Summary: Sermon 4 in series. As Jesus’ ministry became increasingly popular with those desiring to shed the bondage of the Pharisees, many desired to follow Him. Yet Jesus is not interested in crowds. Rather, Jesus desires commitment!
Series: Things That Accompany Salvation
Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Message 4: The Cost of Serving Christ
Message #1: An Argument in Eternity. Mt. 7:21-23 Many who say “Lord, Lord ...”
Message #2: The Cost of Freedom in Christ. John 8:31-37 True believers continue in the Word!
Message #3: Let’s go to supper! Luke 14:15-24. We must accept Jesus’ invitation.
Message #4: The Cost of Serving Christ Luke 14:25-35 Following Jesus has serious demands!
• Luke 14 opens with Jesus accepting an invitation to eat bread in the home of a leading Pharisee.
• A man is there at the banquet with dropsy, a condition in which the arms and legs are swollen.
• Whatever the cause, the Greek word implies that it is due to water.
• There is another problem: it is the Sabbath.
• After healing the man, Jesus begins to teach about banquets while sitting at a banquet.
• He chides the Pharisees for seeking the greatest seats at the banquet.
• They would crowd in early to get the best spots and hold them.
• He then rebukes them for preferring to invite the high and noble of society instead of the poor.
• Somehow, Jesus had not read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
• In our last message in this series (vss. 15-24) Jesus told the story of society people being invited to a banquet.
• Real-Estate Ralph, Farmer Frank, and Henpecked Henry each turned down the offer.
• Jesus then tells that the poor Gentiles outside the city were invited.
• The lesson is that these poor would take the place of the proud religious leaders in Heaven!
• The next thing that Luke tells us is that great crowds began to follow Jesus.
• They were eager for any alternative to the rigidness of the Pharisees.
• But were they sincere? Let us look.
I. The Prerequisite for Serving: A Supreme Love for Christ! (25-26)
A. A Pruning (25)
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
1. Jesus is Not Interested in Crowds
• For some, a packed house is what is desired.
• Jesus has no interest in shallow faith.
• Jesus prefers a small body of deep water to a wide body of shallow water.
ILLUS: The lake in Iowa where the pastor’s kid dumped us in.
2. Jesus is Interested in Commitment!
• Jesus knows that the plant will be healthier if the diseased parts are pruned away.
ILLUS: Crepe Myrtles
• Jesus looks ahead to one goal – the evangelization of the world.
• It will be an overwhelming task.
• It is a task that requires the strong.
• So Jesus begins a pruning process.
B. A Privilege (26A)
26 If any man come to me,
• You have the choice to follow Christ.
• You have the choice not to follow Christ.
• You do not have the choice to call yourself a follower of Christ and then make up your own rules!
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
ILLUS: You don’t have to go to the Citadel. But if you go, you will find out quickly that you will fit their system or you are out.
C. A Priority (26B)
26B and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also,
1. Christ Above Family
a. A Caution to Be Observed (Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3)
• There is nothing in Jesus statement that undoes the 5th commandment!
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
• This command is repeated in Scripture after the life of Christ on earth.
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
b. A Command to Be Obeyed (Mk. 10:28)
• So what does this mean?
• It is a matter of comparison.
• In comparison to our love for Christ, our love for family should come a distant 2nd!
• Christ is to be put before family: even if one’s family opposes his decision to follow Christ.