Summary: A sermon series on discipleship. Three requirments of discipleship.
What It Means To Follow Jesus:
The “D” Word
• It seems like to me that following Jesus or expressing interest in spiritual things has become somewhat of a fad.
• Through advances in technology even church has become an entertaining place to be.
• Many churches have become huge, so called mega churches. Some have attendance that exceeds 10,000.
• The question arises How do you know who’s for real and who’s just along for the ride?
• I believe that Jesus was thinking about that very question in Luke 14:25. A big crowd was traveling with him. Jesus saw this crowd and turned to them and let them know in no uncertain terms what it really means to follow Him.
• Jesus gives us, in this passage of scripture, the requirements of being His disciple.
• What is a disciple?
o Some associate the word with a negative connotation: The disciples of Charlie Manson or some other cult leader.
o Some believe it just refers only to the original 12 apostles or inner circle of Jesus Christ.
o I like the definition that a disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.
The Three Requirements of Discipleship
• Three times in this passage Jesus says “You cannot be my disciple” unless we do certain things.
Jesus wants your:
1. Love (v. 26)
a. Jesus first addresses those closest to us—our family.
b. He uses a strong word hate to illustrate his point. Hyperbole—exaggeration for effect.
c. He was not telling us to hate our family—that would contradict other passages of the Bible.
d. He was in effect saying that our love for Him must take precedence over all our loves—when compared to our love for Jesus the love for our families would look like hate.
e. If you were faced with this choice what would you do? If your family told you that they would never speak to you again if you continued following Jesus Christ, would you stop following Jesus to be with them?
2. Life (v. 26b and 27)
a. Jesus tells us in the latter part of v. 26 that we are to love him more than we love our own life.
b. He tells us we must bear our own cross.
c. Many of us are familiar with that worn our phrase “our cross to bear.” It usually refers to something unpleasant we must live with. But I believe Jesus had something much more serious in mind.
d. Jesus was actually referring to the cross that criminals had to carry or bear before their execution. He was saying that we must be willing to die for Him.
e. Also, included in bearing our own cross comes all the shame, humility and hardship that may come as a result of our decision to follow Jesus Christ.
f. Are you willing to give him your life? Are you willing to die? Are you willing to live with whatever the consequences of your decision to follow Jesus Christ will be?
3. Livelihood (vv. 28-33)
a. Jesus uses two examples from everyday life to illustrate his point:
i. A Contractor building a tower: Don’t start something you cannot finish.
ii. A King preparing for war: Don’t fight battles you cannot win.
b. In other words, don’t embark on this life of following me unless you are prepared to go all the way and fight to the finish.