Luke 14:33 - ...any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
By: Marshall Dallas, Pastor of Preaching and Vision, Sojourn Montrose Church
April 3, 2018
In Luke 14:33 Jesus says one of the most challenging things he ever said. Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Those words are a stronger wake-up call than the coffee we’re probably both drinking as we consider these words of Jesus here in Luke. When we zoom out and look at these words in their context, the picture only gets more clear, more challenging. Jesus wants us to choose him above our families, above our own lives, and above all our possessions. The death of self is the inevitable and non-negotiable journey of every disciple.
It’s ironic that Jesus says this when he does. He has the raptured attention of the crowds, and they are lavishing their favor upon him. Strategically, these words fly like a lead zeppelin. However, knowing Jesus, there’s a reason he’s saying what he’s saying when he’s saying it. Jesus is followed by a crowd, but he is not at all convinced it’s a revival. There are many followers, but few disciples. Jesus’ point then is that if we claim to be disciples and love anything more than him, our loves are disordered.
Disordered love is the source of most, if not all, damage in our lives: the father who loves his job more than his children, the husband or wife who loves independence more than their spouse, the employer who loves profit more than his employees. Augustine says that disordered love is the essence of sin. Conversely, one could say that rightly ordered love is the essence of godliness. Our corporate devotion to Jesus above all other loyalties is the soil in which the seed of the Spirit plants revival.
Jesus calls us to hold our earthly family loosely because in him we’ve been given a better family, his family! Jesus calls us to hold our life loosely, because in him we’ve been given a better life, his perfect, pleasing and eternal life. Jesus calls us to hold our possessions loosely because in him we’ve been given better possessions, namely him! He is ours and we are his! This sheds light on the meaning of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
What gives Jesus the right to demand this kind of allegiance? Well, he’s king, so that’s one reason, but beyond that he’s the king who suffered first what he asks us to suffer. Jesus gave up family by leaving the Father and the Spirit with whom he had been engaged in perfect, harmonic union from eternity past. He gave up his life, not only in being made into the form of a man, but by being obedient even to death within that form. Jesus gave up his possessions by vacating his throne, only to retake it in glory and majesty greater than before. This is a savior worth reordering our loves for!
Brothers and sisters, we don’t want another crowd. We want a revival, and revivals are sparked by the Holy Spirit through the lips and hands of disciples. Are we followers, or disciples?
Lord, you are worthy of our full-hearted corporate devotion. We’re asking your Spirit to work in such a way that brings that devotion about, and that in so doing, revival would reverberate throughout the halls, homes, and hearts of our city. In Christ’s name. Amen.