Preached on Sunday, 4.9.16
By the Reverend Dr. Roger Sturrock
Last week we were thinking about the nature of the kingdom of God (the Kingdom for all)
Today we are considering another aspect of the kingdom as portrayed in Luke chapt.14.
- Jesus is being followed by large crowds and makes the distinction between a ‘follower’ and those who want to make a commitment to Him.
=> Being prone to exaggeration! ? a Welsh trait e.g. myself, mother and grandmother:
“It was so cold I saw polar bears wearing jackets. I am so hungry I could eat a horse. I had a ton of chores to do.”
2. Jesus uses hyberbole as a device (common in Jewish literature) to make a point about what it means to be a disciple:
=> Luke 14:25-35 (quote the Message translation)
He does not mean that we have to hate our nearest and dearest but that the priority for every Christian is to put Christ first.
There is a cost involved in being a Christian: being marginalised, ridiculed, and for many in war-torn regions, even martyrdom.
Jesus makes the point in the stories of the tower and the king going to war that we must count the cost of being his disciples.
There is no ‘easy believe-ism’
Quote Albert Schweitzer:
“ Neutrality is in any case, impossible as a definitive attitude, for His summons is such that whoever seeks to remain neutral has already rejected him.”
Luke 9:62 “No-one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
3. The reference to salt conjures up what the effects of true discipleship are:
Salt acts as a preservative, flavouring and was used on the land to enable things to grow.
So should the disciples of Christ transform the people and communities they relate to.
- In his book ‘The cost of discipleship’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks about “costly grace.’
“ Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a person the only true life.”
4. We will shortly celebrate communion together. It is an event that reminds us that to be a follower of Jesus, we need to recognise our weakness and to depend on His strength to enable us to follow Him.
Rowan Williams’ description:
“In Holy Communion, Jesus Christ tells us that he wants our company.”