Faithlife Sermons

Count the Cost

The Journey, Becoming a Disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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SUMMARY
intro
the inclusive call
the exclusive call
the commitment
INTRO
Ever started something you couldn’t finish?
One of our kids tries to do that with his second helpings at dinner time.
Why did he pile up so much?
New rule: small second helpings!!
You have to count the cost before you commit!
Have you eve wonder why kids eat the way they do?
Like it’s painful to sit still.
I love sitting still? Don’t you?
Illustrate sitting techniques
It hurts to do that!
Any way: kids: count the cost before you take seconds!
Ever seen a fight and thought: “That guy’s barking up the wrong tree!”
Jesus tells us to count the cost in this passage.
Why would He tell us to count the cost?
Ever seen a fight and thought: “That guy’s barking up the wrong tree!”
We will address that question near the end today.
Ever eaten at a restaurant that you were excited about, just to find that the food didn’t have much flavor?
First, let’s look at earlier verses and see a parable about what I will call: the Inclusive Call.”
Ever eaten at a restaurant that you were excited about, just to find that the food didn’t have much flavor?

THE INCLUSIVE CALL

kk
Luke 14:15–24 KJV 1900
15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Luke 14:15-
The guests accepted an invitation to attend this feast well in advance.
The servant wet out near the hour it would begin to call the guests in.
The guests all gave lousy excuses:
A long real estate transaction
Proving recently purchased oxen
Recently married a wife—this wasn’t a war draft!

When a host planned a feast, he told his guests the day of the feast, but not the hour. He had to know how many were coming so he could butcher enough meat and provide sufficient food. The servants would then go out near the hour of the feast and tell the guests to come. Remember, the guests in this story had already agreed to come; but then they backed out. Their action and excuses were a terrible breach of etiquette as well as an insult to the host.

The three people all had feeble excuses. In the East, real estate transactions are long and complicated; and how could he examine his property in the dark? Furthermore, anybody who buys ten oxen without first testing them is a fool. Finally, the third man’s wife really had nothing to do with the event, for women were not usually invited to public feasts. It was only an excuse!

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

I think it was Billy Sunday who defined an excuse as “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” The person who is good at excuses is usually not good at anything else. These three guests actually expected to get another invitation in the future, but that invitation never came.

So, the host had his servant go out and invite and compel all he could find.
They had no excuses.
The poor could not afford to buy oxen;
the blind could not go to examine real estate;
- the blind could not go to examine real estate; and the poor, maimed, lame, and blind were usually not given in marriage. This crowd would be hungry and lonely and only too happy to accept an invitation to a free banquet.
and the poor, maimed, lame, and blind were usually not given in marriage.
This crowd would be hungry and lonely and only too happy to accept an invitation to a free banquet.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

These men may have had only one reason for refusing the kind invitation: they were unprepared to attend such a fine dinner. So, the servant constrained them to accept (see 2 Cor. 5:20). They had no excuses. The poor could not afford to buy oxen; the blind could not go to examine real estate; and the poor, maimed, lame, and blind were usually not given in marriage. This crowd would be hungry and lonely and only too happy to accept an invitation to a free banquet.

Note: We are called to compel people exactly like that to accept Christ’s invitation.
2 Corinthians 5:20 KJV 1900
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

People today make the same mistake that the people in the parable made: they delay in responding to the invitation because they settle for second best. There is certainly nothing wrong with owning a farm, examining purchases, or spending an evening with your wife. But if these good things keep you from enjoying the best things, then they become bad things. The excuse-makers were actually successful people in the eyes of their friends, but they were failures in the eyes of Jesus Christ.

What a great parable to help us see God’s heart.
ILL
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

This parable was the text of the last sermon D.L. Moody preached, “Excuses.” It was given on November 23, 1899 in the Civic Auditorium in Kansas City, and Moody was a sick man as he preached. “I must have souls in Kansas City,” he told the students at his school in Chicago. “Never, never have I wanted so much to lead men and women to Christ as I do this time!”

There was a throbbing in his chest, and he had to hold to the organ to keep from falling, but Moody bravely preached the Gospel; and some fifty people responded to trust Christ. The next day, Moody left for home, and a month later he died. Up to the very end, Moody was “compelling them to come in.”

What a great parable to help us see God’s heart to make use of His sacrifice on the cross.
God is compelling the lost to believe on Christ and come in to Him.
But these next words of Jesus present a “C” change:

THE EXCLUSIVE CALL

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

Jesus turned to the multitude and preached a sermon that deliberately thinned out the ranks. He made it clear that, when it comes to personal discipleship, He is more interested in quality than quantity. In the matter of saving lost souls, He wants His house to be filled (Luke 14:23); but in the matter of personal discipleship, He wants only those who are willing to pay the price.

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

Jesus gave three parables to explain why He makes such costly demands on His followers: the man building a tower, the king fighting a war, and the salt losing its flavor.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 232). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 232). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

He wants to use us as stones for building His church, soldiers for battling His enemies, and salt for bettering His world; and He is looking for quality.

The discipleship call is always presented with an “IF.”
Matthew 10:38 KJV 1900
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Matthew 16:24 KJV 1900
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Thirteen: The Man Who Came to Dinner (Luke 14)

Discipleship is serious business. If we are not true disciples, then Jesus cannot build the tower and fight the war. “There is always an if in connection with discipleship,” wrote Oswald Chambers, “and it implies that we need not [be disciples] unless we like. There is never any compulsion; Jesus does not coerce us. There is only one way of being a disciple, and that is by being devoted to Jesus.”

Luke 9:23 KJV 1900
23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
KJV 190038 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 232). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 232). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Vs 23 gives the inclusive call.
Vs 25 gives the exclusive call.

It is important to note the contrast between vv. 23 and 25. When it comes to salvation, God wants everybody who will come; but when it comes to discipleship, He wants only those who will pay the price. Jesus was not impressed by the great crowds that followed Him because He knew their hearts. He was on His way to a cross outside Jerusalem, and the crowds were not ready for that. It is easy to be in the crowd but not so easy to carry the cross. After we “come in” and find salvation (v. 23), we must “come to” Him for our cross (v. 26), and then “come after” Him in obedience to His will (v. 27). Jesus is the Host at “salvation’s supper,” but He is the Master in our Christian walk of faith.

After we “come in” and find salvation (v. 23),
we must “come to” Him for our cross (v. 26),
and then “come after” Him in obedience to His will (v. 27).
Jesus is the Host at “salvation’s supper,” but He is the Master in our Christian walk of faith.
Matthew 10:38 KJV 1900
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

THE COMMITMENT

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Remember Jesus counted the cost too?

He is looking for those with “salty character” (Matt. 5:13) who will help Him influence this decayed world (vv. 34–35).

He illustrated this point:
The Builder
The King
Savory Salt
Ever paid for a meal that lacked flavor?
Wasn’t worth it, was it?
Jesus demands commitment for those who follow Him closely.
(Not to be confused with perfection. Grace still is necessary.)
What commitment?
A commitment to be commited.
To Him
To His plan
To His suffering
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