A Groupie, or a Disciple? (Luke 14)

“Groupie” is one of those invented words in the English language. It came out of the world of music where certain people were avid followers of a particular group or musical celebrity. They are notorious for idolizing their target of affection, wanting to follow and see and be with that idealized personage as much as possible. They want to be a part of the flow and energy surrounding the celebrity and his sea of followers.

At certain times, such as we will see today in Luke 14, Jesus looked out at the people following him and knew he was surrounded by fickle groupies. They would be there so long as the miracles brought about healings and the food multiplied from a wee basket of bread and fish. But when the cross came into view, they were sure to disappear.

It is easy to be a Jesus groupie in 2015. We love him when he takes good care of us – gives us health and provision, meets our felt needs, answers our obviously high-minded prayers, etc.  But will we stick with him when, like him, we must carry a cross of suffering because of sin in a fallen world?

In the previous chapter of study this week (Luke 12), the issue is to NOT depend on riches and human effort and achievement; but the lesson for today is the opposite end – to understand that there is a cost of discipleship. We must be willing to carry the cross at times.

Here is the passage from Luke 14:

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

This discussion brings up that very troubling word for Christians in 2015 … commitment. In my nearly 40 years now of church work, I have certainly seen an erosion of such. And I wonder what the greater ridicule of the faith by the broader culture, and even some persecution, may do for the family of faith. It may well purify it; and that wouldn’t be such a bad thing actually.

So here is my question for today, the third question of this week:

Week 2, Question 3 – What do you find yourself holding onto or are fearful of losing that keeps you from an all-out following of Christ, regardless of the cost?

We’ll talk about some of these ideas tomorrow, while also thinking about the nature of the more difficult days in which we live.

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed 3-4 hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and am the editor of a Baltimore/Maryland sports blog called "The Baltimore Wire." My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with a Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

One thought on “A Groupie, or a Disciple? (Luke 14)

  1. Question 3 phrased above, reminded me of the scripture of the seed sown among weeds.

    Quoting from the scripture Chris posted a few days earlier:

    And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

    Being a bit of a news junkie, at least reading the Drudge Report and then following numerous links from there, – I realize that I often spend more time reading and watching news than might be warranted. Of course there is serious news, with serious implications, and then there is news that is much more trite. But if we don’t cast all our worries on Jesus, all this news, and getting caught up in the spin and emotion of humans with there individual biases, sarcasm, mockery, selective presentation of facts … it is very easy to be led away from God as we forget the commands of Jesus. People reading criticism of those in government, may have more critical feelings towards government leaders … and forget that we are responsible to pray for all those in authority … and even all people.

    My motive here in making that comment isn’t to press everyone to pray more for those in government … but rather to help us all see that as we fail to embrace God’s attitude, his holiness, his love, his perfection we become subject to following other people including following the opinions of those in the media and the world and the government. When we allow others to guide us how to think – we lose a direct connection with the holy spirit and we become products of our time, our generation, our social unit, our political party, or whatever media we choose to consume.

    The power of Jesus far exceeds that of political machinery. The machinery of politics might put one individual or group over another and increase the clout of some individuals. Yet Jesus changes hearts and uses love and reason to direct people to God … to Him be the Glory forever and ever. Amen

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