Part of the Paradoxes of the Bible series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
One of the things that is striking about the Gospels is Jesus’ transparency about the demands of discipleship (Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:35; Matt. 13:44). Jesus says that not many will be able to endure the hard road that He travels (Matt. 7:13-14). But at the same time, He also says things that make it appear that discipleship is easy and restful (Matt. 11:28-30). How can walking with the Lord be both hard and easy? Let’s take a moment to reflect on another paradox we find in the Bible about the hard life that is easy.
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Luke 14:25–33 (Listen)
25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “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. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 7:13–14 (Listen)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Matthew 11:28–30 (Listen)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”