delivered on 5/7//2017
Luke 9:57-62 The Cost Of Discipleship
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Oswald Chambers, (My Utmost for His Highest) explains self-denial as “Surrender for Devotion”: “The surrender here is of myself to Jesus, with His rest at the heart of my being. He says, ‘If you want to be My disciple, you must give up your right to yourself to Me.’ And once this is done, the remainder of your life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender, and you never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for you. Whatever your circumstances may be, Jesus is totally sufficient”
After hearing the Gospel….receiving this new life in Christ, many still today refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Whenever we choose to disobey Christ, we get hurt, we get confused, we get frustrated of the outcome. From our text, a certain man refuses to surrender his life to Jesus for salvation. Till this day, there are some who claim to have given their life to Christ, but refuse to surrender to Jesus’ direction in their lives, some still want some control in their lives.
A common phrase in the church today is “I am going to commit my life to Jesus”. You have heard it and I have said it! “Give your life to Jesus, Or who wants to receive Christ as their Savior?” Savior, but not Lord. Having Jesus as Lord means that we have to submit to His will. But when you really look at the words, ( commit, give, receive.) you will find that those words doesn’t go far enough. At times, it may not have any meaning, other than words being spoken.
Adrian Rogers, Pastor, televangelist, tells a story about a conversation he had with a man from Romania named “Josef T’son. They were talking about the difference between “Commitment” & “Surrender” T’son said, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, study the Bible, give his money, to make automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he or she chooses to do, they commit to it. “Surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that individual what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told.” But the key word is surrender. We are to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So… if someone was to ask you, are committed to Jesus, or are you surrendered to Jesus? What would your answer be?
Let us see what we can learn from our text today, let us hear what Jesus has to say when it comes to those who wants to commit, but fail in surrender.
Submission to Jesus is a must. Look at verse 57-58. “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
We see a certain wanting to make a commitment in following Jesus. It’s clear on what was said right? “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Clear correct?
In Matthew’s account of this event we are told that this man was a Scribe…
19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Same event correct! In Luke’s account, “someone said to Him”. Here on Matthew, “a certain scribe”. Same event, non the less. A scribe was a “teacher of religious law” This event takes place shortly after Peter’s Mother in Law was healed. After this we read that “That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick”
So… this scribe saw something in Jesus, he just witnessed God’s power through His Son. He is probably saying to himself, hmmm… I will follow this Man! It is possible that this “scribe” was among the great crowd that was with Jesus as He healed many. He comes to Jesus and says… “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Keep in mind, you and I at one point or another, had said the very same thing,
Notice Jesus' reply - “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Jesus wasn’t turning this man away, He was explaining to him the “cost of being a disciple” He makes it clear to the scribe that there was more to following Jesus than meets the eye. It will take more than just mere words. Many time’s you will find many who get caught up in the excitement of others. They see God moving and great things happening and they want in on it! They need help and they think that Jesus is the answer… And of course we know that Jesus is the answer, but the problem is that many want to make a commitment instead of surrendering to Jesus.
Webster’s defines- “Surrender” as - the action of yielding one's person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
Surrender is illustrated in the actions of Simon, Andrew, James & John after Jesus called them to be His disciples:
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Wow!!! Just like that, Jesus called, and they followed. No questions asked…Who are you Lord? Why should we follow You? We have never seen you before, why should we follow you? Again… no questions asked, they just followed, and obeyed! Their lives were changed forever, just by meeting Jesus.
They left their home, their family, their job, their life as they knew it to follow Christ. When Jesus calls your name you must SUBMIT to Him! You are to live a life of complete surrender to the Savior! James, John, Peter, Andrew, Matthew and the others did not begin following Jesus and then go back to their regular life. They didn’t go back to fishing or collecting taxes… they followed Jesus until the day they died for Jesus!!
What about you? Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ or have you made a half hearted commitment? Have you given your all to Jesus and followed Him faithfully Or did you walk His way for a while and then return to what you were before? Can we easily…also put our names there, where the Disciples names are mentioned? Point to the …(Powerpoint)
The biggest problem for many, when it comes to “Surrendering” to Jesus is that they are too concerned with the things of this world. At times following Jesus, may come with a condition…
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
The response is quite different from the Apostles, the apostles just dropped everything and followed Jesus. Here we see a different response. Jesus now offers a man the opportunity to “Follow Him”. What a great privilege this man received. The same words Jesus said to the Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, and others He said to follow Him. And Jesus is still calling men and women to “follow Him” today.
Jesus gave this man an invitation and the man wanted to accept it, but he had something that was important to him that he wanted to attend to. He said “Lord, let me go and bury my Father and then I am yours” This man’s Father was either dead or at the point of death. There was a custom for the Jew that if he had duty to perform concerning the dead he was exempt from any other responsibility or duty. We still do that today, whenever we have a family member that dies, what do we do? We ask for time off at work, and when it comes to death, they are willing to apply to the request. This may sound like an honorable request but the greater point is found in Jesus’ response to this man’s request.
Jesus is telling this man to let the spiritually dead bury the natural dead. Jesus is offering eternal life, would you take it, would you follow Him? And if you have, are you still totally surrendered today? What would hinder you from surrendering all to Jesus today?
Could it be that, there are still thing you would like to do, or accomplish? Maybe you are still happy with the way your life is now, and you are in no need of a savior.
Show Pic: Spurgeon Pic
There are some things in this life that we just want to accomplish. This applies to the saved and the lost. The problem is we will never “Surrender All” if we let our personal aspirations get between us and God. there are places you want to go. Things you want to see... goals you want to reach, and because of these things many refuse to surrender ALL to Christ! We like the idea of peace and joy and eternal life but we still want to live this life for ourselves… THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!!
If it’s not about yourself, goals, accomplishment, places to see. Is it a family thing? (Obligations, traditions, and so on)
From our text, we can understand where this man is coming from. His father has passed away or close to death and he wanted to go and bury him. The problem is not that he wanted to bury his Father. The problem is that he was giving Jesus a postponed commitment instead of complete surrender! Wait-wait-wait, Lord, I just got to do this one thing, then I’m all yours.
So many people today put their family in front of Jesus. They can’t serve or honor their responsibilities in the church because their children have so much going on. They can’t do Kingdom work because they put their relationship with their spouse first before their relationship with Jesus! My mom and dad does not believe in Jesus that way, they’re more in tradition. Jesus makes it clear that if you are going to be His disciple your family CANNOT COME BETWEEN YOU AND HIM.
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
I can’t go to church today, my husbands too tired. This is my only day, and I would like to spend it with my family. My son has a game today, I’ll see you next week. You name, it goes on and on.
Church…Jesus understands what situation you are in. If you have to leave town for a weekend, for whatever reason, He knows, He understands. If it’s work that is hindering you from church, let Him change your schedule…if that is really the desire of heart. If you are to make a mental calendar…in your head make a count, a tally if you will, on how many times in a year you were involved in God’s work, more than your personal life. (Career, job family) Keep in mind, we’re not just talking about Sunday’s here. You’re a Christian seven days a week.
If you have that answer in your head, then this is what God is saying to you today. (Poweroint)
Going back to our text. Is following Jesus…will it ruin your reputation, whatever it is? Will your friends and family think that you are weird, or think differently of you because you are following Jesus? I wonder if this man thought to himself “what will my friends and neighbors think if I don’t bury my father?” Too many people today are concerned with what the world is going to think about them if they get saved. Too many Christians are worried about what the world will think if they “Surrender All” to the Lord. If you seek to SURRENDER ALL to Jesus …This world, your family, your aspirations and desires cannot come before Jesus.
Listen to what the Apostle John had to say…
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This is not just talking about Sundays here church! This is our everyday life. Do you still remember the joke that I always tell my wife whenever we go out of town? “Oooh, I’m gonna get drunk here, I’m gonna pig out, I’m not a pastor here, nobody knows me here, I won’t stumble anybody.” “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. We’re called Christians where ever we go. Because it is God that made that call. This verse is for you and I, each and every day!
Eyes fixed on Jesus at all times. Kingdom mentality.
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
After submitting to the Lord and denying the world then our lives will be Christ’s not our own. Remember what Paul said in…
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” This man gives Jesus a promise that came with some conditions. He say’s “Jesus I will follow you after I tell everyone goodbye” He wanted to set his affairs in order.
This is a common issue in the lives of many today… MISPLACED PRIORITIES!! Our priorities must be in order or we will never be where God wants us to be. We can never be used by God, until we come to the reality that we His.
So many lost people have the mindset that they will surrender to Jesus when they feel the time is right... when they finish sowing their wild oats...sort a say. After they have taken care of certain things or until they "clean themselves up". I have to clean up my life first, then I’ll go to Jesus. Newsflash!!! We cannot do that alone…not by ourselves. Jesus wants you…come as you are, and I will make you new! So many Christians fail to give their all because their priorities are NOT IN ORDER! Honestly… it will never be in order unless Jesus is first in your life.
When plowing, a farmer has to keep his eye on the work at hand. If he were to turn his eyes away, the field would be ruined instantly. This “looking back” that Jesus is speaking of refers to
Going back to our old selves, our old habits. A life focused on self rather than God. So many have put their hand to the plow and then turned and looked back. Lives were never made new. They were just going through the motion. I’m saved under my conditions!
From a devotion that I read about a Pastor named Bruce Larson tells…
How he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ: For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders.
There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. 'Now that's one way to live,' I would point out to my companion, 'trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.' "On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand.
My point was illustrated graphically. "We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, 'I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world.
Please… I am in no way promoting idolatry with these pictures. These were just the statues that Pastor Bruce Larson showed the people that he was trying to help.
The “Cost of Following Jesus”, will cost you your life. Not much else was mentioned in regards to our text. But Jesus is clear on what it would take, or what it will cost you! If you are here today, God is giving you that same command. “Follow Me”. The question is, will you drop everything like the Apostles and follow Him, or are you like the men in our text that still have conditions to deal with before they follow, and obey?
John 6:66-69 (NIV)
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
It is not by accident that those who turned their backs on Jesus ended with that verse number.
They never belonged to Him! They have their priorities, and it was not Jesus!
Pastor Richard Santos
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