Summary: Lesson three in a 15 lesson series on discipleship.
The Terms of Discipleship
Sunday, April 25, 2010 am
Reading: Luke 14:16-35 ESV
As a minister, there is something that irritates me. Perhaps it should not, but it does. What bothers me is hearing about all these people who “used to be members of the church.” And I have to confess that I am irritated when someone suggests that I go visit them and try to persuade them to come back to church. It shouldn’t irritate me and most of the time I’ll go and talk to that person. But if the love of Christ doesn’t persuade them, what good will I be able to do?
Here’s why it bothers me so much. Most of the time, the person they want me to visit never was a disciple of Christ and never will be. They may have been members here, they may have been baptized here, but they never became a disciple. Now you may be thinking, “Dave that’s awfully judgmental of you. I’m surprised that you would say such a thing.” But I want to tell you that it’s not judgmental at all. It comes from the revealed will of God. A disciple of Christ wouldn’t give up on the church! Did you hear the scriptures that were just read? Let me read again for you verses 26, 27 and verse 33.
Luke 14:26 ESV "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27 ESV Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33 ESV So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Let me also read Luke 9:62 ESV Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
Listen, if you want me to visit someone who “used to be a member here”, I’ll go, but my words will be, “Brother,” or “Sister, you need to repent.”
Let’s get into the lesson. It’s on “The Terms of Discipleship” and it’s based on Luke 14:16-35.
I. The Parable (Luke 14:16-24).
A. The telling of the parable.
1. Similarity to Matthew 22:1-14.
a. In Matthew 22, the one giving the banquet is not “a certain man” but a king.
b. Even though there is no mention in Luke 14 of the man being the king, we can assume that he is a person of wealth and importance.
c. But let’s remember that the word parable means “to throw alongside of”, so it’s not the story itself that is important, but what the elements in the story represent.
d. But we’ll get to that a little later.
2. The invitations are sent out in advance.
a. This man did not just announce that the banquet was beginning.
b. He planned and made preparations.
c. And the first thing he did was to send out the invitations in advance.
1.) There was plenty of time to prepare.
2.) And he prepared the banquet, the guests were to prepare to attend.
d. It’s not every day that the someone throws such a great banquet!
1.) It might take days or weeks or even months to prepare for such a great feast.
2.) There’s menus to plan, food to prepare, seating charts to be arranged, decorations to be placed, entertainment to be selected.
3.) But the first thing done is to set the date and send the invitations.
3. The invitations are declined.
a. But now the big day has come and the man sends out his servant and perhaps a carriage to pick up the guests.
b. But as the servant goes out to collect the guests, they all have excuses as to why they can’t attend.
1.) The first says, “I’ve bought a field and I must go inspect it.”
a.) It’s a field!
i. Can the inspection wait a day or two?
ii. How much can a field change in a couple of days, or even a couple of months?
b.) I can imagine that there might be a great deal of excitement and anticipation for this man who bought a field.
i. Obviously he bought this field for a purpose.
ii. Perhaps he was thinking of this he would like to do with the land.
iii. But his land became so important to him that he missed out on this great banquet.
c.) But it was getting dark (for that is the time when banquets are given).
i. How well could he really see the land?
ii. Could he really inspect it?
iii. Or was he just making excuses?