Summary: Jesus confronts three men with the high cost of following Him.
READ: Luke 9:57-62.
Luke records for us in this passage an account of THREE (3) MEN whom Jesus met as He travelled along with His disciples. Two of these men declared that they wished to follow Jesus; to become His disciples. The other was one whom Jesus SUMMONED to follow Him.
What immediately strikes me is the way in which Jesus handles these inquirers (and I think that this is Luke’s reason for recording the details of these meetings). MOST men with a cause are busy trying to recruit as MANY as they can. Most preachers are busy trying to get as many members for their church as they possibly can (and most have good intentions). I like seeing new members myself!
It’s natural. It’s what we expect to see. But Jesus is radically different in His approach. He seems to spend a great deal of His time trying to DISSUADE men from following after Him - or at least that’s what it looks like.
A minister friend of mine was sharing with me recently some advice he was given by an aging preacher whom he greatly respected. The old man said to him, “Son, always endeavour to keep your church as SMALL as you can!” That’s strange talk isn’t it?! And that was coming from a man who himself had pastored quite a large congregation. But what he meant was, preach the truth of God’s salvation, and the demands of following Jesus, SO CLEARLY that ONLY those who have counted the cost and are ready to give up ALL for Christ will join themselves to you.
Friends, it’s my desire to see as many as possible come to Christ - I pray to see them come in their hundreds and even thousands - BUT I DON‘T JUST WANT TO GET A CROWD . . . that doesn’t interest me at all! I want to see men and women, young people, boys and girls turning to Christ with whole hearts; becoming TRUE sold out disciples of the Master. Hallelujah!
And so, it’s interesting to read of Jesus’ way of dealing with those who expressed a desire to follow Him; He seems to be trying to DISCOURAGE them. BUT NOT REALLY. In actual fact Jesus’ desire is that people WILL follow Him - but He wants them to think it through first . . . to count the cost involved . . . so that once they DO follow Him they’ll never turn back. Even as He spells out what is required in such clear, shocking terms, inside He is longing for them to accept it - He’s rooting for them - but the cost is the cost . . . it’s non-negotiable . . . and they MUST be prepared for it.
Would you look with me tonight at these three men who Jesus confronted with His demands, and consider with me “THE COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS”.
We read of the first man in VERSES 57-58. And from Jesus’ conversation with him we learn that:
1. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS HAS NO EARTHLY SECURITY.
It’s quite a bold statement this one makes, isn’t it?! “I will follow you WHEREVER you go!” Can you say that without any idea of where this Jesus may be headed . . . what may be involved in the journey?! Perhaps you need some more information first, and then if you’re still willing to follow all well and good.
Jesus replies that to follow Him “WHEREVER He’s going” will not be an easy road. He’s not one of these “high-flying” Rabbis who jets from village to village, staying in the best hotels, and collecting nice offerings from the crowds that come to hear them. No sir. His is a true “FAITH” ministry!
When Jesus stepped out of His throne in glory to come to the earth and live and die for us, He left behind all that He had. He exchanged wealth for poverty - out of the ivory palaces into a rude cattle shed. He exchanged rulership for servanthood.
He says, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head”. What an irony . . . the King of glory - heir apparent to the throne of the Universe - doesn’t even have a place to call “home”. He has no earthly security. He was loaned accommodation by those who loved Him. He borrowed a coin to tell a story. He borrowed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem and fulfill prophecy. Why, He was even buried in a borrowed tomb! (It was just as well that He didn’t need it for too long!) HE had NOTHING. Oh, but here I see His glory shining! He gave up all when He came and stood by me!!!