The Parables of Jesus # 2
Cost of Discipleship

Tonight we will be looking at the second of the parables of Jesus, which is found in Luke chapter fourteen, verses twenty-
five through thirty-three. Again, we will no be looking at the parables chapter by chapter, but instead alphabetically.  

Luke 14:25-33
 25. And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
 26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters,
       yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
 27. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Verse 25 - And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

[A] I always find it amazing at the number of people who were always following Jesus

 [B] It would be interesting to know why so many did.
        [1] Was it to hear what he had to say?
        [2] Was it to see him perform a miracle?
        [3] Was it because they believed him to be the Messiah?
        [4] Were they hoping to get a handout?
        [5] Was it some other reason all together?

 [C] Whatever the reason, there always seemed to be a crowd around everywhere he went.

Verse 26 - If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and
      sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

 [A] This is one of the harshest statements I have ever heard.

 [B] Anyone who comes to Jesus and does not hate his family, can’t be his disciples – what does this mean?
        [1] Does Jesus mean that we are not to have a family?
        [2] Does he mean that we are to hate the families we have?
        [3] Does he mean that we are to turn from our family and follow only him, disregarding our families well being?
[C] The meaning of this is really very clear.
         [1] Christ must be loved supremely, or he is not loved at all.
                [a] Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all they mind and all they might.
                [b] Anything that’s loved more than you love Jesus is not proper love. Christ is our first love, and he is to be
                         our greatest love.
                [c] If we are not willing to give up all earthly possessions, and forsake all earthly friends; we are no worthy of
                         him
                [d] If we do not obey him rather than all others, we have no true attachment to him.  
         [2] Those who do not, Is not worthy of him.
                 [a] If we do not love Christ that much, we are not fit to be regarded as a follower of Christ, or in other words,
                         cannot be regarded as a Christian.

Verse 27 - And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 [A] And he that taketh not his cross,
         [1] When a person was condemned to be crucified, a part of the sentence was, that they should carry the cross
                 on which they were to die to the place of execution.
                 [a] Thus Christ carried his, till he fainted from fatigue and exhaustion.
                 [b] The cross was usually composed of two rough beams of wood, united in the form of a cross.
                 [c] It was an instrument of death.
                 [d] To carry it was burdensome, was disgraceful, was trying to the feelings, was an addition to the
                         punishment.
         [2] So, to carry the cross is a figurative expression, denoting that we must endure whatever is burdensome, or
                 trying, or considered as disgraceful, in following Christ.
                 [a] It consists simply in doing our duty, let the world think of it or speak of it as they may.
                 [b] It does not consist in making trouble for ourselves, or doing things merely to be opposed; it is doing just
                         what is required of us in the Scriptures, let it produce whatever shame, disgrace, or pain it may.

 [B] If one is not willing to take up their cross, they cannot be Christ disciple

 [C] It goes deeper than this, not only much one take up their cross, they must follow Jesus
        [1] What does it mean to follow Jesus?

 [D] Than we come to the Parable

Luke 14:28-33
 28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have
       sufficient to finish it?
 29. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
 30. Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
 31. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able
       with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
 32. Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
 33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Verse 28. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have
 sufficient to finish it?

 [A] In this parable, Jesus instructs his followers, and his potential followers, that there is more to following him than just
         simply accepting him as their savior.  

 [B] Before beginning any venture, before starting anything, one should sit down and determine whether they are ready
         to begin, whether they have the ability finish the project and whether they have what it takes to complete the
         course
         [1] If one starts to build a building and they run our of money, energy, and or materials before it is completed,
                 what good is the building?
        [2] If one determines halfway through the project that it’s just too hard, and they simply quit, what good is the
                 project?
        [3] If one starts something, and sits down expecting others to finish is for them, will it ever be completed?

 [C] When one starts following Jesus, they must commit themselves to it completely.
         [1] Just having one’s name on a church role is not enough
         [2] Just going to church is not enough
         [3] Giving large sums of money is not enough.
         [4] Committing oneself to Christ when they feel like it is not enough.
         [5] If one wants to make it to heaven, they must commit themselves to Jesus fully, totally, and Completely.

Verse 29 – 30 - Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

 [A] Here Jesus is speaking of those in the world, mocking someone for not being able to finish what they started.
        [1] You have to admit, if someone started building a huge skyscraper, and only finished it half way up, leaving the
                 top stories open, with all the steel exposed, you would feel like mocking them.        
        [2] In World War II, when the Germans invaded Poland, they had tanks, Poland had men on horses. Germany
                 mocked them, and Poland still has people who mock them today, as a people who aren’t very intelligent. It’s
                 not true, but the concept remains with them.
        [3] Here in America, Christianity is so weak, that the secular community is taking away our religious freedoms.
                 They are mocking us, because we have no power to fight them. They do what they want, and laugh in our
                 faces, and we are left holding the bag. Instead of claiming and using the power God had given us, we sit
                 back and allow the mockers to overrun us. We are not able to finish the course, we underestimated the
                 power of the enemy, and failed to build up our strengths sufficiently.

 [B] To sum it all up, Jesus wants a person to make a real commitment to him, determining first what he desires of them,
         and then commitment themselves to doing it. Words are not enough, there has to be truth shown in our actions
         and in the way we live our lives.

Verse 31. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able
 with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

 [A] This stands to reason doesn’t it? How can an army of a thousand, hope to defeat an army of twenty- thousand?

 [B] How can a the true believers in Christ, hope to make a difference in the world, in the fight against the evils that are
         trying to topple everything we believe in?
         [1] When one looks at the world and they see all the evils that lurk around every corner, and they see the secular
                 community fighting against everything that’s good, then they find that the church, which is supposed to be
                 fighting against these things, is accepting them, it’s very discouraging.
        [2] What we must do, is gather together the true believers, and join forces.
        [3] We must determine in our hearts that we are still on the winning side, and the forces of heaven are with us.
        [4] We cannot run away and hide, we have to stand our ground and fight, by preaching the truth, proclaiming what
                 Christ wants us to proclaim, and by spending a lot of time on our knees.

Verses 32 – 33 - Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of
 peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

 [A] As I studied this parable, it seemed to say that if we are outnumbered, we are to make peace with the Enemy, but
         this is not what Jesus is speaking of here. Instead he is simply telling us that we are to be sure of ourselves
         before we go in to battle, and before we begin anything, so that we will not be disappointed  

 [B] He talks of sending out an ambassage (a delegation) to make peace.
         [1] We are never to make peace with the enemy of God, Satan, but we do have an ambassage, who has already
                 gone before us, and defeated the enemy and made a way for us to have peace in our heart.
        [2] Jesus already defeated Satan, we reap the benefits of his defeat when we receive Jesus Christ into our heart.
                 Even though our enemy is bigger and meaner than we are, we can have peace in our heart, and soul simply
                 by believing in Jesus and following him.  

 [C] This parable is to speaking to the spiritual, instead of the physical. It can be expressed in the following ways:
         [1] Every person who becomes a follower of Christ should calmly and deliberately look at the consequences of
                 making that decision and be prepared to meet them. It’s going to cost them a great deal to follow Jesus with
                 all their heart, mind, soul, and strength
         [2] When one decided to do other things, whether is to build a house, or fight a war, men act with prudence and
                 forethought. They do not begin to build without a reasonable prospect of being able to finish. They do not
                 go to war when there is every prospect that they will be defeated. We don’t start following Jesus thinking we
                 might not be able to complete the course. When one accepts Jesus and determines in their heart to follow
                 him, they must make a determined commitment to him, determining in their heart and mind to stay the
                 course no matter what happens, and no matter what obstacles Satan throws into their path. Giving up is not
                 an option.
         [3] Religion is a work of soberness, of thought, of calm and fixed purpose, and no man can properly enter on it
                 who does not resolve by the grace of God to fulfill all its requirements and make it the business of his life.
                 Becoming a member of a church is not enough. Christ has laid out certain things that he expects us to do,
                 and we are expected to do them, out of respect and in honor of him. When one makes a commitment to
                 Jesus, those things are not a burden instead it becomes a blessing to be able to do them.
         [4] We are to expect difficulties in our religion. It will cost us the mortification of our sins, and a life of self-denial,
                 and a conflict with our lusts, and the enmity and ridicule of the world. Perhaps it may cost us our reputation,
                 or possibly our lives and liberties, and all that is dear to us; but we must cheerfully undertake all this, and be
                 prepared for it all. Whatever it may cost us, is worth it, for when we are faced with the option of not following
                 Jesus, all the difficulties we might have to face is small, and all the difficulties we might face is worth the
                 knowledge that we are serving Christ and ready to meet him.
         [5] If we do not deliberately resolve to leave all things, to suffer all things that may be laid on us, and to persevere
                 to the end of our days in the service of Christ, we cannot be his disciples. No man can be a Christian who,
                 when he makes a profession, is resolved after a while to turn back to the world; nor can he be a true
                 Christian if he expects that he will turn back. If he comes not with a full purpose always to be a Christian; if
                 he means not to persevere, by the grace of God, through all hazards, and trials, and temptations; if he is
                 not willing to bear his cross, and meet contempt, and poverty, and pain, and death, without turning back, he
                 cannot be a disciple of the Lord Jesus.
        [6] The bottom line is, Following Christ is serious business, not something to be taken lightly. It must be entered
                 into with a determined attitude, and a receptive spirit. When difficulties come, instead of running away, one
                 must learn to praise God and pray. Difficulties should not come between you and God, instead they should
                 draw you closer to him.

Luke 14:34-35
 34. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
 35. It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Verse 34 - Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
[A] Matthew 5:13 states  - Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it
          is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
         [1] Ye are the salt of the earth.
                 [a] Salt makes food taste good, and is also used to preserve it
                 [b] Christians, by the way they live their lives and by the instructions they give others, are to keep the world
                         from moral corruption. By their prayers, they are to bring down the blessing of God, and by their
                         influence and example, they are to save the world from universal vice and crime.
         [2] Salt have lost his savour.
                 [a] If the salt has become tasteless, or loses it’s preserving properties it is no longer good.
                 [b] The salt we use in this country is a chemical compound--muriate of soda-- and if the saltness were lost,
                         or it were to lose its savour, there would be nothing remaining. Our salt enters into the very nature of
                         the substance, therefore, it never loses it’s savor.
                 [c] In eastern countries, the salt used was impure, mingled with vegetable and earthy substances; so that it
                         might lose the whole of its saltness, and a considerable quantity of earthy matter remain. This was
                         good for nothing, except that it was used, as it is said, to place in paths, or walks, as we use gravel.
                         This kind of salt is common still in that country. It is found in the earth in veins or layers, and when
                         exposed to the sun and rain, loses its saltness entirely.  A man by the name of Maundrell says,  "I
                         broke a piece of it, of which that part that was exposed to the rain, sun, and air, though it had the
                         sparks and particles of salt, yet it had perfectly lost its savour. The inner part, which was connected to
                         the rock, retained its savour, as I found by proof."

 [B] Back to Luke 14: 34. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
          [1] Salt is good.
                 [a] Salt has a useful purpose. We need it to preserve life and health, and to keep from things from rotting.
          [2] If it has lost it’s savour or saltness. It becomes tasteless and useless.
          [3] If it has lost it saltiness how can it be used fro seasoning.

Verse 35 - It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  [A] It is not fit for land---        
         [1] It will not bear fruit of itself.        
         [2] You can’t sow or plant on it.

  [B] It is not good for the dunghill.
         [1] It is not good for manure.
         [2] It will not enrich the land.

  [C] Instead it has to be cast out.
         [1] Its thrown away because it’s useless.
         [2] The only use for it is to place it in the paths and on the roads to be uses as for walking upon.

  [D] He that hath ears,
        [1] Here Jesus is issuing a warning to mankind – Listen up – if you lose your savor, you will be cast out, cast
                 aside, and are worthless to me.        

  [E] Now, considering what salt does for us, and the ways it is used,
        [1] How are we the salt of the earth?