Luke 1425-35

Not A Fan, 25 September 2011

  • Big Idea: Jesus is looking for fully-devoted followers, not mere fans.

  • How Much Is Jesus Worth To You?

  • Seriously. We’re starting light this morning! Maybe we should be begin with, “How much are you worth to Jesus?” You know that answer, right? Everything! What more could God do for you?

  • Last week we began our series Radical. We asked the crucial question, “Do you believe the Bible?” As a church, we have concluded that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. It is true. It is truth. All of it. I don’t have the final word around here. In fact, if you ever hear me speak something inconsistent with the Bible, PLEASE call me out! I do my best each week with fear and trembling to present God’s Word, but Scio is not about me, it’s about Jesus and His Word.

  • If you haven’t bought into the Bible as truth, you’re still in the right place. We are all at various places in our spiritual journey. I believe after thoroughly testing the Bible you will discover, as I have, that it is historically reliable, theologically sound, logically consistent, and best of all it works. It makes sense. It is relevant and reliable.

  • The Bible is not, however, easy. Last week we looked at Jesus’ challenging words:

  • In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

  • That sounds radical…because it is!

  • Luke 14:25-35

  • Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

  • Jesus was attracting large crowds. Human nature often says that bigger is better. Conventional wisdom says that if you have followers, you want to grow your fan base, right? This is true if you are a musician, an author, or a blogger. “Build your brand,” the so-called experts say.

  • Why were large crowds traveling with Jesus? He was different. His message was fresh. He provide free medical care and sometimes free lunch, too. He was a celebrity.

  • Rather than building his audience, He seemed to do the opposite. He raises the bar and separates the casual observers from the truly committed.

  • “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

  • Give up everything you have, carry a cross, and hate your family. That’s a lot different than admit, believe, confess, and repeat this prayer!

  • Some of us bought into a lie. We were told that all we need to do is pray a magic prayer, feel good about heaven after you die, and just live like everyone else. Jesus is a free gift to accept and enjoy. It won’t cost you anything.

  • That’s a lie! Jesus is saying that following Him will cost you everything—but it will be worth it. You cost Him everything! Think about it.

  • This verse does not, of course, mean that we are to hate—ourselves or anyone. God cannot contradict Himself so when He says to love one another and love our neighbors He’s not making hate an option. Our love and commitment to Jesus should make all of our other desires and affections look like hate in comparison. One’s loyalty to Jesus must come before loyalty to family or even life itself.

  • I have a good friend who regularly leaves his family to travel the world as a foreign missionary for weeks and even months at a time. I once asked him if he was neglecting his family and he replied, “Soldiers leave their family to serve and fight. I’m a soldier engaged in spiritual warfare, a battle of even greater consequence.” I was deeply humbled by his response.

  • The expression “carry his cross” is foreign to our culture, but obviously to carry one’s cross meant to prepare to die. It was a public act that declared that the Roman Empire was correct in their death sentence. Carrying our cross is a public display for others that Jesus was correct.

  • Some of you may remember the classic line in the film The Princess Bride.

  • Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

  • In a much more serious way, Jesus is telling his audience that if you want to follow Him, you must prepare to die. This was NOT a metaphor. Many of His followers then and now have died as martyrs. In fact, all but one of His twelve disciples were martyrs…and John was boiled alive!

  • Are you prepared to die? It’s easy to be a Christian in our culture. We are blessed with tremendous freedom and liberty. Although many signs point to our faith being in decline, I doubt any of your lives have ever been in jeopardy while following Jesus in the United States.

  • Of course, the whole point of Jesus’ message is that we must count the cost. He requires total devotion. Jesus can’t just be your homeboy, your buddy, or even your BFF. Kyle Idleman’s recent book and website say it all.

  • Video

  • It’s all or nothing. HE continued…

  • “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

  • If you’ve ever driven to the state of Ohio, you’ve no doubt seen the house along US 23. What was envisioned as a huge, beautiful home sits as an empty, abandoned structure because someone did not count the cost. To quote Jesus, “This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Tragic.

  • “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

  • There we see last Sunday’s verse. We cannot be a disciple of Jesus if we do not count the cost and give up everything we have.

  • How many of you have ever played on a sports team of any kind? You likely heard the coach say to give 110%. Of course there is no such thing because you cannot give more than 100%, but this is the root of what Jesus is saying. All in or all out. Give 110% of your heart, soul, mind, strength, hopes, dreams, time, talent, treasures, and relationships or go home.

  • One of my biggest fears is that I put Jesus in a box, I make Him safe, and I keep an arm’s distance away from me. To be honest, sometimes I’m afraid He’ll ask for something I don’t want to surrender so I get real busy, so busy and noisy that I can’t hear His voice.

  • The question is not, “What is God’s will?” but “Will I obey His will?”

  • What if He wants my….

  • Jesus concludes…

  • “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.

  • What an image! That’s a description of fans rather than followers. Which are you?

  • “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

  • The Benefits

  • You may be thinking, “Why in the world would I surrender everything to Jesus? You don’t understand my life. You don’t know my situation. I don’t want to do anything, uh, radical. Jesus couldn’t have meant everything. What does that leave me?

  • It leaves us with Jesus.

  • To everyone wanting a safe, untroubled, comfortable life free from danger, stay away from Jesus. The danger in our lives will always increase in proportion to the depth of our relationship with Christ. – David Platt

  • Before the children's encounter with Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Lewis has Susan, who is always a bit too concerned with her own well-being, ask Mr. Beaver whether Aslan is safe. "'Course he isn't safe," the Beaver replies. "But he's good."

  • The reward of the American dream is safety, security, and success found in more comfort, better stuff, and greater prosperity. But the reward of Christ trumps all these things and beckons us to live for an eternal safety, security, and satisfaction that far outweigh everything this world has to offer us. –David Platt

  • The great songwriter Graham Kendrick wrote in his song Knowing You,

  • All I once held dear, built my life upon,
  • All this world reveres and wars to own;
  • All I once thought gain I have counted loss,
  • Spent and worthless now compared to this.

  • Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You
  • There is no greater thing.

    We do not have time to waste our lives living out a Christian spin on the American Dream. – David Platt


  • God delights in using ordinary Christians who come to the end of themselves and choose to trust in his extraordinary provision. He stands ready to allocate his power to all who are radically dependent on him and radically devoted to making much of him. –David Platt

  • We have a mission that involves blessing the nations, changing the world. Seriously? If we are willing to radically sacrifice everything for Jesus, there is no limit to what He can accomplish through us.

  • I dream of our baptistery filled with new believers proclaiming their devotion to Jesus.

  • I dream of people being sent from Scio all over the world to bless the nations.

  • I dream of our youth becoming contagious, dangerous, influential Christ-followers.

  • There is no limit to what God can do…if we allow Him. If we open our palms, as we said last week, so that He can take away but also give.

  • Jesus is worth the risk of following Him!

  • Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)

  • Jesus is supremely loving.
  • Jesus is worthy.
  • Jesus is loyal.
  • Jesus is faithful.
  • Jesus is good.
  • Jesus sacrificed everything for you.
  • Jesus is our reward.

  • Next week we’re going to get specific about being radical, but this morning I wanted to give the Holy Spirit one more opportunity to reveal to you your next step. What are you clinging to? What you need to surrender in order to be fully available to God’s work?

  • How much is Jesus worth to you? You are worth everything to Him. Everything. The more radical your sacrifice, the more you will discover that Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience and enjoy.

  • Note: David Platt quotes are from his book Radical.

    You can listen to the podcast here.

    Here’s a bonus:

  • Followers vs Fans
  • from Brad Lomenick by bradlomenick

    Follower vs. Fan.Is there a difference?
    1. Followers are committed. Fans can be fickle.
    2. Followers trust their leader. Fans trust in their leader only when it benefits them.
    3. Followers want a vision. Fans want a show.
    4. Followers ask “what have i done for you?” lately. Fans ask “what have you done for me lately?”
    5. Followers are in for the long term. Fans are in for the short term.
    6. Followers have an intrinsic connection; it’s not about wearing a t-shirt. Fans have an extrinsic connection; it’s ALL about wearing a t-shirt.
    Are you a follower or a fan?