Requirements of Discipleship
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.
What is discipleship? We hear so much about it but see so little of what the world calls discipleship in the Scriptures. The fact that people have discipleship classes shows their lack of Scriptural knowledge. Discipleship is more about choices and actions than it is about knowledge. Don't get me wrong, knowledge is not bad, but if you choose and act to do the right things, you will become who you are supposed to be.
Three times in Luke 14, we find the phrase, cannot be my disciple. Sometimes, you can find out what you are supposed to do by learning what you are not supposed to do. For instance, I find out I am to drive at or below 35mph by seeing the sign that says the speed limit is 35mph. Likewise, we find out what a disciple is by learning what is not a disciple. In all of the illustrations that Christ gave on discipleship, they are all found outside the classroom. Christ shows five things you must choose to do if you will be His disciple.
First, you cannot be Christ’s disciple until you choose Christ over family. Luke 14:26 says, 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. This verse is not teaching me to hate my family, but it will seem like I hate my family if I choose Christ before them. There are many who are not Christ’s disciple because they have chosen to put their family over Christ. Don’t tell me you are Christ’s disciple when you stop soul winning for family time. The last command of Christ is to be a soul winner, and not to go soul winning so you can spend time with family means you are a family disciple and not Christ’s disciple. Placing Christ before your family is the only way you can be His disciple.
Second, you cannot be Christ’s disciple until you choose Christ over self. Verse 26 uses the phrase, and his own life also. If you are unwilling to put your will aside for Christ’s will, you cannot be His disciple. To be a disciple of Christ means you must die to self and only want to do Christ’s will for your life. If you are unwilling to sacrifice your will for His, you cannot be His disciple.
Third, you cannot be Christ’s disciple until you choose Christ over comfort. Verse 27 says, And whosoever doth not bear his cross…cannot be my disciple. You will never be a disciple of Christ until you sacrifice your comfort for His cause. Many only serve God as long as it is convenient, but they quickly quit when they must be inconvenienced to serve God. A disciple of Christ has placed comfort aside to be inconvenienced for His sake. You cannot be Christ’s disciple until you are willing to be inconvenienced for His sake.
Fourth, you cannot be Christ’s disciple until you choose to follow Christ before all. Verse 27 continues to say, …and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Discipleship is following someone, and to be Christ’s disciple means you will follow and choose Christ over any person, way, or activity.
Fifth, you cannot be Christ’s disciple until you choose Christ over possessions. Verse 33 teaches that unless you are willing to forsake all that he hath, you cannot be Christ’s disciple. True discipleship will say, there is nothing I own that Christ cannot have. Until you get to this point, you cannot be His disciple.