The Kingdom Life Disciple

Bible Book: Luke  9 : 23
Subject: Discipleship; Kingdom Living

[Editor's Note: This sermon involves Luke 9:23, and 9:52-57]

Knowing all about Jesus and knowing Jesus is not the same thing.” CEO Tyson Foods Int., Donnie Smith

Ask Judas Iscariot!

Rich Young Ruler

Mark 10:17-22, “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'

And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”

Mark records Jesus’ response:

Mark 10:23-27, “Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’"

Matthew records Jesus’ response:

Matthew 19:23-26, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’

When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’"

PROBLEM: He wanted Jesus on his terms, with his wealth intact. He had no interest in self-denying sacrifice. Jesus quoted six of the ten commandments, however, He did not quote the first one.

Exodus 20:3-6,"You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

The context of this call to discipleship for the Kingdom life is that of Jesus predicting His own death.

Luke 9:22, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day."

People respond differently to Christ’s call to discipleship. Peter said, “Lord, this shall not happen to you.”

Matthew 16:22-23, “Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!’ But He turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’"

Anyone seeking to thwart God’s plan was doing Satan’s work.

QUESTION: How will I respond to Christ’s call to “follow Him” and to “make disciples”

I. THE KINGDOM LIFE’S IMPERATIVE. 23

“take up his cross” – keep in mind that Jesus is talking about discipleship and not sonship. We are not saved from our sins because we take up a cross and follow Jesus, but because we trust the Savior Who died on the cross for our sins. After we become children of God, then we can become disciples.

A disciple is more than a student who learns lessons by means of lectures and books. He is one who learns by living, obeying, and working with his teacher in a daily “hands on” experience. Too many disciples are content to be listeners who gain a lot of knowledge but who have never put that knowledge into practice.

Discipleship is a daily discipline: we follow Jesus a step-at-a-time, a day-at-a-time.

“take up his cross” – this is not the common trials and hardships that all persons experience sometime in life. A cross is not having an unsaved spouse, a nagging wife, or a domineering mother-in-law. To take up one’s cross is simply to be willing to pay any price for Christ’s sake. It is a willingness to endure shame, embarrassment, reproach, rejection, persecution, and even martyrdom, for His sake.

The cross represents suffering that is ours because of our relationship to Christ. Christ does not call disciples to Himself to make their lives easy and prosperous, but to make them holy and productive.

To take up the cross means to identify with Him in surrender, suffering, and sacrifice. You cannot crucify yourself; you can only yield your body (Romans 12:1-2) and let God do the rest.

Jesus did not stop with the declaration of His own death (cross), He made a declaration about a cross for every disciple. It is amazing to think of how Peter attempted to protect Jesus from suffering, and we have the same tendency.

Many people want a “no cost” (no cross) discipleship, but Christ offers no such option.

We should sing and say, “In my life, Lord, be glorified.”

“God’s glory eclipses our afflictions and deepens our affections.” Wisdom Hunter

Remember, we must “deny himself” – our old self-wishes to be in control; don’t associate with him anymore.

2 Corinthians 5:15, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

Love of one’s life is often the greatest hindrance to full commitment to Christ. Yet, Jesus calls His disciples to total self-denial, including, if necessary, sacrifice to the point of death.

The twelve knew immediately that to take their cross and follow after Me meant to abandon themselves without reservation to Jesus’ Lordship, with no consideration of cost – even of life itself.

Alex’s testimony –

“As I asked _______ - after her years of living a good life in the US and more than a year assisting me serving the Indonesian Ministry in St. Louis, Missouri – to go back home to Indonesia with me to serve the Lord in my village (for her, this means that she has to carry the cross of Christ with me and to deny herself of a comfortable life in her Dad’s ministry/compound in East Java…yes Pastor, I saw her struggling when she listened to my conversation with you about how hard it will be serving the Lord in my village), please continue to pray for both of us (especially for her) for whatever the Lord has for me (and-the Lord willing-her) to serve His Kingdom through serving the people of my native village with the Gospel and with the love of Jesus Christ.”

A cross is the willing sacrifice of everything one has, including life, for the sake of Christ.

But as the Lord goes on to explain, no sacrifice for Him compares with what is received from Christ.

Matthew 10:38-39, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Earthly life is temporary – it’s something that you cannot possibly keep. However, in the process, he forfeits the eternal that he cannot lose.

II. THE KINGDOM LIFE’S INVITATION.

23, 59, 61

A. WHAT THIS DOESN’T LOOK LIKE. 59,

61

Apparent that Jesus was not building an earthly kingdom of comfort and prosperity.

Implication of v.59, 61

1. Father has not died, let me delay until I receive my inheritance. I’ll follow You when earthly treasure is in place.

2. This man wanted to go home to negotiate some support from his family. Jesus and earthly possessions were his requirements.

Note v.62 Let everything go and follow Me.

QUESTION: Is Jesus enough?

What if all you have is the Son of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God? He is looking for those hungry and thirsty enough to pursue righteousness radically.

B. WHAT IT DOES LOOK LIKE.

“follow” – continued pattern of obedience characterizes a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

Luke 6:46, “ why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?”

Obedience is an integral feature of salvation.

John 12:26, “ If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

The true disciple is willing to pay whatever price faithfulness to the Lord requires:

Different for Most:

Epaphroditus – Health exhausted

John the Apostle – Life in exile

Paul the Apostle – Life executed

Whatever the particulars of the believer’s cross-bearing may be, it requires the willingness to abandon safety, security, personal resources, health, friends, job, and even life.

It is not that a disciple has to be a martyr, but that he is willing to be a martyr if faithfulness to Christ demands it.