The Cost of Discipleship-Part 2.
Out text introduces us to the second would-be follower of Jesus. In verse 59; Jesus invites him to come and “follow him”. This man responds negatively to Jesus’ call to “Follow Me.” He says I'll do it sometime in the future , “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said, "You don't understand. You come into My Kingdom, you let go of the kingdom of this world. Friendship with the world is enmity with the God." If you love the world or the things that are in the world, the love of the Father is not in you.
When come to certain forks in the road in life and in those forks in the road we're asked — Are we going to follow comfort or custom or convention or are we going to follow Jesus? Are we going to follow Christ? This is one of those forks in the road that this man had encountered. “Am I more important than your father?”
He was willing to follow Jesus but just not at the moment. He would follow Jesus when the time was right, when he had more time, when his life was all set, when everything was decent and in order and convenient to go with Jesus. For now being near Jesus was fine; but seriously following Him could wait until later.
There is no doubt that this man was procrastinating. He experienced Jesus’ call on his life to follow him but he did not follow immediately. He looked at his situation, hesitated and chose sin instead of the Saviour.
The issue Jesus is addressing is; who's most important to us — our families or Jesus? The desire for his family was stronger than his desire to follow Jesus. Counting the cost means that you are able to say that Jesus is your only treasure, more important than anything else in my life. And if He is your only treasure then acting upon that declaration. We can’t just say and not do. Notice the command in this sentence. GO & PROCLAIM! If we are truly are His disciples, and Jesus is our only treasure, we will happily GO & PROCLAIM!
ILLUSTRATION: I read a true story this week about a young missionary girl named Ruby Kendrick that perfectly illustrates what it means to count the cost of being a disciple of Christ.
Ruby Kendrick was born to John and Kate Kendrick in Plano, Texas on January 28, 1883. She graduated from Plano High School in 1903. Interested in pursuing missionary work, she attended a number of Bible schools to acquire skills for missionary work.
In 1907 the Ladies’ Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South appointed Ruby Kendrick to serve five years in Korea. She set sail on August 29, 1907. In Korea, she was a language student and Sunday school teacher. She loved the children and served selflessly so that the glorious gospel of Jesus would be proclaimed to all.
About ten months after arriving in Korea, Ruby wrote the following letter home:
This land, Chosun, is truly a beautiful land. They all resemble God. I see their good heart and zeal for the gospel, and I believe that in few years it will be a land overflowing with the love of Christ. I saw children walking over 10 miles on barefoot to hear the gospel and the love of God in them encourages me.
But the persecution is getting stronger. Two days ago, three or four of those who have accepted Christ less than a week have been dragged away and were martyred. Missionary Thomas and James were also martyred. There were orders from the mission board to return, but most of the missionaries are in hiding and worshiping with those whom they have shared the gospel with. It seems that they are all planning to be martyred. Tonight, I have strong desire to return home.
I remember you mom who resisted to the last moment of me leaving the port because of the stories of the hate of foreigners and opposition to the gospel.
Dad, Mom! Perhaps, this may be the last letter I will be writing. The seed that was sown in the backyard before I came out here must be filling our neighborhood with flowers. Another seed bears many flowers in the land of Korea and they will be seeds to other nations.
I will bury my heart in this land. I realized that this passion for Korea that I have is not mine but God’s passion toward Korea.
Mom, Dad! I love you.
Before her letter arrived home, and less than a year after arriving in Korea, on June 20, 1908, Ruby Kendrick died of appendicitis at Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea. She was just 25 years old. At her request she was buried in Korea. The words engraved on her tombstone in Korea are these, “If I had a thousand lives to give, Korea should have them all.”
1Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
Are you showing forth the praises of HIM who has called you out of darkness into HIS marvellous light? Ask yourselves one simple question: “Is Jesus my treasure?” If He is your treasure then you won't mind giving up anything and everything else that's not your treasure. But, if you are struggling to count the Cost of Discipleship and finding it hard to give up your other treasures, chances are that He's not the treasure to you that He ought to be. Chances are your heart is divided and that's what Jesus is getting at here. He wants disciples whose hearts are not divided.
Discussion Questions –
- A Disciple of Jesus Must Count the Cost (9:57-58) –
- What is the spiritual struggle that Jesus has identified in this man in v.57?
- Does Jesus advocate asceticism?
- Why is the pursuit of wealth a dangerous path for Christians? -1 Timothy 3:3, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15, Matthew 6:19, Matthew 6:24.
- A Disciple of Jesus Must Faithfully Obey (9:59-60) –
- What is the main sin issue revealed by this man’s answer in v.59?
- Is Jesus forbidding all Christians to bury their parents?
- “Secular matters belong to secular people” is this a true or false statement? Explain your answer.
- A Disciple of Jesus Must Not Look Back (9:61-62) –
- What are the similarities in Jesus answer and the proverb in 1 Kings 19?
- Does the Apostle Paul contradict this teaching of Jesus in Phil. 3:13-14?
- What is the main issue Jesus is addressing in v.62?
Share some of your own lessons learnt from this passage of scripture…………….