Words of Jesus; Son of God, God the Son – John 21:20-25

“Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, ‘Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?’ Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, ‘Lord, and what shall this man do?’  Jesus saith unto him,
‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me.’
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, ‘He shall not die;’ but, ‘If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?’
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”  John 21:20-25  (KJB)

The Disciple of Jesus Christ

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)

Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.

There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).

The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.

Hearing

“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)

Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).

Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9;  Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.

In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.

The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”

That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.

Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.

Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.

When We Build

“And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them,  ‘If any come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’  Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.’
” Luke 14:25-33  (KJB)

I will give you John Gill’s exposition of verse 28…

For which of you intending to build a tower,…. Taking up a profession of Christ and his Gospel, is like building a tower; which, as a tower, must be laid on a good foundation; not on carnal descent and parentage; nor on a sober and religious education; nor on a civil, moral life and conversation; nor on a bare knowledge of Gospel truths and a flash of affection for them, and the people of God; but upon Christ the sure foundation; and on principles of grace formed by his Spirit, in their hearts: and this, like a tower, is carried very high; not by professing high things, but by living on high amidst a profession; by having the affections set on things above; and by looking down with contempt on things below; and by looking to, and pressing after, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ: the profession of some persons is very low; it arises from low principles, and proceeds on low views, aims, and ends; but where it is right, and well founded, it is like a tower, firm and steady, and is a fortress and bulwark against apostacy. Now what person acting deliberately in such a case as this, and proceeding with intention and design,

sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? as every wise man would, who has any thoughts of building a tower, or any other edifice: and so such that have an intention to take up a profession of religion, should sit down and well consider of it; which does not imply, that persons should delay making a profession, on whom it is incumbent; but that this should be done with thoughtfulness, care, and prudence: it should be considered on what foundation a man is going to build: whether the work of grace is truly wrought upon his soul; what be the nature and use of Gospel ordinances; with what views he takes up a profession, and submits to ordinances; what the church and minister are, he intends to walk with; and what the charge and cost of a profession; for such a work is chargeable and costly, and should be thought of and considered, whether he is able to bear it: for he will be called to self-denial; and must expect to suffer the loss of the favour of carnal relations and friends; and to be exposed to the scorn and rage of the world; a cross must be took up and bore; and great grace and strength are requisite to all this.

The Disciple and The Lord

“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household!
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.”
Matthew 10:24-26 (KJB)

Jesus had been giving His disciples instruction, encouragement, and warnings of what they could expect as they went out to preach and teach the gospel of the kingdom.  There would be good things happen.  There would be disappointing events and acts that would be done; and evil words said of them.

Jesus Himself had been accused of casting out demons by the power of the prince of demons.  Could the disciples expect anything else?  Of course not.

Christian we are living in a world that is growing more and more hostile to Christ, the cross, and any who would live the life of the teachings of Jesus, to be like Him.

Let us not be discouraged by the situation.  Let us rejoice.  It is the work of God as He works in His people separating the true follower of Jesus Christ from those who only wear the name Christian.

From the Matthew Henry Commentary…

They must expect, in the midst of these sufferings, to be branded with the most odious and ignominious names and characters that could be. Persecutors would be ashamed in this world, if they did not first dress up those in bear-skins whom they thus bait, and represent them in such colours as may serve to justify such cruelties. The blackest of all the ill characters they give them is here stated; they call them Beelzebub, the name of the prince of the devils, Mat_10:25. They represent them as ringleaders of the interest of the kingdom of darkness, and since every one thinks he hates the devil, thus they endeavour to make them odious to all mankind. See, and be amazed to see, how this world is imposed upon: [1.] Satan’s sworn enemies are represented as his friends; the apostles, who pulled down the devil’s kingdom, were called devils. Thus men laid to their charge, not only things which they knew not, but things which they abhorred, and were directly contrary to, and the reverse of. [2.] Satan’s sworn servants would be thought to be his enemies, and they never more effectually do his work, than when they pretend to be fighting against him. Many times they who themselves are nearest akin to the devil, are most apt to father others upon him; and those that paint him on others’ clothes have him reigning in their own hearts. It is well there is a day coming, when (as it follows here, Mat_10:26) that which is hid will be brought to light. (On verse 25)

We who are in Christ Jesus are being called evil things.  Let us continue to stand on the old time gospel of Jesus Christ, take up the cross and follow Him; wherever that may lead us.

There is a Cost for Following Jesus; and Reward

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” ~Jesus (Matthew 10:34-42)

Councils, Sparrows and Enemies

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ‘Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.’  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.  But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”  Matthew 10:16-39 (KJV)

Notice the three “Fear nots” in the text above.  The word also of Whom we are to fear.

-T.A.

Being A Disciple of Jesus

Being A Disciple of Jesus

Matthew 8:18-23

Disciple making is the business of the local church. It is the call of God for every Christian to be a faithful, follower of Jesus, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. The Great Commission says just that, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” and that word “teach” is for making disciples. Disciples are made by teaching them. The disciplemaking of Christ is teaching people to follow Him.

Let no one think that following Jesus is a life of ease, comfort, popularity, or praise. Jesus gives us ample warning of the trials and tribulations that come into the Christian disciple’s life in the following portion of Scripture we see some of those things which come, or are part of the Christian disciple’s life. I am saying “Christian disciple” because there are “Disciples” of other causes, of religions, and men; and need to differentiate between the follower of Jesus Christ and the riff raff of the world.

“Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:18-22 (KJV).

One of the things we can see about Jesus and His ministry is that He had no desire for popularity. His sole desire was to be pleasing to the Father and fulfill His will and Word. The reason we can know this is because when many had already been to Him for healing of their sicknesses and diseases, and deliverance from demons He called to His disciples to “depart to the other side”.

On the other side was a place of rest. It was a place where Gentiles dominated the lands. That is evident because of the herd of swine mentioned in verse 30. No law abiding Jew would be raising pork. The reason for Jesus’s departure to the other side was partially rest, and to get away from the crowds. There are many false teachers who love the crowds, at least love their accolades and praises. They also love the huge offerings a large crowd can provide them for their lush homes, fancy cars and clothing. You will never hear a false teacher revealing the sins of the people’s hearts and lives. The crowds will not come to hear the truth.

Every where Jesus went His presence drew a crowd. He saw people hurting, and ministered health to them, and that is why many sought Him out; and when He started preaching on the hard things, they departed (John 6:1-59ff.). “Will you also go away?” Jesus asked His disciples.

A scribe breaks ranks with the other scribes and does seek Jesus out asking to be His disciple; at least he is looking into the possibility. This scribe must have been fairly well off. Jesus knows all men’s hearts, and surely this man’s heart was set on his security in having a home, a secure place to live, sleep, eat, entertain, and to be comfortable. This scribe soon learned that the life of a disciple was a life of sacrifice. Jesus said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head”, as saying if you are going to follow me you can have no ties to this world that will keep you from doing My will. It is a life with no house, no comforts, no securities. In Matthew 10:16 we read, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16; saying to us that all we have is what Jesus and the Father gives us. Sheep have no protection except the Shepherd. Sheep have no sustenance except by the wisdom of the Shepherd. Sheep have no shelter, but by the Shepherd.

Jesus also said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 10:39. The scribe evidently did not approve of the cost of being a follower of Jesus. We never hear of this man again. We are not even given his name, just, “A certain scribe” as though he were only a parable; an illustration so as not to pattern one’s life in the same fashion. What is the cost of discipleship? Let’s hear what Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 16:24-25.

There was another disciple who came to Jesus seeming to be willing to follow Jesus. We see that he was wanting, though, to wait for a more convenient time. He says, “Let me first bury my father”, but his father was not dead. What he was asking was for the ability to wait until dear old Dad was gone, and then, he would inherit the inheritance. He was still tied to his family; basically the family inheritance. He is evidently the elder son of the family who was the one whose responsibility it was to care for the father’s estate.

When the call comes to follow Jesus, that is the time to go, and follow Jesus. Family, and/or family inheritance is no excuse for putting it off. Are we being told to neglect our wives, children, elderly parents, etc.? Definitely not. Jesus is telling us that following Him is of the highest priority. We can be faithful disciples of Jesus, and as a matter of fact are the most faithful; when we disciple our families into Christ, as well as others. The disciple’s seeing to it that his/her family follows Jesus is the disciple’s greatest achievement. If we were to win the world and lose our own children what have we achieved?

I know of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ who have served as pastors, loved and cherished their children, and those children depart from the faith. I mean to place no guilt on any faithful follower of Jesus, only to stress that we must begin at our homes.

As disciples of Jesus we must value the eternal over the temporal – that which is only temporary. The first man [the scribe] must have decided that the cost was too high. He could not give up the life of comfort and ease that he had been living. He had a nice home, a place to lay his head, and it was his. He could not part with the security of a walled home, and the protection he thought he had in it. The second man, giving him the benefit of the doubt, shows that he has concern for his family. It would be more beneficial for him to follow Jesus, for in following Jesus his whole family could and might also come to Jesus.

Remember Jesus’s words, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” Matthew 16:24-25 (KJV). The life of the follower of Jesus is a crucified life as Paul the apostle described it, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Gal 2:20 (KJV).