Lesson 179-March 24, 2019
Lesson: “Jesus Final Words Before The Disciples Take The Field”
Scripture: Matthew 10:38-42
Lesson Goal: To better understand what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.
Introduction: Please explain Warren Wiersbe’s words: “The love in Matthew 10:37 is the motive for the cross in Matthew 10:38.
A very important point that we should understand from Jesus’ words of verses 36-37 is the point that every faithful Jew knew and understood that only God Himself could demand a higher love (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, and 13:6-11). “One of the highest duties in all Judaism was to love family members, especially parents.” Weber What then can we understand from Jesus’ use of these words in verses 36-37?(v38) Jesus uses the words “not worthy of me” three times in verses 37-39. This phrase “identifies the person who will not come to Christ be- cause of other intimate and meaningful relationships that might be effected.: MacArthur
Question: What does it mean to place your life on the altar?
Let us remember at the time Jesus is speaking these words to His disciples He has not yet fully explained to them His own road to the cross. The disciples at this time were not immersed in the truth of Jesus’ death on the cross. However they along with everyone else in that day and time were acutely aware of the Roman prac- tice of crucifixion. Most were familiar with the path that would be taken en route to execution and the “carrying of a cross” (one’s own cross) to die. The Roman prisoner would literally carry the wooden cross beam. This became very clear and graphic during Jesus’ walk to Calvary.
The taking up of one’s cross implies a willingness to die, to sacrifice one’s life if necessary for Him.
For each of those listening to Jesus’ words they would face their own crossbars of affliction and suffering. For some (most) it would certainly mean death. For all it meant a denying of self, a dying to self, and a total sur- render and devotion to Jesus Christ. As Jesus sends the disciples out to take this message and mission to the people they would face many obstacles and many adversaries. They were to be prepared and alert realizing that these obstacles could come from many directions and various places. Some expected, some unexpected! Be prepared. The disciples of Jesus Christ must be willing to take up his cross (suffering, persecution, betray- al) and follow (endurance, perseverance, staying the course) Him.
Picture the scene: A locomotive (train) traveling smoothly along the tracks when suddenly something is on the track or there is a break in the track causing the train to derail. What had once been a smooth journey now has been derailed by unforeseen or unexpected trouble. Jesus is warning His disciples that for them (or us, follow- ers of Jesus) that it will not always be a smooth, uninterrupted track. Be prepared for the unexpected by re- membering His words of Matthew 10.
Question: Has your faith ever been derailed? What caused it to be derailed? Please explain prayerfully.
(v39) The bottom line: No sacrifice that the follower of Jesus will ever make will compare to what that fol- lower receives from Jesus.
Jim Elliot’s journal dated October 18, 1949. “One of the great blessings of Heaven is the appreciation of Heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Earthly life is temporary but often we live as though it is eternal. We reach for all the world we can hold only to find out the truth, all that we reached for is but temporary and we must let it go when we face eternity.
Question: How sad is it to love the world and the things of the world, acquiring and holding to these things to find out one day that in the process of holding onto the temporary one forfeited eternal life? Please prayerfully answer.
Question: What kind of grip do you have on the world and the things of the world?
Question: What is your goal in this life?
(vv40-42) Not everyone will reject the disciples and the message the disciples bring. Often they will be wel- comed and greeted with warm hospitality. Jesus tells them (disciples) that they are His ambassadors (representatives). As the people welcome them (disciples) they are welcoming Him (Jesus) which is welcom- ing Him who sent Jesus (the Father).
A person who ultimately receives our (follower of Jesus) testimony and message receives He that gave us our testimony and message (Jesus). We (followers) are His ambassadors!
In these verses we see God’s wonderful grace as He pours out His blessings upon those who take (share) His word and on those who receive His word. The overflowing blessings of our great God to those that receive His messengers and His message.
This is so true even to the extent of what the world would see as trivial and insignificant. God sees and knows each thing done in His name and He rewards those that are faithful even in the things that seem unimportant or small.
When we yield our lives to Jesus Christ, dying to ourselves and take up our cross to follow Him, we become a graced source of blessing for others. In God’s wonderful plan to be a blessing is to be blessed. To give is to receive.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A FOLLOWER?