A.God’s way often contrasts with man’s (Isaiah 55:8, 9; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25; 21:2).
B.Peter could not accept Jesus’ saying that he would be crucified in Jerusalem (Matthew 16:16, 20).
C.Losing to gain is something illogical to the people of the world (Proverbs 11:24).
II.The Model of Discipleship: Revelation of Jesus’ Impending Death to his Disciples (21)
A.He must go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; Hebrews 7:27; Luke 13:33).
B.He must suffer many things of the elders, chief priest and Scribes (Acts 2:23; Philippians 2:8).
C.He must be killed (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44; John 18:38; 19:4, 6; Acts 2:22, 23).
D.He must be raised again on the third day (Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:51-56; 1 Peter 2:21).
III.The Fearful Prospect of Discipleship: Peter said, “Be it far from thee…” (22)
A.Peter rebukes Jesus: He is upset that Jesus would talk about his suffering and death (Matthew 8:18-22).
B.Jesus rebukes Satan: Jesus rebukes Satan for influencing Peter to speak as he has (23; Luke 22:31, 32; 1 Peter 5:8).
IV.The Cost of Discipleship: Jesus said, “If any man will come after me” (24).
A.Self-denial (Matthew 26:70, 72, 74; Ephesians 4:17-29; Colossians 3:5-17; Romans 7:18).
B.Take up one’s cross.
C.Loyalty (1 John 2:6; Psalm 23:4).
V.The Paradox of Discipleship: Losing to Gain (25)
A.Saving one’s life is losing one’s life (2 Kings 5).
B.Losing one’s life is finding one’s life.
C.Is it worth to gain the world in exchange for one’s life/soul? (26; Jeremiah 45:5).
Discipleship is costly. There are no grays in between. Jesus’ conditions are in black and white. Discipleship is paradoxical (Matthew 16:25). Discipleship is not a life of compromise to one’s own values and intentions. Discipleship is radical, to the point of being paradoxical, and even contradictory. That is, nothing could be more or less. Discipleship upsets our very assumptions, and reasons for being. We have to think beyond ourselves, and it calls for a mental fitness outside of our own usual perception.
Discipleship demands one’s soul and life, even one’s filial associations (Luke 14:26). Discipleship is not optional. You are expected to be disciples of Jesus Christ. The Great Commission instructs us to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). There is no shortcut to discipleship. There is much hardship. Therefore, Paul exhorts us to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3).
May God help us to deny self, take up the cross and follow Jesus! Amen.
1.What is Christian discipleship? Is it a voluntary thing or an essential requirement of the Christian? (Matthew 16:24)
2.What is self-denial? Is there a difference between self-denial and denying self?
3. Is it worth gaining the world’s possessions in exchange for your soul? Think of some of the things you find difficult to let go. Why?