ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 51

to try them out. Please excuse me.’ Another said, ‘I just got married, so I
can’t come.’
“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ After the servant
had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master
said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I
first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them,
“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone
else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—
yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you
do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is
enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at
you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and
couldn’t afford to finish it!’
“Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting
down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could
defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will
send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.
So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
“Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make
it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus
teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that
he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of
them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in
the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And
when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When
he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice
with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more
joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over
ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

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