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Disciples response to the Cross

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Disciples Response to the Cross.

Walk to the Cross

AWANA Sunday Washington EFCA 3/25/07

Every movement has a symbol.

Modern JUDAISM uses the so-called STAR OF DAVID

Islam is recognized by the CRESCENT

In 1917 the HAMMER AND SICKLE was adopted by the SOVIET government.

HITLER adopted the SWASTIKA as the symbol of his own special brand of bigotry.

CHRISTIANS ALSO HAS a symbol.   What does the Cross mean to you?

For most people the Cross has little meaning. It’s a piece of Jewelry, or part of a church.

I see many women wearing a necklace or earrings in the shape of cross. 

There are a number of men who wear crosses as necklaces and when I see it I want to ask, does that cross have any meaning or is that just a piece of jewelry?

It was the symbol of the Crucifixion & death of our Lord. In the past if a person wore a cross it was an outward sign they were redeemed and you could expect them to act like a Christian. Not any more. If you look around you will see this symbol dominates the world. Church steeples abound with crosses.

While several symbols for redemption were used in the first century, [the Fish, ICKTHUS, empty Tomb] only one became universally accepted by the second century.

It was the symbol of the cross. If you look you will see this symbol dominates the world. Church steeples abound with crosses.

Some famous churches are in the form of a free-standing cross, such as San Marco in Venice.

Many Cathedrals are designed as a cross. You enter at the foot of the cross, and the High alter is at the head with, prayer chapels on each side.

ILL. Officer Peter O'Hanlon was patrolling on night duty in northern England some years ago when he heard a quivering sob.  Turning in the direction that it came from, he saw in the shadows a little boy sitting on a doorstep.  With tears rolling down his cheeks, the child whimpered, "I'm lost. Take me home."  The policeman began naming street after street, trying to help him remember where he lived.  When that failed, he repeated the names of the shops and hotels in the area, but all without success.  Then he remembered that in the center of the city was a well-known church with a large white cross towering high above the surrounding landscape.  He pointed to it and said, "Do you live anywhere near that?"  The boy's face immediately brightened.  "Yes, take me to the cross.  I can find my way home from there!"

  Like that familiar landmark, the cross of Christ directs lost souls to their eternal home in Glory.

The events recorded in Matthew 16 form a dramatic turning point in our Lord's ministry.

For the first time, He mentioned the church (16:18) and again He openly spoke about His death on the cross (16:21). He began to prepare the disciples for His arrest, crucifixion and resurrection.

But, as we shall see, they were slow to learn their lessons.   (Luke 9:18‑26)

(1)   The Response to the Cross

(2)   We were born into the world to Live.

(3)   Our Lord was unique in His coming to earth.

(4)   He was born into the world to die.

I want to walk you through 5 responses our Lord received when he told his disciples his purpose for coming to earth.

 

Jesus asks the most important questions.

MATT 16:13 NOW WHEN JESUS CAME INTO THE DISTRICT OF CAESAREA PHILIPPI, HE BEGAN ASKING HIS DISCIPLES, SAYING, ‘WHO DO PEOPLE SAY THAT THE SON OF MAN IS?”

V14 AND THEY SAID, ‘SOME SAY ‘JOHN THE BAPTIST, SOME ELIJAH, AND OTHERS, JEREMIAH, OR ONE OF THE PROPHETS.”

This passage represents the climax of Jesus’ teaching ministry.

It was, in effect, the apostles’ final examination, consisting of but one question, the ultimate question that every human being must face: Who is Jesus Christ? A person’s answer is of the most monumental importance, because on it hinges his eternal destiny. It is a question that no one can escape or avoid. Every soul, as it were, will be pinned against the wall of eternity and forced to answer that question.

For some two and a half years Jesus had been moving to this moment-teaching and re-teaching, affirming and re-affirming, demonstrating and re-demonstrating, building and re-building the truth of who He was in order to establish it completely and securely in the minds and hearts of the Twelve.[1]

The most unusual place to ask a question.

The city of Caesarea Philippi was originally named Paneas (or Panias), after the Greek god Pan, who, according to pagan mythology, was born in a nearby cave. Caesar Augustus had given the region to Herod the Great, who built a temple in Paneas in honor of the emperor.

Caesarea Philippi was located some 25 miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee there was a mountain with a cave and the water coming out of the cave was the headwaters of the Jordan.[2]

People believed that this was the entrance into the underworld, the entrance into Hades or Hell v18.

V15 As our Lord stood at the entrance of this cave HE SAID TO THEM, “BUT WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

This is the question we must all answer.

This question will determine our eternal destiny.

Liberal churches, collages and Seminaries say,

Jesus was a good man, a wonderful teacher, an example to follow.

                        He died as a human being but did not raise from the dead physically.

                        They say they have found the box with Jesus bones, there is no resurrection.

            Islam says, Jesus was a teacher and a prophet, along with Mohamed

                        He did not die.

            Buddhism says, Jesus is a reincarnation of another great teacher.

 

Peter responded “THOU ART THE CHRIST [MESSIAH] THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD”

This was one of the greatest revelations to man ever given.

In V17 Jesus says “Flesh and blood has not revealed this but my father in heaven.”

Then Jesus says READ V18

            The Question is Peter the person he is going to build his church on – R.C. View

            Or is he going to build it on Peter’s marvelous statement?  - Protestant view.

He says the gates of Hades – Hell shall not overpower it.

He says this as He is standing at what was believed to be the entrance into Hell.

Then Jesus says the 2nd most amazing thing.

Matt 16:21 FROM THAT TIME JESUS BEGAN TO SHOW HIS DISCIPLES THAT HE MUST GO [not like to but] MUST GO TO JERUSALEM, AND SUFFER MANY THINGS FROM THE ELDERS AND CHIEF PRIESTS AND SCRIBES, AND BE KILLED, [CRUCIFIED ON A CROSS] AND BE RAIED UP ON THE THIRD DAY.”

We have Ivory towered so called theologians says Jesus did not know he was going to die, or he faked his death. All I can say is they have not read the text. 5 different times Jesus clearly tells his disciples, I must go to Jerusalem to die.

I don’t know about you but if I knew I had to go to Jerusalem to die I would say hay boys we are going in the opposite direction.

What is amazing to me and scary is:

People one minute says the most amazing truth ever spoken.

Not 5 minutes later v22 Our Lord must rebuke Peter and say Get thee behind me Satan.

One minute we can speak the very words of God from heaven and the next we can be the mouthpiece of Satan, speaking from Hell.

How would you respond if you were one of Jesus Disciples and as a question on the final exam He said to you. My purpose for coming to earth is to be rejected, not to be a celebrity and have everyone like me, but my purpose is to be rejected and be crucified, and die in Jerusalem.

How would you respond?

Let us see if you are any different than the disciples. We think the world revolves around us.

A certain sea captain and his chief engineer were arguing about which of them was the more essential to the operation of the ship.  Since they couldn't agree, they decided to switch places and see what happened.

   The chief went up to the bridge and the captain went down to the engine room.  A couple of hours had passed when the captain appeared on deck all covered with grease and soot.

    "Hey, chief!" he yelled, wildly waving a monkey wrench. "You'll have to come down here.  I can't make 'er go!"

    "Sure you can't," yelled back the engineer. "We're aground!"

I. THE DISCIPLES RESPONSE TO

Matt. 17:12 THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO SUFFER AT THEIR HANDS =CRUCIFICATION”

Matt 17:22 IN GALILEE JESUS SAID TO THEM, ‘ THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN; AND THEY WILL KILL HIM, AND HE WILL BE RAISED AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY.” AND THEY WERE DEEPLY GRIEVED.

LUKE V44 “LET THESE WORDS SINK INTO YOUR EARS; FOR THE SON OF MAN IS GOING TO BE DELIVERED, BETRAYED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN. BUT THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THIS STATEMENT, AND IT WAS CONCEALED FROM THEM SO THAT THYE MIGHT NOT PERCEIVE IT; AND THEY WERE AFRAID TO ASK HIM ABOUT THIS STATEMENT.”

How did they respond to our Lord’s statement that He must go to Jerusalem and be crucified?

They did not say. Lord you can’t do that. Lord we will not let that happen to you. Lord we will do everything in our ability to protect you.  You are our leader and the followers die for the leader, not the leader for the followers.

They totally ignore what he said and they began to argue among themselves.

How is this going to affect me. IT’S ALL ABOUT ME. How will what you say affect me?

Egotist--One who is always me-deep in conversation.

One good thing about egotists is they never talk about others.

Mr Estep said to his neighbor "The doctor said that my wife and I need more exercise, so I've just bought myself a set of golf clubs,"

   "That's good.  And what have you bought for your wife?"   "A lawn mower."

They got into an argument:

I am going to be greater than you.

This is like a group of boys who like to argue who is the fastest, the strongest, who can throw the ball the furtherest.

J We have a friend who had 3 boys and she heard one of her little boys tell the neighbor boy. My mom can beat up your mom.

It is so much like human nature.

1st. They were not concerned about our Lord, Lord we don’t want you to die.

2nd  We will protect you, we will not let you die.

No; How did they respond like modern American’s

MATTHEW 16:21-28

When Jesus brings up his coming suffering.

1st He states where it will come from = Elders and Chief Priest & Scribes

            The political leaders – the Religious leaders and the lawyers, the establishment.

2nd He will be put to death.

3rd He will rise the 3rd day.

But the interesting thing is how the disciples respond to this news.

They are so much like we are. They chose not to hear it and get into an argument about who is going to be the greatest in His kingdom. Who is the best?

1.      They change the subject.

2.      They ignore what is said.

3.      They talk about themselves.

4.      They are only concerned for how this event will affect them.

J ILL. I can still remember the day when I was 14 and found my father dead. I came home to tell my mother and 2 brothers. I will never forget the response of my youngest brother who was 8.

The first words he said were. How am I going to go to college?

JESUS TELLS OF HIS SUFFERING:

1ST, JESUS SUFFERING  Matthew 16:21

            Luke 9:22 PETER REBUKES OUR LORD.

 This does not fit into our plans Lord, we are planning on you establishing an earthly kingdom.

2ND. JESUS SUFFERING Matthew 17:12 & 22

LUKE 9:22 THE SON OF MAN MUST SUFFER MANY THINGS AND BE REJECTED BY THE ELDERS AND CHIEF PRIESTS AND SCRIBES AND BE KILLED AND BE RAISED UP ON THE THIRD DAY.

V46 AND AN ARGUMENT AROSE OF WHO IS THE GREATEST =VICE PRESIDENT

 

DISCIPLES RESPONSE  = Like Modern AMERICA

1ST. WHO IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM. MATT. 18:1

Lord “WHO THEN IS GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?

Jesus takes a child and says you must become like children, or else you can not enter the kingdom of heaven. You must humble yourself as this child.

The disciples fell into the trap, It’s all about me. I am the most important person. This world revolves around me. God has placed the rest of you upon this earth to serve me. I am the greatest.

That is the modern American attitude.

 

The attitude humble people come in last, Exert yourself, Demand your rights, and don’t let anyone push you around. Show them you are important.

Why does he use a child as an example.

  1. A child must learn to listen
  2. A child does little tasks unashamed, pick up the toys, set the table.
  3. A child let’s itself be given things. A child is not too proud to receive gifts.
  4. A child trusts others
  5. A child depends on others.

MATT 20:18 THE SON OF MAN WILL BE DELIVERED UP TO THE CHIEF PRESITS AND SCRIBES AND THEY WILL CONDEMN HIM TO DEATH.

2ND. A MOTHER’S REQUEST

MAKE MY BOYS GREAT  IN YOUR KINGDOM. MATT. 20:20-28

Matt. 20:18 “BEHOLD, WE ARE GOING UP TO JERUSALEM; AND THE SON OF MAN WILL BE DELIVERED UP TO THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND SCRIBES, AND THEY WILL CONDEMN HIM TO DEATH. V19 AND WILL DELIVER HIM UP TO THE GENTILES TO MOCK AND SCOURGE AND CRUCIFY HIM AND ON THE THIRD DAY HE WILL BE RAISED UP.”

Behold was a common exclamation, a means of calling special attention to something of importance. In this context it also carried the idea of resolution and conviction. Even more than on the earlier occasion that Luke describes, Jesus now “resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51)[3]

Read v20

Notice again when He told them what would happen to him. It went in one ear and out the other.

But notice the response of the Mother.

She was not concerned about what would happen to Jesus, Oh Master you can’t let that happen.

Her main concern was for her boys.  She made the move, she went to Jesus V 20BOWING DOWN, AND MAKING A REQUEST OF HIM.” V21 “COMMAND THAT IN YOUR KINGDOM THESE TWO [wonderful] SONS OF MINE MAY SIT, ONE ON YOUR RIGHT AND ONE ON YOUR LEFT.

Make sure my boys are given the best positions in your kingdom.

I don’t want you giving my sons one of those un-important jobs serving people.

I want them to be up front with power, prestige and position for all to see.

This is a Mother who is concerted about Position for her boys. = I want my sons to be in Great and important in your kingdom. Will you promise me that?

Why a Jewish mother wants her sons to be great? So she can brag

Lord place my two sons Johnny and Jimmy on the right side and left side in his kingdom. = 1ST V.P.    2ND V.P.

1.      It was not What is best for you Lord?

2.      It was not What is best for your Kingdom Lord?

3.      It was not What is best to glorify the father?

It was now Lord you know what I have done for you.

I have provided money for your work, my two boys have sacrificed a profitable fishing business to follow you.

Now promise me that you will make sure and give them special positions in your kingdom, one as 1st VP and the other as 2nd VP

We live in a proud and egotistical generation. People push and promote themselves in ways that would have been abhorrent and totally unacceptable only a generation ago. Yet in a great part of modern culture, pride and high self-esteem, Arrogance, big ego, have come to be redefined not only as virtues but as the supreme virtues.

No society can survive the self-destructiveness of pride run rampant, because every society depends for its preservation and success on the mutually supportive and harmonious relationships among its people. When a significant number of them become committed only to themselves and to their own interests, with little regard for their families, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens, society disintegrates. As self becomes stronger, relationships become weaker. As self-rights become supreme, the interpersonal bonds that hold society together are severed.

The promotion of self-esteem, self-fulfillment, PMA, and self-glory has become a major industry that ranges from exercise programs to motivation for executive success.

Tragically, the cult of selfism has found its way into evangelical Christianity.

Books, seminars, conferences, magazines, and organizations that promote self under the guise of personal spiritual development abound.

The movement has found little resistance in the church, which often seems determined to beat the world at its own fleshly game. From countless sources, claims are heard that God’s great design for His people is health, prosperity success, happiness, and self-fulfillment.

The Bible’s teaching of suffering and cross-bearing for Christ’s sake are either ignored altogether or foolishly explained away as weak gospel, easy believism, and no sacrificial Christian living are the reflections of this new “evangelical” selfism.

The only thing the modern evangelical church knows about taking up your cross and suffering is to talk about it.

Whenever the church has been spiritually strong it has distrusted its own wisdom and strength and looked to the Lord’s, it has shunned its own glory and sought only His, and it has condemned pride and exalted humility. Times of spiritual awakening are inevitably characterized by a sincere sense of brokenness, contrition, and unworthiness. There is always reverential fear of the Word of God, which, working through genuine meekness, gives the church great power. Like Paul, the church becomes strong when it knows it is weak (2 Cor. 12:10).[4]

Can you imagine what the other disciples felt when they heard what she was asking.

I don’t care about these other boy’s make sure and give special treatment to my boys.

3.  WHO IS THE GREATEST: PRESENTLY   MARK 9:33-37

Mark 9:31 FOR HE WAS TEACHING HIS DISCIPLES AND TELLING THEM THE SON OF MAN IS TO BE DELIVERED UP INTO THE HANDS OF MEN AND THEY WILL KILL HIM; AND WHEN HE HAS BEEN KILLED, HE WILL RISE AGAIN THREE DAYS LATER.”

V32 BUT THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND.

V34 "THEY HAD DISCUSSED WITH ONE ANOTHER WHICH OF THEM WAS THE GREATEST!"

If you were to go around asking your friends, “What do people say about me?” they would take it as an evidence of pride. What difference does it really make what people think or say about us? We are not that important! But what people believe and say about Jesus Christ is important, for He is the Son of God and the only Saviour of sinners.

Your confession concerning Jesus Christ is a matter of life or death (John 8:21, 24; 1 John 2:22–27; 4:1–3). The citizens of Caesarea Philippi would say, “Caesar is lord!” That confession might identify them as loyal Roman citizens, but it could never save them from their sins and from eternal hell. The only confession that saves us is “Jesus is Lord!” (1 Cor. 12:1–3) when that confession comes from a heart that truly believes in Him (Rom. 10:9–10). [5]

This announcement stunned the disciples. If He is indeed the Christ of God, as they had confessed, then why would He be rejected by the religious leaders? Why would these leaders crucify Him? Did not the Old Testament Scriptures promise that Messiah would defeat all their enemies and establish a glorious kingdom for Israel? There was something wrong somewhere and the disciples were confused.

True to character, it was Peter who expressed their concern. One minute Peter was led by God to confess his faith in Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:17), and the next minute he was thinking like an unbelieving man and expressing the thoughts of Satan! This is a warning to us that when we argue with God’s Word, we open the door for Satan’s lies. Peter began rebuking his Master, and Mark used the same word that describes our Lord’s rebuking of the demons (Mark 1:25; 3:12). [6]

Note, however, that when Jesus rebuked Peter, He also “looked on His disciples,” because they agreed with Peter’s assessment of the situation! Steeped in Jewish traditional interpretation, they were unable to understand how their Messiah could ever suffer and die. To be sure, some of the prophets had written about Messiah’s sufferings, but much more had been written about Messiah’s glory. Some of the rabbis even taught that there would be two Messiahs, one who would suffer and one who would reign (see 1 Peter 1:10–12). No wonder the disciples were confused. [7]

This again is so much like modern America.

Who is the greatest Athlete?

The whole American idol movement on TV. 

It has been stated that the length of time someone is greatest in the media is about 18 minutes.

Again this sounds like immature men sitting around trying to outdo each other.

I grew up out west and if you go back to some of the small town the boys never grew up, many were stuck in a time warp of 18 year olds. They still are concerned about who has the fastest car or biggest pickup, or biggest tractor.

Even the Christian Colleges teach courses in leadership but not servanthood.

Some one has said you can tell how old and mature you are.

1.      When you are young you ask how fast will it go?

2.      When you get older and mature you ask how far will it go?

The man who knows little is proud that he knows so much; the man who knows a lot is sorry that he knows so little.

Notice it was not who is going to become great but who is greatest right now.

The problem with the disciples was more than theological; it was very practical. Jesus had called these men to follow Him, and they knew that whatever happened to Him would happen to them. If there was a cross in His future, there would be one in their future as well.

That would be reason enough to disagree with Him! In spite of their devotion to Him, the disciples were still ignorant of the true relationship between the cross and the crown. They were following Satan’s philosophy (glory without suffering) instead of God’s philosophy (suffering transformed into glory). Which philosophy you accept will determine how you live and how you serve. [8]

How did Our Lord respond?

Again he took a little child and stood him in the midst of them, and he said: whoever receives one child like this in My name is receiving Me and whoever receives me is not receiving me, but Him who sent me.

A Child

  1. Knows He is under Authority
  2. If he has older bigger brothers & sisters he knows he is not that important and must wait.
  3. Knows who is Boss = Mom
  4. Knows He must obey

True humility means knowing yourself, accepting yourself, being yourself—your best self—and giving of yourself for others. The world’s philosophy is that you are “great” if others are working for you, but Christ’s message is that greatness comes from our serving others. Since the words “child” and “servant” are the same in the Aramaic language, it is easy to see why Jesus connected the two. If we have the heart of a child, we will have little difficulty being servants; and if we have the attitude of servants, we will welcome the children as the representatives of Jesus Christ and the Father. [9]

It is easy to see why Jesus connected the two.

If you have a heart of a child it is easy to be  a servant

Jesus laid down three conditions for true discipleship:

(1)   We must surrender ourselves completely to Him;

(2)  We must identify with Him in suffering and death; and

(3)  We must follow Him obediently, wherever He leads.

(4)  If we live for ourselves, we will lose ourselves, but if we lose ourselves for His sake and the Gospel’s, we will find ourselves.

Denying self is not the same as self-denial. We practice self-denial when, for a good purpose, we occasionally give up things or activities. But we deny self when we surrender ourselves to Christ and determine to obey His will. This once-for-all dedication is followed by a daily “dying to self” as we take up the cross and follow Him. From the human point of view, we are losing ourselves, but from the divine perspective, we are finding ourselves. When we live for Christ, we become more like Him, and this brings out our own unique individuality.

But note the motivation for true discipleship: “for My sake and the Gospel’s” (Mark 8:35). To lose yourself is not an act of desperation; it is an act of devotion.

But we do not stop there: personal devotion should lead to practical duty, the sharing of the Gospel with a lost world. “For My sake” could lead to selfish religious isolationism, so it must be balanced with “and the Gospel’s.” Because we live for Him, we live for others.

Discipleship is a matter of profit and loss, a question of whether we will waste our lives or invest our lives. Note the severe warning Jesus gives us here: once we have spent our lives, we cannot buy them back! Remember, He was instructing His disciples, men who had already confessed Him as the Son of God. He was not telling them how to be saved and go to heaven, but how to save their lives and make the most of their opportunities on earth. “Losing your soul” is the equivalent of wasting your life, missing the great opportunities God gives you to make your life count. You may “gain the whole world” and be a success in the eyes of men, and yet have nothing to show for your life when you stand before God. If that happens, though you did own the whole world, it would not be a sufficient price to give to God to buy another chance at life.[10]

 

4.  WHO WILL BECOME THE GREATEST: FUTURE  LUKE 9:46-48

Which one of us WILL BE THE GREATEST and most powerful.

Attitude of Corporate America – CEO

I don’t care what happens to others  I want to be rich, Important & famous.

The disciples did not have much love for each other, or they would not have argued over who was the greatest (Luke 9:46–48). Perhaps this debate started because of envy (three of the disciples had been with Jesus on the mount), or because of pride (the other nine had failed to cast out the demon). Also, just before this, Jesus had paid Peter’s temple tax for him (Matt. 17:24–27); and this may have aroused some envy.

In His kingdom, the example of greatness is a little child—helpless, dependent, without status, living by faith. The only thing worse than a child trying to act like an adult is an adult acting like a child! There is a great difference between being childlike and childish! (see 1 Cor. 13:4–5; 14:20)

They also showed a lack of love for believers outside their own group (Luke 9:49–50). This is what we would expect from a “son of thunder”! (Mark 3:17) Perhaps John was trying to impress Jesus with his zeal for protecting His name, but the Lord was not impressed. Believers who think that their group is the only group God recognizes and blesses are in for a shock when they get to heaven.

Nor did the Apostles love their enemies (Luke 9:51–56). James and John had seen the Prophet Elijah on the mount, so they thought they might imitate him and call down fire from heaven! (2 Kings 1) The Samaritans and Jews had been enemies for centuries (2 Kings 17:24–41), so it was understandable that this village would reject Jesus as He traveled toward Jerusalem (John 4:9, 20). Jesus rebuked their vengeful spirit and simply went to another village (Matt. 5:37–48). Later, Samaria would be reached with the Gospel (Acts 8).

3 WRONG ATTITUDES:

(1). THEY DID NOT SHOW LOVE FOR EACH OTHER. V46

            If I love you I will do everything to help you, not step on you to promote myself.

(2). THEY DID NOT SHOW LOVE FOR THOSE OUTSIDE THEIR OWN GROUP. V49

            If you want to find true disciples see how they treat those outside their group.

(3). THEY DID NOT SHOW LOVE FOR THEIR ENEMY. V52

But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying [Luke 9:44–45].

They didn’t quite understand this matter of being raised from the dead. Here He is talking about His own death for them, and you would think that these men might have at least made some inquiry.

Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest [Luke 9:46].

After the Transfiguration you would think they would be humbled and obedient to His will. On the contrary, they became ambitious. They were thinking of the crown and ignored the cross. They were desirous of vainglory. This has been the curse of His disciples from that day to this. It is one of the curses of the church. In Paul’s letter to the Galatian Christians he wrote, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” (Gal. 5:26).

And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,

And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great [Luke 9:47–48].

This is a great principle. It is my conviction that the greatest saints are the unknown folk in our churches who quietly and faithfully serve Him.

And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem [Luke 9:49–53].[11]

5. WHICH ONE OF US IS THOUGHT BY OTHERS AS THE GREATEST? Luke. 22:24

This is Our Lord’s last Supper.

He washes their feet, he serves them the Seder.

He shares with them the new meaning of the Passover, that it was pointing to him.

He is the Lamb, Take my Body, take my blood for the redemption.

How do they respond. They ignore what He told them and they get into an argument.

Which one of us will be voted by the sports writers to receive the _______ trophy?

True greatness means to be like Jesus, and that means being a servant of others.

A servant does not argue over who is the greatest, or who will become the greatest, or who do others think is the greatest, because he knows that he is the least, and he accepts this from the hand of God. Since all Christians are to be servants, there is no reason for us to compete with one another for honors and recognition. It is too bad that this competitive spirit is so strong in the church today as people promote themselves and their ministries as "THE GREATEST".

6. THE DISCIPLES CHANGE

            The became different men after Pentecost.

            The disciples are a picture of  the attitude of  many men & women in the Church.

            What Can others do for me. What can Jesus do for me.

After Pentecost they were willing to sacrifice their lives for others.

They were willing to suffer and die for the sake of others.

           

These men who had recognized how low they could stoop also had ambitions to be the greatest. Can you imagine that? Right in the shadow of the cross these men are grasping for position. We see that in the church today. The saints today are not much of an improvement over the apostles.

And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth [Luke 22:25–27].

The Lord is telling them that He has taken the lower position. That is what He did when He took my place on the cross. It is like a master getting up from the table and telling his servant, “You sit down and eat, and I will serve you.” When Jesus Christ came to earth, all mankind should have been His servant! Instead, He served mankind. He set a table of salvation and has invited us to this great feast of salvation.[12]

In 1946 a young scientist was carrying out experiments in the brand new field of atomic science.  To determined the amount of nuclear fuel needed for a chain reaction, he would push two small mounds of uranium together.  Just as the mass was ready to explode, he would push them apart with his screwdriver, instantly stopping the chain reaction.  He had performed this experiment many times.

   "But one day something unexpected happened. His screwdriver slipped, the mounds of uranium touched, and instantly the room was filled with a dazzling blue haze.  Almost without thinking, the scientist tore the two piles of uranium apart with this hands, stopping the deadly chain reaction.

   "Immediately, he realized that he would die from exposure to the radiation.  But even then he was concerned about the seven other scientists present.  Quickly he diagrammed their positions on the blackboard so doctors would know how much radiation each had received.  If he hadn't acted sacrificially, those others would have been fatally exposed.  Nine days later he died in agony.

   "The scientist stopped the deadly chain reaction of atomic power at the cost of his own life.  Almost 20 centuries ago, God's Son deliberately walked into an even more deadly `chain reaction' when He allowed the curse of sin to fall on Him and take His life.  Though He didn't deserve to die, Jesus gave His life to stop the deadly chain reaction of sin."

To Close

What is your attitude:

  1. Who do you say Jesus is?
    1. Can you say He is My Lord and Saviour He died in my place?
    2. Can you say I Know I will spend eternity with Him?
  2. What is your attitude toward the cross?
  3. Do you have the disciples attitude & the World’s. It all about me
  4. Do you have the Lord’s attitude, I came to serve.


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[1]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew (18). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew (19). Chicago: Moody Press.

[3]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew (223). Chicago: Moody Press.

[4]MacArthur, J. (1989). Matthew (234). Chicago: Moody Press.

[5]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New Testament comprising the entire 'BE' series"

[6]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New.

[7]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New

[8]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New.

[9]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New.

[10]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1989). The Bible exposition commentary. "An exposition of the New

[11]McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 37: Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke).

[12]McGee, J. V. (1991). Vol. 37: Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke).

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