growth groups week five:
A True Disciple Loves Jesus Supremely

Week 5
Day 1: Romans 13-14
Day 2: Romans 15-16
Day 3: Mark 1-2
Day 4: Mark 3-4
Day 5: Mark 5-6

Memory verse:
Luke 14:26-27
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Luke 14:33
So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Focal passage: Luke 14:26-33
Here in this passage of scripture, Jesus is challenging those who want to follow Him and become His disciples to count the cost. Three times He declares that if you put anything before him, then you cannot be His disciple. He calls us to have an absolute supreme love for Him. At the surface, His statement about hating your family members seems to be very harsh. But in reality, Jesus is just trying to show us that our love for Him must far outweigh our love for those that we love most in our lives. Of course, Jesus is not teaching us to hate our family. This would go against everything that the Scriptures teach. In fact the Scriptures teach that in honoring our parents we will be blessed (Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:1-2). Or in loving our spouse we will be blessed (Ephesians 5:22–33). Often times people get caught up with the strong words about family in this passage. But Jesus is speaking in a hyperbole. A hyperbole is an over exaggeration to emphasize a point. At the end of verse 26, Jesus makes a strong statement when He says, “yes, and his own life also”. Jesus’ main point is that your love for Him should be much greater than your love even for yourself. In fact, your love for yourself would look like hatred compared to your love for Jesus.

It is true that, at times, if we are going to love Jesus supremely, it’s going to cause conflict within our families. Jesus declared in Mathew10:16-39, especially versus 34-39, that the gospel would bring division in our families. Are we ready for this kind of persecution? When it comes, what will we choose? Will we follow Jesus or buckle under the pressure of our families, friends and society? In Luke 14, Jesus is calling us to consider this matter and count the cost to make sure we are ready to follow through with being His disciples.

 Jesus is challenging his hearers that if they are going to follow Him they need to count the cost and make sure they’re able to finish strong. There are many things that will seek to hinder them from following Him and they need to be sure that they are going to endure to the end. We have a saying in the church, “It’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters.” Following Jesus is a lifelong commitment. It is not something you just try and if you get tired of it you quit. This is eternity that we are talking about. Jesus wants to make sure that we are ready to follow him all the way to the end.

1. Have you ever been faced with a decision between pleasing a family member or obeying God? If yes, how did you handle it?
2. Do you think that you have sat down and counted the cost of following Jesus? If so, what are some of the costs for you of following Jesus?

Action points:
Get accountable with one another in these areas that you feel like you’re weak in in making Jesus your supreme love.
Pray for one another and hold one another accountable in these areas.

Additional Notes:
In the context of chapter 14, Jesus shares some stories to illustrate how people are too busy and distracted with other things in this life (also look at Mathew 8:18-22). They are unwilling to make God their priority and ultimately their supreme love.