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Luke 14: How to Follow Jesus Every Day

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, How to be a Fully Committed Disciple of Jesus Christ.

Luke 14:25-35

This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, How to be a Fully Committed Disciple of Jesus Christ.

What is the definition of disciple? The word disciple means “learner.” A disciple learns from his master and then becomes like his master.

Would you like to be a follower of Christ? It is not as easy as you may think. Salvation is free, but discipleship costs.

Luke 14:25-26
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “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.”

At this time, Jesus was at the zenith of His ministry and popularity. All these people were clamoring after Him. What does He do now? He thins out the crowd. In the sternest terms possible, He talks to them about something shocking: the cost of discipleship.

We will look at what it means to be true disciples of Jesus. Hopefully, you will say at the end, “I want to pay the price, because it is worth it.” Jesus wants disciples who will worship at any cost.

The Cost of Discipleship

Follow Jesus Before Relationships

You are called to hate father, mother, wife, children, and brethren. (See Luke 14:26.)

“Now, wait a minute! I thought Jesus taught us to love.”

He does. Jesus is not breaking the commandment to “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12a).

If you love Jesus, you will love your family more. The word “hate” is used here in comparison, to mean choice. As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24a). Choose to follow Jesus first. Prioritize your relationship with Him.

Follow Jesus Before Reputation

Luke 14:26
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.

You should not love yourself more than you love Christ, either.

The modern theme is, “Fulfill yourself.” You should have a healthy self-image. But if it comes between you and Him, you must say no to yourself and yes to Jesus Christ. Are you willing to do that?

Take Up Your Cross to Follow Jesus

Luke 14:27
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

A cross is not a thing of beauty. Can you imagine somebody wearing a miniature electric chair on a chain around the neck? To take up your cross is a thing, ultimately, of shame and reproach.

But Jesus followers will worship at any cost.

A cross is something that you willingly take up—you don’t have to bear it. Jesus said, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:17-18a).

The Work of a Disciple of Jesus

What does it mean to be a disciple? Disciples of Jesus must not only worship at any cost; they must work at any cost. Jesus explains:

Luke 14:28-30
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?

Jesus spoke first of a crucifixion, and now He speaks of construction. Our Lord has called us to build.

Your life is to be constructed by His plan. It will take sacrifice to construct it. If you’re looking for a cheap, lazy way, forget it. But it must also be completed. Jesus said, “Count the cost so that you will be able to finish the tower.”

We have so many half-built towers around: men who said they were called to the ministry and are no longer in it. Some who used to tithe but no longer do. Some used to be Bible students but have stopped studying. If this is you, you have not finished the task. “But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’” (Luke 9:62).

A follower of Christ is a worker who will not back away, no matter the cost.

Followers of Christ Are Warriors

Now Jesus speaks of war. You follow Jesus into battle.

Luke 14:31-33
Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

There is a war, and it is a fight to the death. You cannot be neutral. As the odds are concerned, we are outnumbered. But the favor is still on our side because, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b)

Many want to get out unscarred, uncriticized. They will not witness for Jesus Christ because it’s not politically correct. They are cowards.

We need warriors: disciples of Jesus who are not cowards, not compromising, and not cautious. When you follow Jesus into battle, go in with all of your heart and soul. Jesus doesn’t want something from you. He does not want prominence. He deserves, and demands, preeminence. Does Jesus Christ have everything you have?

Calling Others to Follow Jesus Christ

Jesus called us the salt of the earth. (See Matthew 5:13.) Salt speaks of witness.

Luke 14:34-35
Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Think about what salt does.

Salt preserves.

In Bible times, they could not refrigerate their fish—they salted it down. Today we need something to decontaminate our culture. We need salt.

Salt flavors.

Can your neighbors see something different about you, or are you bland and tasteless? Why would anybody want to have your faith if he cannot see a change in you?

Salt heals.

Salt is an antiseptic—and our world is sick. The salt of the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ heals broken hearts, broken hopes, and broken homes.

Salt burns.

Rub salt into an open wound and a person will say, “Ouch! That stings.” Christ followers will irritate people. No offense; no effect. Not everyone is going to love you if you follow Jesus. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

Salt penetrates.

Take just a pinch of salt, put it in a jug of water, and the whole jug becomes salty. Salt permeates everything you put it in.

Should disciples of Jesus be separated from the world? Yes. Separate from sinners—but not isolated from sinners. Why did they crucify Jesus? Because He is a friend of sinners. Get out of the saltshaker and get into your community as a genuine follower of Jesus.

List of Scriptures Referenced in This Article

Luke 9:62, 14:25-35; Exodus 20:12; Matthew 5:13, 6:24; John 10:17-18, 15:18; Romans 8:31

More Bible Verses About Following Jesus

Matthew 19:16,21
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”…Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

1 Peter 2:21-24
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

John 12:26
If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.