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It Sure Looks Like Him!

Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my Disciple
Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalm 90:3-6,12-17; Philemon 1:9-10,12-17; Luke 14:25-33

Sermon Week Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 14:27

A little girl was leafing through a children's book of Bible Lessons. When she came to the story of the loaves and fishes, she stopped turning the pages -- gazing intently at the illustration of Jesus standing before the great crowd, breaking bread. Seeing the child's fascination with the picture, her mother explained that this wasn't the real Jesus, only an artist's conception of Him. Still staring at the picture, the girl replied, "Well, it sure looks like Him."

"Blue-Collar Christianity" is the title of a book in which the author gives his version of what Jesus looked like. "Jesus was a Blue-Collar Man," he says:

“He was a Blue-Collar Man, and He calls
us to be blue-collar people,
real, honest-to-goodness blue-collar people.
Hard at work,
resolving human conflict,
restoring shattered self-esteem,
loving the unlovable
(even when no one is watching)”. -1

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus speaks to a large crowd of followers and would-be followers. "Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my Disciple," He says.

Being Jesus' disciples means that we voluntarily accept the cost of discipleship – the day-in and day-out dedication to hard work -- as well as the benefits. We need to remember that Jesus turned away many people who were not willing to pay the price, not willing to report for work each and every day.

People came to Him because they wanted the benefits, the healing, and the excitement. They wanted the comfort that came with Discipleship. But when they began to make excuses for avoiding the inconveniences, the sacrifice, the hard work, and the need to carry their crosses, Jesus simply said, "No!"

He didn't say, "Go and do whatever else it is that you have to do, and then we'll talk about following Me." Instead, He said, "No! This is not for you, and you're not ready for this."

No one is forced to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. You and I are free to accept His call or reject it. But when we accept it, part of the cost -- often the most expensive -- is following in His footsteps by giving ourselves to others [...]

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