Luke 14:25-35 Defining Discipleship


Intro: Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be alive in Israel – during the time of Christ / EARTHLY MINISTRY

  1. Would you have been one to believe in Him? Would you have been in one of those crowds that followed after Him?


    1. There were those who really thought He was the Messiah / following out of DEVOTION & COMMITMENT – time was here


What is the attraction ? Lets go see what this is all about .

1)For some of the Curious it was their desire to see or experience a

miracle that brought them out / Some came for a FEEDING / free lunch

D) Then there were the ones who WERE SKEPTICAL – They came out to

Criticize & to Critique / some reason to discredit Him/ Condemn Him


Which group would you have been in ? Which group are you in Now ?

  1. See those same 3 groups still exist today – There are those who sincerely believe who follow w/ a whole hearted DEVOTION !!!!
  2. Jesus is the Messiah / the Savior / the Lord – I want to follow Him w/ whole Hearted Devotion / He is the Love of my Life !!!!
  1. That Person would be Classified as a DISCIPLE
  1. But then there are those who are NOT SO COMMITTED / Jesus is their Savior but that is all .
  1. Their following of Him is more an issue of Convenience /As long as it fits my plans & Goals –
  1. They will Give Him an hour or two a week / few moments each day
  1. AN EXPERIMENT - For some of these people being a Christian is kind of an experiment –
  1. I tried everything else – make me happy Nothing worked I might as well give God a try !
  1. AND As long as the keep feeling those "GOOD FEELINGS" As long as the Lord Keeps coming through in the CLUTCH
  1. As long as nothing is said that is too CHALLENGING or that makes them feel UNCOMFORTABLE – they stick around


Then there are those who follow at a DISTANCE – THE SHEPTICS

  1. All they want to do is to CRITICISE & CONDEMN – look for reasons why they can just stay the way that they are
  2. So In many ways the Crowd that followed Him Then/ is like the Crowd that follows him now
  3. IN the passage that we are looking at today Jesus says some things that will Divide this crowd into only 2 groups

D) The topic of His Message is DISCIPLESHIP - Been rightfully said that all Disciples are BELIEVERS but not all BELIEVERS are DISCIPLES



    1. Gave teachings on what it means to be a DISCPLE often

Repeated & Re-emphasized the importance of following

In this passage Jesus gives 4 Key Characteristics of a Disciple

READ V.25-35


V.26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

  1. At first glance this verse causes many people a lot of confusion – I have to hate my family in order to follow Christ - ( Sounds like a Cult )

B) NOT WHAT JESUS IS SAYING - The word HATE = to love Less

C)Clear from passages like Gen. 29:30-31 Story Jacobs 2 wives / 7 more yrs

  1. Then Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah. ( Doesn’t say didn’t love Leah – Loved Rachel more
  1. Grown to Love – Leah in those first 7 yrs / Then it says in 31 When the LORD saw that Leah was unloved, or HATED – ( LOVED LESS)

He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

So this idea to hate family is a TERM OF COMPARISON – "Your LOVE for CHRIST needs to be so strong – that your love for parents wife kids friends will seem like HATRED in comparison"

  1. Therefore if I am going to be a DISCIPLE my love for Jesus needs to GREATLY EXCEED my love for anything or anyone else !!!!

B) Too put it another way ( NEGATIVE ) – Jesus is saying:

" YOU cannot be my DISCIPLE if you are going to have other AFFECTIONS that hold a GREATER PRIORITY in your life !!!!!"


Safe to say that none of us starts off w/ that Kind of Love for Christ

  1. Most of us begin come to Christ out of Realization sinners / on our way to Hell – Of which we want to AVOID - get saved
  2. Touched & greatly impacted by HIS LOVE FOR US / but at first our affections are not reciprocal – Because we don’t understand

1) Paul prayed for the Ephesians. In chapter 3: 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height;

  1. to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
  1. Word comprehend = to grasp or to grab a hold of/ Grasp = the
  2. measure of Christ love!

  3. It speaks of having FIRM GRIP upon something / being able to grasp the love of Christ in such a way that affects the way you live
  1. That type of U is DEVELOPED over TIME – and the more we STUDY the SCRIPTURES


SIMPLE COMPARISON : When I met my wife it didn't take long before I fell madly in love w/ her!

  1. I loved everything about her ! Beautiful on the inside & on the out / she had a HEART for the LORD / ministry / thrifty / simple

B) The day we got married / I thought that I could never love her more

than I did right then!

C) Well we have been Married 12yrs /3 kids/moved 5 times / 2 churches/

2 states / know what? I love her more today than I loved her then!

1) I love to be w/ my wife! / More I am w/ her the more I want to be

D) Hard to believe love could grow like that / I have an incalculable

love for my wife/ can't be measured! Love you this much

1) But my love is flawed / finite!




Now I say this to contrast this w/ the love of Christ ! His

love is Perfect ! HIS LOVE IS INFINITE!

A.) His love for us surpasses knowledge

B.) When I met Denise -thought then as I do now she was - beautiful!

1.) Ephesians 2:4,5 - Tells us that God loved us even when we were dead in trespasses and sin!

C.) When we were at our worst! He loved us!

    1. Morning breath - unshaven - curls in hair! Bath robes


My Love for Christ grows the more I understand & study come to comprehend His Love for Me!!!!! Love that is IMMEASURABLE


A.) Wider than the sea/ world/ universe;/ God demonstrated His love by becoming a man and living on earth!

B.) His love wasn't narrow; wasn't singled out for certain class of people - His love was tangible and available

  1. He loved the rich young ruler/ woman adultery. He loved The

Religious leader Nicodemus / Tax man -Zacheaus / the publican

    1. Loved Judas who betrayed Him; He loved those who were responsible for sending Him to the CROSS

D)And He loves us too! / His love is wide enough to embrace everyone:


    1. I asked Jesus how much loved me! This much …arms & died


E) His love is wide / ALSO DEEP

HOW DEEP ? Christ left the glory and brightness of heaven to come down - end up in darkness of the tomb.

A.) Read the story of some sailors who were venturing out into uncharted waters: let out sending line to locate bottom!

  1. "No bottom with this line" - more line was let out "deeper than that sir! "
  1. They attached all the line they has on board to the sounding weight.

It's deeper than that!

    1. We too can let out sounding lines to measure God's love;

no bottom will be found

C.) Deep enough to take hooker like Rahab - Hall of faith

  1. Deep enough to take religious Zealot & murder - Paul &MAKE him an apostle./ Deep enough to take Peter - depths of guilt – restored
  1. Deep enough to forgive your sins / give you new life

It is wide / it is deep / IT IS LONG

How long ? Long enough to last forever! Throughout eternity !

And It's High - High enough to take sinners to heaven!

Tozer ".... because God is self -existent, His love had no beginning, because he is eternal, his love can have no end, because he is infinite it has no limit,/ because he is holy it is the quintessence of all spotless purity, because he is immense, his love is an incomprehensibly vast, and bottomless as a shoreless sea.."

  1. When I really take to time to consider the VASTNESS OF His Love for me / my ONLY response is to Love Him w/ all my Heart !!


The story is told of a wealthy man who lost his wife when their only child was young. A housekeeper was hired to take care of the boy, who lived only into his teens. Heartbroken from this second loss, the father died a short time later. No will could be found; and since there were no relatives, it looked as if the state would get his fortune.

The man's personal belongings, including his mansion, were put up for sale. The old housekeeper had very little money, but there was one thing she wanted. It was a picture that had hung on a wall in the house a photo of the boy she had loved & nurtured.

When the items were sold, nobody else wanted the picture, so she bought it for just a few pennies. Taking it home, she began to clean it and polish the glass. As she took it apart, a paper fell out. It was the man's will, and in it he stated that all his wealth should go to the one who loved his son enough to buy that picture.

The legacy of heaven and the inexhaustible riches of God's love belong to all who trust and love His Son

That is where DISCIPLESHIP BEGINS w/ an UNPARRELED LOVE that is the Result of realizing how much I have been LOVED


The 2nd Characteristic is really born out of the First – A DISCIPLE BEARS HIS CROSS V.27 27 "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

  1. Now this also has been a point of confusion for many – what does it mean to BEAR YOUR CROSS ?
  2. Some have suggested that – bearing your cross is putting up w/ the difficulties of Life / My Cross is my Arthritis / my Cancer / lousy job
  1. My Noisy neighbors / my unsaved husband or wife / noisy neighbors
  1. But those things ARE NOT the CROSS / those things are just things that are common Challenges & Problems of everyday life
  1. Common to every man – BELIEVER OR UNBELIEVER



  1. The Cross is when you die to yourself in order to Help or to save another !!!
  2. That is what Jesus told us / greater love has no …… life for his friends
  1. And that is what He showed us / He laid down His life we … saved

  1. That is what the Cross is / When you give of yourself / so that someone

else can be saved or helped / You die to self / someone else ADVANCED

  1. When you die to your needs / your wants / your Desires / & put the needs of someone else before you
  1. NOW WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT ? It goes against my very nature & the mindset of the world that says Look out for #1 = ME !!!
  1. What would make me want to put others first ?
  1. Again it is born out of or is the RESULT OF REALIZING the Love that Jesus has DISPLAYED – toward me .
  1. When I begin to GRASP – the Width/ Height / Depth/ Length of His love for me – I want to show that love to others !!!!


Story illustrates this point well :

Little Chad was a shy, quiet young fella. One day he came home and told his mother, he'd like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. Her heart sank. She thought, "I wish he wouldn't do that!" because she had watched the children when they walked home from school.

Her Chad was always behind them.

They laughed and hung on to each other and talked to each other. But Chad was never included. Nevertheless, she decided she would go along with her son. So she purchased the paper and glue and crayons.

For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made thirty-five valentines.

Valentine's Day came and Chad was beside himself with excitement! He carefully stacked the valentines that he made up, put them in a bag, and bolted out the door.

His mom decided to bake him his favorite cookies and serve them up warm and nice with a cool glass of milk when he came home from school.

She just knew he would be disappointed -- maybe that would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think that he wouldn't get many valentines -- maybe none at all.

That afternoon she had the cookies and milk on the table. When she heard the children outside she looked out the window. Sure enough here they came, laughing and having the best time. / And, as always, there was Chad in the rear. He walked a little faster than usual.

She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he got inside. she noticed His arms were empty, and when the door opened she choked back the tears.

"Mommy has some warm cookies and milk for you."

But he hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face aglow, and all he could say was: "Not a one -- not a one." Her heart sank.

But then he added, "I didn't forget a one, not a single one!"

See that is what happens when we begin to really grasp his love - We realize as never before that life's greatest joy is to give His love away

  1. That is what is means to BEAR THE CROSS – DYING TO SELF TO SHARE HIS LOVE W/ OTHERS !!!


3RD Characteristic of a DISCIPLE that JESUS describes is that a DISCIPLE – counts the COST / Seen in two Parables / Builder & Battler

  1. Jesus illustrates / Does a man set to built a house before he has calculated whether he is able to finish it
  2. B) "Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

    32 "Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

  3. Again this is an idea that Jesus spoke of a lot – recall – scribe who came & said – I will follow you wherever you go
  1. Jesus answered Foxes have holes …… no where lay his head .
  1. What is the Point – Hey if you are going to be my DISCIPLE – You need to Consider the Cost !!!!!


AGAIN - Not talking here about SALVATION - The only thing that needs to be considered in Salvation is the Cost He paid

  1. And am I then willing to ADMIT that I am a SINNER & submit my heart to Him ?
  2. He is not talking about – SALVATION- He is talking about DISCIPLESHIP - that person who says I want to make a difference
  1. I don’t want to just make it to HEAVEN – I want to be blessed –

receive reward

  1. COUNT THE COST – Understand that it is going to mean – you are going to live a life marked by self Sacrifice & giving
  1. Life that is going to CONSIST OF both BUILDING & BATTLING
  1. "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple./ HEART THING

But here is the Beauty of it all – Jesus is the GREAT BUILDER – Unless the Lord Builds the House they labor in VAIN

  1. Christ is the MASTER BUILDER –

B) Christ is the GREAT BATTLER - Great General - & King

    1. What He is looking for is willingness in the hearts of His servants & Soldiers
  1. Willing to go where He leads / willing to follow His Command
  2. LISTEN / It is not a counting of the COST TO figure out if I have what it takes to be His DISCIPLE- because I don’t / none of us do
  1. In my flesh dwells no good thing
  1. It is a counting of the Cost in realizing that I want Christ to be my General & King / My Foreman - /
  1. No matter how hard the job I am in it for the long hall . Like Job
  1. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.


See He has already promised that – Given all things that pertain to Life & Godliness through the Knowledge of Him .

  1. Gets back to the same thing - When I recognize who He is – I realize that If I am just willing / submissive – He will work
  2. If I hold back / then He will not !!


4TH Characteristic of a Disciple – He makes an impact v. 34,35

34 "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

35 "It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"


In our Lords day salt was a very important commodity!

  1. It was so Special & so unique, that in some areas it was actually regarded as more valuable than gold.
  2. It was used for 4 main purposes / 1st of all it was essential for Health
    1. For those living in that hot desert region salt was a key to the health, strength and the vigor of the people


2nd Salt was also used as a preservative . Pack meat in salt keep it from spoiling

  1. Didn’t have Refrigerators or freezers in those days / Preservative

3rd Salt was used to enhance the flavor of foods /

C) 4th way salt was used was in a medicinal way / healing affect when

applied .

  1. Also a 5th aspect of salt / MAKES YOU THIRSTY

So when Jesus spoke to His disciples & said you are the salt of the earth

He was saying HE desires that we would have a preserving / flavor enhancing / healing & thirst creating affect upon the World .


Now there is a common Characteristic involved in each one of these uses of Salt. That we need to take note of. / Real Key to our understanding !

A) In order for it to be affective it has to be applied / The Salt needs to permeate & penetrate whatever it is applied to in order to be affective.

  1. SAME IS TRUE OF US In order for you to have that preserving /flavor enhancing/ healing/ thirst creating affect upon society /
    1. WE need to get out and rub shoulders w/ the world.
  1. Been said that unless salt get poured out of the shaker it becomes a mere table ornament ./ I don’t want to be a table ornament – "Pour me out"

One more thing we need to look at notice Jesus said here in v. 34,35 but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?

35"It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out.

  1. If salt loses its flavor if it loses its tang - its potency it is good for nothing . It can’t be used to enhance flavor / heal or nothing .
  1. So a good question for us to ponder this morning is Have I lost my flavor ! Potency .
  1. If I have – Then it is an indication that I am not a DISCIPLE / how do I get it back .

C) Back to the First Point - What has my affections / What else am I in

Love w/ & why ?

    1. No – Unparalleled DEVOTION -



CHURCH OF EPHESUS – LEFT FIRST LOVE – Remember / Repent /return – do your first works again!!!

  1. Perhaps – never been a Disciple – only Believer – want to be sold out to the one who gave His all for you
  2. You don’t want to just make it to HEAVEN – BARELY – BUT BOLDLY - GREAT REWARD
  1. Hear those words Well Done my good & faithful Servant …enter into the Joy of the LORD