Summary: Exposition of Mark 10:32-34 about the implications and example of Jesus related to discipleship
Text: Mark 10:32-34, Title: Determined Discipleship, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/6/08, PM
A. Opening illustration: Explain the choosing of a disciple in Jesus’ day, "Utterly ordinary, so commonplace: while we profess to know a power the 20th century cannot reckon with. We are all sideliners, coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to set by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. We are spiritual pacifists, conscientious objectors in the battle-to-the-death, with principalities and powers in the heavenly places. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous.” --Jim Elliot
B. Background to passage: Jesus has been dealing with discipleship issues as he makes a final swing through Perea and Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. In fact, Mark identifies Jerusalem as his destination in this text tonight for the first time. Here Jesus begins to describe in detail what will happen in Jerusalem to his disciples. This is the third time that he has predicted his own death. Comparatively speaking, this is the most detailed. However, even now, the disciples don’t get it.
C. Main thought: But we can draw out four truths related to discipleship
A. Always about following Jesus (v. 32)
1. It was tradition among rabbis and disciples that disciples walk after their master. But Mark gives this great emphasis by using a word that means to lead out front. He gives Jesus an air of determined, fixed, single-minded leadership as he plows the way for the disciples. And it emphasizes the point that discipleship is about following Jesus.
2. 21X Jesus said “Follow Me,” Ps 63:8,
3. Illustration: Kierkegaard once said “To become an ‘admirer of Jesus’ is much easier than to become a follower.” Bob Crabtree, AG Superintendent of Ohio, tells while in the USSR, he saw two shepherds come together in the middle of the road. They had 300 sheep all become one group. He had to wait as the shepherds talked. Finally, Bob wondered how would they ever separate all those sheep? As the one shepherd was leaving, in a low voice he bade his sheep come. The two groups separated instantly and went their ways, “the dust of your rabbi is all over you,” tell about the disciple of Socrates who was seeking…
4. Discipleship is not about going to church, saying “the prayer,” giving money, reading your bible, although it may include all those things; it is about following Jesus. It is about going where he goes, doing what he wants you to do, taking up the cross and getting the dust of Jesus all over you. This is what confuses me about people who get mad and quit church. You cannot fix your hope nor your eyes upon men, or upon organizations, but on Jesus alone. Simple question: what have you done to facilitate your following Jesus today? What cross have you taken up? What instruction in the Word have you followed? What has he spoken to you or led you to do today? Is your guiding principle in your Christian life that of following Jesus? What have you changed in your life this year to look more like Jesus?
B. Always about being amazed/afraid (v. 32)
1. Secondly, discipleship involves being amazed and afraid. In both cases the words are in the imperfect tense, meaning they could be translated “kept on being amazed/afraid.” Even after three years 24/7 with Jesus, they were still amazed by the presence of Jesus. They were astonished by his love, power, actions, commitment, etc. They were afraid because they knew that their followership of Jesus could cost them their lives in Jerusalem. But they didn’t shrink back. They acknowledged their fear and their willingness to die with Jesus.
3. Illustration: Do the thing about wonder with numbers, “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved,” tell about the cadet answering the question on the final exam about what he would do in a catastrophe, If there is one characteristic more than others that contemporary public worship needs to recapture it is this awe before the surpassingly great and gracious God. Your grace still amazes me…
4. Our church is very seldom in awe of Jesus. Most individuals are not in awe of Jesus. When was the last time you were absolutely blown away by Jesus? Is He big enough? We need to work at being in awe of Jesus and his glory. We need to strive to be in his presence so that the awe doesn’t leave. Strive to be in his Word, and pray that God would open your eyes to it. Pray that God will give you a biblical perspective of yourself, and of Him. This is the cure for small mindedness. Pray that God would help you think God-proportioned thoughts. Don’t let fear undermine your commitment to Jesus. Encourage the mission team members to overcome their fear by the word of your testimony and the blood of the Lamb. Not been given fear, but let real fear overcome inferior fear.