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
B) ALWAYS HUGE CROWDS DIVIDED INTO 3 GROUPS
C) THERE WERE OTHERS WHO WERE CURIOUS / why all the crowds
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 ?
Then there are those who follow at a DISTANCE THE SHEPTICS
D) The topic of His Message is DISCIPLESHIP - Been rightfully said that all Disciples are BELIEVERS but not all BELIEVERS are DISCIPLES
E) GREAT COMMISION - Go make BELIEVERS ? NO DISCIPLES
Repeated & Re-emphasized the importance of following
In this passage Jesus gives 4 Key Characteristics of a Disciple
1ST OF ALL / A DISCIPLES is one who FOLLOWS CHRIST w/ anUNPARRELLED LOVE .
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.
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
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"
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) 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;
measure of Christ love!
SIMPLE COMPARISON : When I met my wife it didn't take long before I fell madly in love w/ her!
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!
My Love for Christ grows the more I understand & study come to comprehend His Love for Me!!!!! Love that is IMMEASURABLE
A) IT IS WIDE HOW WIDE IS Gods LOVE ?
A.) Wider than thesea/ 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
Religious leader Nicodemus / Tax man -Zacheaus / the publican
D)And He loves us too! / His love is wide enough to embrace everyone:
WHO COMES TO HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARMS
MIKE ROZELL- BLOOD HANDS
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!
It's deeper than that!
no bottom will be found
C.)Deep enough to take hooker like Rahab - Hall of faith
It is wide / it is deep / IT IS LONG
How long ?Long enough to last forever! Throughout eternity !
AndIt'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.."
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.
SO WHAT IS BEARING THE CROSS ?
else can be saved or helped / You die to self / someone else ADVANCED
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
3RD Characteristic of a DISCIPLE that JESUS describes is that a DISCIPLE counts the COST / Seen in two Parables / Builder & Battler
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.
AGAIN - Not talking here about SALVATION - The only thing that needs to be considered in Salvation is the Cost He paid
But here is the Beauty of it all Jesus is the GREAT BUILDER Unless the Lord Builds the House they labor in VAIN
B) Christ is the GREAT BATTLER - Great General - & King
See He has already promised that Given all things that pertain to Life & Godliness through the Knowledge of Him .
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!
2nd Salt was also used as a preservative . Pack meat in salt keep it from spoiling
3rd Salt was used to enhance the flavor of foods /
C) 4th way salt was used was in a medicinal way / healing affect when
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.
One more thing we need to look at notice Jesus said here in v. 34,35but 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.
C) Back to the First Point - What has my affections / What else am I in
Love w/ & why ?
CHURCH OF EPHESUS LEFT FIRST LOVE Remember / Repent /return do your first works again!!!