Counting the Cost

Text: Luke 14:25-35

 

I.         If you look into history, most religious leaders consider their success based on the size of the crowd that follows their teaching.

            A.        Jesus did not. In fact, in our reading for today Jesus explains how hard and how much is expected from a disciple.

            B.        For centuries, people look for a Lord who is undemanding and convenient to follow when the mood strikes them.

                        1.         For such, being a Christian is something to change to suit themselves.

                        2.         It merely becomes a form of escapism from the pressures of the world

II.        The commitment expected

            A.        You have to hate your family

                        1.         But didn’t Moses say we are to honor our parents? - Exodus 20:12

                        2.         Jesus even took the Jews to task for not doing so - Matthew 15:1-9

                        3.         Didn’t Paul say that husbands were to love their wives? - Ephesians 5:28-29

                                    a.         And wives are to love their husbands and children - Titus 2:4

                        4.         There is no contradiction. Jesus is using a figure of speech – hyperbole – to emphasize a critical point

                                    a.         As much as I love my wife, my children, and my parents, they do not come between me and my Lord

                                    b.         I hear from people:

                                                (1)       “I would go to church, but my mother doesn’t want me to.”

                                                (2)       “As soon as I can convince my wife, we’ll be at services.”

                                                (3)       “My kids think this group is boring.”

            B.        You have to hate your own life

                        1.         Even what I want has to be despised if it comes between God and I

                                    a.         When you approach Christ with the thought, “What’s in it for me?” you’ve lost.

                        2.         The greatest commandment is love God - Matthew 22:37-38

                        3.         The cross represented the most extreme suffering in the Roman world. It was absolute the worst way to die and was reserved for the severest of criminals

                                    a.         Thus the worst of conditions was to be accept. Even daily - Luke 9:23-24

                        4.         Consider Luke 9:57-62

                                    a.         Willing to be homeless

                                    b.         Willing to neglect family obligations

                                    c.         Willing to not even say “good bye”

                                    d.         Just how serious is Jesus about the level of commitment required?

                        5.         This is why the rich young ruler didn’t follow - Mark 10:21-22

                                    a.         Though it made the man sad, Jesus let him go

                                    b.         Jesus would not lower his demands, even though he loved him

                        6.         Compare to the disciples - Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:27-28

                                    a.         It was more than just leaving with Christ

                                    b.         They left their jobs, undone!

            C.        Yet, we need to remember too that the disciples weren’t perfect

                        1.         Peter boasted that he would never deny Jesus, but he did - Matthew 26:34-35

                        2.         Later Paul had to rebuke him because of his hypocrisy - Galatians 2:11-14

                        3.         Yet these were men who were willing to die with Jesus - John 11:16

                        4.         They wavered, but they held on

III.       Counting the cost of being a disciple - Luke 14:28-30

            A.        Jesus warns against starting and then quitting completely

            B.        Worse to return to the world after knowing the truth - II Peter 2:20-21

            C.        Why? There is only one path to salvation. If you get off track, the only way back is to get back on the path. Nothing else will be offered - Hebrews 6:4-6

                        1.         Not saying people can’t get back, only that it is impossible to persuade someone with the very thing they rejected

IV.      Counting the cost of not being a disciple - Luke 14:31-33

            A.        If you are not a follower of Christ, then you are a part of the enemy - Luke 11:23

            B.        Jesus did not come to make peace with his enemies - Matthew 10:34-39

            C.        When you are counting the cost, you need to consider the cost of opposing Christ. Hopefully you’ll realize that you need to make peace before it is too late - II Thessalonians 1:4-10

            D.        It is absolutely certain that Satan has lost. Those who follow after the world, follow Satan, and their doom is just as certain.

V.        It isn’t a free ride - Luke 14:34-35

            A.        No one should expect to become a disciple without bringing something of value to the relationship

            B.        Salt is only useful if it performs its duty to season food.

            C.        It is the same warning John gave in preparing the Jews for Christ - Matthew 3:10

            D.        We are to bear much fruit - John 15:5-8

            E.        Jesus chose us, so we honor him with service - John 15:14-16