- Establish the standard of following Jesus
- Q: How many times do you think the word Christian is used in the Bible? 3 times
- Q: How many times is the word disciple used in the Bible? Nearly 300 times
25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
- The disciples were called Christians – The people of Antioch identified the disciples of Jesus with a new term, “Christian” or Christ’s disciples. In the Bible, being a Christian and being a disciple are the same thing. Jesus never used the word “Christian.”
MARK 1:16-18 – CALLED TO FOLLOW JESUS
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
- Come follow me – Jesus called them to be his disciples. In the ancient world, being someone’s disciple was an intimate relationship, not just learning facts but imitating conduct and character. definition of disciple = pupil or learner, apprentice
- I will send you out to fish – Jesus gave purpose to these men as he called them. His disciples were to have the same purpose that he had.
- Q: How would you describe their response?
- Q: Is this the purpose of your life?
MATTHEW 22:35-38 – CALLED TO LOVE GOD
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
- Which is the greatest commandment – If we get this right, everything will follow.
- Love the Lord your God…with all of your being – As disciples of Jesus, our life’s priority is loving God emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.
LUKE 9:23-26 – CALLED TO CARRY A CROSS
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
- If anyone – The call of discipleship is the same for all of us.
- Deny themselves – Disciples live a life of absolute self-denial.
- Take up their cross – Being a disciple is incredibly challenging but worth it!
- Follow me – We learn how to live by imitation of Jesus.
- Whoever loses their life for me will save it – The only way to gain salvation is to give up our lives to God while we are on earth. This is the great paradox!
- Q: What will you need to deny to become a disciple of Jesus?
LUKE 14:25-27 – CALLED TO PUT JESUS FIRST
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
- If anyone comes to me and does not hate – Jesus comes before everything; our family, friends, careers, and personal ambitions. In order to be his disciple, Jesus must be first.
LUKE 14:28-30 – CALLED TO COUNT THE COSTS
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
- Won’t you first sit down and estimate– Soberly consider the costs of following Jesus.
- Being a disciple is difficult and life-long (a marathon, not a sprint).
LUKE 14:31-33 – CALLED TO SURRENDER
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
- Suppose a king is about to go to war – We are not in a position to bargain with God. He created us. We cannot get to heaven without his intercession.
- Ask for terms of peace – God sets the terms of peace. We surrender to his will.
- Q: What would you need to give up to be a disciple of Jesus?
JOHN 13:34-35 – CALLED TO LOVE AS JESUS LOVED
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
- A new command I give you – This is the night before Jesus died…he had spent about three years with his disciples already.
- As I have loved you, you must love one another – Jesus calls his disciples to model their relationships after how he loved them.
- Q: How did Jesus love these men over those three years?
- By this, all men will know that you are my disciples – the defining characteristic of Jesus’ followers would be this type of relationship with each other.
- Genuine, involved, and self-sacrificing love is a distinguishing trait of a true follower of Jesus!
MATTHEW 28:18-20 – CALLED TO MAKE OTHER DISCIPLES
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Go and make disciples – After we become disciples of Jesus, we make others.
- Baptise them – Disciples of Jesus are candidates for baptism.
- Teach them to obey everything – We need to continue to be trained.
- Q: Are you a true disciple of Jesus?
- Q: Would you like to become one? God is calling you!
- Q: Would you be willing to come to a church that believes in making disciples?
FURTHER STUDY (CAN BE GIVEN AS HOMEWORK)
- Matthew 7:21-23 We must do the will of God to go to heaven.
- Luke 5:1-11 Simon Peter being called to be a disciple.
- Luke 11:1-4 We learn how to live our spiritual life from imitating Jesus.
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 We imitate Christ-like characteristics in other disciples around us.
- 1 John 2:3-6 We must walk as Jesus did.
- Luke 9:57-62 Not everyone Jesus called to discipleship was willing to prioritise it.