Summary: Takes a look at Discipleship and challenges us to be one of Christ’s Disciples.
Title: "Dare to be a Disciple."
Text: Luke 9:57-62
Date: September 30, 2007
Location: Sulphur Spring Baptist Church
I. First, let’s define the word Disciple:
The dictionary says that a disciple is a follower of a master or his philosophy. In other words a Disciple is a student of a teacher, or perhaps even an apprentice in learning a particular trade.
In the times of Plato and Aristotle and even during the days of John the Baptist it was customary for the Disciple to choose the master he or she wanted to follow. But Jesus took a different approach. He chose his 12 disciples. Let’s take a look at a few of the men Jesus chose to be his first Disciples.
1. Simon Peter was an uneducated fisherman. Life had always been difficult for Simon, nothing had ever come easy for him. He was a hard working man, his hands were callused, and after a long day on the water, he usually came home smelling like a fish. Simon had always been a very impulsive man, with a bad temper. Nobody knew from one minute to the next what Simon might do or say. If you and I had been on the search committee for the first disciples I’m sure we would have all agreed that Simon just wasn’t the kind of man we were looking for.
2. Next, there were James and John. Two brothers, who were also fisherman. They had built up a very profitable fishing business and really worked together as a team well. They always seemed to be able to catch more fish than any of the other fisherman. At first glance we might have been interested in these hard working, successful businessmen. But after talking to them for a few minutes, and finding out how conceited and arrogant they were, I’m sure we probably would have voted "No" on James and John as Well.
3. Then there was Matthew. He was a man that every good Jew despised. He was a traitor, A turncoat. He had turned his back on his Jewish heritage and was collaborating with the Roman authorities. He was a tax collector! He cheated people out their hard earned money and it didn’t even seem to bother him. No, I’m confident that Matthew would never have been selected as a disciple if we had anything to do with it.
So, Why did Jesus choose them? Why didn’t Jesus choose his disciples from the ranks of the priests or the pharisees. What qualities or characteristics did these 12 men possess that other men didn’t?
II. Let’s look for a few minutes at what Jesus himself said was required to be one of his disciples.
A. Sacrifices would have to be made.
(1) Jesus told the first man in our text that He had no home.
No place that he could go to after a long, hard day at work. No place that He could get away from everyone for a little while and rest.
Jesus was saying, "This job requires a lot of sacrifices, are you sure you are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices."
Apparently this man was unwilling to make those sacrifices. But the Bible tells us that when Jesus said "follow me." Peter, James and John, all dropped what they were doing and immediately followed Jesus. They were willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be one of His disciples.
B. Jesus also required complete and total dedication from his disciples.
He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." This kind of dedication and sacrifice can best be compared to that of a soldier.
During the Civil war, both Union and Confederate soldiers were called upon to give everything they had to insure victory for their cause. Their lives were filled with deprivation and danger that is hard for us to even imagine today. It wasn’t unusual for them to be forced to travel for 2 weeks at a time, in even the worst weather conditions.
These men were often thrown into the heat of battle just moments after reaching the front lines. They would engage in exhausting combat for days upon days. They endured many sleepless nights laying on the cold, hard ground.
While their willingness to endure these physical deprivations is almost incomprehensible to us, we have to admire the emotional strength of these men. They believed in their cause, whether Union or Confederate, and they committed their lives to it. Most believed and understood that they would not survive the war, but that was of little consequence. It is their dedication and willingness to sacrifice themselves for their beliefs that separates these brave men from the rest of mankind. Perhaps no better example of this has ever been written, than a letter from Major Sullivan Ballou of the Union Army. He wrote these words to his wife Sarah one week before he was killed at the first battle of Bull Run. He Wrote: