The Cost of Discipleship

03.20.2022 Adult Sunday School

The Cost of Discipleship

  1. Be Wholly Devoted to Christ (Luke 9:57-62)
  2. Love Christ Above All Others (Matthew 10:34-39)
  3. Deny Yourself and Follow Christ (Matthew 16:21-27)

1. Be Wholly Devoted to Christ

A. Expect rejection from others

Key Scripture (Luke 9:57-58): Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Q: Why is rejection by those who do not believe in Christ considered to be one of the possible costs of being a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Q: Have you ever experienced rejection because of being a follower of Christ? If so, how did you deal with this? What were your thoughts, attitudes, and actions regarding this?

b. christ must be supreme

Key Scripture (Luke 9:59-62): Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Q: Do you think what Jesus asked of the three would-be disciples was too much? Give the reason for your answer. What, if anything, has Jesus aske you to give up to follow Him?

Q: Why must our commitment to follow Jesus be our number one priority? What does this have to do with who Jesus is?

2. Love Christ Above All Others

a. Following jesus can bring division

Key Scripture (Matthew 10:34-36): “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

Q: Have you experienced separation from family members because of your decision to follow Jesus Christ? If so, would you care to tell briefly about this?

Q: Given that being a follower of Jesus Christ can bring division in families, how do you think it might be possible to influence non-Christian family members to accept Jesus Christ?

b. jesus demands total allegiance

Key Scripture (Matthew 10:37-39): He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Q: Why is it right that we should love Jesus Christ supremely, like as we are commanded by Scripture to love God supremely, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Q: Have you lost your life to Christ and found life? How would you explain to someone who does not know, how and why this works?

3. Deny Yourself and Follow Christ

a. jesus had to suffer and rise

Key Scripture (Matthew 16:21-23): From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, [a]“Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are [b]an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Q: Why are the rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ central to everything that has to do with being His disciple?

Q: Would you say that preaching and teaching about the cross are neglected in popular Christianity today? If so, why is this at odds with being a disciple of Jesus?

b. disciples must suffer likewise

Key Scripture (Matthew 16:24-27): Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Q: As you see it, what is the relationship between being a sincere believer in Jesus Christ and being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ?

Q: Would you say the benefits of being a faithful follower of Christ are worth any sacrifice or suffering that may be required of us? If so, why?

On Your Own...

The Lesser-Known Apostles of Jesus

Of the twelve disciples whom Jesus named Apostles (Luke 6:13), only eight of them are well-known to readers of the New Testament. These are, the brothers Peter and Andrew, the brothers James and John, and then, Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Judas, who betrayed Jesus.

Among the lesser-known Apostles of Jesus was the man named Bartholomew. We would know nothing about him except his name, if were not for the fat that, most Bible scholars believe the Apostle Bartholomew was the same man identified in the Gospel by John as Nathanael. If this be so, we know he was one of the first disciples of Jesus (John 1:45-51), and also the first to confess his faith in Jesus as "the Son of God" (v. 49), long before Simon Peter is reported to have made that confession (Matthew 16:16-17).

Another lesser-known Apostle is the name named Thaddaeus by Matthew (10:3) and Mark (3:18). Matthew remarks that, Thaddaeus was the surname of a man whose given name was Lebbaeus (Matthew 10:3). In contrast to Matthew and Mark, Luke in his two lists of the Twelve, gives Judas the brother of James instead of Thaddaeus (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). For this reason, many think Thaddaeus and Judas (brother of a James unknown to us) are the same person.

James the Apostle, the first of the Twelve to be martyred (Acts 12:1-2), is well-known; but another Apostle, called James the son of Alphaeus by Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and also identified as James the Less (Mark 15:40), is almost unknown.

Finally, among the lesser-known Apostles, was Simon, who is identified as "the Canaanite" by Matthew (10:4) and Mark (3:18), and as a Zealot by Luke (6:15; Acts 1:13). This likely means Simon belonged to a revolutionary group of Jesus (Zealots) intent on overthrowing Roman rule of the Jews, or it could simply mean (from Aramaic) that, Simon was zealous by nature. This is all we know of him.