Summary: What does Jesus say about being His disciple?
We will of course honor our Moms today; but first and foremost, we must honor our God from whom all blessings flow. We worship God with songs and prayers and true worship is with Spirit and Truth. Let us continue to quiet our hearts, minds, and souls for the leading of God the Holy Spirit in learning from God’s Word, the Truth. Please open your Bibles to Mark 8… Read along with me Mark 8:34 – Mark 9:1….
We can note in v34-35 that Jesus was talking to those desiring to be disciples of Christ.
What is a disciple? Greek word for disciple is “mathetes” – disciple, pupil, learner, imitator
Again from v34, Jesus was not just talking to the 12 disciples; Jesus’ message is for all who desire to follow Him, including us today!
Let’s think about this question for a moment: Why should we be disciples of Jesus Christ?? There are many reasons…..
Simply, it is a sin against our Creator God not to be a disciple of Jesus Christ! We are commanded to make disciples of Christ and that can only happen if we are disciples ourselves! Also, think about this for a moment: People are created in the image of God but end up like dumb sheep; what happened? Sin against God has marked the image of God in people. But God’s desire for all His creation is to be right and so He gave a solution; it is only through belief and following of Jesus Christ can a person be able to bring back God’s image!
Disciples of Christ are to be changed back to the image of God!
And so, what does Jesus expect from us as His disciples?
v34: Disciples of Christ are to deny themselves. What does this mean? What are your thoughts on this??
The real answer is in the verse itself!!
The easy answer is the last part of v34: denying self is following Jesus alone, not following one’s self or other people or creatures! Remember just a few verses back, Peter thought he knew better than Jesus Christ and Jesus told Peter, “get thee behind me satan!” Not following Jesus Christ as a disciple is actually following satan!
The second part of v34 is a little more difficult to understand; what do most people mean when they say “you have to carry your cross”??
Jesus may very well mean that when you are in pain and suffering in life, you are taking up your cross; it will happen because it happened to Jesus. But if we look at v35 in connection with v34, we can note a deeper meaning to taking up your cross. You see, we have to think about this statement during Jesus’ time. What did it mean 2000 years ago in Israel, under Roman rule, when one has to take up a cross??
v34-35: denying one’s self means killing the old way of life and living the new life for Christ!
And what is Jesus saying in v36-38? There is no partial belief or partial following of Jesus Christ! There is no testing the water, testing the truth, one must be fully immersed in the truth of Jesus Christ!
2 other important truths from v36-38:
v36 – worldly riches cannot get you to heaven!
No matter how rich a person is, no matter how much a person gives, without Jesus Christ in their life, heaven is closed to them!
v38 – Jesus Christ is coming back to earth! Are we always ready for Jesus to show up?
Mark 9:1 – God can take a person to heaven without experiencing physical death.
God can take you and me right now if He wants to! Are we always ready for Jesus to show up?
In summary, here are a couple of questions for us to think about:
1. Have I made a commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? If not, I am still an enemy of God. No one can get back the full image of God without being a disciple of Christ!
2. Have I accepted and understand that I must deny myself for Christ? Not following Christ is following satan.
3. What does it mean personally to live for Christ on a daily basis?