Summary: Jesus teaches us three essential elements of discipleship in Luke 11:27-36.
Jesus concluded his season of ministry in Galilee and “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). During one portion of his journey toward Jerusalem he gave his disciples additional instruction.
Let’s read an assortment of sayings in Luke 11:27-36:
27 As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” (Luke 11:27-36)
Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian, but concerned that you might not be able to adjust? Don’t worry. You can become a flexitarian!
As vegetarianism gains in popularity and increases its market niche, a variation has developed. A flexitarian is a person who eats primarily vegetables, but also indulges occasionally in meat.
This designation fits people like 28-year-old Christy Pugh, who says, “I usually eat vegetarian. But I really like sausage.”
Christy says, “Sometimes I feel like I’m a bad vegetarian, that I’m not strict enough or good enough. I really like vegetarian food, but I’m just not 100 percent committed.”
A lack of wholehearted commitment is a struggle for some vegetarians.
And a lack of wholehearted commitment is also a struggle for some professing Christians. Wholehearted commitment is essential to true, vital Christianity. Andrew Murray, the well-known 19th century pastor in South Africa, puts it this way:
The true pupil, say of some great musician or painter, yields his master a wholehearted and unhesitating submission. In practicing the scales or mixing the colors, in the slow and patient study of the elements of his art, he knows that it is wisdom simply and fully to obey. It is this wholehearted surrender to his guidance, this implicit submission to his authority, Christ asks. We come to him asking him to teach us the lost art of obeying God, as he did. . . . The only way of learning to do a thing is to do it. The only way of learning obedience from Christ is to give up your will to him, and to make the doing of his will the one desire and delight of your heart.
Jesus wanted people to understand exactly what was involved in being one of his disciples. So, on his journey to Jerusalem he gave an assortment of sayings in which he explained the essentials of discipleship.
The analysis of the doctrine of discipleship in Luke 11:27-36 shows us three essential elements of discipleship.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. Disciples Obey the Word of God (11:27-28)
2. Disciples Believe the Resurrection of Jesus (11:29-32)
3. Disciples Reflect the Light of Jesus (11:33-36)
I. Disciples Obey the Word of God (11:27-28)
The first essential element of discipleship is that disciples obey the word of God.
At one point in his journey to Jerusalem Jesus cast a demon out of a man who was mute (Luke 11:14). Some people, however, accused him of working by the power of Beelzebul, also known as Satan. Jesus responded masterfully to their accusation. He explained that he worked by the power and authority of God. As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” (11:27). This woman expressed a sentiment that was common in those days, namely, that a mother was blessed by the accomplishments of her son.