Christian discipleship is a vital subject in the New Testament, and the book of Luke is a fine source of information about it. In chapter 9, the call to discipleship is given and explained in verses 23 and 24 (as it is also in Matthew 16:24–25 and Mark 8:34–35), but then, beginning in verse 37, several serious problems that true disciples of Jesus Christ have are discussed.
“And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.”—Luke 9:37–41
“And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and suffer you? Bring thy son hither….And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child….But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,…the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them…. Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be the greatest.”—Luke 9:40–46
“And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.”—Luke 9:49–50
Unfortunately, many Christians today display the same tendency to criticize and disdain others who serve Christ outside their own circles that the disciples did.
4. Wrong Spirit
“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”—Luke 9:51–56
5. Shallow Commitment
“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:57–62