Pentecost 16
September 23, 2001
Luke 14:26, 27, 33
"Excluded by Jesus?"

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INTRODUCTION: "He cannot be My disciple!"  Did you hear the words of the Savior? Some consider Christianity to be a "free for all". The road to the Kingdom of God is considered a freeway with six lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper. It seems as though Christianity is for all wh9o care to come.  Yet, consider the words of our Gospel lesson for this morning.  Three times Jesus says emphatically "He can not be My disciple!"  Not the final, definite, categorical word "He cannot be My disciple!"  You cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ unless - It is time the Church start thinking of quality rather than quantity of members. Today consider the cost.

There is a cost of being a disciple of Jesus. In our text for this morning Jesus tells us that you can not be His disciple unless…

1.   You love Him more than your family - v. 26 – “If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Some have discredited the faith claiming that Jesus by these words wants us to discredit our families. Notice, however, what Jesus tells us. He does not say to disown them. To the contrary, we love them, respect them, and honor them.  However, we dare not place anyone in including ourselves above the Savior.

To be a disciple means that He must have our total allegiance. We are to be devoted totally to Him. He must increase wee must decrease. He must be our top priority. It's not that we give up our family - rather, the love, honor and respect we have for family finds its root and foundation in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.

TRANSITION: We need to consider the cost of being a disciple. We can not love Him more then family. Likewise, we must also suffer with Him.

2.   You can not be a disciple unless you bear a cross of adversity - v. 27 - Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

The words of Jesus are to the point. You can not be a disciple unless you're willing to suffer with Him. Recall His words "whoever dies not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple!" 

Suffering is something we all tend to shy away from. Most people desire a more quiet life a good life one that is free from stress and adversity. The Christian life is contrary to the ways of the world and because the world is contrary to the Gospel there will be crosses of adversity, which will come our way.

Crosses suggest that we do not always take the easy way out, or as the world would have things done. The world suggests that you take command, that you take control, that you take charge. Yet, in the words of the hymn we take another road and another way:

Nearer my Lord, to thee
Nearer to Thee!
Who to Thy cross didst come
Dying for me!
Strengthen my willing feet!
Hold me in service sweet
Nearer O Christ to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!

{Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book #520 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO 1930}

TRANSITION:  We need to consider the cost of being a disciple. As we consider the cost He must be included in everything in our life.

3.  You can not be a disciple unless you make Him you chief treasure - v. 33 - So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

We must give up everything as chief importance to follow Him> He must be our chief pirouette. Everything must be second to Him. If anything stands in the way of Christ we are not His true disciples. This simply means that we must take inventory of our lives and ask ourselves only one question: Is Jesus my first priority? Where does He stand with respect to my family, my friends, my vocation, and my priorities? He must be my chief treasure. He must take first place in my life.

CONCLUSION:  

Jesus, I my cross have taken,
All to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken,
Thou, from hence, my all shalt be.
Perish each found ambition
All I've sought, or hoped, or known.
Yet how rich is my condition!
God and heaven are still mine own

{The Lutheran Hymnal, #423 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO 1942}

+ Soli Deo Gloria +

Pentecost 16 (Series C) Sermon from 1998