Matthew 11:29a Take my yoke upon you and learn from me
He Required Obedience Jesus expected the disciples to OBEY Him. They were not required to be smart, but they had to be LOYAL. They were called His “DISCIPLES" meaning that they were "learners" or "pupils" of the Master.
He Required Obedience None of the disciples were asked at first to make a statement of faith or accept a well-defined creed, but they recognized Jesus to be the Messiah (John 1:41, 45, 49; Luke 5:8). However, Jesus EMPHASIZED that the disciples obey His commands.
Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
The Way Of The Cross It soon became clear that being a disciple of Christ involved far more than an acceptance of the Messianic promise: it meant the SURRENDER of one's whole life to the Master in ABSOLUTE obedience to His WILL.
The Way Of The Cross Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
The Way Of The Cross There had to be a COMPLETE forsaking of sin. The old thought PATTERNS, HABITS and PLEASURES of the world had to be conformed to the new disciplines of the Kingdom of God (Matt- 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:20-49).
The Way Of The Cross John 6:60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?"
Count The Cost Those who would not go all the way thus in time FELL by the wayside. They separated themselves from Jesus by reason of their own SELFISHNESS.
Count The Cost Matthew 8:19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
Count The Cost Luke 14:28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
Count The Cost Luke 14:33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Few Would Pay The Price John 6:67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Few Would Pay The Price This was a CRUCIAL question Jesus asked to His disciples. If these few men QUIT following Him, what would remain of His ministry?
To Obey Is To Learn This does not mean, however, that the disciples quickly UNDERSTOOD everything the Lord said. Their ability to grasp the deeper truths of the Lord's VICARIOUS ministry was encumbered with all the limitations of human frailty.
To Obey Is To Learn When Jesus told the disciples after the great affirmation at Caesarea Philippi that He would be put to death by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, Peter actually REBUKED Him. Matthew 16:22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!"
To Obey Is To Learn Jesus rebuked him and told him that Satan deceived him at this point. Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
To Obey Is To Learn Yet Jesus PATIENTLY endured these human failings of His chosen disciples because in spite of all their SHORTCOMINGS they were willing to follow Him. With such men Jesus was willing to put up with a lot of those things which issued from their spiritual immaturity.
The Proof Of Love OBEDIENCE was interpreted to be the expression of LOVE. John 14:15 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
The Proof of Love John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
Demonstrated By Jesus Absolute OBEDIENCE to the will of God, of course, was the controlling principle of the Master's own life. In His human nature He continually SUBMITTED to the will of His Father which made it possible for God to use His life fully according to its intended purpose. John 4: 34 "My food," said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Demonstrated By Jesus The CROSS was but the crowning climax of Jesus' commitment to do the will of God. It forever showed that obedience could not be compromised-it was always a COMMITMENT unto death.
Demonstrated By Jesus When Jesus therefore spoke about obedience, it was something which the disciples could see INCARNATED in human form. John 13:15 & 16, 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
The Principle In Focus It must be remembered, too, that Jesus was making men to LEAD His church to conquest, and no one can ever be a leader until first he has learned to FOLLOW a leader. So He brought up His FUTURE commanders from the ranks, drilling in them along the way the necessity for DISCIPLINE and RESPECT for authority. There could be no insubordination in His command.
The Principle In Focus They could not possibly outwit the devilish powers of this world unless they gave strict ADHERENCE to Him who alone knew the strategy of victory. This required absolute obedience to the Master's will, even as it meant complete ABANDONMENT of their own lives.
The Principle Applied Today There can be no wasting time with the COMMANDS of Christ. We are engaged in a SPIRITUAL warfare, the issues of which are life and death, and every day that we are indifferent to our responsibilities is a day lost to the cause of Christ.
The Principle Applied Today There is no place in the Kingdom for a SLACKER, for such an attitude not only precludes any growth in grace and knowledge, but also destroys any usefulness on the world battlefield of EVANGELISM.
The Principle Applied Today Followers must have LEADERS, and this means that before much can be done with the church membership something will have to be done with the church leaders. If this task seems to be too great, then we will have to start like Jesus did by getting with a FEW chosen ones and instilling into them the meaning of obedience.
Discussion Questions: 1. Read Luke 9:23-26; 57-62. What does it cost to follow Jesus? 2. What can we learn about disciple- making from John 6:66-69? (Consider the context.) 3. Jesus patiently endured the stumbling of the Twelve. How should we do the same?
Discussion Questions: 4. Jesus did not ask for a commitment to doctrine, but to Himself. How can we do this in our ministry today? 5. What is the proof of love? Why is this important? 6. Jesus didn’t just talk the talk. He walked the walk, putting into practice what He taught others to follow. How does this make a difference?
Discussion Questions: 7. Coleman says, “no one can ever be a leader until he has learned to follow a leader.” Why is it important for emerging leaders to learn to follow well? What are the repercussions of having leaders who have not learned to follow well? 8. Why did Jesus set a standard of absolute obedience? Does He have the right to expect that of us? Do we have the right to expect that of those we lead?
Discussion Questions: 9. Do you agree that there is no place in the Kingdom for a slacker? Why? 10. For reflection: Have you consecrated yourself? Have you committed yourself to pay the price to be a real follower of Jesus? Suggested Scripture memory: John 4: 34 "My food," said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”