If you haven’t heard yet, the expectations for a disciple of Jesus Christ are high. The cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is steep. How much is the cost for being a disciple of Jesus Christ?
We are to be like Jesus. That is the expectation for being a disciple of Jesus Christ. There is nothing less than being like Jesus. There is nothing more than being like Jesus. This expectation is not only for the rich or the poor. This expectation is not only for men or women. This expectation is for the rich, the poor, men, and women.
How much is the cost us to be like Jesus? From what Jesus tells the crowd, the cost is high. Jesus himself lived how he expected his disciples to live. Even when the crowds were following him because he was popular, Jesus still lived this way. As we follow Jesus today, the expectations are the same now as it was then.
A. Does Jesus receive accolades from the crowd? (14:25)
1. Jesus invites the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to a great dinner
2. The invitation is not just what is needed
3. The crowd learns what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
4. Jesus not only corrects the Pharisees in this 14th chapter of Luke. Jesus corrects those who may have been thinking they are better than the Pharisees. For it is not just about being part of the crowd that is following Jesus. There are expectations for us to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
B. Hate our family and life so we can be Jesus’ disciples (14:26)
1. Will what our family members say keep us from being a disciple of Jesus Christ?
2. Will our desire for our own lives keep us being a disciple of Jesus Christ?
3. Jesus served God by preaching about the kingdom of God, even when it brought heartache to his mother, when his siblings despised him
4. Nothing and nobody needs to be in front of our dedication to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ calls us to himself. When we come to Jesus, we come regardless of any competing claims on our lives. How much does it cost to follow Jesus Christ? It costs us our allegiance to our family, even to our very lives. If that is personal enough, Jesus goes further in his expectation of his disciples.
C. Carry the cross so we can be Jesus’ disciples (14:27)
1. Luke does not record “your” cross or “a” cross
2. There is one cross that Jesus knows – obedience to God
3. There is one cross, “the” cross that we can know
4. Jesus knew he was heading to Jerusalem to die on the cross. Jesus knew that he had to be obedient to God the Father. The cross shows Jesus’ obedience. The cross shows Jesus’ disciples what to do. We are to be willing to die so as to be Jesus’ disciples. How much does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? It costs us our lives. This is a steep price.
D. So think about what we are going to do (14:28-32)
1. If we are going to build anything, then we figure out what it will cost us
2. Otherwise we may not be able to finish what we started
3. If a king is going to fight a battle against the other king, then that king needs to know if he can oppose the other king
4. This is not for the faint of heart
5. We want to be able to completely follow Jesus
6. Jesus weighed the decision to obey God over the choice of disobeying God
7. Jesus knew the cost his life, and he paid the cost so we could have the way to God
8. How much does it cost? To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is going to cost us. Will we be able to finish what we started? Will we be able to conquer that other king who opposes us? It is a steep price to follow Jesus Christ. To show the poor, the lame, and the blind in the crowd, and everyone else what we give up so we can be disciples, Jesus tells us.
E. Give up all our possessions so we can become Jesus’ disciple (14:33)
1. Often our possessions possess us – can we give them up?
2. Our possessions can keep us from obeying Jesus – can we keep Jesus and give up our possessions?
3. Jesus gave up all he had in heaven so that he could obey God (heavenly possessions are more than any earthly possessions)
4. After we say we believe in Jesus, then becoming a disciple begins. It means we give up our possessions. For some of us this will be a wholesale liquidation of our possessions so we can obey Jesus. For others of us this will mean we use our possessions in Jesus’ kingdom, not caring how they are used. Either way, the possessions will no longer own us. For we will be free of them so we can follow Jesus.
Jesus tells us how to be his disciples. Jesus even shows us how to be his disciples. The question is how much does it cost to be a disciple of Jesus? It costs everything.
We hate our family, friends, and our very lives. Jesus becomes more important to us than all we can do for and with our families and friends. Our love for Jesus is greater than any love for our families, our friends, or our own lives.
We carry Jesus’ cross. We obey God, even if it means our death. Jesus carried the cross. If he did carry the cross, then we are also to carry the cross.
We now know the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. It is not cheap. The cost of being a disciple of Jesus means we give up our possessions. Yet, the cost of keeping our possessions means we cannot be a disciple of Jesus.
This is a tough decision to make. We struggle with hating our lives, carrying the cross, and giving up our possessions. Jesus wanted us to know the facts before we committed to following him. For Jesus does not want us to be part of the crowd. Jesus wants us to be his disciples.
How do we hate our families? Spend a bit more time praying and reading the Bible. This will show our families and friends that we hate them.
How do we carry the cross? We obey God when everyone else wants us to do something else.
How do we give up all our possessions? There is a 22-mile yard sale on Warrensburg Road next Saturday. Sell what you don’t need. Then start following Jesus.