Summary: Jesus tells us that much is required if we are to be true followers.

The Hard Stuff

Luke 14: 25-27

Intro: The Bridger National Wilderness is located in the Teton National Forest in Wyoming. This 428,000 plus wilderness area has everything for hardened outdoors people. Over 600 miles of hiking trails going from lower elevations to higher where you can find glaciers. As you leave this rugged wilderness area, they have comment and suggestion cards available for visitors to fill out and put in the box. I want to share just a few of them with you.

. Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.

Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.

Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.

The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call…

Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.

A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.

Too many rocks in the mountains.

. These people obviously do not know what it means to stay or travel in a wilderness area.

. It seems that they were looking for something a little bit easier. A little more comfortable and convenient.

. In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine Christian.

. There are multitudes that often follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they do so on their terms and not his.

They do not truly comprehend the biblical definition of discipleship.

Because of this ignorance there are many who consider themselves to be followers of Jesus who are not, even though in many ways they do look like followers of Jesus.

They go to church, have a profession of faith, read their Bibles, pray, even give in the offering, but they are not living and thinking like the real deal. Jesus confronts this problem in our text today. He makes very, very clear what it means to be a Christian, and therefore there is no reason for anybody to be ignorant or self deceived. ( Larry Sarver, New Life In Christ)

. Jesus reveals to them The Hard Stuff.

.In his interview with Christian author Peter Gomes, Daniel Smith with the Harvard Divinity Bulletin asked him this question about his book The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus.

. He asked, Do you think church leaders and preachers are giving people fluff?

. This was his answer

. “Yes. I think they're afraid to give them the hard stuff. I make the point that every preacher I know who is a graduate of an accredited seminary has had to deal with the hard theological stuff. But it never makes it to the pulpit …”

. This morning, I want to give you the hard stuff.

. Probably one of the hardest passages in scripture.

. Luke 14: 25-27

. 25A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,

26“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

27And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

. If you are a KJV person, the translation says that you must Hate, you father mother etc. It does not say by comparison.

. That’s one of the reasons that people have a tough time with this verse.

. If you go back and look at the original language, you see that every time this language is used, it means by comparison.

. What Jesus is saying here is that if you want to be my disciple, I must be first in your life.

. Look back at verse 25 with me again.

. 25A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,

. We are in a study on Sunday nights called “A fan, not a Follower”

. When we look at this verse, we see that Jesus is surrounded by fans.

. The King James Version says that multitudes were following Jesus.

. Jesus was surrounded by fans.

. People that had heard about him.

. People that had seen him feed five thousand men and their families with five loaves of bread and two fish.

. His fame and popularity was growing and people wanted to be a part of what was going on.

. Much like a sports team that gains fans.

. Back in the 70’s you could go to an Atlanta Braves game and buy a general admission ticket and sit anywhere you wanted. There were only about 1000 fans there. As they started winning, people started to get on board and by the time they were winning all those division titles and going to the world series, you couldn’t hardly find a ticket. Their fan base became incredible.

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