Choosing God over the world.
- THE FIRST PART OF THE COST IS TO DENY
- Pair of Choices
Deny self/Live for Self
Take Cross/Ignore Cross
Ways to Deny
- What is the cost of discipleship?
- Total abandonment of ourselves.
- We bring nothing to the table.
- We are totally dependent on the Lord.
- THE SECOND PART OF THE COST IS THE CROSS.
- This is one of the most misused statements that Jesus ever made.
- People have used it to describe trials and troubles they are going through.
- a) My marriage is my cross.
- b) My work is my cross.
- c) My addiction is my cross.
- d) He/she/ they are my cross.
- The issue here isn’t trials and trouble although the Christian life is full of them.
- a) Phil. 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
- b) 2Tim. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
- But I think there is more going on here.
- We don’t understand the impact of Jesus statement because we are so far removed from the time and culture of that day.
- Crucifixion was the execution of choice for the Roman Government.
- It was used for non-Roman citizens and traitors.
- The process included flogging the person and then making him carry his cross through the streets to a place outside of the city were he was nailed or tied to the beams and left to die.
- Every one who was around in those days understood what taking up one’s cross meant.
- a) It meant being totally and completely humiliated and abused.
- b) It meant dying.
- c) Rome used it not only as an instrument of torture and execution but also as a shameful pillory reserved for the worst and lowest. To the Jews it was a sign of being accursed
- d) Talk about a deterrent for crime.
- So here you have one of the most horrendous forms of execution and Jesus is saying that they must take up their own cross and follow Him.
- a) How many do you think would be hanging around after that kind of invitation?
- b) John
- Jesus is emphasizing the extent of our self denial.
- Luke adds take up his cross daily!!
- Building upon the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Jesus intended this in two directions: the death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus completely, even to the extent of martyrdom.
III. THE THIRD PART OF THE COST IS TO FOLLOW.
- The word means to accompany someone – to be going the same way.
- This word is used mostly in the gospels and most often is used to refer to following Jesus.
- In the context of our passage the call becomes even more specific.
- This is a clear call to discipleship.
- This is a serious call too.
- Mt. 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
- So Jesus lays down the requirements for being His disciple.
- Deny yourself. PICK ME
- Take up your cross. CHOOSE ME
- Follow Me. LOVE ME
- All of these things seem a bit hard don’t they?