Summary: In this message we look at the real cost of discipleship. We have watered it down for today's culture. Jesus never did that.
“The High Cost of Discipleship”
Last week we left the disciples standing on the shore. They had just brought in such a large catch of fish that the nets were nearly breaking and when they placed all the fish in the boats they began to sink. Jesus said to them, come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men. We then read that these early disciples made a life-changing decision. The Bible puts it this way… “at once they left their nets and followed Him.” Luke says they left everything. Think for a moment about what they would have left behind to accept this challenge.
• They left their jobs. They were fishermen. It was more than a hobby. It wasn’t something they did to relax. It was work. This is how they made a living.
• They left their families. Mark speaks of Simon’s mother in law so we know he was married. Paul confirms that Simon was married. So this was not only a commitment for the disciples but also for their families.
• They left their security. They left a lifestyle that was all they knew to follow someone where it might lead them. We like security don’t we? We like to feel some level of control in life but one of the things that happens when we decide to be a follower of Christ is that we have to give up control.
These men left their jobs, their families and their sense of security…why? Because they had an experience with Jesus that changed their lives. Anything we do in life that is worth doing will cost us something.
I looked through our church membership file this week and I thought about each of you and the work you do, the job you hold or have held and I thought about your background. I found a band member, barber, a banker, bus driver, a butcher, car salesman, construction people...carpenters, plumber, a cook, a counselor in rehab, a dentist, IT Guy, locksmith, motorcycle repairman, nurses/medical staff, parking manager, physical therapist, piano teacher, sales people, spa consultant, teachers, ticket-taker, truck drivers and even a pastor. And I thought about each of those professions and they all have at least one thing in common...they all require training. A lot of training. A lot of hard work. A lot of sacrifice. There is a price to be paid.
This morning we are looking at two parables, very simple but with a profound truth we need to get hold of: There is a price to pay to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. One of these parables comes from the agricultural world in that day and it deals with construction.. The other deals with government and politics and war. Jesus told us these stories for two specific reasons: (1) He told us these stories to teach us to count what it would cost to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. (2) He told us these stories to teach us to count what it would cost if we choose a different path.
The setting for these stories was during the time of Jesus when there were large crowds following Him around from Galilee to Jerusalem. They loved following him as long as the miracles were being performed and the crowds were being fed. They were ready to make Him king. Some of his closest friends, Peter, James and John all wanted positions in His kingdom...they even argued over who would be able to sit at His right hand. But Jesus knew that things were about to get tough. Things were going to get hard. His ministry would come under attack. He knew this road was taking Him to the cross. He knew that for someone to follow Him that life could be difficult.
When we come to Christ, unfortunately not everyone comes with the same commitment. But that doesn’t change what Jesus demands of us. Juest because we come with less doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want more. In this passage he shows us what he wants from us as disciples by giving us 5 words….. Each one is like a snapshot, an image of a true disciple.
Snapshot #1. Family. Jesus speaks a startling message here. He says in verse 26...... In the parables Jesus would often use figures of speech to give His words a greater impact. It is called hyperbole. He said if your right hand offends you, cut it off. He talked about it being harder for a rich man to enter Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. We do the same thing. We exaggerate in order to make a point. In this passage Jesus is telling us we must love Him… we must love him more than anything else-including our family. I must love Jesus more than my children, I must love Jesus more than my wife and they must do the same. Your love for Jesus should be so powerful that in comparison, it seems as if you hate everyone else. I also mentioned last week that our love for Jesus can l alienate you from others, even your family.