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11. Counting the Cost

The Passage:
Luke 14:25-33

The Parameters

    The lame excuses of Israel’s rejection in the parable of the Great Supper.

    The acceptance of the invitation by the outcasts.

Those who want to accept the gracious invitation need to know that there will be a cost in following God/Jesus.

    The context of discipleship.

Luk 14:33 says, “So, therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” This shows the point of the previous verses. Verse 31 begins with “or” which takes me back to vs. 29 which begins with “otherwise” and takes me back to vs. 28.

The Problem

What kind of dedication is required to be a committed disciple of Jesus Christ

The Progression

Ideological: The need to count the cost

    The Commitment (25-27)

      Love Christ

Love Hate concept - cf. Gen 29:31f, Deut 21:15-17, Judges 14:16, Eccl 3:8, Mal 1:2-3, Rom 9:13, Luke 16:13. All these passages show a priority choice. It is the greatness of the love that makes everything else seem like hate. You forsake all others when you marry your wife.

      Carry the Cross

What does carrying a cross mean to this audience before Christ was crucified? It means being willing to be despised and even killed. Carrying the cross was an act of submitting to the state.

    The Construction (28-30)

What kind of tower? A watch tower. What would your neighbor’s think if you began to build a watchtower and only laid the stones in a circle and quit. You wouldn’t have much of a tower and everyone would laugh at you. Underestimation of the cost could result in embarrassment.

    The Conflict (31-32)

Underestimation of the cost or the power of the enemy could result in death. Saddam Hussein principle.

    The Cost (33)

What is the cost? Everything I have. It is the recognition of the true ownership of one’s possessions.

In Acts 2 and 4 it says no one claimed that what he owned was his own. They didn’t put all their stuff in a big pile, they just recognized that they were stewards, not owners. Same message as the parable of the rich fool. This was not communism. Communism is Satan’s substitute for this.

    The Conclusion (34-35)

How do you lose the saltiness in salt? Only by diluting it in lots of water. Only by compromise. When I fail to give up my possessions, I compromise my self and lose my witness.

The Point

The true disciple of Jesus Christ is one who has counted the cost of commitment and recognizes that all that he is and has is a stewardship from God which is to be used as a means of outreach in this world.

The Relation of the Parable to the Kingdom Program of God

A disciple of the kingdom is one who lets nothing stand in the way of his dedication to Christ.

The Particulars

Love/Hate relationship

Watchtower imagery

The Principles

  • Loving Christ above all other relationships is the priority of discipleship.
  • The cross becomes the focal point of identification with Christ. His death is key. Gal 6:14
  • Discipleship is not a free expedition.
  • I need to recognize the true owner of all my possessions.
  • The failure in my stewardship from God will cost me my effectiveness for God.

Related Topics: Discipleship

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