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Following Jesus

Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1. Following Jesus requires ...
… a proper perspective on valued relationships, verse 26
This is a call to allegiance to Jesus. In the time of Jesus, there was no casual devotion. That devotion marked each person and came at a cost.
… a proper acceptance of potential suffering after having counted the cost, verses 27-32
This is a call to follow Jesus and suffer with Him.
… a proper attitude toward possessions, verse 33

2. Hard choices in following Jesus:

Love for Jesus is to take precedence over all other loves, including self, verse 26
You don’t come to Jesus because He is the “in” thing; you don’t come to Jesus because you want to be entertained, to hear Him put the religious leaders in their place, to hear His wonderful stories or to see His miracles first-hand.
You come to Jesus by denying your own self-righteousness, taking His righteousness offered through faith in His substitutionary atonement for you and then leave everything you considered important to follow Him with single-minded devotion. That single-minded devotion includes “hate”: .
Luke 14:26 NASB95
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
The parallel text in argues for an interpretation that “hate” in this context means “to love less”
Matthew 10:37–38 NASB95
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:37–38 NASB95
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:37–38 NASB95
“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Jesus Himself has demonstrated the single-minded devotion to the kingdom that required slighting His family and rejecting their claims on Him, as seen in and later in .
For us today, one cannot “follow “ Jesus and learn from Him if other realities have a stronger pull.
To be Jesus’ disciple is to live up to His standard; it cannot be done EXCEPT by His own enabling.
Willingly choosing to bear the pain of persecution by following Jesus, verses 27-32
.
John 15:18–19 NASB95
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
.
1 John 3:13 NASB95
Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
A wise decision involves reflection, not reaction. It suggests a reasoned assessment. With discipleship, deciding to pledge allegiance to Jesus is a supreme moment and is to entered into with sober reflection.
To not assess properly what it means to follow Jesus, is to put that person in danger of displaying his own foolishness. When he starts on the path that Jesus has led but then is unable to complete it, that failure is not God’s, but the disciple’s - because of lack of commitment, resolve, and reflection.

The second parable differs slightly from the first: in the first, the option rests with the builder whether to start a project; in the second, a decision is forced upon the king. Both pictures are important and may well show the slight difference between the parables of 14:28–30 and 14:31–32. The first pictures coming to Jesus; the second deals with following after him. First, consider what discipleship will cost. Second, consider what refusing the “more powerful one” will mean. Can you enter battle against him? In short, consider the cost of entry and the benefits of allying with the one who carries the power.

Then the second parable has a slight difference. The first, the choice rests with the builder whether to even start the project. The second, there is a decision forced upon the king. Both are important pictures and point to a slight distinction between them. The first pictures coming to Jesus; what it will cost. The second pictures what it means to follow after Him, what will refusing “the more powerful one” mean?
the more powerful one”
Distancing oneself from materialistic attachment to the world, verse 33
These attachments are potentially the most destructive thing for discipleship.
Persevering with Jesus means being attached to Him, not to possessions. yet if Jesus offers what he says he offers, then there can be no greater possession than following Him. Jesus seeks to lead people in doing the Father’s will, offering to the disciples the treasures of heaven.
Jesus is not a minimalist when it comes to commitment.
It is not how little one can give that is the question, but how much God deserves.
Consistent in following Jesus as our primary passion, verses 34-35.
This picture of salt raised by Jesus, points out that salt must be good, salty, to have value.
Once salt has lost its saltiness, it cannot season anything, becoming useless. A modern idiom would be “running out of gas,” which as a disciple is always the result of not having Jesus be primary.
This is clearly a warning, and more naturally in the context, for each individual hearing Jesus. The point is to fail to ally oneself totally to Jesus or to only hear Him from a distance is a tragic waste of what could be a valuable opportunity; of taking something potentially useful and make it useless.
To be of use to God, one must respond to Him.
The removal of salt that is of no value is pictured in verse 35. This could be an allusion to the final judgment and the “odd man out” in certain parables, such as .
Luke 12:46 NASB95
the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
It could also refer to the judgment of physical death that befalls some in the community of faith. there is an ambiguity here that may well be intentional.
Failure of the professing believer to pursue discipleship can indicate that faith is not really present, even though it was thought to be, or spiritual rebellion. Regardless of the case, this situation displeases God.
It is tragic that one would lose the opportunity to be used of God, but even more so to be a useless disciple and object of scorn to those watching in our spheres of influence.

So consider the cost and have the resolve of a disciple who fully pursues God. Luke’s call is to hear the warning and respond with faithfulness.

So consider the cost and have the resolve of a disciple who fully pursues God. Luke’s call is to hear the warning and respond with faithfulness.
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