- Sermon Notes
To be a Disciple
Last week as we were studying the first part of this chapter, we saw that Jesus was sending them out as His apostles to the lost sheep of Israel. But we also saw that before He sent them out as apostles, they were first His disciples. There is a very important distinction there.
Before they could be apostles, "those who are sent," they had to first be disciples, "those who are taught." In our lives as well, Jesus emphasizes the importance and significance of being His disciples. The key to that is found in John 8:31-32, “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”
When we come to the verses we are studying today, Jesus again refers to what it means to be a disciple, one who follows after his master, one who abides in His Word.
What we see in these verses is the practical application of what it means in our lives now and the significance of it eternally. And what we will come to see is that the gospel is serious business because the consequences are eternal.
He begins this section rather ominously when he says, "A disciple is not above his teacher." In other words, if we look at how the world received Him and the Word He declared to them, we will understand how the world will receive those who confess before men that they are disciples of Jesus Christ.
Jesus wants them and He also wants us to understand not only the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, but also the blessings that come with being His disciple.
I. Stand in the Truth
- In verse 25, Jesus said, "It is enough for the disciple that he become as his teacher."
- If they called Him, "Beezebul,” or "lord of the flies," how much more would they say the same of His disciples. "Lord of the flies," is an expression referring to Satan, or the chief false god.
- Jesus was confronting the religion of the day which no longer stood for truth and was no longer concerned for the redemption of man's soul, they were only concerned with their own personal wealth and using religion to command control over others.
- But instead of receiving the truth -- and the authority of God on Jesus testified that He was the Truth -- they accused Jesus of being of Satan.
A. The truth will win
- Verse 26 is a great encouragement. “Do not fear them,” because the truth will win.
- The enemy is a liar and uses lies as a weapon of his warfare. “But do not fear them,” Jesus said, because the truth will be revealed and the truth will win.
- There are some powerful scriptures that give us great encouragement on this theme.
John 8:31-32, 36, “If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free… If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Destroying everything raised up against the knowledge of God…
- “Don't be afraid to speak the truth of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus was saying to them. The world needs to hear it, proclaim it with boldness knowing that the truth will win.
2 Timothy 2:2, The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrusted these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
B. Fear God rather than men
- Verse 28 continues as Jesus emphasizes the point that there should be no fear of those out there who can kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul. It’s much more important to have the fear of Him who has the power both over the body and the soul. That is to say, “fear God.”
- The body is just temporary; it's just a tent to live in while here on earth, it came from dust and will return to dust. But the soul is eternal and God and God alone will judge the soul of man.
Matthew 16:26, “For what would it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
- There are two parts to this verse. First, do not be afraid of men…
John 12:42-43, Many even of the rulers believe in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of man rather than the approval of God.
- Secondly, there should be a fear of the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. In other words, the gospel is serious business for it has eternal consequences.
- It's interesting that Jesus brings up hell here.
- Many people are uncomfortable talking about hell and many churches don't want to bring it up at all. They don't want to chase people away.
Illus - What if we were on the Titanic and we knew that it was doomed. Would we be afraid to make people uncomfortable? It's better to make people uncomfortable now so that we can save them from being extremely uncomfortable in hell.
- Many people ask the question, “Why would a God of love send anyone to hell?”
- But God isn't sending anyone there, they make that choice themselves.
Joshua 24:15, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”
Illus – When I was waiting on tables while in bible college, I worked occasionally with a homosexual who objected to the concept of hell… And he needed to know the truth of what hell is, but also that Jesus took upon Himself God's wrath to save us from it.
C. You are of great value to your Father
- Again Jesus repeated, “Do not fear,” and the reason given in verse 31 is that, “You are of more value than many sparrows.”
- He is your Father and He is watching over your life. He uses two pictures to make his point.
- The first picture is that of a sparrow. Jesus said that not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from your Father. So therefore He will also watch over you. “I sing because I'm free, for His eyes on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
- The point is how valuable you are to your Father. How valuable are you? You’ve been bought with a price…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Do you not know that… You are not your own? For you have been bought with a price;
- The second picture is that of the hairs on our head. Jesus said, “The very hairs on your head are all numbered.” For some people that would not be a very impressive feat, but I think we understand His point.
Psalm 139:1-6 Behold, O Lord, you know all about me…
- I love the verses in that Psalm that speak of God's hand being upon me. He's intimately acquainted with all of my ways and then He guides me with His mighty right-hand.
II. The Stakes are Eternal
- Think about how important these events are; God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten Son… and here He is… giving them an eternal perspective.
- In verse 32 and following, Jesus explains why this is so important to understand.
A. He will confess you before the Father
- First of all, we should clarify these verses. It's very important that we are willing to make it be known that we belong to Christ.
Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
- This is one reason why it's so important to have folks be baptized publicly and have them give a testimony of what Christ has done for them.
- But it doesn't mean that if you should fail at some point and either deny Christ or fail to confess Him, that your salvation will be voided.
Illus - The Apostle Peter denied the Lord three times and was not only restored, he was commissioned and sent out.
- But it does mean that at the end of the day, your desire will be honored. At some point will come the question, “Is that your final answer?”
- The good news is that Jesus is the One who will be our advocate before our Father and will commend us before Him.
- This next section is bothersome to some who wonder what Christ might mean when he said that he came to set a man against his father, etc.
- But it can be summarized best by the phrase, “Love God above all.”
- It is true even today in many places in the world that if someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ that they may be in danger of their life.
- What Jesus is saying is that the most important relationship we have is our relationship that we have with our Father in heaven.
- But it's also important to understand that our relationship to our Father will make us a better husband or wife, son or daughter.
- To take up our cross means that we love God more than the world, more than anyone in the world, and more than life itself.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
- Jesus then explains by using a paradox…
- Verse 39, “He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it."
- If we live our lives focused on ourselves and constantly favoring ourselves, we will find that it only brings death. But if we allow our pride, our self-dependence, and self-will to die in Christ, our lives will bear the fruit of spiritual life.
John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Matthew 10:23-42 NASB
24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!