1. When Jesus said this he was on the road to Jerusalem. He knew that he was on his way to the cross; the crowds who were with him thought that he was on his way to an empire. That’s why he spoke to them like this. In the most vivid way possible he told them that those who followed him were not on the way to worldly power and glory but must be ready for loyalty which would sacrifice the dearest things in life.
2. We must not take his words with cold and unimaginative literalness. The language of the Middle East is always as vivid as the human mind can make it. When Jesus tells us to hate our nearest and dearest, he does not mean that literally. He means that no love in life can compare with the love we must bear to him.
3. Before a person begins to follow Christ, Christ wants that person to think about it. He wants the person to be sure, absolutely sure. Can he afford to follow through; does he have what it takes to build the tower (life)? We should not take up a false profession.
The world will mock and charge true believers as hypocrites
Prospective believers will turn sour
Believer themselves will get discouraged
4. The second parable is about the king at war. The defending king had to sit down and think long and hard about his resources and the consequences. He has to take into account the loss of life and property even if he did win. The king has to decide whether to fight against or to surrender.
5. The cost of discipleship.
One’s heart: total devotion and commitment.
One’s mind: being permeated and controlled by Christ.
One’s eyes: watching what he looks at.
One’s ears: watching what he listens to.
One’s hands: watching what he touches and picks up.
One’s feet: watching where he goes.
One’s mouth: watching what he eats, drinks and says.
One’s desires: watching, controlling and changing his urges and desires.
One’s energy: committing his strength, initiative and will to Christ
Ones effort and work: dedicating and centering all in Christ, using his efforts and work in the cause of Christ.
All of us are called to follow Jesus according to the vocation given to us by our Lord. Some are more specifically called to follow Him by becoming Priests and Religious. Jesus tells us clearly to discern well before we say our final yes to the Lord. Discernment is not choosing what we like, or what we feel attracted to but to do the will of God. We can do the will of God, only when we spend time with the Lord in prayer and listen to Him. If the discernment is done properly, we will find happiness and fulfillment in our vocation.
The Preacher’s Outline and the Sermon Bible
William Barclay the New Bible Series