Summary: This series of messages inspired by Kyle Idleman's book "Not a Fan."
“The Price Is GREAT”
A Fan or A Follower - #2 of 5
(Note: This series is inspired by Kyle Idleman’s book – “Not a Fan”)
* (DVD Sermont – Week 2) The concept of ‘anyone’ or ‘any man’ (KJV) is a frequently used concept in the New Testament. It is obvious that Jesus came to give His offer of salvation, eternity, and relationship with God to anyone, everyone, and whosoever. Kyle just repeated our text from this morning and we read it now. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up His cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 14 turns up the heat. We read these verses with the question looming over us: “Am I a fan of Jesus or am I a follower of Jesus?”
* To this question most of us in this building would say, “I’m a follower” without giving the question much thought. Tonight let’s follow the example of Jesus when He stood in front of a large crowd. *Be reminded that the crowd, in large measure, came to Jesus to see the show. As long as he performed miracles, fed the crowds, and hugged the babies, the fans showed up. But every time the fans showed up, Jesus raised up the level or the bar of commitment.
* In Luke 9 & 14, we get the idea that Jesus is bringing some realism to the crowd’s fantasy. He does that for us also – because, for the follower, the price is high.
1. The Call – Both passages issue a call & in our English language use the word ‘anyone.’ Some translations use ‘any man’ (mankind), some any, & some “YOU.”
* The call goes out to anyone and everyone. This call to be a follower (disciple) is not for the spiritual elite, it is for everyone who hears Jesus calls & responds to His voice. The call is not ‘just be forgiven of your sins and get to go to heaven’, the call of Jesus is to follow me & be my disciple.
* Notice the verbiage in Luke 14 where Jesus says, “If anyone comes TO me.” Remember at this point Jesus is speaking to the huge crowd; this is the Sunday morning bunch- coming at their leisure and convenience. This is the crowd who think they can meet & have Jesus on their own terms. But back in chapter 9, Jesus is speaking to the 12 and says, “If anyone wants to come WITH me.” While this is a subtle change, it seems to be that Jesus keeps the bar of commitment very high.
* The call of Jesus goes to every one of us. “IF anyone” is inclusive. He calls us. My fear is that the call of Jesus has been so watered down until we give Him our least.
2. The Cost – May I offer you my personal belief? In this truth, we can discover the ills and struggles of the modern day church in America. In the 24th chapter of 2 Samuel when David sinned against God by counting the military and God punished David by sending a plague on his men. David came to Araunah to buy his threshing floor & out of respect for King David, Araunah offered all that he owned to the King free of charge. David said, “I must buy it because I refuse to offer God that which costs me nothing.” In this phrase, we discover the flaws of American Christianity. We are content to offer God that which costs us nothing.
* Jesus is clear, ‘that’s not enough.’ To the large crowd He laid forth this stunning truth, “If you don’t hate your family you cannot be my disciple.” First of all, I didn’t say this, Jesus did. Second of all, understand this teaching in context of all Jesus’ teaching (and it’s still harder than we want to accept). Obviously, that is from the rest of Jesus’ teaching, He is not saying that we are not to love our families. Plenty of His teachings & words compel us to love our earthly family. But here is the truth: To be His disciple our love for Him must be so deep, real, and complete that we choose Him over them every time.
* Kyle Idleman tells the story of a young woman coming to him one Sunday saying that she wanted to be baptized. He told her that he would look forward to that day in the future. Her response let him know that she meant NOW! A few minutes later they were behind the stage, getting ready to go into the water and Kyle asked her if she had any family or friends who were here to encourage her. She said, “My family will not be happy about my decision for Christ.” And with those words, she led Kyle into the water.