February 17 AM Sermon
What Matters to Jesus 1498
(Discipleship, part 2)
Matt. 8:19-23 -- "Then a scribe came & said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." 20 Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes & the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go & bury my father." 22 But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, & allow the dead to bury their own dead." … 23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him."
This text gets to the heart of what it means to be a disciple. Some wanted to be disciples, even said they would do anything to be one. But when it came down to the nitty-gritty of following thru & putting Him first, they had something else to do, or they were not prepared to go that far!
(Do you ever have anything else to do…?)
But when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.
When Jesus gave the great commission to "Make disciples of all the nations", it was inherent that we as individuals are disciples. We can't make others into something we are not. To be a disciple of Christ means we will become like Christ.
Last week we noticed that the first step in making disciples is Relation-ship/friendship. The other two parts are Teaching & Mentoring.
A. "Disciple" means "learner, student."
1. ...and more. A disciple is one who imitates his teacher.
2. You have learned from teachers but did not become their disciples because you did not want to be like them.
3. Others, you learned from and imitated…
4. To be a disciple of Jesus means that we become like Him.
"It is enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher." -- Matt. 10:25
B. One aspect of discipleship is the Right Information.
1. We will enlarge on all of this as the year progresses.
2. In order to be a disciple, one must acquire a body of knowledge
3. Jesus was the Master Teacher
a. He taught his disciples what they needed to know and equipped them to teach others. See how important it is to Him:
b. 2 Tim. 2:2 -- "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
4. Notice that we began this thought by talking about the RIGHT information. To follow the WRONG information would make us disciples of something or someone else.
a. 2 Tim. 4:3 -- "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires," -- they are their own disciples -- not the Lord's!
b. And that points out the need for the disciple to teach others not only what to believe & do, but how to study & learn for oneself…
D. Discipleship is not sitting in a classroom.
1. Heb. 5:12 -- "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God,"
2. Some have been sitting in a classroom on Sunday morning and Wednesday night for years -- & haven't even become students yet, much less disciples.
E. Just having the right information is not enough.
A. The right Skills.
1. Knowledge alone will not make you a disciple. Discipleship involves developing your skills. That's one of the great blessings of short-term missions. They are mentoring projects.
a. And people come home changed. Developing into disciples.
2. A disciple marries the right information with the skill needed to put it into practice.
B. How important is it that we get this picture?
1. Suppose you need open-heart surgery. Night before the operation…
"Doc, this is a serious thing. How many of these have you done before?" "You're my first one…"
"Excuse me? Doc, pull up a chair. How do you know you can do this?" "...4 years of college, medical school, & I made all A's. Top of my class! I know the body, have all the instruments needed. You have nothing to worry about."
"But passing tests does not make you a surgeon. I want someone in there who has done this before."
a. So does everyone else.
b. That's why a medical student does an internship & residency.
c. He has to come alongside a Dr. who has been in surgery & knows what to do when complications arise, etc.
3. That's discipleship! One person brings another person along in such a way that he departs the right information while modeling the right skill.
a. That's why you cannot be discipled simply by showing up at church on Sunday.
b. Worship is an essential component of following Christ, but like knowledge, it is not the whole picture. Discipleship demands someone walking beside you.
c. It is a process of spiritual development.
3. We have an example disciple-making right in our communities: the drug pushers. They are slick.
a. Take a young boy and befriend him. Mold him. Teach him what he needs to know to make a quick dollar, then let him walk beside them as they deal, & then send him on his own to do what they did.
b. The devil disciples people really well. And we're lagging behind.
c. The issue is not whether you will be discipled, but by whom you will be discipled.
IV. Discipleship Has Its Cost.
A. Elijah has taken to the hills in flight from the wrath of Jezebel …
1. She blamed him for killing her prophets & wants revenge…
2. He hid in a cave & heard the voice of the Lord in a gentle whisper.
B. I K. 19:15-16 -- "The LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; 16 and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place."
vv. 19-21 -- "So he departed from there & found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with 12 pairs of oxen before him, & he with the twelfth. & Elijah passed over to him & threw his mantle on him. 20 He left the oxen & ran after Elijah & said, "Please let me kiss my father & my mother, then I will follow you." & he said to him, "Go back again, for what have I done to you?" 21 So he returned from following him, & took the pair of oxen & sacrificed them & boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, & gave it to the people & they ate. Then he arose & followed Elijah and ministered to him."
1. Elisha had 12 yoke of oxen … a large farming operation… He was a rich man.
2. Elijah threw his mantle over his shoulders & walked off.
a. It was a form of anointing. It was a practice derived from the belief that clothing which came into bodily contact with a powerful person possessed some of that power.
b. It was merely a symbol to Elijah & Elisha. Their belief was in the power of God. But in this symbolic way Elijah was transferring his power to Elisha.
c. Elisha made the commitment. He paid the price.
d. He used his equipment as fuel. And fed the oxen to his people.
e. He destroyed the elements of his former life (a symbol of our repentance & change of life)
3. Elisha walked beside Elijah and learned to be a prophet of God.
4. Joshua walked beside Moses & learned to be the leader of Israel.
5. Timothy walked beside Paul & learned to be a preacher.
6. Children will walk beside mom/dad & learn to be parents/Christian
7. Friends will walk beside friends & learn to be Christian.
C. But the cost is commitment. Luke 14:26-33 --
"If anyone comes to Me, & does not hate his own father & mother & wife & children & brothers & sisters, yes, & even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross & come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down & calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation & is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This man began to
build & was not able to finish.' 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down & consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions."
1. In the final analysis, discipleship is exacting.
2. Hate father & mother?
a. It's a literary comparison indicating that the intensity of love for God makes all other loves seem like hate in comparison.
b. Mt. 10:37 makes it plain that this is the case: "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me."
c. But loving God more is a leap of commitment that many are not willing to make. If so, they cannot be saved/discipled.
3. Laid a foundation and haven't finished?
a. Does that describe you?
b. Did you begin the Christian life with great promise & commitment, but have settled for doing the least you tho't you could get away with?
c. Would Paul's question to the Galatians be a good one for you to ask yourself? -- Gal. 5:7 -- "You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?"
d. But remember, God doesn't give up. And neither should you. Phil. 1:6 -- "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
 But He'll need your help… your penitence… your commitment… your love… your discipleship… & discipling of others.
4. Remember Mt. 18:23 -- "When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him."
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