Summary: Following Jesus has become too easy for many people. We like to take the benefits without the discipline and responsibilities. What does it really mean to take up our cross and follow him?
The Italian freedom fighter Garibaldi offered his men only hunger and death to free Italy. Garibaldi had an incredibly committed volunteer army. He would appeal for recruits in these terms: “I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart and not with his lips only, follow me!”
Salvation is free ... but discipleship will cost you your life. — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies. -- Tertullian
• Something for nothing
• Free Gifts make us buy more!
• Scavengers on Branscombe beach
Following Jesus comes at a cost.
Do we offer cheap grace too much?
• Making light of Christ’s sacrifice?
• Bonhoeffer on Costly Grace (Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Discipleship, p43-45)
Our passage today is a reminder that if we are to be true disciples of Jesus Christ, it will cost us.
• Sentencing (Judgement)
Read vs 21-23
• New beginning in Jesus’ teaching
• There was a cost for Jesus too!
• He would suffer & serve
• Mk 10:45 – ‘For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’
• Peter didn’t like this
• Not the understood idea of messiahship
• Michael Green quote p182 (Bible Speaks Today commentary series, Matthew by Michael Green)
• Peter is horrified at the possible future for Jesus and even himself maybe?
• Read 16:15-18
• Read 16:22-23
• From building block to stumbling block.
• From church’s foundation to voice of Satan!
• Peter saying the same thing that Satan offered Jesus in desert temptations – messiah without suffering.
• Peter’s proclamation in v15 of who Jesus was, was divinely inspired. His rebuking of Jesus in v22 was humanly inspired.
• As the Son of man had to suffer in order to empathise with humanity, to understand what we have to go through, to enter into the pain of the world and share in it, to overcome the deadly disease of human sin… as He had to do that, so discipleship means identifying with the Master and sharing in his sufferings.
• Read v24-26
• Read Mt 10:38-39 expanded here in ch16
A Pastor from Ohio writes, ‘Have we misunderstood what it is to take up their cross? Our cross is not the boss in our job who gives us a hard time, a child that’s involved with drugs, a prison sentence that we are living out, an incurable disease that we have, or a problem in our lives that we would like to get rid of. Many times you will here people say of something that’s come into their lives, “well I guess this is just my cross to bear.”
In the first century, the cross was an instrument of death. After a criminal was found guilty by the Roman Government, the person would be forced to carry his own cross to the place of crucifixion. Carrying the cross was a public admission that you were wrong and Rome was right, and now you’re in submission to the government. People knew what it was like to leave a city and see people hanging on a cross in great suffering eagerly waiting for death to come.’