Summary: Jesus Christ makes some radical demands on His followers. He put some tough standard to be one of His disciples. Jesus Christ doesn’t want to lower His standard.
What Cost you to be Christ’s Disciple?
August 26, 2007
Sermon series: Following Christ
In our first sermon in our series, Following Christ, we have learned of what does it means to live for Christ. We have been told that to live for Christ is to Place Christ above all others, Sacrifice our personal goal and desires for the sake of Christ and we must lay our possessions to Him.
In today’s text, Jesus Christ makes some radical demands on His followers. He put some tough standard to be one of His disciples. Jesus Christ doesn’t want to lower His standard. There is no curve. You neither make it or you don’t. Jesus Christ demands that you devoted everything to Him and for Him or nothing at all. Understand that these demands of Christ are not only directed to what some may call ‘full-time worker.’ This is address to everyone who desire to follow Christ. In these last verses of chapter 9 Jesus Christ did not only focus to the twelve disciples but to all who would consider being His follower.
The title of today’s message is: What Cost you to be Christ’s Disciple?
I. It Cost our personal “comfort zone.” (v.57-58)
A. Here’s a scribe who volunteers to be His disciple (v.57)
Verse 27 we read, “I will follow You wherever You go.”
1. The man was a scribe; a writer, that is, (professionally) scribe or secretary: - scribe, town-clerk. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionary.)
2. In the days before mechanical printing, copies of documents and records and sacred writing were handwritten by skilled secretaries called Scribes.
3. They were highly educated and people regard them as experts on the matters of the law. They have also the authority to teach as sanctioned by Jewish authorities.
4. So, here’s the scribe offer himself to be one of Jesus’ disciples. At first glance, this would seem to be a very good thing. After all, this is what all believers must do. All who are Christ’s are people who follow the Lamb wherever he goes (Rev. 14:4). They willingly follow him, whether through rain or through fire, whether into prison or into death, they follow him. They are resolutely determined to do so.
5. However, he had no idea what was involved in following Christ. He didn’t ask. He didn’t care. He was not concerned about what it meant to be a follower of Christ. He was only concerned about what he could gain by following him. The man had not thought carefully what Jesus would entail.
6.“The scribe was captivated by Jesus. But Christ knew that human nature is fickle and self-centered. He knew that it hungers for sensations: the crowd, the miracles, and the excitement” ( John MacArthur)
7. So Jesus Christ spelled out to him what cost him to be his disciple that following Him would mean giving up many of his personal comfort. And perhaps took for granted
8. What does it mean? Why Christ was so exacting? What kind of discipleship Jesus requires?
B. Jesus requires a self-denial and sacrifice. (v.58)
1. As I prepare this message I pondered this verse! Does this mean that to follow Jesus Christ is to deny ourselves all comforts in life? If so, few would qualify to be His disciple. As Jesus Christ had pointed out earlier in verses 23-24, following Him requires a life of denial and sacrifices. This is also what He stresses again to this Scribe.
2. I think Jesus Christ that not necessarily means that we don’t have to enjoy the comfort of our home and family. What He requires is our total commitment. And that it takes self-denial and sacrifice when called for. Many are committed but their commitments are self-commitments, not Christ-centered commitments
3. "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." In other words, did this man really understand that if he was willing to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, he would be called to live like our Lord-moving from village to village, house to house, cave to cave, etc., without any hope of eventually having a place he could call home? For since the beginning our Lord’s life in Bethlehem, "there was no room...in the inn." (Luke 2:7.)
Jesus Himself was the prime example. He denied Himself completely. He sacrifice and gave all, both Himself and all He had.
Your attitude should be that of Jesus Christ. Read Philippians 2:5-8
4. Jesus told the man of the cost. Professing to follow Christ was not enough. The man was to deny himself completely, sacrificing and giving all he was and had to meet the needs of a lost and desperate world.
5. J.C. Ryle beautifully explains, ”He would no man enlisted on false pretences. He would have it distinctly understood that there is a battle to be fought., and a race to be run, a work to be done, and many hard things to endured, - if we propose to follow Him. Salvation He is ready to bestow, without money and without price. Grace by the way, and glory in the end, shall be given to every sinner who comes to Him. But He would not have us ignorance that we shall many deadly enemies – the world, the flesh, and the devil, and that many will hate us, slander us, and persecute us, if we become His disciples. He does not wish to discourage us, but He does wish us to know the truth.” (Expository Thoughts on the Gospel [Baker], 3:339)