Faithlife Sermons

New King and Family

Walking with Jesus: The Journey of Honest Disciples  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus speaks with people who are potentially interested in following Him.

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Open to .
What does it look like when we make Christ the King of our lives?
Statistically, many people around the world and in our own nation claim Christ as the King of their lives. Of course, what many Christians mean by saying Christ is their King is that they are citizens of Heaven—they think they’ve been saved—but they do not necessarily honor Christ as the King of their lives.
Matthew 7:22–23 AV
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Perhaps a better question to ask than “Do you know Christ as your Savior” would be “Does Christ know you as His child?”
2 Timothy 2:19 AV
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
The Bible declares that acknowledging Christ as King is different than doing some good works but not having our sinful hearts changed.
You can go to church—even bring people with you—and sing songs, pray, take notes, go forward at the invitation and still not get to Heaven if Christ is not your King.
Let’s stand and read to see three guys’ responses to the open invitation to follow Christ as King…(read & pray)...
I am going to walk you through seven scenes in . These seven scenes the Lord uses to lay the groundwork for the verses we just read. As we consider , want you to see the responses of the people and ask yourself if it is a holy response—a response that makes Christ the King of the heart.
The chapter starts the first scene in verses 1-9 with Jesus sending out His disciples to preach, but that was the byline—King Herod is the focus in verses 7-10.
Herod was a FORTUNATE PERSON. He thought it would be nice to know Who Jesus is because it would bring Him luck in life.
When Herod met Jesus at His trial before His crucifixion, what did Herod want—a miracle! He wanted the mystical, the magical, the lucky rabbits foot—He did not want a KING.
Herod had been hearing of Jesus’ ministry—His miracles, His disciples, etc.—and Herod was reminded of John the Baptist. Herod was apparently superstitious because he thought perhaps John the Baptist was raised from the dead!
(Interestingly, later, Herod asked Jesus questions and would demand Jesus perform a miracle. Jesus chose to let the message of John the Baptist speak in Herod’s heart as Jesus stood quietly.)
(Herod would also later set a watch and seal on Jesus’ tomb—the resurrection would not always be a superstition—it would become a reality!)
Note Herod’s interest in Jesus:
Luke 9:9 AV
And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
Herod’s luck ran out, by the way about four years later—Rome didn’t like him, so he was released from his position. He chose the wrong Caesar for his life.
The second scene is in . Jesus spent time with His disciples, but the crowds of people came to him to be healed. He healed them and preached to the people about the Kingdom of God. It started to get late, so the disciples begged Jesus to send the people away to get rest and find food.
Someone suggested buying food—Judas Iscariot must have gotten upset since he monitored the money!
Jesus told the disciples to get the people to sit down, and He took the five loaves and two fish and fed the people. Afterward, when the people were full, there were twelve baskets full of food.
Understand, most of the people came because they wanted what Jesus could provide, but they did not necessarily want Jesus. They wanted to be healed and fed. These were FLESHLY PEOPLE.
These people wanted a Jewish King to overthrow Rome and to provide them food, but they did not want a King if it meant suffering.
In scene three, we see Jesus in taking time to pray and then see what His closest followers thought. Jesus knew that if His disciples were going to change the world, they would need to know Who He is, not just what He could do to make their day better!
Jesus asks the question, “Whom say the people that I am” (v. 18). The disciples rehash what they’ve heard Herod and the crowds of people say about Him.
is the poignant, personal question: “But whom say ye that I am?”
Regardless of who we are, there is only one response that is the right response—the one of Peter in verse 20: “The Christ of God.”
This is a FAITH-FILLED response! Jesus is the Christ—the Messiah—the Anointed One—God in the flesh—Jesus is the King!
Jesus then told the disciples again of how He was going to go to Jerusalem, die, and be raised the third day.
It was a hard lesson, but it got harder because it became person. Jesus describes the daily life of those who follow this Christ, the Messiah, the King! It’s a life of giving, surrendering, and proclaiming the King!
In the fourth scene, Jesus is going to bolster their faith because sometimes their thinking is a bit FOGGY. We commonly call this even the transfiguration of Jesus.
After hiking to the top of the mountain, Jesus prays, and the disciples fall asleep. When they wake up, they see Jesus “glistering” and talking with Moses and Elijah!
Peter, not knowing that Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were talking about Jesus’ trip to Jerusalem to die, jumps into the conversation and blurts out, “Jesus, it’s a good thing I woke up and caught you guys all here talking! Let’s camp out her for a while! In fact, let’s build tents—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah!”
Jesus says nothing, but a cloud rolls in covering them all, and shuts up Peter as the Heavenly Father says, “This is my beloved Son: hear him” (v. 35).
When our faith is FOGGY like Peter’s, we forget to surrender to the mission of the King and want to endorse a “kumbaya kingdom” instead of introducing the King’s kingdom
We can, like many churches, woken up periodically from our slumber and we think excitedly about what goes on in the tabernacle of our buildings and programs that make us happy, and we forget to carry our cross into the world to proclaim the Gospel!
shows us the fifth scene. It’s about a father concerned for his demon-possessed son. He called for Jesus’ disciples, but the disciples FAILED to relinquish the boy of the demon because they were FAITHLESS.
At that time, apparently their eyes were on the world and did not have faith to trust the King of the coming Kingdom.
is the sixth scene, and the response was that the disciples were FORBIDDING PEOPLE!
When people forget Jesus is the King, they turn people away from the Lord!
We get the idea in the passage that Jesus was trying to tell the disciples He was going to die, but they don’t get it. Here, in their confusion and denial, they start to argue over who was greatest! (v. 46)
Jesus put a child in their midst and reminded them to be humble. Pride keeps people out of the kingdom!
About the same time, John speaks up, ever the one to stand on the matter of being right, and he happily told the Lord about how they accosted a man who was doing what they couldn’t do—he was casting out devils! And he was doing it in the name of Jesus but wasn’t following Jesus like they were!
Jesus said NOT to FORBID him—the man was doing God’s work!
Don’t let jealousy get in the way of keeping others from serving Christ! Here, John and the disciples had a small kingdom mindset that forgot others were serving Jesus as King, too!
OK, there’s a seventh scene in . We’re almost back at our main text.
Here are FIERY PEOPLE for the kingdom—but not in a good way.
Jesus and His disciples went through a Samaritan town, but the people wouldn’t let Jesus stay there because He was passing through to go to Jerusalem.
Remember, the Samaritans had requested Jesus to stay longer after He helped the “woman at the well,” but since Jesus was heading to Jerusalem for a Jewish holiday, they wanted nothing to do with Him!
James and John, the “sons of thunder” (), rose up with “righteous indignation” seeking to be like the Prophet Elijah whom they recently saw and calling down fire from heaven to consume the heretics!
Fiery people want to judge everyone, even condemn them to Hell, forgetting Jesus’ mission—our mission—is to save them no matter their sin!
Fiery people want to judge everyone, forgetting Jesus’ mission—our mission—is to save them!
Luke 9:56 AV
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Jesus gathers His disciples together as they go into the next town.
It is here that three people come to Jesus seemingly wanting to follow Him.
The only positive response from the whole chapter so far is Peter’s acknowledgement that Jesus is the Christ—the King!
One-by-one, the people had the wrong focus as they came to Jesus.
What were all these fortunate, fleshly, foggy, faithless, forbidding, fiery people missing? They missed Peter’s faith to know Jesus is KING!
Here, Jesus’ disciples must’ve been excited to see these three guys come, approaching Jesus very sincerely about following Him!
Interestingly, Jesus turns them away, but He reveals the heart of the matter—three life-changing characteristics about Christ if we are going to follow Him as our King.

Proposition: Learn three life-changing characteristics of Christ.

If we learn these principles, it will help keep Christ as the King of our hearts and lives.

1. Christ Is Worthy of All Your Acceptance

Do you trust God? do you trust Him as your life’s King?
Lots of people tell you things, but do you accept everything they say?
Jesus is telling this guy that if he follows Jesus there’s no guarantees of fancy hotels and fabulous meals. There is no fortune. There is no coddling of the flesh.
Jesus is the King, and He is all you need—that should suffice.
God is worthy for you to accept and trust all that He is, says, and does!
Do you accept Him? Are you going to be OK if Jesus is all you have?

2. Christ Is Worthy of All Your Aspirations

This second man seems to want to follow Jesus, but it appears that the man’s father is dying, and Jesus tells him to “let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (v. 60).
That sounds mean, but what Jesus is saying is that we have a responsibility as Kingdom agents to proclaim the Kingdom of God, which supersedes every other human responsibility.
Preaching Christ, then, is more important than anything else you want to do—it is more important than anything else you think you need to do!
As King, Jesus is worthy of all your aspirations. Whatever you plan and dream—Jesus is worth of that!
You may burn with the fires of passion and ambition—let your energies be always for your King!

3. Christ Is Worthy of All Your Affections

The third man wanted to go home and say, “Good-bye,” to his family.
There were some challenges to this man’s love that Jesus knew.
Jesus knew, perhaps, that the man would go home, and his family would try to talk him out of his commitment to his new King.
(Here is Louisiana, we know that family ties often trump our ties to Christ.)
Jesus may have known that when the man went back home to his comfort zone, his family and friends would say, “You can follow Jesus here. There’s no reason to leave—be with us!”
If Jesus is King, our affections for Him will be greater than our love for any other person in life!
All of your affection belongs to the King!
We’re talking about the new King and family God gives us. Most of the service, we’ve been focusing on Christ and what He is worthy of.
Your new family is made up of those who believe these things.
Do you believe Christ is worthy…?
ILL: Christians in foreign lands know what it means to claim Christ as their King and suffer for them.
In many countries, Christians must meet in secret, often late at night and in various locations, to worship as they avoid arrest, capture, and losing their families and lives.
Imagine donning a hoodie so nobody recognizes you. You round a corner in the city, and next you’re being led to a small room with 60 people in it. Then the people request the preacher to preach for several hours!
The people are crammed in the room, but they sing and listen to preaching. There’s one little light bulb casting a glow.
In some places, training leaders is a challenge because the leaders get taken away before younger Christians are taught the Bible and how to follow Christ. Essentially, Christians in persecuted countries often have great faith but little knowledge of the Bible—many do not have a Bible to read!
I’ve heard of places where persecution goes on that when a Bible teacher can be smuggled in, that the growing Christians will meet for 8 to 12 hours straight. The people write everything they can and hang on every word because they want to know more about their King and His Word!
They sit and listen as the teacher goes through every book of the Bible!
Their tears of joy at learning the Bible and knowing God is with them creates literal puddles on the ground!
Despite the horrors of knowing their faith could cause them to be tortured and lose all they have, they keep worshipping, preaching, singing, studying!
When someone decides to get baptized, they ask him or her, “Are you willing to get baptized knowing it may cost you your life?”
The responses of these Christians is that “Jesus is my Lord. Whatever He says I will do!”
In a bathroom they fill a bathtub and baptize them.
What these people have that so many Christians don’t is a reliance on their King and the Holy Spirit!
They don’t have all our resources, programs, and buildings, but they have God’s power!
In , God reminds us that He is worthy as our King of all our Acceptance, Aspirations, and Affections.
Do we get it?
Compare the persecuted church with the American one for a moment.
ILL: In one town, a Southern Baptist State paper had two articles of celebration on its front cover. The first celebrated the “First Baptist Church of ?(town) celebrates new $23 million building.” The article was a few pages long about all the new amenities the sanctuary had.
Opposing this article was another about money raised to help Sudanese Christian refugees. In Sudan, many Christians have lost their lives there. 350,000 were dying of malnutrition. The local baptists were excited about how much money they raised: $5,000.
This is not to say church buildings are not important, but it is a call to repentance. We have kept ourselves on the throne and made our faith about us.
Jesus is worthy of our Acceptance, our Aspirations, and our Affections.
The church in foreign lands is passionate about preaching Christ—it is the center of their lives! Preaching Christ is more important to their families than even putting rice on their tables at night.
The church in foreign lands where Christians bear their cross every day is exploding in growth, while here we claim we don’t have enough time and money for God—and more than 8,000 churches will close their doors in America this year.
You may be wondering what God’s will is for your life. You can study the whole Bible, but the clearest passage that is for you and me is
Matthew 28:19–20 AV
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Let’s be a church that is discontent with waiting for a tingling feeling to cause us to rise up and do what God has called us to do!
Let’s be passionate about proclaiming the Gospel!
ILL: Andrew Murray the prayer warrior said, “As we seek to find out why, with such millions of Christians, the army of God that is fighting the host of darkness is so small, the only answer is lack of heart. The enthusiasm for the Kingdom is missing in our churches, and that’s because there is so little enthusiasm for the King.”
Does this King have your Acceptance, your Aspirations, your Affections?
Would you pray, “King Jesus, here’s my Acceptance—I trust You! Here’s my Aspirations with all my plans and dreams! Here’s my affections and all I love!”
Jesus gave His life so we could be forgiven of our sins. You may claim Him as your Savior and King and have a relationship with Him. God is worthy for you to place your trust in Him and let Him save you—make Him Savior, Lord, King of your life!
Christian, have you crowned yourself recently? Climb down off the throne, and place Christ where He belongs in your life.
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