Summary: Demands of a Disciple (follower)
We are blessed, each and every one of us. We are here, we breathe, we walk, we talk, we see, we think, and we live. God created man and woman with much thought and love.
God created us to prosper as human beings in a relationship with him. That relationship is exclusive and unconditional.
Many times we fail to prosper in our relationship with God because we lose sight of our mission, take our eyes off of the Savior and focus on ourselves. Many times we forget about Jesus and are consumed with:
• Our Position,
• Our Power,
• Our Possessions,
• Our Prosperity, or
• In today’s society, our popularity on the World Wide Web.
We think we have it all figured out, as we climb to what we perceive as the top.
Luke 22:26 states: “But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
• Jesus says if you want to be a leader you must be a servant!
• If you want to be first, you must be willing to be a slave!
• If you want to be successful; you may have to start at the bottom!
• If you want to be a leader; you must first learn how to serve.
We look past these words, because we ultimately don’t want to start at the bottom, or be subservient to anyone.
But, once we see Christ for who he is, and we taste the sweetness of his love and grace, we won’t see the words of Jesus as some tough demand, placed upon us. We won’t see ourselves as subservient. Instead, we’ll see things as our natural response to his beauty and grace. Oh what joy we’ll find in offering him more and more of ourselves! Our deepest passion will be to prosper in his word! Our deepest desire will be to grow in our knowledge of Christ!
My message today is “A Disciple of Jesus Christ”
As you look at the ministry of Jesus in the gospels you see that he attracted a whole lot of people who surrounded him where ever he went. They wanted to follow him. They thought that his journey to Jerusalem was a victory march for the crowning of the Messiah. And they wanted to be there when he claimed his throne. They wanted to bask in his reflected glory and to grab a share of the prize for themselves.
But Jesus was going to experience sufferings that no one could possibly imagine. So he asked James and John if they were able to go through it too?" - They quickly proclaim "we are able" . But they have no clue what was awaiting their Master.
Matthew 16:21 “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Jesus didn’t want any misunderstanding. There was to be no hidden agenda. He wanted to make it quite clear what was required of anyone who would be his disciple.
Luke 14:26 states: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
No hidden agenda, He was straight forward. These men would have to be true to the cause.
Luke 14:33 states: So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Jesus affirms what it means to become his follower, a member of his army. And no one should join without fully understanding what it demands, and without first considering the cost.
Luke 14:28 states: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
In Peter's mind, and in the mind of many of us, the Messiah is one who comes in strength and power, the one who will defeat the evil powers of the world. In Peter’s mind, the Messiah would be all powerful. And as a follower of Jesus, Peter expects to be part of a glorious battle.
Jesus shared with his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and he let them know that he must undergo great suffering and death. It’s no wonder that Peter cries out, "God forbid it, Lord! This must not happen to you."
Suffering and death was not the future Peter envisioned for the Messiah, and they were not the future he envisioned for himself.
Peter rationalized, if Jesus must go to Jerusalem and face suffering and death, wouldn’t that mean that he (Peter), as one of his disciples, must go and experience the same? Peter was afraid for Jesus' life, but he was certainly afraid for his own life as well.