The Character of Jesus 54
The Cost of Discipleship
Luke 14:25 – 35
- Characteristic: Realistic
- (25) Through miracles and engaging teaching, Jesus had developed a huge following. In the following statements, He addressed the reality of the situation, that following such a message as His would likely be hazardous and costly.
- (26) Hate is a strong word. Jesus used it intentionally, although the meaning is figurative. (cf, Matthew 5:43 – 48, Ephesians 5:29, 1 John 2:9 – 11, 3:15, 4:20)
- (27) The hearers would understand the reference as crucifixion, which was common and described in this way.
- (28 – 30) Common sense financial planning is expected in life.
- (31 – 32) Common sense resource management is expected in life.
- (33) This conclusion must be understood as relating to the parables that precede. Following Jesus requires commitment of all resources. “Forsake” does not imply to divest, but to commit to the project, holding nothing in reserve.
- (34 – 35) The salt of that day was a mixture of salts, not pure sodium chloride. The more soluble salts are those that cause the desired results: flavor enhancement, preservation, odor control, and weed control. If the more soluble salts are lost due to moisture (getting washed out), the remainder is useless. So, being a part of the bulk is not enough. Accomplishing a necessary function is required.
- Application: Realistic
- A positive message need not omit the reality
- How is this still good news?
- How does this committed attitude lead to joy or peace?
- How does a “good news only” message lead to peace and joy?
- How does such a message affect attendance?
- How well does a commitment focus mesh with an emphasis on guilt or worthlessness?
- How does facing reality affect the message?
- No more hiding myself. God knows the real me. So should the other faithful.
- Committing all resources reduces stress due to competing demands.
- We only go “all in” when we are certain and the objective is important.
- A positive message need not omit the reality of commitment.