Title: The High Cost of Discipleship
Focus: Since declaring Jesus as the Messiah involves following him in his way, we need to understand that his way on earth is the way of suffering, shame, humility, and self denial
Function: To motivate the hearers to be more concerned with walking in step with Jesus rather than in step with the world.
Text: Mk 8:27 - 9:1
Intro: 1. Nice few days off camping in the Black Hills 2. One night, had ice melting races - Made a lesson out of it a. One single ice cube melted in seconds on the grill b. Huge chunk takes a while (importance of fellowship) c. Galcier would put the fire out (importance of fellowship with Christ) 3. Will be talking about what fellowship with Christ means 4. In next couple chapters, spends more time teaching about way of discipleship 5. The way of Discipleship involves being in step with him (Mk 8:27-9:1) I. By walking his way A. How is that being out of step? 1. Peter understands that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) 2. But Jesus warns (rebukes) them to tell no one. Why? B. Shouldn’t Peter be telling everyone about the Messiah? 1. Messianic expectations colored by Jewish apocalyptic a. Violent overthrow of evil, coming of kingdom b. A king like David will rule a reign of peace c. Peter obviously buys into this expectation 2. Most of us familiar with Daniel 2, vision of the statue a. Rock of God destroys all kingdoms b. God’s kingdom takes over c. Easy to see this as military action d. Messiah with shatter kingdoms of the earth 3. Example of typical Messianic expectation: “See Lord, and raise up for them their king, the son of David, to rule over your servant Israel in the time known to you, O God. Undergird him with the strength to destroy the unrighteous rulers, to purge Jerusalem from gentiles who trample her to destruction; in wisdom and in righteousness to drive our sinners from the inheritance; to smash the arrogance of sinners like a potter’s jar; to shatter all their substance with an iron rod; to destroy the unlawful nations with the word of his mouth; At his warning the nations will flee from his presence; and he will condemn sinners by the thoughts of their hearts (Psalms of Solomon 17:21ff).” 4. Jesus rebukes Peter after Peter rebukes him a. Get behind me Satan (pretty harsh words) b. Jesus walking out of step with current expectations C. ILL: In Basic training, spent hours learning to march to instructors 1. Had to listen - Hup, too, tree, four 2. Many times stumbled because was out of step 3. Peter not want to listen to Jesus’ cadence, so he stumbled 4. Later, Paul would write that cross a stumbling block to Jews D. Being a disciple of Christ means more than just getting his title right 1. It means following his way, not my way 2. Need to set mind on God’s interest, not mine E. So have to be in step by following. Where does his way lead? II. By walking his way through suffering A. Jesus plainly stated that he himself was going to suffer B. But he does not intend that the way of suffering be just his 1. He first asks the question - Who do people say son of man is a. Many conceptions, mostly favorable b. Even asks them - Peter said he is the Messiah c. Problem: Jesus not fit in with conceptions 2. He said “get behind me” - Peter to follow him to suffering 3. Most don’t want to suffer, make nice comfortable lives a. There was a time, when every “respectable” person was supposed to be a Christian b. That is changing, therefore becoming a challenge C. ILL: Can remember people saying - If follow Christ, a better life 1. If you mean more comfort, friends, social acceptance - Wrong a. This is very naive and ignorant b. I used to say the same ignorant thing 2. For many Christians, it meant just the opposite 3. Peter confesses him now, but later, under threat of suffering will deny him D. (Mk 13:13) - Will be hated (Also John 15:19ff) 1. Men like Peter and John glad to suffer for his name, Acts 5:41 2. (Phil 3:10) - Suffering is an expression of fellowship 3. But why? What value is there in suffering? a. (Heb 5:9) - Jesus perfected through suffering b. (Heb 12:5ff) - We perfected through suffering c. (1 Pet 4:1-2) - Notice what Peter had learned III. By walking his way through shame A. People typically have not associated Christianity with shame 1. However, that may change 2. Is there shame involved in Christian faith B. What would you think of a relgion like this.... 1. Image of followers in handcuffs stuffed into squad car? 2. Most people think of those who are social misfits 3. They have strange ways of talking 4. They should be ashamed, but they seem joyous when arrested C. That is exactly what Jesus was calling his disciples to do 1. Strange demand - Take up cross and follow him a. Cross involve both suffering and shame b. Executions were very public 2. Paul took up the shame a. (1 Cor 4:9-13) b. I Cor 2 - Weakness, fear, much trembling D. No wonder cross a stumbling block 1. Do I carry a cross, or do I stumble over it? 2. What does it mean for me to carry my cross? 3. That brings us to final point IV. By walking his way through self-denial A. The only way to save your life is to lose it B. Many people deny things because of this 1. But Jesus not instituting lent 2. We not to deny things, but our whole self C. This can be a challenge 1. For some - Leaving job and extended family, like disciples did 2. For proud - Deny desire for status and honor 3. For greedy - Deny appetite for wealth 4. For apathetic - Deny love of comfort and ease 5. For fearful - Deny craving for security 6. For the violent - Deny craving for revenge D. Have you denied your whole self? Concl: 1. This seems way radical - There is more radical to come 2. May mean sitting on a fire in suffering 3. However, promise of kingdom (9:1) 4. We looking for heavenly kindom (Humble selves, God exalt) 5. Are you in step with Jesus?