Join us today for an episode about the reason that discipleship always has a cost...

Today's episode is focused on Luke 14: 25-33...

In today’s spiritual foundation episode about impacting the world, I talk with you about Luke 14: 25-33. This is a sermon I preached at Medina Valley United Methodist Church.  I share how this passage is about the cost of discipleship. 

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Episode 1212: Costly Discipleship

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,212 of the inspired stewardship podcast.

[00:00:06] David Edey: I'm David

[00:00:07] Edey. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to plan for the end of your life and leave a legacy is a key.

[00:00:23] And one of the ways to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:33] Scott Maderer: Don't misunderstand by the way. I'm not saying we should put up an obstacle between parking lot door and jump. That's not I'm not saying need to roadblocks me, but I saying that sometimes when we hear the gospel, we're tempted. To share the good news and make it all about puppies and rainbows.

[00:00:53] Welcome. And thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you [00:01:00] truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures. For your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast, who will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:20] In today's spiritual foundation episode about impacting the world. I talk with you about Luke chapter 14 versus 25 through 33. And then I share a sermon. I preached at Medina valley, United Methodist church on this passage. And I share how this passage is about the cost of discipleship. Luke chapter 14 versus 25 through 33 says now large crowds were traveling with him and he turned and said to them, whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters.

[00:01:53] Yes. And even life itself cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me [00:02:00] cannot be my disciple. For which of you intending to build a tower does not first sit down and estimate the cost to see whether he has enough to complete it. Otherwise when he is laid a foundation and is not able to finish all who see, it will begin to ridicule him.

[00:02:16] This fellow began to build and was not able to finish, or what king going out to wage war against another king will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one who comes against him with 20,000. If he cannot then while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.

[00:02:37] So therefore none of you can become my disciple. If you do not give up all your possessions. Good morning. Good morning. My name is Scott Mayner. I'm actually the conference director for lake ministries here, the Rio, Texas conference. And thank you for inviting me to come in today and share a message at the same time.

[00:02:59] This is one of [00:03:00] those messages. When most of those times when the lecture, which is this book, that's put together, that goes through a three year cycle and it goes through which passages you use for which Sunday it's called the lectionary of the Methodist church here. In case you don't know. This is one of those Sundays where this passage comes up.

[00:03:19] And a lot of times you look at it and go really, that's what you want me to preach on to the point that I actually told pastor Kevin, that I was gonna use election here. He is are you sure I'm good. So I hope that this message it well received, but I'll be honest. I hope it steps on your toes a little bit too.

[00:03:41] Sometimes I think. We try to soften the good news and make it a little easier to go down than sometimes. I think Jesus wants us to hear. Often when we go about and look at the church today, and I'm talking about all of the churches, you may see somebody [00:04:00] that attends a small congregation with only a handful in worship each week.

[00:04:05] You may go down the road to a large megachurch where there's thousands of people in the audience. But if you think about it, there are churches of all shapes and sizes. And I would argue that a lot of times, many people think that the success of a church is in large part determined by the size of the crowd and the size of the congregation may or may not be a true, I.

[00:04:33] Of faithfulness to the gospel. I would argue sometimes it is. And sometimes it's not, but if you look at this passage in Luke, I think it becomes pretty clear. And there's actually other instances of this in the gospel that may Jesus, doesn't always look at having

[00:04:55] a

[00:04:55] Scott Maderer: large group of people following him as a good sign.[00:05:00]

[00:05:00] If you think it starts. Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. It's the very first words of this passage. And then Jesus turns to those large crowds. And the next words out of his mouth, I would argue might actually be on purpose to maybe thin out the crowd a little bit. Cause the very next thing he says is if anyone comes to me and does not.

[00:05:27] Father and mother, wife and child, brother, and sisters. Yes. Even their own life, such a person cannot be my disciple. There might be a purpose that Jesus is trying to thin out the crowd on level bit or at least maybe challenge them to. Are you just following along because everybody else is going that direction.

[00:05:51] I dunno, there's a psychology experiment that was done back in the sixties where they basically had somebody see him on a street corner, like on a sidewalk and [00:06:00] go,

[00:06:00] and pretty soon somebody else would come along beside him and go because they gotta look and see what they're looking at. And before too long, there was a crowd of 40 or 50 people standing there, all looking at nothing. And the first person that started wandered up and left and two or three hours later, you come back and there's still people in the same corner going sometimes I think we just go along with the crowd because there's crowd.

[00:06:27] So why not? Everybody else is gonna that director. Let's go see what's going on. What? What's all that noise about what? What's this guy coming through town. Let's follow. And I would argue that one, that's one of the reasons that Luke 14 is structured the way it is, where it starts out, large crowds were traveling with Jesus and that Jesus immediately turns to them and says something controversial, a little rebellious, maybe even something calculated to turn some of those folks away.

[00:06:59] [00:07:00] I don't think Jesus was unaware of what he was. I think it's on purpose. I think he maybe was challenging those people. And in case you wonder family values honoring your mother to father taking care of your spouse and your children and others, all of that stuff was just as important than as it is now.

[00:07:21] It's no D. And this passage is one of those that sometimes make me, makes me want to go. Can I just pick and choose what Jesus says in the Bible? You maybe I don't need to read all of the red words. I can skip something. Surely he didn't really need that. The answer to whether or not admitted is started.

[00:07:40] Yes. Or. Let's come back to these in a second. Let's skip ahead in the story. And then circle back to these and see if maybe what comes next. Gives us some understanding of what came before, cuz that happens a lot in the Bible. So he transitions and he tells two little mini parables.

[00:07:58] They're almost more analogies [00:08:00] than they are true parables. Cause you guys are kinda really, it's not a full story. It's just two little nugget. And the first one is about building a tower. And the second one is about going to war without enough troops. I don't really think the details matter, but what is clear is Jesus is making a point about maybe sometimes when you do something you should think about what it's gonna cost before you do it.

[00:08:29] Has anyone got teenage children? That's one of the things that you try to instill in your teenagers, right? Is maybe you wanna think about that before you actually do it and think about what's gonna happen. Cuz choices have consequences. And these examples would actually be clear to people in the first century, by the way.

[00:08:48] Let's face it even for y'all, even if you've never gone to war. It as the king of a kingdom growling the truth. And even if you've never been involved in a [00:09:00] construction project, and I'm sure some of you have, but even if you haven't, I think the concept of maybe I need to think about stuff before I spend the money maybe I need to worry about what I got before I spend it is something that's pretty clear and there's a direct connection.

[00:09:17] And I think that even if they didn't know these specific examples, the people on the crowd would've gotten what it. It, the point is, Jesus is saying, if you wanna follow me, there's probably gonna be a cost. It's gonna cost you something.

[00:09:32] So now let's go back to hate your mother and father and children and family and spouse. And by the way, the second part, he also says, take, jump your cross and follow me too. in two different ways. Jesus is clearly saying you have to give up everything. You have to put me first. If you're going [00:10:00] follow me, you have to not just be joining in the crowd.

[00:10:04] You don't need to take the easy way. It's not about this falling in line. It's about really understanding what it means. Now. I do wanna point out something, the word that is translated in this passage is hate Fued in a lot of different places in the Bible. And I do wanna give it some context because when we hear the word hate, we think of this sort of detesting, someone.

[00:10:33] Cut them out of my life. I hate that person. I wanna cut them out of my life and get rid of it kind of thing. The word actually means to Loveless it. It actually isn't hate the way we mean it, it means to love less. It means not hate as in get rid of, but it does mean don't put this first.

[00:10:58] Don't love this the most. [00:11:00] There's something else you should love more. So he is not saying, get rid of your father and mother, but he is clear to saying, however, the only way you can really honor and love them is if you love me more,

[00:11:18] that cross bearing passage is even part of. A lot of times, I think we think to images of churches on good Friday, and maybe you've seen people carrying the liberal cross and dragging it in as a representation of I'm with cry cross I'm with Christ I'm bearing this cross in the name of Christ, but Jesus is meaning something more than just pick up a physical cross.

[00:11:45] For one thing that symboled has lost the imagery that it would've had at that. At that time. If you mentioned the cross, you are saying that means you have been condemned to death. It [00:12:00] basically was saying, you're up for execution now, your time is up. And Jesus is saying the truth is to really follow me.

[00:12:10] Everything else of the world has to be dead. you have to be willing to give up your life. For me, all of those comforts of the world, power, success, money, fame, comfort, joy, happiness, all of the good adjectives that we could list here. Even those need to come second to the love of. even those must come behind a love of Christ and your membership, a citizen of the kingdom of God that instead of following Jesus, because of what might be in it for us, [00:13:00] it's about sacrificing everything for the sake of others

[00:13:05] in the kingdom of God. we recognize that, you know what Jesus is saying is there is something greater than what we see in the world. There is something bigger out there. There's something better out there. There's something better than being the best husband, the best wife, the best father, the best mother, the best sibling, the best spouse, the best family member.

[00:13:38] Because a need, all of those are high callings. All of those are good goals. All of those are important things, but the real goal, the highest goal is about the relationship that we have with God through Christ. All of this other stuff needs to come [00:14:00] second.

[00:14:00] This isn't about being a better.

[00:14:03] Because the truth is there's nothing that we can do. There's nothing in the world. Even if we take the best thing picture in your head right now, the best thing you can think of and multiply by a thousand percent and still is not the thing that brings you S. Instead, it takes something from outside of us, outside of our humanness, outside of our human relationships, outside of the stuff of the world, it takes something divine being injected into the world and injected into us.

[00:14:45] It takes the love of Christ, his mercy, his grace, his humil. Is loved.

[00:14:53] And I think a lot of folks today, some of us are members of the church because we [00:15:00] were raised in the church. Some of us are members because some else invited us to become part of this group, this crazy group called Christ. , but at some point, most of us made some kind of conscious decision to follow Christ.

[00:15:22] We, we represented it in some way. You may have done a confirmation. You may have had a baptism, a profession of faith. Someone may have come up here and said, I'm joining this church and gone through the membership vows, whatever it is, even if you've come to church late in life or. Me you've left the church for years and then come back like the prodigal son, any of those things are important, but none of them rise to the level that Jesus is talking about here.

[00:15:53] None of them are put everything else second the same way. [00:16:00] I think sometimes it's actually a little too easy to. Jesus. We lose track of what he's really asking for us to do.

[00:16:10] Even if you feel that as a Christian you're mistreated or abused, even if you live in another part of the world, we're actually being a follower of Christ is a death sentence, which by the way, I would argue is a lot more abuse than what most of us face. America, but even there, sometimes we're not really aware of what Jesus is asking us to do.

[00:16:40] You go to megachurch with that strong that it's him online and off, or you go to a tiny church out in the middle of rural south Texas. Sometimes the church focuses on all of the stuff to make it easy to invite people in. And we go through our [00:17:00] parking lot and we try to make sure that there's signs and it's easy.

[00:17:03] We have greeters at the door to welcome people in. We do programming for families and for children, and we invite all of these people in. We wanna make it as easy as possible to follow Jesus. And now don't misunderstand, by the way. I'm not saying we should put up an obstacle course between the parking lot and the door and make everybody jump through it.

[00:17:26] That's not what I'm saying. I'm not saying we need to put up roadblocks for membership, but I am saying that sometimes when we share the gospel, we're tempted to share the good news and make it all about puppies and.

[00:17:41] And what Jesus is saying here, what Jesus is reminding us here is that being a true follower of Christ is also about making really hard choices. Sometimes it's about telling truth to the power. [00:18:00] Sometimes it's about standing up for the mistreated. Sometimes it's about welcoming the outcast that no one else would welcome in.

[00:18:10] Sometimes it's about loving, beyond lovable. It's about justice at times, even when justice is not easy.

[00:18:20] So I'm tempted to say, yeah let us love our children. Let us love our spouses. Love our friends, love our family. Let us honor our father and our mothers let us value the community and the church, our family, both our biological family and our chosen family. But let's not mistake that, or in fact, any relationship we have with each other.

[00:18:48] As being anything less than subservient to the relationship we have with Christ and God. So the truth is if we can get that [00:19:00] relationship and go from there, then we begin to understand what it really means to follow Christ.

[00:19:09] So guys we're tempted to allow our family values to take center stage. And again, this challenge isn't about not loving our family, but it is indeed about loving Jesus more. It's not about subscribing to the expectations of the world, but rather holding ourselves to a higher. Because the truth is that true discipleship always comes with a cost and that cost is always high named the father and son with the holy spirit.

[00:19:49] Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, [00:20:00] but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to stewardship and like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we are serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there until next time invest your.

[00:20:35] Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • Luke 14: 25-33...  
  • A sermon I preached at Medina Valley United Methodist Church...
  • How this passage is about the cost of discipleship...
  • and more.....

"Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:26

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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