Summary: Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is more than just getting a ticket to heaven.

The Cost of Discipleship

The Book of Mark

Mark 8:34-37

I. Introduction:

A. Background

1. Jesus has just told the disciples in an unambiguous way that He was going to die soon.

a) No longer in parables or symbols.

2. They had reacted negatively toward that revelation as demonstrated by Peter’s rebuke of Jesus.

a) They were not ready for that.

b) They were still thinking of the present and the glory of being in a close relationship with the future ruler of Israel.

(1) They were still looking at things from a horizontal view.

(2) Mk.9, Mk.10.

3. Remember we said that discipleship is a process as illustrated by the way Jesus healed the blind man in Bethsaida.

4. Here in our passage today He takes them one step further in the process of understanding His role and their own role to come..

5. Here He turns His attention to the cost of discipleship.

B. How many of you before you go on a trip sit down and plan out what you intend to do on your vacation.

1. You look at the places you want to visit.

2. You check out the cost of hotels and attractions.

3. Then you take a look at your finances to see if you have enough money to do all of the things you wish to do.

4. If you are short some you have to make adjustments so that you can enjoy your vacation to its fullest extent.

C. Think about making a decision about changing jobs.

1. Does the new job offer more in pay and benefits.

2. What kind of work does this job require you to do?

3. Will it be better for your family.

D. Some of the same though processes will take place if you are tasked with hiring someone.

1. What will he/she be required to do?

2. What skills will be necessary to do the work.

3. You need to give clear details about what is expected in the job.

E. That is essentially what God has done with regard to discipleship/salvation.

1. He knows what is necessary.

2. He knows what is required of those who will be effective followers.

F. Jesus lays it out here in the last few verses of Mark 8.

G. Three things we are going to look at with regard to this passage.

1. The cost of discipleship.

2. The contrast of discipleship

3. The consequence of discipleship

II. The cost of discipleship vs.34. 3 requirements.

A. Called the people.

1. This is an invitation.

a) Not just to the disciples –“Whoever”.

b) It is Jesus’ invitation to all the people.

(1) He gave it several times

(2) Publicly

(a) Matt.11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

(b) Jn.7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

(3) Privately Matt.19:21Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

c) The call of the gospel goes out to all people.

d) Not everyone will respond.

e) Because everyone won’t respond doesn’t make it any less of an invitation Luke 14:16ff.

2. Desires to come after Me.

a) Many people had been gathering around Jesus.

b) Most of them were looking to satisfy some personal need or desire.

(1) To be healed.

(2) To be fed.

c) There is nothing wrong with this but it must be put in perspective and that is what Jesus is doing here

d) What are you really seeking for?

e) Is your motivation the right motivation?

B. Self denial.

1. If you are going to be a follower of Christ this is first and foremost.

2. Definition: what does it mean to deny yourself?

a) Often times we think in terms of giving up something.

(1) Smoking

(2) Drinking

(3) Swearing

(4) Partying

(5) These are all external things and things we can do in our own strength.

b) What Jesus is referring to here is a complete surrender of one’s self to Him.

c) Wuest: “to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s interests”.

d) The principle of self-denial is at the core of our salvation.

(1) It is reinforced by being repeated in two other gospels

(a) Matt.16

(b) Luke 9

(c) Matt.5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(2) It is taught in the epistles

(a) Ro.14:7-9

(b) Eph.2:8-9.

(c) Gal.2:20

(d) Phil.3:4ff.

e) Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ requires a total denial and abandonment of any ability or quality or position of your own.

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