- Establish the standard of following Jesus
- Question: Have you been reading daily? How is that helping you grow spiritually?
- Question: What is a disciple? Are there disciples of Jesus today? What would they look like?
A DISCIPLE IS A FOLLOWER
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.”
- A disciple is a follower, a student, an imitator in a good way. The word “disciple(s)” occurs more than 270 times in the NT. The word Christian occurs only 3 times. Jesus’ call to us was to be disciples. In the Bible anyone who claimed to be a Christian was a disciple first.
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.
- Self denial is the heart of discipleship. Are you willing?
- What would that look like in your life?
- There is gain through loss. What does Jesus mean here?
- How might one be ashamed of Jesus? Not wanting to pick up your cross!
A DISCIPLE IS A FISHERMAN
put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
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.
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men 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?
Jesus’ mission on earth was to seek and to save what was lost (Lk 19:10) He calls us as disciples to do the same. What is a fisher of men? How would that work in your life? “fishing” takes practice, persistence and passion to get good at it! Let someone show you how.
COUNT THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
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.
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.’
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.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
- Being a disciple is difficult and life-long (a marathon, not a sprint)
- V25-27 Jesus expects us to be serious about this! What does he mean here?
- V28-33 count the cost of becoming a disciple, and not becoming one!
- V34 I have to make the right decision and stay with it. What does that mean for you? What will your challenges be?
- 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.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
We can be full of excuses. Jesus sees right through them.
He makes 3 important points here:
- Discipleship is not comfortable, convenient, or easy.
- It requires a full commitment from the heart.
- There is no looking back.
Q: What challenges you most about that?
NO LOOKING BACK
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
- If we say we love Jesus, we will obey what he says.
DISCIPLES MAKE 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.”
As we change and become disciples, we reach out to others, calling them to do the same. This was Jesus’ plan to seek and save the lost, teaching others to obey his word. What is your plan to become a disciple?