Summary: To lead the children to understand that following Jesus Christ involves being willing to suffer without offering excuses for negligent behavior.
Would-Be Followers – Matt. 8:18-22; Lk 9:57-62
Preparation for the Teacher
1. Aim: To lead the people to understand that following Jesus Christ involves being willing to suffer without offering excuses for negligent behavior.
2. Explanation of the Aim: Many people aspire to follow Jesus, but few seem to be able to continue obeying His will throughout their lifetime. In our lesson today one of the scribes was too hasty in promising to follow Jesus. Even though the man appeared to be sincere, he was not willing to count the cost of becoming Christ’s disciple. Be committed to Christ means that we will have to plan to give up everything to be like Jesus Christ in everyway.
3. The Bible Story: Many people profess to be followers of Christ, but the evidence from their lifestyle would make one think otherwise. The scribe in our passage seems to be very resolute. Many resolutions for Christ are produced by sudden conviction, and taken up without adequate consideration.
Do not think you can finish the spiritual race unless you have trained your mind, heart and body to go all the way to Calvary with Jesus. Only with a good and persevering heart are we able to accomplish all of God’s will.
4. Prepare to Teach: The INTRODUCTION is designed to find out why many people start well in the Christian life but few seem to strongly finish the race. Ask the people what are some of the worries, riches, pleasures, troubles or persecutions that choke the good seed of the word of God out of the life of many people? (Mark 4:1-22)
The BIBLE STORY depicts a scribe who claims that he will follow Christ wherever He goes. Too many people will say one thing but not follow through on through with their words.
The MEANING FOR OUR LIVES helps the people make applications to the lesson about how they can persevere through difficulties, misunderstandings or sinful tendencies. Find out ways that godly people throughout the Bible were able to say, “I have fought the good fight I have kept the faith. I have finished the course given to me by God.”
The Bible Story
People who profess commitments should be evaluated by how well their actions back up lip service. In our lesson Jesus helps people understand some of the costs they should calculate if they plan to become His lifetime disciples. When this scribe offered to follow Christ, one would think the Lord should have complimented the man.
A scribe might add great credibility to his band of followers. However, Jesus knew that the Scribe needed to be exhorted to consider all the implications of his statement, “I will follow you wherever you go!” Jesus wants us to be true to our words. Jesus Christ saw his heart, and answered the man according to his thoughts. Everyone who comes to Jesus must be prepared to allow the Lord to strip away any selfish motivation.
1.Remember, He leads us in the path of righteousness for HIS NAMES SAKE not our own. The scribe’s resolve seems to have been from a covetous desire to gain something for his own reputation. Yet, Jesus wanted the man to know that he should expect no better accommodations than what our Lord put up with. Selfish motivation will not take a person very far in the Christian life. We have reason to think this scribe went away.
2. Another reason that some people fail to follow Christ is they are too slow in responding to His invitation. Delay in doing God’s will is as bad as hastiness in impulsively making a decision merely based on emotions. He asked leave to attend his father to his grave, and then he would be at Christ’s service. This seemed reasonable, yet it was not right. He had not true zeal for the work. Burying the dead, especially a dead father, is a good work, but it is not the best work. Let spiritually dead people take care of non-essentials, but let the spiritually alive be busy in proclaiming the greatness of His kingdom. Often, good activities become the enemy of the very best that we can do for Jesus Christ.
3. Let us always ask the Lord to help us do the things that contribute to Christ’s kingdom priorities: 1). Giving greater glory to God
2). Loving the Lord and others more
3). Helping to fulfill Christ’s great commission (Matt. 28:18-20)
People who continue to seek first His kingdom and righteousness will be provided for. (Matt. 6:33,34) Do not worry about where your resources will come from in the days to come. Each day, God will dispense the grace and provisions that are necessary for you to do His will.
4. If Christ requires our service, affection even for the nearest and dearest relatives, and for anything outside His will, must give way. Unwilling people never seem to be short of an excuse. Jesus continues to say to people today, “Follow Me!” However, the vast majority of people offer one kind of an excuse or another. Nothing can equal the blessings, power and privilege of being a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ. Stop comparing yourself to others. When Jesus calls you that is enough motivation to withstand the hardships involved in identifying fully with the Almighty God.