Jesus sets the standard for total self-denial. In Luke 14 you find the message is always the same. There’s a great multitude in 14:25 accompanying Jesus,”and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life. he cannot be my disciple.” (vv.25-26) It’s not about you, it’s not about your self-esteem–it’s about your sin, your desperation, and your need to see Christ as so priceless and valuable as your Savior from sin and death and hell, that you would willingly give up everything, even if it costs you your family or your marriage. In verse 27 Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” If can’t be any clearer than that.

In Luke 17:33 Jesus says, “Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it. and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” It’s the same principle. If you try to hold on to your plans, your agenda, your success, and your self-esteem….you lose.

From Landmark Sermons

The Starting Principle of Discipleship

November 3, 2002

John MacArthur