Summary: A disciple of Jesus will have to put Jesus first, ahead of the most precious things in this life!
• SLIDE #1
• Does your life in Christ get frustrating at times? I mean you are trying to be what Jesus wants you to be, yet things keep happening, both good and bad that keeps you distracted.
• Do you feel a little like Paul at times as he writes in Romans 7:18?
• SLIDE #2
• Romans 7:18 (CSB) — 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.
• It can seem at times that your attempted walk with Christ is a big frustration, especially when you know others who seem to have it all together.
• Today we are going to dive back into the waters of discipleship.
• One of the things we need to understand is that following Jesus is not easy. Being a disciple of Jesus may be one of the most challenging things we are called to do, but it will be with every effort we make.
• I have had times in my life where I wondered why I was not getting very far with my faith. In the first couple of years of my walk, I was excited, but that excitement did not appear to get me too far in my maturity.
• Then something changed in me.
• Over the next few weeks we will be breaking down Luke 14:25-35, today we will focus on verses 25-26 as we begin our look at something many of us say we do but do we really?
• These next few weeks will you join us as we dig deeper into this issue of discipleship.
• Having told a parable about three whose other commitments kept them from enjoying the great banquet, Jesus continues to talk about the high cost of discipleship (9:57–62).
• The cost is, in a word, everything. Those who are considering becoming followers of Jesus should think long and hard about the cost before making the commitment. (College Press Commentary- Luke)
• Let’s begin by turning to Luke 14:25-26.
• SLIDE #3
• Luke 14:25–26 (CSB) — 25 Now great crowds were traveling with him. So he turned and said to them: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
• SLIDE #4
Let’s begin by seeing that Jesus senses…
I. A troubling trend.
• Luke 14 is filled with action! The chapter begins with Jesus tangling with the Pharisees over a Sabbath controversy, then the scene moves to Jesus teaching on the subject of humility.
• Then Jesus teaches on the parable of the large banquet which opens the door to the teachings Jesus will offer on the subject of discipleship.
• Luke 14 takes place between December of 29 AD and April of 30 AD. This is the last year of the ministry of Jesus, not too far from His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
• Jesus ministry began in late 26 AD, and as time passed, the crowds were getting larger and larger.
• Verse 25 tells us that great crowds were following Him.
• When you think about that statement, the metric many use to define success, high numbers, Jesus appeared to be successful.
• He has large crowds following Him, and they hung on His every word.
• At this point, it I think many today would tell Jesus to be happy that He has enormous crowds following Him around.
• I know the religious leaders did not like the crowds He drew; however, the people were enamored with the miracles as well as the teaching.
• We do not know how long this particular crowd was following Jesus before He sensed a troubling trend concerning the crowd.
• What kind of metric should be used in life to gauge success? What kind of metric should we use in the church to determine if we are being successful? Just backsides in the pews or chairs? Or is there something more?
• What metric do I use to determine If I am being successful in life? My bank account, my position? The number of likes and comments I get on my Facebook posts?
• As far as the church is concerned, numbers are an important metric, because without numbers, who are you reaching and teaching?
• For Jesus, there was something more than numbers, He wanted those NUMBERS to become DISCIPLES!
• When you make disciples, the numbers will follow.
• We have a tendency today to dumb things down, to lower the bar of expectations for those we seek to bring to Jesus. And once we get them in the door and baptized, we do not want to run them off by expecting folks to grow and serve.