Monday, November 12, 2012

Discipleship as the Way of the Cross Lesson 10 Mark 8:37-9:29

Day One question 2a asks “How would you answer the question-Who do you say that I (Jesus) am?”
I agree with Peter answers found in Matthew16:16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew16:17  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Wow, don’t we all want to hear Jesus say, “Blessed are You!”  Don’t you long to have the King greet you as Jesus taught in parables of Matthew.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Let us must deny ourselves for the cost of Christ.
It concerns me that a lot of our friends and family know about Him but do not Know Jesus personally?
Last week I was stunned when my friend told me about a very good sermon she had heard. She was glad to hear the Pastor teach that many other gods over the world may be the same as our God, they just call him by a different name.  
Stunned to hear her beliefs, I remarked, “There is only one way to be saved.  Jesus says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Only way to the father is through me!” Sadly she had no reply.
Ladies, we must pray for others to know Jesus as their personal Savior and LORD.

Discipleship as the Way of the Cross Mark 8:37-9:29
• A disciple will suffer (8:27 – 9:1).
• A disciple will listen (9:2-13).
• A disciple will pray (9:14-29).
Disciples must deny self for the cost of Christ.

I- A disciple will suffer (8:27 – 9:1).
 Mark 8:31-33 This is the first of three times in Mark that Jesus predicted His own death. (9:31; 10:33-34) Jesus used the title, Son of Man, must suffer points to the necessity of His suffering and death and testifies to Jesus willingness to fulfill God’s plan to redeem the world.
The elders, the chief priests, and the scribes were the three power groups of the Sanhedrin, the ruling Jewish body. Jesus would be killed, not by a lawless mob but by Israel's religious leaders.
Can’t you just see their faces? Don’t you know they were stunned, devastated!? Peter- bold, robust leader spokesman of the group takes Jesus aside to rebuke Him. Woe, Woe, Woe surely the student is not trying to teach the Master.
Peter clearly loved the LORD and was boldly stating “This will not come to pass; we will never let this happen to you.” Had they not seen Jesus raise the dead, calm the storm; heal the leper, the blind, deaf and dumb!!! “Oh Master this horrible thing can never happen to you.” Did Peter hear the last part after three days rise again?”Clearly he did not understand.
Do we ever do that! When we give our prayer list to Jesus do we tell Him what He should do? “Bless Brother Bob, heal Sister Sue. Bring Johnny home! Give us warm weather, but please get rid of the bugs.”  Who are we to tell the Creator of the universe who can whip up a storm that destroys building and bridges made by man! Was that not a powerful demonstration to our nation the week before election? Our prayers should always qualify our requests to be in His will.
Peter, who the Lord had just blessed, must now be rebuked:33 “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”  
Poor Peter, he jumped the gun again. He did not understand Not only must Christ suffer but a disciple will suffer (8:27 – 9:1).
v.8:34“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (Luke says daily) and follow Me.
Trying to live godly lives in an ungodly world, we may find that following Christ sometimes involves isolation, ridicule, and discrimination.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

AW Tozer says “Our cross will be determined by whatever pain and suffering and trouble which will yet come to us. Because of our obedience to the will of God the true saints of God have always borne witness that wholehearted obedience brings the Cross into the Light quicker than anything else.”
Even if we are blessed to escape persecution, as Disciples of Christ we must still be bold enough to expend time and effort in promoting the cause of Christ in positive ways.

1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

Lk 14:33 whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.  Let us must deny ourselves for the cost of Christ.
This kind of "high cost" of discipleship demanded by Jesus caused many people to turn away from following Him.
But Jesus wasn't trying to attract large crowds, He wanted disciples!

Mark 8:38(ESV)38 For  whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Ladies, we need an introduction from Jesus for all we are sinful creatures. God cannot look upon sin therefore the only way we can come before the Father’s throne is through Jesus the perfect sacrificial lamb. We must be washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood. Therefore we need an introduction to the Father. If we are ashamed of Jesus and his Words in this generation (at the voting booth, in the workplace, out with our friends) then he will be ashamed of us when he returns.
A true disciple must deny himself for the cause of Christ.
II A disciple will listen (9:2-13).
Peter, James, and John form a close inner circle. You may recall only they were allowed to enter when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. This small group was privileged to witness Jesus’ power in raising the dead, and experience His glory when Jesus was transfigured before them.
His disciples must have been confused and devastated to learn of His impending suffering and death. To encourage them six days later he gives Peter, James and John a glimpse of His glory. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
Matthew Henry says A glimpse of that kingdom was given in the transfiguration of Christ. It is good to be away from the world, and alone with Christ: and how good to be with Christ glorified in heaven with all the saints! But when it is well with us, we are apt not to care for others, and in the fullness of our enjoyments, we forget the many wants of our brethren.
We must deny our wants for the cost of Christ.
I can understand Peter wanting to build tents and stay right up there on the mountain. Have you ever had a mountain “top experience?”  Been on a women’s retreat! The serenity, peace and joy of having time for communion with God, makes you want to stay on the mountaintop.
Do you have a lot of friends, women you have met here at CBS, ladies in your church, friends from work? But do you a few very close friends? Friends who take no offense when you are grumpy or out of control.  Keeps no record of wrong! Loyal, trustworthy friends that will listen truly listen, when you are despondent. Someone to whom you can “vent” about your family,” admit your shortcomings.  I am truly blessed to have Sisters in Christ who love me in spite of myself.
When he speaks we should listen. When we study our Bible we should allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us. Be still and know that I am God!
Philippians 2 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.
 Let us must deny ourselves for the cost of Christ.
III A disciple will pray (9:14-29) Three main characters
While Jesus and these three special disciples were up on the mountain listening, the other disciples were down in the trenches. At this very time, the other disciples needed them greatly.
Let’s concentrate on the three main characters in this drama.
FATHER “Teacher, I brought my son to you. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
UNCLEAN SPIRIT makes him mute, it seizes him, throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.
JESUS “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”
UNCLEAN SPIRIT saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. “From childhood. it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him.
FATHER But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
JESUS “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
FATHER I believe; help my unbelief!” FAITH
JESUS rebuked the unclean spirit, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
UNCLEAN SPIRITS crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, leaving the boy as dead
JESUS took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
DISCIPLES privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
KJV “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” He added fasting to prayer. There are times when prayer needs to be accompanied by fasting before it can be effectual.

WW Power comes through Faith- The disciples had become dependent on Jesus’ physical presence, when faced with a genuine test, they failed. The disciples will need to learn how to function in His absence. When the Holy Spirit comes He will work through the prayers of believers.
Dr. A. C. Dixon of Spurgeon's Tabernacle wrote: “When we rely upon organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; ….but when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.”
MAX LUCADO day 29 “No one can pray and worry at the same time. When we worry, we aren’t praying. When we pray, we aren’t worrying. When you pray, you “stay” your mind on Christ, resulting in peace.”
A disciple has no power without God.
1888-1988, Bertha Smith went to China as a missionary in 1917 until1948 when Communism forced her out. After her retirement in 1961, she prayed for and ministered to pastors and other Christians up until her death in 1988.” It has been said
 “Missionary Bertha Smith born in Cowpens, SC once told an audience that there are too many ‘alive’ Christians in the world. The listeners looked puzzled and asked, ‘Aren’t Christians supposed to be alive?’
 She replied, ‘You don’t understand. We have too many “alive” Christians—alive to SELF. They do what they want. We need more “dead” Christians—dead to self.”
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. Mark 8:35

Will you choose to die daily to your own desires in order to follow Christ wholeheartedly?