Summary: True disciple of God
Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is coming soon. praise the lord
Story: As we all know what happened to our formal graduates last week. Pastor Prabhan along with few more pastors went for evangelization, place called jalore in Rajasthan district. They responded to God's great commission which we all know I hope. And step into a new place to catch for the kingdom of God. While they were sharing the good news to a particular village, quickly they were attacked by those villages. Around two and a half hours they were persecuting them with sticks, stones etc. even though they knew that there is always chance for persecution but still they took the step to share the word of God because they knew, they are a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is not an easy task to become a disciple. Disciples have to forsake anything that would stand in the way of acceptance Christ with our full commitment. So I am proud of them because they are the true disciples of Jesus, that’s what they were ready to face any challenges in their lives.
Such powerful commitments lord wants from his disciples. Yes I am sure that we are the true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Today morning I would like to draw your attention to the gospel according to Luke 9:23-27
Background of the book
This gospel has written around 70 A.D. by Dr. Luke (Colo. 4:14) who is also author of the book of Acts. Mainly he wrote this Gospel for Gentiles and God-fearer people. He is explaining about Jesus birth and his ministry openly. The main theme in this Gospel is that Jesus is the salvation of the whole world. As we read from Luke 9:23-27 here Jesus called the crowd to him along with his disciples (mark 8:34), and started teaching them about true discipleship. Keeping all these things in your mind I would like to entitle my sermon as:
Title: “ True discipleship”
What does mean by the true discipleship?
True discipleship means the process of becoming more like the master.
Do you want to be a true disciple of Jesus? How do we become a true disciple? What are the conditions for that? Let’s move forward we will learn together from this text.
I. the condition of true Disciple (v.23)
What must be condition of discipleship? Verse 23 ,This verse is giving choice if anyone wants to come after me first deny himself, second take up their cross daily and follow Jesus. This means all are called to be disciples. But if we want to become a true disciple, we tend to follow certain conditions. Such as:
Deny himself (23a)
What does it mean to deny himself?
The word “deny” is not easy to avoid. It is very sharp and clear. It is the same word used of Peter's denial of Jesus. It means “let him make himself a stranger” to himself. Self-denial is a common use of the term but it’s something deeper.
Jesus says in verse 23a, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself.” The meaning of deny himself means giving up our best hopes and desires (comfortable, pleasure and luxuries life). This leads to self-development. Many people say “I want to follow Christ”, but in the end they do not follow Him, why? Because people wants to live his life in comfort and pleasure. But through denying ourselves we develop new hopes, which reflect Jesus plan for us and this world. And plan which Jesus has a plan for us is to take up His cross and follow Him.
Take up his cross daily (23b)
What does it mean taking cross daily life? Why does Jesus say take up your cross daily? In ancient times the cross was sign for the criminal. The criminal used be punished by death of cross. Once the cross was given to a person, he can’t be rescued from the death. Leon Morris, said when a man from one of their villages took up a cross and went off with a little band of roman soldiers he was on a one way journey but he had not be back. Taking up the cross meant the utmost in self-denial, it meant the very death of self. So here Jesus knew that He is going to take cross for the sinner. It means he was ready to suffer for the people, and die. So He is giving a model for disciple to suffer daily for the Christ. Which Jesus meansis, he has to understand and involve with his suffering, sadness, pain and hardship to glorify with Christ to the living God. Here Luke is mentioning the word cross, it was the custom of Roman empire that if a person has done something wrong then he had to carry his cross with much pain and hardship. He was supposed to take that cross to the place where he would be hanged on cross. That same cross here Jesus is speaking about himself. He will carry the sins of the world, he will endure the pain on the cross. In the same way if anyone wants to follow Him. He has to carry his cross and endure pain, suffering, and struggles in his life, even face death for the sake of the gospel. A true disciple must be ready to face all these challenges. (John 15:19; 2 Timothy 3:12) Sufferings and persecutions can come to us it can challenge us but still we can face and overcome with the help of the Holy Spirit.