Summary: Looking at discipleship as a way of life...
Today’s Gospel reading from Luke chapter 6, verse 17 to 26 is about Christian discipleship
The dictionary says a disciple is somebody who strongly believes in the teachings of a leader, a philosophy or religion and tries to live according to them
But as Christians there is something more important that tells us what discipleship is about.
God’s Word, His Holy Scriptures
One of the most commonly quotes passages of scripture comes from Matthew 28 verse 19
and it tells us to go and make disciples of all nations.
Every Christian is a disciple.
Is called to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ
This means believing in the teachings of Jesus and His way of life above everything.
It means having our lives orientated around Jesus and his way of life as found in the scriptures
Jesus is not just part of our lives
But our aim is for Jesus to be the reason for our lives,
is the reason for why we do the things we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
So think about the Psalm we heard earlier, Psalm 1
Blessed is the one who obeys the law of the Lord.
He doesn’t follow the advice of evil people.
He doesn’t make a habit of doing what sinners do.
He doesn’t join those who make fun of the Lord and his law.
Instead, he takes delight in the law of the Lord.
He thinks about God’s law day and night..
Now remember when you hear the word law in the Old Testament we should not confine this to simply a set of rules that we must follow
But rather when you hear law in the Old Testament think of it as teachings of God
This is the way of a disciple of Jesus Christ to think about God’s law day and night
His teachings day and night
And the Gospel reading today highlights the absolute importance of relying on God
Of listening to God as a priority in your life over other things and people in our life
Today’s Gospel reading reminds us to regularly open up scripture and be exposed to God’s wisdom
Well 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 21 says the world does not know God’s wisdom.
And today’s gospel reading highlights this
It appears to turn everything upside down and inside out.
For many people it does not make sense
They would rather live the life that the world suggests to live
Than the life God suggests to live
To give you an insight into this
Over the last 2 weeks there has been a debate arising from some church’s displaying a sign that says Jesus loves Osama
John Howard the Prime Minister has even got involved and suggested that the church’s have got their prayer priorities wrong.
But think about it isn’t John Howard’s response simply limiting God’s love to how he or we see things, what is the popular belief of where God should love and not love?
God loving Osama bin laden does not take away from the love he has for you or those who have been hurt by his actions
In fact scripture is quite clear….
In Romans 3 verse 23 we are reminded that everyone is a sinner and falls short of God’s expectations
And in John chapter 3 verse 17 we are told that Jesus came to save the entire world and that is why Jesus died
So God does love Osama and he loves You
He has reached out his hand to save both of you
And how does God turn everything upside down
In today’s Gospel reading we see that what is considered important for many people in the world
having plenty of food,
and looking good and being liked is dismissed by God as unimportant
Infact God indicates that if these are your goals in life
If this is what is important to you
then you are living a dangerous life
A life that could very well affect your salvation
and the salvation of those close to you
And a bit later we will discover why???
Also what many people consider unimportant and unworthy
not worth asociating with
God considers special and important
God indicates if you are poor,
or being spoken poorly of because you speak the truth then you are blessed by God
But before we explore these two aspects of discipleship
lets consider what comes before these words of Jesus and how this affects our view of discipleship
Discipleship involves Jesus meeting people at their level
Listen to verse 17
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples were there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon..