Matthew 16.20-28 – God’s plan or yours? The cost of discipleship.
Matthew 16.20-28 – God’s plan or yours? The cost of discipleship.
Last week, After Peter had given the great confession that Jesus was the Christ the son of the living God. Jesus ended with strictly charging the disciples that they could not tell anyone that he was the Christ.
In today’s text Jesus starts to show/ reveal what is going to happen, and this is not what the disciples were anticipating so there will be a conflict of interests and expectation. (Jesus tunes towards Jerusalem).
Jesus plainly lay out what is going to happen, that he MUST go to Jerusalem and suffer many things and be killed, - But there is great hope he will rise on the 3ed day. (The sign of Jonah explained).
Now the disciples are not like tell us more, how will this work…
But Peter takes Jesus aside, pretty bold, he even rebuke Jesus, that is even more bold. (PPT first quote Walter) Okay, yes I know you are the son of the living God, the promised Messiah, God with us, but you know I have a better plan for you Lord Jesus, you should not die. (How or do we do that? It is done all the time in culture, oh if God is like that or that or God should do this or that, or I will only believe if this or that, that might be something we see, in other people, but what about you? Oh God wants me to be happy, and not sad or sorrow, or suffer therefore I will not, hmmm). What other things? God provides therefore I will have 3 cars and 4 houses, and always go on nice vecations. I will never be sick if God loves me, - and more. Examples? No, I should not call that person, or give to that family, or bless others, or suffer, I should not say no to my children, - or my family, or my job.
Do we have a right view of God? Peter had explications of Jesus, they were informed by the OT but it did not have all the information about what Jesus was going to do, Jesus called himself the son of man, Jesus will not only be the king, but also the suffering servant.
What about you? What expectation to you have to Jesus? Are they reflecting who Jesus is?
What does Jesus say to Peter, the one he just praised / or was it his father he praised, yes it was. Jesus turned and said:” Get behind me Satan! You are a hindrance to me. Aw, - Hi Jesus I was thinking we were good friends. Now you call med Satan. And that I am a hindrance a roadblock for what you are going to do… I mean I was just trying to help you Jesus… By making you do what I wanted you to do… (Even if it cost us all the chance to have our sins forgiven and restored to God, but then you would for fill my expectation). Ups… But that is Peter, you know, he walks on water, say Jesus is the son of the living God, and gets called Satan, and does say he does not know Jesus… Peter the rock… Now he is called Satan.
But what about you what about me? Do we give more advice to God, that we listen to what he said in his word, or asks of us? Or do we like Jesus said to Peter set our minds on the things of man and not on the things of God? If we take a moment, pause, what takes up most of our time, money, brain power, the things of man or God? This is not to shame or blame, but to review, to adjust our course if we are drifting away, a call back to what is most important. And that is the next part Jesus will talk about.
What does it cost? To follow Jesus? It is free right? But it cost everything! Salvation is free, but understanding God’s gift, in Jesus demands us to give up everything. Let see what Jesus said: verse 24: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.
But it was free right? Yes, but discipleship costs everything, why because if we do understand who Jesus is, Lord God savior, we can’t live for our own plans, we submit to Jesus, in his words, we deny our self. (My own will, given up to following Gods will, by the Holy Spirt). This is again a gracious invitation from Jesus to enter true life, to abide in Jesus. Deny ourself and instead take up our cross and follow Jesus. (His yoke is easy and his burden is light) but here the cross is the picture of death, so we deny and die to our self. To submit to God. Because of what Jesus has done. Life death resurrection and coming back at Jesus points out. (PPT x2 on taking up the cross).
Why does Jesus give us this gracious invitation that looks like our death to self and denying our self? He Explains in verse 25. If we try to save our life, the life we have, well we will lose it, but if we give it up for Jesus, then we will find real life. Trying to hold on to sand, or water, gas, - it is not possible, like that a life lived for our self, will end in death los. As Jesus explains in 26. We can win the whole world (That was what Jesus was tempted with, so he knows the temptation, for most it is problery way less, it is the dream, the job, the family, the sports, the car, the house, the spouse, the one, the money, a name for myself, to prove others wrong, my kingdom), - what good would that be if we give up or forfeits our soul? Nothing. Death and the dump await. Jesus asks what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Then Jesus ends as I have hinted at with the end, what is going to happen when He returns? Jesus will come in glory (awesome very). What will Jesus do, repay, each person according to what he has done.
But is it not by grace alone? Yes salvation, the work of Christ, - but if we don’t change, we may show we don’t truly believe, there is no Jesus is my savior, but not my Lord, no, then you have misunderstood who Jesus is. He is Lord, - Jesus did not come so we could have our sin, and or dreams of our own kingdom, our plans, our sexuality, or political party, our idols of money, and praise of man and fear of man, NO… Jesus came for the opposite to free us from it, so we could truly live, as we die to our self and deny our self, to walk in the way and good works that God has prepared for his people to walk in. True life in Christ. (Not easy but best.) But What about Jesus repaying for our deeds? This is about how we used what God has given us, talents, money, gift, time, relationships, what did you do with all I gave you? Oh, I did nothing, I was building my own kingdom, I was thinking you were coming back later and I had more time I just had to do this first… or that…
What we do does matter and that is good, we are invited in to be stewards of what God gives, and of who he is of his grace and mercy and love and explain about his justice. What Jesus is saying is a call to accountability, you can’t live for yourself and follow me. Deny yourself and take up your cross, die daily, so Jesus can live in you, and let his will and work happen in you. Why daily? Is this not a one-time thing? Yes, and No, it is a onetime thing, that is reaffirmed every day, your life today, is different that your life tomorrow, idols can come in in a day. Is all you have given to God? When is the last time you gave it all to God, and do you have a lot more now than last time you did? (Francis Chan – explanation – all the chips in. Young and single poor - Family blessed with a good stable job, still all in? It is away to surrender, daily, what if God calls me to leave this, and go, or stay, what am I trying to close my hand over? Children, family, money, job? Daily giving it up, to live life with Jesus). And what ever we have of talents and gifts, time money, it is not ours it is Gods, and we will be held accountable of how we use it. (Not just what we give to the church, or the time we serve, all of what we have and all the time we have).
This is a great and gracious invitation, Jesus calling us to himself, but it seems so counterintuitive that we have to deny ourself and die, to live. But Jesus will lead and show us the way, he denies himself in the words of the writer of Hebrews he emptied himself, all powerful, to a helpless baby, life in a fallen and sinful world lived with out sin, suffered, and did not revile back, but called for his father to forgive the people killing him, Jesus did take up his cross and followed God to the death, the death for other people’s sins, that they might have life, and be freed form the bondage of sin, shame, guilt, and the works of evil.
Then Jesus is calling his followers to do the same as he did, what to die, yes to die to self, and live for God. What we were made for. So, I am to die? Yes, but like Jesus’ death is not the end, in dying daily, there is a resurrection in Jesus, and then we can live with Jesus to the glory of God. Because Jesus rose, we can rise, new eternal life daily in Jesus.
One of the good things about death is, the we don’t have to fear death, we don’t have to fear people, because we have died and know that Jesus is coming in the glory of the father with his angles, to repay us for us for how we have followed him.
Now I think there may be 3 different responses. 1 You have heard the words of Jesus and you don’t care, whatever I will do what I what to do. Okay, I would ask you to reconsider Jesus words, his is giving you and gracious invitation. Yes, it will cost you everything, but Jesus has showed, who he is, how God loved the word and send him, Jesus gave all up to serve God, and us in his life death, resurrection. He is coming back to judge.
2. You are bothered by Jesus words, because they don’t fit your plan, during the sermon Jesus may even have pointed out things that need to change, things you need to deny, and how you are not dead, you did not take up your cross. Is can be annoying when Jesus does that, or is this again Jesus drawing you to himself asking you to give up, to die, so you are free to live for him. What is it? Why is it not lied down at Jesus feet? It is the safest place you can’t hold it anyway. Is Jesus trying to free you? It is a good sign your bothered, but will you act and die deny your self or ignore what Jesus is asking?
3. You are thankful, for the words of Jesus you receive them enjoy them, this affirms that your have given all to Jesus, and does it every day, you are rejoicing in him. Your not nervus about Jesus coming back, you can’t wait. You understand this as Gods love for you that Jesu would come a do what he did, and that he is coming back, your life is lived for Jesus to the glory of God by the power of the Holy Spirt. Amen praise the Lord. Let it be so for us all.
Then where are you? Be honest, God knows, this is an invitation to draw near to God not to run away.
Jesus ends with the some ward puzzling statement, that some here will not taste death before they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.