Summary: Discipleship Requires Determination: a study of Luke 9:51-62.
Discipleship Requires Determination
1. Gabrielle Douglas spent the first year of her life with her homeless family that lived in the back of a van. They were taken in by relatives but soon her father abandoned the family … mother and 4 young children. As she grew older she aspired to be a gymnast. One of few African Americans in the sport of gymnastics, she says she was taunted by her coach, teammates in VA. "I've always put my heart into gymnastics and pushed myself every single day, no matter what else was going on.”. With Olympic dreams, she acquired one of the most renowned coaches in the sport and at age 14 moved to train in the cornfields of Iowa. Just a few months before the 2012 Olympics she wanted to quit and work at Chick-Fil-A. But she refocused on her goals, threw herself into her training and in London she grabbed gold in both the team and individual all-around competitions. Gabby Douglas says, “…Never give up. Times may be tough but sacrifices, they do pay off. If you give up, you will always have regrets that you didn't push through…”
As with every great endeavor in life, it is the spirit of determination that we need to succeed. Determination: The act of deciding definitely and firmly; firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end. Discipleship requires determination!
1. Determined to Follow Jesus (Luke 9:51)
In Luke’s Gospel our text today is a turning point. It is called the “Travel Narrative” and it encompasses ten chapters, with much material not found in the other gospels. Called ‘travel narrative’ because it reflects a time in Jesus’ ministry when he began his march toward Calvary. (Read Luke 9:51). Jesus travels through Samaritan territory.
" A sense of purpose, immediacy, and danger frames this passage. These elements are present from the opening lines that convey the rejection of Jesus by the Samaritans." (C. Merritt)
Strong teachings that Disciples Must be Determined!
2. Determined To See Others As Jesus Does (Lk. 9:52-56)
The ‘sons of thunder’ have a temper flare up! Earlier in chapter they witnessed the Transfiguration. James and John (and Peter) saw Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah. In 1 Kings there are two episodes of Elijah calling down fire.
Jesus’ mission was seek & save lost, not seek & destroy! It’s easy to let a self-righteous spirit change how we see others - and even cause damage to others.
Galatians 5:14-15. How many churches and Christians have been destroyed by other believers? In the church, among churches, and even among believers who have differing views. It can happen in communities between groups of people who are divided economically, racially, educationally, and in other ways. We have to be careful that we have the spirit of Jesus, not the spirit of Elijah as we see others. This is especially true when we are being mistreated/hurt by others. Retribution is not a Kingdom virtue.
Disciples Determined to Follow Jesus and See Others as Jesus Did.