Luke14: 25-35Written by kathleen on Mar 09, 2014 in - No Comments
The cost of receiving the invitation.
In three places Jesus is going to say “he cannot be my disciple.”
With this teaching, Jesus will help us define what a disciple is. The word disciple simply means “learner.” In this case a disciple is someone who is a student, or a learner of Jesus.
So, what does it take to become a learner of Jesus? Jesus has just shown us that coming to God is like accepting an invitation (Luke 14:16-24); but is that all there is to it?
Jesus never said it would be an easy thing to be His disciple. In fact, He often encouraged people to count the cost. When one guy said, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. He said, You really want to follow Me? Think about this! “The foxes have their holes, the birds of the air have their nests; the Son of man doesn’t have any place to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20).
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
1st requirement for becoming a disciple
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple.
This is one of those passages that is often misunderstood and misinterpreted because our word for love and hate are opposite extremes of one another
In the eastern mind and thought, they are comparative words, not opposite words.
Remember Jesus boldly says that nothing can come between you and God. Even good things such as family and the instinct of self-preservation cannot become idols to the true disciple.
Jesus told us that we are to love our enemies and that we are to love one another even as He loves us.
The Bible tells us husbands that we’re to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.
So obviously, Jesus is not saying to follow Him you’ve got to hate your mother and your father, your sisters, your brothers, family members, your children and your own life also.
What He is saying is that your love for Him must exceed your love for your mother or for your father or your wife or your children or your brothers or your sisters. Your love for Him must be of the highest quality, degree, character, importance, greatest, utmost, or extreme:
Matt 22:37‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
If your love for Him brings you at odds with your parents and they make it a thing of it’s your love for Jesus or your love for us, then you’ve got to choose to love Jesus.
If it comes to that kind of a decision, and if your wife says I’m not going to live with you any longer if you’re going to be a Christian and follow these things, then your love for Jesus has to exceed your love for your wife.
Or if your husband says I can’t stand that religious stuff anymore and if you keep on, I’m leaving. You’ve got to let him leave.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:15 “If a believing wife has an unbelieving husband, not content to remain with her, then let him depart. She’s not under bondage”
It is a awesome thing and there is a special bond when the family is united in their love for the Lord and when the family together seeks the Lord.
Unfortunately that is not always the case. And there have been many cases where a person had to choose a love for Jesus over the love for the family, especially in Jewish homes where to believe in Jesus, many times created such a breech that the family would have a funeral service and consider you dead.
Seeing you on the street they would not speak to you. They would look right past you. They considered you as dead because you dare to believe that Jesus was the Messiah! That still happens today in some Orthodox Jewish homes. But even in those cases, your love for the Lord must exceed even your love for the family and if it doesn’t exceed your love for the family, Jesus says you cannot be His disciple. .
The comparative words of love and hate are that you love one more than the other; So the Lord isn’t saying you got to hate your family, it’s just you are to love Him more than your family.
Hate is a strong word, but that is exactly how it can seem to family members and friends when we put Jesus before them.
Don’t feel to be a disciple of Jesus; now I got to hate my wife and my kids and everybody else. Not so. It’s just that you have to love the Lord more than all other relationships.
2nd requirement for being a disciple
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
There had been some ridiculous things said concerning this idea of bearing a cross.
Maybe you have heard someone saying I have a mother-in-law and she’s just really a beast. I hate every time I have to go to her house. But I guess that’s just the cross I have to bear.
OR “I got this thing and I guess that’s just the cross I have to bear” or something like that! Guess what; That’s not the cross.
In the life of Jesus, the cross represented a total submission to the will of the Father. In the garden of Gethsemane when facing the cross, and Jesus prayed, Matt 26:39“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” That’s the cross!
The cross is the complete surrendering of your-self to the will of God. So if you’re not willing to fully surrender yourself to the will of God; that might involve suffering, it might involve pain, then you cannot be His disciple.
It takes a love for Him that is paramount of all loves in your life. It takes a submission unto His will to be His disciple.
Think of how extremely bold or daring Jesus is! He asks for this kind of ultimate commitment, and it’s our choice to give it to Him!
When we know the love of Jesus; when we are in a love-relationship with Him, only then can we be committed to Him with this type of great devotion.Disciples must count themselves as dead; they must go all the way.
The Apostle Paul realized this writing to the believers in Galatia when He said I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treat’s Christ’s death as meaningless. Gal 2:20-21 TLB
The one carrying a cross essentially walked down death row to their place of execution. They knew there was no turning back, and it was a total commitment and completely yielded. You knew your life didn’t belong to you any more.
Jesus gave Himself for us totally, and expects us to give ourselves to Him totally. So many times we can understate or misunderstand the demands of Jesus and have the impression that coming to Jesus is only believing some facts instead of yielding our life.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
During the time of Jesus most of the people lived within a walled city. But they had their fields out in the countryside. And during the summer season, they would move out of their city house and live in their vineyards or in their orchards out in the countryside and they would build towers in their vineyard.
The towers had two purposes; one, they lived in the tower. But secondly, from the tower they could watch their vineyard to make sure that as the fruit was getting ripe, that no one would come in and steal their fruit. So the purpose of the tower was that of shelter and of observation.
And even today, over there in that land, you can see how the fields have been marked off by the rock walls and you can see the towers that are there in the fields. Even to the present day, some of these towers are still used.
In the parable of the tower, Jesus says “sit down and see if you can afford to follow Me.”
In understanding and communicating this parable there are two extremes to avoid.
- We can never give people the impression that they have to clean up their lives before the come to Jesus; that is like washing up before you take a bath.
Rom 5:8-9 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since by his blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty?
- We can never give people the impression that Jesus won’t want to clean up their lives with their cooperation after they come to Him.
It is as if we have an apartment and give the ownership of that apartment to Jesus. We don’t have to remodel the apartment before we give it to Jesus; but once we do, He comes in and starts tearing down walls and fixing up things.
Being a disciple means that you help Jesus in that work instead of resisting it, or changing things back to the old way.
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
So the third requirement for discipleship is forsaking all that you have to be His disciple.
When the ancient Greek phrase who does not give up everything was meant, “to say goodbye to.” therefore we are to “say goodbye” to everything we have, entrusting it to Jesus.
After telling the two parables about considering the cost before making a commitment, Jesus says “So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” Does Jesus mean this literally, that we must get rid of everything we own and take a vow of poverty in order to be a Christian? What does He mean?
I believe that Jesus is getting at the fact that there are two possible lords that we can serve and the two are exclusive: God or Mammon.(material things)
Many think that we can combine them, with God taking the lead:
“I’ll serve God mostly, but I’d also like to serve money.” But Jesus says that won’t work: “You cannot serve God and Mammon”
In other words, you can’t just add Jesus to your already materialistic lifestyle as a way of rounding out your spiritual needs.
To be a Christian means that you have been bought with a price and you are not your own 1 Cor. 6:19-20. Nothing you own is your own. You become the slave of Jesus Christ and He owns everything.
In other words, your love for Him has to not only exceed your love for your family but your love for your possessions.
The story of the pearl of great price. A man sees this pearl and says to the merchant, “I want this pearl. How much is it?” The seller says, “It’s very expensive.” “How much?” “A lot!” “Well, do you think I could buy it?” the man asks. “Oh, yes,” says the merchant, “everyone can buy it.” “But I thought you said it was very expensive.” “I did.” “Well, how much?” “Everything you have,” says the seller. “All right, I’ll buy it.” “Okay, what do you have?” “Well, I have $10,000 in the bank.” “Good, $10,000. What else?” “That’s all I have.” “Nothing more?” “Well, I have a few dollars more in my pocket.” “How much?” “Let’s see … $100.” “That’s mine, too,” says the seller. “What else do you have?” “That’s all, nothing else.” “Where do you live?” the seller asks. “In my house. Yes, I own a home.” The seller writes down, “house.” “It’s mine.” “Where do you expect me to sleep—in my camper?” “Oh, you have a camper, do you? That, too. What else” “Am I supposed to sleep in my car?” “Oh, you have a car?” “Yes, I own two of them.” “They’re mine now.” “Look, you’ve taken my money, my house, my camper, and my cars. Where is my family going to live?” “So, you have a family?” “Yes, I have a wife and three kids.” “They’re mine now.” Suddenly the seller exclaims, “Oh, I almost forgot! You yourself, too! Everything becomes mine—wife, children, house, money, cars, and you, too.” Then he goes on, “Now, listen, I will allow you to use all these things for the time being. But don’t forget that they’re all mine, just as you are. And whenever I need any of them, you must give them up, because I am now the owner.”
That’s what Jesus means when He says that we must give up all our possessions in order to be His disciple. He isn’t just Lord of a tenth; He is Lord of all.
We are just managers of it for Him. Of course, in return we gain all the riches of heaven for all eternity. But, still, we need to sit down and determine if we’re willing to follow Jesus as Lord of everything from our families, to our possessions, to our very lives
If we make a profession of following Christ, but then go back on our commitment, people will ridicule us as they would mock a man who started to build a tower but couldn’t complete it: “He claimed that he became a Christian, but look at him now! Some Christian he is!” Or, we will face the damaging effects of being defeated by the enemy because we did not consider the intensity of the battle we were facing.
Satan loves it when a Christian’s testimony is ruined because he did not consider the demands of following Christ in this world.
Jesus uses a third illustration to show the cost of not following Him, that of salt that has become tasteless. 34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The salt in Jesus’ day was often corrupted with other substances. If moisture hit the salt, it would evaporate and leave behind these other impure minerals, so that the salt lost its saltiness. It was worthless for any useful purpose and had to be thrown away.
As a Christian, we should be adding flavor to the world and your influence should be that of enhancing the world in which you live
Jesus is saying that if a follower of His doesn’t live as he ought to live, he is useless to God. Whether Jesus is referring to a false believer; or to a true believer being taken out of this life because of his ongoing practice of sin.
The point is, follow Jesus Christ by putting Him above everything else in life so that you are useful to God.
Jesus’ words here are tough and sobering! We all fall short, but with Gods grace and the power of the Holy Spirit we must continue applying the word of God to our hearts and then displaying this truth by the way we live.
Is there any relationship that comes ahead of Christ in your life? If He is first, then obviously you will be spending consistent time alone with Him in His Word, in prayer, and in devotion. You will be fellowshipping with Him every day. You won’t allow any other relationship to draw you away from obedience to Him. You will confess and forsake every sin that hinders fellowship with Him.
Is He the Lord of your plans, your thoughts, and of all that you do? Or, could you selfishly be clinging to your plans, to your way, instead of seeking to please Him in all things beginning with every thought that you entertain?
Is He Lord of your finances and possessions? Are you faithful in managing these things for His purposes? Do you give generously and faithfully to His work? Or, could the love of money be choking out the Word in your life?
Salvation is absolutely free, but once you receive it, it costs you everything.
To truly follow Christ, we must consider the cost and put Him above everything else.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”