Cost of Discipleship

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The Cost of Discipleship – Luke 14:25-35 – Inductive Bible Study

Luke 14:25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  28 “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?  29 “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finishall who observe it begin to ridicule him,  30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’  31 “Or what kingwhen he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  32 “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.  33 “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.  34 “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?  35 “It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  1. What title do you give to this parable?

Look Before you Leap

Be a Strong Finisher

So, You Want to be Jesus’ Disciple – Do You?

Cost of Discipleship

The Costly Tower

Who Really Has the Advantage?

Disciples are Totally Committed

To Build or Not to Build – That is the Question

  1. What other parables have similar characteristics or theme?

Lamp Under a Basket

Two Builders

The Sower

The Pearl of Great Price

The Hidden Treasure

The Dragnet

The Rich Fool

The Rich Man andLazarus

  1. Who was Jesus speaking to when He gave this parable?

He was speaking to large crowds who were going along with Him.

  1. What was the context for this parable?

He had been speaking in parables prior to this and will continue speaking in parables. He seems to be using parables not only to teach but to winnow His followers also.

  1. What are the main elements of the parable and what does each represent?
    1. which one of you – directed to those who were present
    2. build a tower – follow Christ
    3. first sit down – time for decision
    4. calculate the cost – assess the commitment
    5. see if he has enough – willingness to pay the price
    6. complete it – finish well
    7. laid a foundation – professed Christ
    8. not able to finish – unfaithful
    9. all who observe it – those who observe the lives of the ones who claim to be Christians
    10. ridicule him – some people’s way of trying to make themselves look good
    11. king – a potential disciple
    12. when he sets out – hears the gospel
    13. meet another king in battle – the enemy, Satan and the world
    14. first sit down – time for decision
    15. consider whether he is strong enough – consider our strength in Christ
    16. ten thousand men – the apparent weakness of our position in Christ (David)
    17. the one coming against him – the enemy, Satan and the world
    18. twenty thousand (men) – their apparent strength is great (like Goliath)
    19. while the other is still far away – walk by sight, not by faith
    20. sends a delegation – negotiates with the enemy (responds in fear rather than courage)
    21. asks for terms of peace – surrender to the enemy
    22.  –
  1. What spiritual principle(s) does this parable teach?
    1. Even the world expects Christians to be totally committed!
    2. Just like a woman cannot be halfway pregnant, no one can half heartedly follow Jesus.
    3. Jesus demands total commitment.
    4. Though many want the benefits of following Jesus, few are willing to pay the price.
    5. If one is prepared for the absolute worst, then he will readily accept whatever circumstances come his way.
    6. Following Christ is costly and perilous.
    7. Satan shows the best but hides the worst, because his best will not compensate for his worst. He wraps up the “here and now” in a beautiful package only to find out later that the contents produce sickness, anxiety, destruction, regret, and death.
    8. Jesus shows the worst and postpones the best. Jesus’ “here and now” package is wrapped in the thorns of trials and persecution, yet the inside produces peace, purpose, abundance, joy, and eternal life.
    9. The enemies forces appear superior, but like David, we must, boldly charge into battle by faith.
  1. Cross references to this parable?

Luke 9:57-62

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have  nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  59 And He said to another, ” Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, ” No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Josh 24:15

15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Matt 10:22

22 ” You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

Matt 20:22

22 But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

Acts 21:13

13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

1 Thess 3:2-4

3 so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 4 For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.

2 Tim 3:12

12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

Matt 10:37-39

37 ” He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  39 ” He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Phil 3:7-8

7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

Luke 5:11

11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

Luke 5:28

28 And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him.

Luke 18:22

22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Luke 18:28-30

28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,  30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Acts 4:32

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them  claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.

1 John 2:15-16

Do not love the world nor 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 and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

1 Sam 11:1

Now Nahash the Ammonite came up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us and we will serve you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, “I will make it with you on this condition, that I will gouge out the right eye of every one of you, thus I will make it a reproach on all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Let us alone for seven days, that we may send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. Then, if there is no one to deliver us, we will come out to you.”

2 Tim 4:7

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

Josh 24:15

15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

1 Sam 17:36-37

36 “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, ” The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, ” Go, and may the LORD be with you.”

1 Sam 17:45-47

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 “This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”

Matt 13:5-7

5 “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil ; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil .  6 “But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  7 “Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.

Matt 7:13

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Luke 9:57-62

As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have  nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  59 And He said to another, ” Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, ” No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Matt 13:44-46

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls,  46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it

Matt 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.  14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;  15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Col 3:17

17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Phil 1:21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

1 Cor 10:31

31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Rev 3:16

16’So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

John 19:17

17 They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

Heb 6:4-8

4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.

Questions or problems with the interpretation of this parable.

    1. Why does Jesus tell them they must hate family members, even hate their own lives to be His disciple?
    2. What exactly is the cost of following Jesus?
    3. What is the alternative for someone who is unwilling to pay Jesus’ price?
    4. Why would people ridicule the man who could not complete the tower?
    5. If Jesus wanted people to follow Him, why does He seem to go out of His way to discourage them from following Him?
    6. What do these parables teach about the connection between salvation and Lordship?
    7. What if the king decided to engage in battle and see how it went before committing to a course of action?
    8. What is Jesus really saying in verse 33?
    9. What is true of the one who doesn’t count the cost?
    10. What’s wrong with getting terms of peace from the approaching king?
  1. Based on this parable, what changes in my life does Jesus want me to make?

Personal Application: Make it a point to communicate the cost when sharing the gospel.

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