Intro - Today we come to a transitional passage - transition from Jesus performing 4 miracles (Master of storms, voices, illness, hunger) to answer question “Who Is Jesus?” Brings us to Peter’s answer:
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Luke 9:20 NIV
Messiah means the anointed one, the chosen one. Literally means “smeared one.” Smeared with oil. Messiah is the Hebrew. Christ is same word in Greek. Expected him to free them from their Roman overlords and restore the rightful King to Israel’s throne. Jesus was involved in freeing them, but from a much bigger foe than Rome - from the slavery sin had caused in this world:
“Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain
the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21 RSV
BIG PICTURE: Jesus died and rose again not just to save those who would follow Him, but also to set free Creation itself. The universe will not continue forever to be a place of decay from sin. God will set His creation free AND He uses the “glorious liberty” of His children to accomplish it.
But there is a cost…
There is a cost to _______________ …
“The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Luke 9:22 NIV
Luke records that Jesus told his disciples this BEFORE these event actually happened. He knew it. They heard it but maybe didn’t believe it. Bottom line - even in the eternal economy of God, there is no free lunch!
… There is also a cost to _________ .
“I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you… If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15:19 NIV
Jesus’ evangelical approach is so different than ours. We want to tell people to accept Jesus into their lives so that their lives will be so much better. Jesus says that if you follow him, there will be a cost. Because the world (the decaying, sinful, opponent of God) hates Jesus, it will hate us as well. Same with persecution. Why would we think that the faith that was born out of the hateful, spiteful, persecution of the cross of Christ be any different for us?
4 Ways Jesus Tells Us To Count The Cost
#1 - D __________ D __________ .
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 NIV
Jesus meant so much more than just our normal challenges of life. He told them that this was an ongoing, daily denial - not just a one-time decision to become a Christ-follower. Notice the connection between “take up their cross daily” and “follow me.” The two parts go together.
So what Jesus was telling them is that they needed to put to death their own plans and desires, and then turn their lives over to Him and do His will every day. He calls on us to commit our whole lives to Him—to trust Him alone for our salvation, and then to follow Him as His disciples.
#2 - L ________ L __________ .
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Luke 9:24 NIV
Today’s focus is on “winning.” Don’t be a “loser.” But it seems as if Jesus is telling us we have to be a loser to be a winner. For many of us this verse is very confusing. Should I want to “save” my life or should I want to “lose” my life? If I want to save my life I have to lose it. But if I want to save my life am I really ready to lose my life? Do you see? There are two “saves” and the beginning and the end surrounding two “loses.” So which is it?
The key is two little words - “for me.” “Whoever loses their life for me.” Jesus tells us that there must be a desire for us to “save” our lives to begin with. He’s really not looking for losers. What He is talking about is the desire to live out His will for our lives or our stubborn desire to hold on to what we want for ourselves.
There is deep irony here - and Jesus acknowledges it. If you want to save your life for yourself, you will lose the very thing you want to save. But if you lose your life to yourself “for me” you will save it!
#3 - L _______ L __________ .
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” Luke 9:25 NIV
If you try to save you, you lose you. If you lose you, you save you. What is the logic here? Jesus is the One Who created you. He knows you even better than you know you. He knows your ideal purpose. He knows what will satisfy you even more than you do. If you lose Jesus in your life, you lose you too.
Ok - so far that makes sense. Here’s the challenge. You can’t have Jesus in your life AND have everything else too. Jesus is never an add-on. He is the core of everything. If you want to choose to follow Jesus, then there will be a cost to you. No matter what you need to know that there will be a CHOICE involved. Becoming a Christ follower means CHOOSING Jesus over something else - whatever else you might want to put first in your life. Jesus must be the priority.
#4 - S __________ S ___________ .
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 NIV
He says if you are ashamed of Jesus and HIS WORDS now, He will be ashamed of you later. We may say we would never be ashamed of Jesus himself, but what about His Words? Do you even know what He said?
Let’s consider the details of what’s involved here…
A. You have an eternal, immortal, everlasting soul. It is the part of you that will exist forever, and forever, and forever, and forever.
B. You must spend eternity somewhere. You will not spend eternity here in this body. Here we get old and die.
C. The only reliable book on the subject is the Bible. There is eternal life or eternal death.
D. God did not destine you to be born, live seventy years (if you’re lucky) grow old and have pain and die. This is not what God made for your destiny. God has a glorious destiny in mind for you.
How much is your soul worth? It is priceless, but people are willing to sell their souls for the things of this earth all the time. Don’t sell out! Be prepared for eternity.