The Call of Duty – Luke 14:25-27
By Toby Crowder
Twelve dollars… I can still remember seeing it written on the check in blue ink. Twelve dollars that I had earned by mowing the lawn at the office where my father worked. I had been asked to fulfill a duty, and I had decided to follow through. Even though that has been over 30 years ago, it is a memory that I still think about from time to time. The reason that it crossed my mind recently was when I saw a bumper sticker that read simply “Remember Who You Wanted to Be.” When I read that, my mind began to race with all the thoughts of childhood, and all the hopes and dreams that we have as children and young adults. As I reminisced about those things, I could not help but ponder that question in light of my life as a follower of Christ and the decision that I had made as a young boy.
As I write these words, I celebrate a milestone in my life as a Christian. On this day, thirty-eight years ago, I accepted Christ as my savior as an eight-year-old boy, and at that moment, became a new creature in Christ. The Bible declares this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” And thus, my journey as a Christian and “disciple” of Christ began. I still remember the excitement of that new season of life and faith, and what I hoped to be as a child of God.
In Luke 14:25-27, we see Christ speaking to His disciples; those men who would follow Him and be the bedrock of the New Testament church. The Lord was not looking here for those who were simply curious… or noncommittal, so He began to sift out the ones who were serious by laying out the “call of duty” … the job description for a disciple:
“And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
The Greek word used in v.26 & 27 is the word mathetes, which broadly means a learner, pupil, or disciple… more specifically, “one who follows one’s teaching.” In these verses, Jesus is giving the requirements for the “job” of being His disciple. Does Jesus mean that we are to hate our families for His sake? Not at all… what He is saying rather is this: He must have priority! He must come before family, friends, job, hobbies, or self. We must take up His cross and truly follow Him.
Now, more so than ever, our Lord needs disciples! Churches need disciples to serve. We need ones who will carry the name and the cross of Christ in today’s world and serve Him implicitly. What are some of the requirements of a disciple? First, there must be a DECISION. Notice that in v.26, Jesus says “if” any man come to me. There is a natural order that we see in Scripture of salvation, submission, and service. But we cannot confuse God’s order; there must be a decision to accept Him as Lord of our lives. After this DECISION, comes DEVOTION. Devotion is “The state of being dedicated, consecrated, or solemnly set apart for a particular purpose.” Notice that this devotion requires priority of some things up to and including our family. This ordering is difficult at times but necessary. Devotion to family is a wonderful thing, yet it must come second to devotion to Christ. Jesus must have our devotion… he must be first… anything that robs Him of this is wrong. Matt 6:33 exhorts us to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.”
This passage shows us the DUTY of a disciple. Are we willing to take this assignment, and perform it to the fullest? Are we willing to accept this cross of Christ and in doing so, accept the call of duty and allow Him to be the leading force in our lives? Are we willing to give Him first place, and order everything else behind Him? Christian, do you remember who you wanted to be as a disciple of Christ?
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 26 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
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