Summary: 1) A Disciple Emulates His Master and 2) Does not Fear the World but have confidence in a) Vindication by God b) Veneration of God c) Valuation by God
If you haven’t noticed, we are in the swing of the “Holiday” season. That’s right: not Advent or Christmas but the Holiday Season. Retailers and cultural planners are so desperate for increased sales and attendance that the day after Halloween, began with the “Holiday” advertising. The word "Christmas" is avoided nearly all public discourse-more or less.
Quote: As one commentator put it: “My sense is, though, if our social handlers and media moguls have anything to do with it, we are fast approaching the "last Noel." The "Give-A-Christmas" charity drive has become the "Holiday Fund." After Thanksgiving, we do our "holiday shopping," to fill our children’s "holiday stockings," when we get back from the office "holiday party." Peter Jones @http://theresurgence.com
The grinches who are stealing December 25 are filling the void with virtually anything. One town hosts a Polar Express Festival, replacing Christmas trees with polar bears! In schools, trees are kept but ideologically renamed Peace Trees, Cultural Trees, or Diversity Trees. With ornaments from the world’s cultural, ethnic, and religious traditions, these trees celebrate in coded language the agenda of neo-pagan unity. A teacher explains: "By acknowledging the value of all cultures, we become cohesive and accepting of each other’s diversity…we become successful at working toward the motto: ’Let there be peace on Earth.’" Obviously, featuring a Christmas tree and explaining the biblical meaning of peace is clearly not part of the "accepting of each other’s diversity."
As we watch the cultural demise of the Canadian Christmas, it is easy to become nostalgic, even discouraged. But that is not my point. This is the first Sunday in Advent. The message this morning is not about saving society by publicaly pointing out that this is the Advent season leading up to Christmas. I would encourage this but this is not my point. The real issue is what has led us up to this point and what God says we are to do about it.
In the guise of “cultural diversity” people have become paralyzed by anxiety in regards to what others think about them. Lest someone somewhere become offended, Christians have forsaken their God given mandate to make disciples and not fear what others think, say or do in regards to this.
The call of the Great Commission is the call to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). Disciple-making is the central work of the people of Christ’s church, the work of bringing men and women to a saving relationship to Jesus Christ and of helping them grow in His knowledge and likeness.
Quote: The word “disciple” occurs 269 times in the New Testament. “Christian” is found three times, and was first introduced to refer precisely to the disciples.—
(Dallas Willard, “Discipleship: For Super Christians Only?” Christianity Today, 10 October 1980, 24.)
Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10:5-15 led to His warning of the dangers of discipleship (vv. 16-23), which led to His teaching about the characteristics and benefits of discipleship (vv. 24-42). In Matthew 10:24-31 Jesus identifies a comprehensive definition of discipleship 1) A Disciple Emulates His Master and 2) Does not Fear the World
1) A Disciple Emulates His Master (Matthew 10:24-25)
Matthew 10:24-25 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. (ESV)
Jesus first presents the negative aspect of the truth (v. 24), then the positive (v. 25a), and then the consequence (v. 25b)
First, it is axiomatic that a disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant/slave above his master. By definition, a disciple (learner) is beneath his teacher in knowledge and wisdom and a servant/slave is beneath his master in social and economic standing. Also by definition, a disciple who is genuinely a disciple learns from his teacher, and a servant/slave who genuinely is a slave obeys his master.
Man’s volition is represented by the figure of disciple and teacher, and God’s sovereignty is represented by that of slave and master. The two illustrations unite to emphasize that the first and most obvious principle of discipleship is submission.
From the beginning to the end of his gospel, Matthew’s purpose is to reveal Jesus as the divine King of kings, the Messiah and Son of God who came to redeem and to eventually rule the world. He is the only King, the only Messiah, the only Son of God, the only Savior and Lord. In all of those roles He demands and is deserving of total submission.
Second, as Jesus goes on to point out, it is also axiomatic that the purpose of a true disciple is to learn from his teacher in order to become like his teacher and that the purpose of a faithful slave is to serve and become as his master.