Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXV: The Credibility Of Christianity Signaled By Its COMPREHENSIVELY High Discipleship Cost
(Luke 9:51-62)
  1. Introduction
    1. Jesus said it would involve one's taking up his cross daily to follow Him, cf. Luke 9:23.
    2. In establishing the credibility of the Christian faith, Luke recorded the comprehensively high price that JESUS expected of such followers. Lest we want to quit when we come across a specific cost in following Christ and His will, we can itemize specific costs Jesus Himself enumerated of His disciples as a directive not to quit, but to face willingly when they arise as follows:
  2. The Credibility Of Christianity Signaled By Its COMPREHENSIVELY High Discipleship Cost.
    1. Luke's Gospel records events to Theophilus that defend the credibility of the Christian faith, Lk. 1:3-4.
    2. As such, Luke had to let him know that cost of following Jesus was comprehensive and expected:
      1. Theophilus who received Luke's Gospel probably needed encouragement amidst the cost of discipleship:
        1. Theophilus is addressed with the lofty patronage title of "most excellent Theophilus" in Luke 1:3.
        2. However, this embellished title is omitted in Luke's later work of the book of Acts, Acts 1:1.
        3. This may mean that Theophilus was demoted upon believing Luke's Gospel, Z.P.E.B., v. 5, p. 721.
      2. As such, Luke wrote that the costs for following Jesus would be comprehensive and expected by Christ so Theophilus might not be disillusioned about Christianity when he saw his own price tag.
    3. Luke enumerated the various avenues of life that Jesus expected and wanted disciples to be ready to pay a high price to follow Him as follows, Luke 9:51-62:
      1. One must not quit following Jesus over suffering unjust rejection for discipleship, Luke 9:51-56:
        1. Since Jesus' face was set toward Jerusalem, the Samaritans refused to respond to Jesus' disciples' efforts to arrange for his housing en route, Luke 9:51-53.
        2. Such refusal to show hospitality to Jesus was a terrible violation of the law of love: (a) Jesus had formerly been received by the Samaritans when He evangelized them, John 4:40-41. (b) In fact, many had believed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Savior of the world, Jn. 4:42. (c) It would have been especially repugnant for these Samaritans no longer to want to house Jesus over ethnic concerns!
        3. However, Jesus countered His disciples' wish to cast fire down from heaven on these Samaritans as it countered His role and trek toward the cross at the time, Luke 9:54-56.
        4. Jesus' disciples were thus to expect such unjust rejection to bear Christ's cross, Luke 9:23.
      2. One must not quit following Jesus over suffering loss of possessions for discipleship: Jesus challenged a would-be disciple to be prepared even to be homeless if need be to follow Him, Lk. 9:57f.
      3. One must not quit following Jesus over suffering community tensions for having to violate accepted practices to follow Christ properly, Luke 9:59-60.
        1. When one offered to follow Jesus providing he could first wait for his father to die, he expressed concern to do his cultural duty of being around home for such an event, 9:59, B.K.C., N.T., p. 232.
        2. However, Jesus expected such a man to follow Him as a priority of doing that duty even if it caused a community scandal in the process, Luke 9:60, Ibid.
        3. Thus, looking good to the community plays second fiddle to following Jesus if there is a difference.
      4. One must not quit following Jesus over suffering family relationship costs for discipleship, 9:61-62.
        1. One disciple wanted to follow Jesus providing he could preserve family rapport by first saying farewell to family members as did Elisha of old, cf. 1 Kings 19:19-20 with Lk. 9:61.
        2. However, following Christ was so important and so high on the priority scale that Jesus forbade the would-be disciple the opportunity to put family rapport above following Him, Luke 9 :62. The reference to the plow might indirectly answer the claim to follow Elisha's example, or it might refer to the problem of creating a crooked furrow, fowling up one's service with wrong family priorities!
Lesson: (1) On the one hand, we should NOT TRY to get people to reject us, squander our possessions, create tensions with the community or our own family members. (2) However, the Lord expects us to be ready to SUFFER and NOT QUIT over being re jected, losing possessions, putting up with community tensions and setbacks in family relations if such costs RESULT from our needing to obey the Lord!