The Demands of Discipleship

The Demands of DiscipleshipText: Luke 9:57-62

We have been called to be disciples of Jesus – but this is not an easy life. Discipleship is demanding. Certain things are required of us and not everyone will be willing to be a disciple. In our text, Jesus encountered three prospective disciples. In His responses to them, He showed just how demanding it is to be His disciple.

Disciples Must Be Willing to Surrender an Earthly Home (v. 57-58)

  • Jesus came as a humble servant (Philippians 2:7) – He left heaven for us as an example of sacrifice (2 Corinthians 8:9)
  • A disciple is not above his master (Matthew 10:24) – we must be willing to sacrifice what Jesus did
  • Why might disciples have to surrender their earthly home? – to move to escape strong worldly influences (Genesis 13:10-13); to relocate where they can more effectively serve the Lord (Romans 1:11); to contribute to an extraordinary need (Acts 4:32-35); because they left a well-paying job that harmed them spiritually (Philippians 3:7); because they endure persecution that makes permanent residency impossible (Hebrews 10:34)
  • We need to value our heavenly home more than our earthly home (2 Corinthians 5:1)

Disciples Must Be Willing to Forfeit Family Relationships (v. 59-60)

  • Jesus was not saying we must forsake family in every situation (Ephesians 5:22, 25; 6:1, 4; 1 Timothy 5:4; et al.) – His point was that following Him must take precedence (cf. Matthew 10:37)
  • Jesus placed His disciples over family relationships (Matthew 12:46-50) – we must be willing to do the same
  • Why might disciples be forced to choose to follow Christ over family relationships? – they are directly opposed to Christ (Matthew 10:34-36; John 7:3-5); they might tempt us to sin (1 Corinthians 15:33); they do not understand our commitment to put Christ first (1 Peter 4:3-4); family activities conflict with spiritual responsibilities (Matthew 19:29; 6:33)
  • We need to value our relationship with Christ over our relationship with others (1 John 3:1; cf. John 15:18-19)

Disciples Must Be Willing to Make a Lifelong Commitment (v. 61-62)

  • Again, this was not about unconditionally severing family ties – this was about starting to follow, then turning back; we must endure until the end (Matthew 24:13)
  • Jesus was fully committed to doing God’s will, even to death (Philippians 2:8) – we must do the same (Luke 9:23)
  • Why might disciples be tempted to look back? – we face temptation (Hebrews 3:12-13; 11:25); we experience persecution (2 Timothy 3:12; Revelation 2:10); we become discouraged (Acts 14:22; Hebrews 12:3); we become distracted (Luke 8:14; Matthew 6:24); we take our eyes off the goal and focus on earthly things (2 Timothy 4:10; Colossians 3:2)
  • We need to value our eternal reward more than temporary comforts (Matthew 16:26)


  • Each one of us has been called to be a disciple – but we must be willing to (1) surrender our earthly home, (2) forfeit family relationships, and (3) make a lifelong commitment
  • Many are not willing to do these things – but if we will be willing to do so, we will be greatly rewarded

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