Pg. 47) says: “Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace with Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”
To be my disciples, Jesus says, “It costs something. There is a price to be paid.” --- We must be willing to place Christ Jesus and his will above all else in our lives.
What does it take to follow Jesus? Know that it won’t be cheap, and you can’t get by with half or what’s needed, and that our lackluster, mediocre resolve won’t save us when the great battles of life have to be fought. IT TAKES COMMITMENT!