Summary: A disciple is one who follows Jesus no matter what.
Video: That’s My King
I’ve watched this video many times over the years, and we’ve played it a couple times in services as well. It’s from a sermon by Shadrach Meshach Lockridge (isn’t that the best biblical name ever?). Different sections jump out at me each time…
I wish I could describe Him to you
Why wouldn’t we want to follow Him? After knowing Jesus through the new birth, why wouldn’t we want to be disciples who make disciples by gathering, growing, giving, and going with the gospel, all for the glory of God?
Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked carefully at each word of Luke 9:23: “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” We summarized the last two sermons this way: Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life.
After the sermon last weekend, an Edgewood member told me about the lead story in the most recent Voice of the Martyrs magazine entitled, “The Crosses We Must Choose for Ourselves.” It’s a great follow-up to our topic last weekend:
As Christ’s disciples, each of us must “take up our cross daily” (Luke 9:23). Some of these crosses are forced upon us, but most are optional situations in which we must choose to pay a price out of obedience to Christ…we can choose to suffer well as a witness for Christ anytime we suffer…most persecuted Christians can avoid suffering for Christ by simply deciding to stop bearing witness to His truth. They face a daily temptation to avoid suffering through silence and inactivity and it is important to admit that we face the same temptation…cross-bearing is not a discipleship topic for Christians somewhere else.
BTW, Voice of the Martyrs is one of our Go Team partners and Edgewood is hosting a simulcast VOM Conference here on Friday, March 5, from 6:30-10pm. Three individuals who were imprisoned for Christ will be sharing their stories.
After we considered the call to discipleship, we fleshed out three of the four conditions of discipleship.
• Desire. First, a person must desire to be a disciple – “If anyone would come after me…”
• Denial. The second condition is a call to deny self: “…let him deny himself…”
• Death. Last week our focus was on the third condition – death. We see this in the next phrase: “…and take up his cross daily…”
• Devotion. Today we’ll investigate the importance of devotion: “…and follow me.”
Listen to Luke 9:23 again: “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” Let’s look at the final condition more closely: “…and follow me…”
Our main idea is this: A disciple is one who follows Jesus no matter what.
The word “and” indicates a continuance from the conditional clauses which we’ve already addressed. It could be translated as “also.” After desiring, denying and dying to self, there’s one more condition. Let’s take the words of Jesus, “Follow me” in reverse order.
While the demands of discipleship are difficult, the key is to focus on the word, “me,” meaning He, as in Jesus. When we consider the invincibility of Christ, and His irresistible call on our lives, we’ll want our desires to line up with His, we’ll gladly deny ourselves, we’ll joyfully take up our cross daily, and we’ll be intent on following Him.
We begin with the word “me” because we need to know who is calling us to follow. Here are four pictures of Jesus found in Matthew 1:1: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
1. Jesus. The name Jesus means, Savior. He’s come to save us from our sins
2. Christ. Jesus is the Messiah, the Promised One of the Old Testament.
3. Son of David. He’s from the kingly line of David.
4. Son of Abraham. His genealogy goes all the way back to Abraham, the father of God’s people. We read about Abraham in the Edgewood Bible reading plan this past week.
Other pictures from the first chapters of Matthew include: Jesus is fully human and fully divine; He is sovereign over the wise and shepherd of the weak; He’s the King and the righteous Judge; He is filled by God’s Spirit and loved by God the Father; He is the light of the world and the hope for all nations.
Now, let’s go to the last book of the Bible where we find over 35 names and titles of Jesus found in the Book of Revelation alone. Listen to these ten from chapter one.
• Jesus Christ (1:1)
• Faithful witness (1:5)