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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


20. The Requirements of Following Jesus (Luke 14:25-35)

LUKE 14:25-27
25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 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.”

Many people heard Christ’s call and followed him in droves. But Christ knew their hearts, and sifted them as wheat. He said to the believers: “When family ties prevent you from following me wholeheartedly, you must leave those earthly relationships; and even if you were compelled to hate your beloved family so that you should not separate yourselves from me, the Lord of heaven, then do so. You have to choose between God and your family. Furthermore, Christ asks you to deny yourself, your self-indulgence, idleness and your bad habits, and to condemn yourself, and consider yourself deserving the shameful death of the cross. Condemn yourself daily so that you may die to your proud sinful nature, and by following Christ become like him. He who does not part from the sons of this world, even those whom he loves, and denies his soul which incites him to evil, cannot become a child of God. Give all the glory to your Lord alone.

This commandment of Christ does not abolish his commandment of loving your neighbor, nor does it weaken the matrimonial bond, nor does it lessen the honoring of parents, but it decides the priority to be given to God, for he, and no one else, is the center, aim, and source of your life. He sends you to your brother man that you may serve him in the name of the Lord, as if God visits him through you. Thus the Highest delivers you from secular involvements, and sends you to the world as his ambassador. He is in you, and his word is on your tongue.

LUKE 14:28-30
28 “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 -- 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’”

Christ calls you to participate in setting up the kingdom of God, which is like a high tower. But he asks you to meditate and pray before you begin to take part in the service of the Lord. Are you prepared to pay the high price of contributing to building the tower of God, or do you prefer to keep secure in your family rather than following Christ? Consider to whom would you offer your service? Do you worship your clan, or are you prepared to sacrifice your money, time, thoughts, and relationships for strangers who are not grateful for your service? Make your decision if you are prepared to sacrifice to this extent for the evil world, for you cannot serve God and mammon, nor can you love Christ as it he deserves and love your family at the same time.

Also confess that your own ability and power are not sufficient to extend the kingdom of God. But when the Lord is with you and his word dwells in you, you are ready to begin your service. The Lord makes you perfect and helps you.

LUKE 14:31-33
31 “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? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

He who serves only prospers greatly. Christ shows you in his war parable that setting up the kingdom of God is like a holy war where the hosts of wickedness and the armies of the devil intend to destroy and consume all those who believe. Do you believe that the invisible angels of the Lord can with us overcome the frightful power of the enemy? Do not tremble before governments, laws, detectives, and torture to death. Know certainly that none of Christ’s followers will be crowned with the crown of victory except those who trust the Lord completely and wholeheartedly. You cannot protect or defend yourself, but he who trusts Christ’s blood and free justification boasts and says: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Examine yourself. Is Christ your only comfort and the foundation of your power, or are you expecting to win victory in the holy war through your clever tricks, eloquence, or physical power? Do not forget that your faith has saved you and not your money or your relatives’ mediation. The Lord says to you: “Not through power and ability, but through my Spirit and body.” Are you prepared to dispense with all human means for your help and give the opportunity to Christ alone? Woe to you if you entered into a covenant relying on worldly means. Then you would lose Christ’s authority and become a slave of your helpers.

Be aware that God placed experienced brothers beside you, and gave you a fruitful mind. So do not plunge into spiritual services that are beyond your ability and gifts. Keep humble, and unknown, and be faithful in the duty given to you by God that you may win confidence and continue.

LUKE 14:34-35
34 “Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? 35 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!”

Christ said, “You are the salt of the earth.” This substance is of great use. It is used for seasoning, preserving food and meat, fertilizing the soil, and for other purposes. People cannot live without salt, and Christ considers his followers so important that without them the world becomes flavorless, and senseless. Did a small particle of salt ever enter an open wound in your body, or into your eye? It burns and causes much pain. In this manner, your testimony of the truth when you call people to turn to God must affect them, make them disturbed, and urge them to be converted.

If you neglect Christ’s command to deny yourself, you will become worthless as dung, which is applied to the soil. These worthless people may be caught as prey by the power of the devil.

Have you heard the call of God? Are you prepared to deny the ties of blood relationship, and enter the holy war? Testify to the truth of the gospel without limit. But if you are not prepared to devote yourself completely to Christ, you should rather not begin to follow him, for our Lord spews the lukewarm out of his mouth.

PRAYER: O Lord, You are the exalted King, and Builder of your kingdom. I am but a beginner. Please deliver me from loving myself and my family ties that I may become your devoted and faithful worker. Keep me in your grace, and fill your followers with the spirit of your testimony.

QUESTION 99: Why does Christ demand complete separation from the world, and full commitment to him?


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