To Follow Jesus Disciples Must Obey
Luke 14:25-35

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To Follow Jesus Disciples Must Obey

Bible Passage: Luke 14:25-35

By the end of this session, each learner should be able to. . . .

(Know) Understand the difference between being a believer and being a disciple
(Feel) Recognize the questions that a disciple of Christ must address
(Do) Demonstrate loyalty to Jesus through your obedience


Ask each member of the class to ask their neighbor the following question: What is the difference between joining a club and being an active member?


Today, we are going to focus on the teaching that in following Jesus disciples must obey his commands.

In Luke 14 large crowds began following following Jesus. His reputation had spread. His popularity had grown. But in reality the crowds were not on the same page as Jesus.

We have all seen interviews on television or in the newspaper that go something like this: "I believe there’s only one Creator, and that everyone should be praying. No matter what you call your God, whether you call Him he, a she, or it, you should pray. Some call him Allah, some Christ, and Buddah. The important thing is for people to pray regardless of who or what they think God is. I believe in peace and Humanity. I believe in including everyone."

Initially, the idea of one Creator and the importance of prayer sounds good. But beyond that, you discover religious beliefs that are inconsistent with the teachings of Christ.

What we will notice from our Bible text today, is that the longer the large crowds listened to Jesus the more they realized that to follow Jesus disciples had to make choices. They realized what little they had in common with Him. Jesus spells out in the clearest language possible, what must happen to be his disciple.

Bible Input

Read: Luke 14:25-35

Just because a person was traveling with Jesus, doesn’t mean he wanted to become one of Jesus disciples. And today, just because people attend church doesn’t mean they are following Jesus.

When Major Ian Thomas would hold his week-long meetings in various congregations, he often said, "On Sunday, I would always meet the church goers. But on Monday, I would meet Jesus disciples."

Being a disciple assumes that a relationship with Christ exists. Luke 14 teaches us that the essence of being Christ’s disciple is a willingness to give up everything for Him. A disciple claims no rights, and makes no demand. A disciple is totally willing, totally available, totally confident and totally obedient.

Life Application

Jesus asks his "would be" disciples four questions that we must also ask ourselves:

First question for Jesus disciples:
Where’s your loyalty?

Luke 14:26 - If anyone does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters -- yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.

Jesus wants us to place him above our closest relationships. Can anything be more emotionally difficult to accept than the notion of risking the approval of your family? Even Jesus understood the opposition that can come from family members.

Mark 3:21 - When Jesus’ family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Mark 3:32 - A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” “Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. They he looked at those seated around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother."

Read a devotional about being loyal to God.

Second question for Jesus disciples:
Will you let Me lead your life?

Luke 14:27 - Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

The two key words are “cross” and "Me". The cross represents death. Following “ME” refers to who will be determining the direction of your life. We’re simply talking about dying to your own plans and giving Jesus credit for knowing how best to use you.

In Gal. 2:20 - The Apostle Paul said, I am crucified with Christ, I no longer live.

One thing true of a person hanging on a cross -- he has made no further plans.

Jesus was crucified between two thieves. Can you imagine one of them turning to the other and saying, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

Every disciple of Jesus must ask and answer this question: "Will you let me lead your life? OR will you insist on being in charge?"

Third question for Jesus disciples:
Do you understand the cost?

Luke 14:28-30 - If a builder doesn’t estimate the cost of building a tower, he may not be able to finish to task.

Luke 14:31-33 - If a king is about to go to war, but then realizes that he is outnumbered, he should stop the war before it ever begins.

The cost of being Jesus' disciple is giving up anything and everything that would come between you and Him:

  • Every human relationship that would compete for your loyalty.
  • Every future plan that would be contrary to Christ’s leading.
  • Everything else that doesn’t come under those two areas.

  • He wants us to be convinced that if we give up everything -- the cost will be worth it. Jesus doesn’t want you to begin something only to later say, "It’s not worth it."

    I’m not sure there’s a way to totally eliminate every possibility of doubt. Life is long & unpredictable. But the one thing you can do that will minimize any regret, is to make sure you're giving up everything to Christ. In other words, don’t give your life to a cause, a need, an organization, a program, or to a pastor.

    When we say to ourselves, “I’m never gonna get involved like that again.” What they are saying is, "it wasn’t worth it." But why? Very likely because they were giving everything they had to an organization, not to Christ Himself.

    Examine your dedication to spiritual disciplines.

    Learn to be a disciple through practicing the Christian disciplines.
    Fourth question for Jesus disciples:
    Who are you influencing?

    Luke 14:34 - Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is thrown out.

    The true follower of Jesus influences others.

    This is perhaps the simplest litmus test of see if someone is really following Jesus, or just pretending. Simply ask them, "Who are you influencing for Jesus? Who you are discipling?"

    There is a very serious warning in these final verses. Jesus is warning us to be careful. A disciple could easily lose his influence.

    How could that happen?

  • If his loyalty was wavering
  • If he was unwilling to let Jesus lead
  • If he was beginning to give up or give in

  • If all of that was happening, there would be nothing distinctive about his life. For that moment, his influence would be gone.

    This is the picture of the Apostle Peter in the courtyard right after Jesus was arrested.

    He was more loyal to protecting himself than identifying himself with Jesus.
    He relied on his own will power rather than listening to Jesus.
    He felt the pressure and decided that giving up his life was not worth it.
    Peter did not lose his relationship with Jesus, but in that moment, he lost his influence.

    Who are we influencing?

    Learn more about influencing others through friendships and relationships.

    We can easily see that when Jesus asks for:

  • our loyalty
  • our submission to His leading
  • a cost to be paid
  • an influence to others

  • He isn't asking us to just "join a club." He's asking us to be active. He's asking us to be disciples - followers and learners.

    Discussion Questions

    1. Which one of the four questions of discipleship presented today is most relevant to your life? Why? Ask several members of your group to share. Which of these questions have you been struggling with in your own relationship with Jesus?

    2. If a believer is interested in pursuing a discipling relationship with Jesus, how would he/she go about it?

    3. Being Jesus’ disciple is not based on our enthusiasm, dedication, or will power. How does the presence of God’s Spirit provide the power to live the life described in Luke 14?

    4. Give examples of being an influence for Jesus.

    Author: Paul Schlieker

    Need a sermon about getting started in disciple making? Listen to The DNA of Jesus.

    Want to learn more about being and making disciples of Jesus? Read back copies of our newsletter. Don't miss a single issue - Subscribe here. You'll get a free pdf of two pages of Paul's latest book - Kingdom-Driven Discipleship. It's all about making disciples of Jesus where you live, work, and play.

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