What’s it Take to Follow Jesus | 1.29.23 | Sunday AM | On Fire Christian Church
What’s it Take to Follow Jesus
Jesus calls all who desire eternal life to Follow Him
Eternal life- Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has put eternity in our hearts
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NKJV
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11 NKJV
The opposite of life is death
“in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” II Thessalonians 1:8-9 NKJV
So those He calls to eternal life He calls to Follow
Follow- to go after or proceed from behind, to go after in pursuit
“And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 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.” Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matthew 8:18-22 NKJV
Two entirely different responses to the call of Christ!
The first–an enthusiastic response saying “I’m all in.”
The second- an apathetic compromising response to expose the individuals true spiritual condition
The first responder was saying “I’m all in” or “Let’s do this!” Notice he wasn’t asked to follow but on his own Assumed invitation
The Lord discerns a superficial commitment that must be exposed such is the person called but a Rash Disciple
Acting without due consideration and results in excessive haste
The Lord discernments were met with an appropriate response. The Lord knows the heart and this man sounded like one who speaks without counting the cost. He most likely has seen the miracles and wonders and wants to be a part of it. Jesus brings reality to his confession
As His follower a person will not be met with comfort many times.
“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. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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’? 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.” Luke 14:25-33 NKJV
Following Jesus will cost! Comfort! What are you seeking? Pleasure? Success? Followers focus on Jesus despite whatever the cost may be
This scribe was most likely very sincere and resolute
Many resolutions (firm and determined) for religion are produced by sudden conviction, and taken up without due consideration;
The second responder was hesitant
Excuses are met with an immediate response from the Lord as
if to say “there is no excuse for not following me now!
This one was asked by the Lord to Follow!
Luke’s account said the Lord asked this person to follow and was told to preach the gospel
“Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:60 NKJV
He was called by the Lord to an assignment and the call was met with excuses
Luke 14:15-24 many made excuses
All the reasons that are given come to one and the same thing-viz. occupation with present interests, duties, possessions, or affections. There are differences in the excuses which are not only helps to the vividness of the narrative, but also express differences in the speakers. One man is a shade politer than the others. He puts his refusal on the ground of necessity. He ‘must,’ and so he courteously prays that he may be held excused. The second one is not quite so polite; but still there is a touch of courtesy about him too. He does not pretend necessity as his friend had done, but he simply says, ‘I am going’; and that is not quite so courteous as the former answer, but still he begs to be excused. The last man thinks that he has such an undeniable reason that he may be as brusque as he likes, and so he says, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come’ and I do not make any apologies. So with varying degrees of apparent recognition of the claims of host and feast, the ground of refusal is set forth as possessions in two cases, and as affections in the third; and these so fill the men’s hearts and minds that they have no time to attend to the call that summons them to the feast.
Excuse- man had bought a field. The field would not run away. It would still be there tomorrow
If the first of the persons here invited had had so important an affair to transact as the purchasing of a farm, or the second the buying of five yoke of oxen, or the third the marrying of a wife, and if these affairs had come upon them unexpectedly, the very evening they had promised to spend at their rich neighbour’s house; but especially if these affairs could not have been delayed without missing the opportunity of doing them, their excuses would have been reasonable. But none of all these was the case. The farm and the oxen were already purchased, and the wife was married; so that the seeing of the farm, and the proving of the oxen, were pieces of unreasonable curiosity, which might easily have been deferred till next morning. And with respect to the new-married man’s pretending that he could not leave his wife for a few hours, it was such an excess of fondness as was perfectly ridiculous; not to mention that he ought to have thought of this, when the invitation was sent him the preceding day. Wherefore, their refusing so late to come to their rich friend’s supper, on such trifling pretences, was the height of rudeness,
King Jesus makes the invitation to follow Him and it must be met with utmost sober conviction with sincerity
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46 NKJV