cost of discipleship
In this week’s reading, we see a definitive turn in Jesus’ life and ministry. Luke 1-3 records Jesus’ birth and preparation for ministry. Luke 4-9:50 captures His early ministry and teaching in Galilee. Next, He begins to make His way to Jerusalem, where He will ultimately be arrested, tried, and crucified. Those events are still some time in the future for Jesus, but Luke 9:51 tells us that “...He set His face to go to Jerusalem.” From this point forward, Jesus begins intentionally moving toward the eternally pre-determined fate of His life: His substitutionary death on the cross for the sin of all humanity.
While making His way to Jerusalem, Jesus gives His disciples (as well as readers today) clear instructions about what it means to follow Him, to be a disciple. First and foremost, it requires a confession of faith that Jesus is your Savior (Luke 9:18-20). Following Jesus means dying to yourself and your desires (Luke 9:23-27) and adopting a posture of humility in life (Luke 9:46-48). Being a disciple involves praying (Luke 11), living as light in a dark and broken world (Luke 11), boldly proclaiming the gospel to the world around you (Luke 12), resting in the care and provision of God rather than living to acquire material possessions (Luke 12). Being a disciple of Jesus means that having placed our faith in Christ for the forgiveness of our sin, we seek to lead the kind of humble, obedient, God-honoring, Spirit-led life that He lived. In this week’s reading, we see Jesus not only model that life, but explain it clearly to His disciples; we see Jesus lay out the cost of discipleship.
five christ-centered divisions
The large outline of the Bible can be remembered using five Christ-centered words. Everything in the Old Testament anticipates the coming of Christ. The Gospels are the manifestation of Christ. The book of Acts tells the story of the early Church's proclamation of Christ. The epistles are an explanation of living in light of Christ. The book of Revelation is the consummation of Christ's work, when He will return again to bring final judgment.
OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE
Worry is one of the sins that we excuse because we “just can’t help it.” However, in our passage today, we discover that Jesus commands His disciples and us to think and live with a totally different mindset. The disciples give up everything, including their livelihoods, to follow Jesus. Yet they still have to eat, clothe themselves, pay taxes, and care for their families. It seems they have a genuine reason to worry. But Jesus teaches them a better way. Worry does not accomplish anything and costs a lot. If our heavenly Father cares for flowers and birds, can’t He take care of them as well? This passage is a challenging one. Living our lives without worry totally changes everything. The family ingredient of Out of the Comfort Zone living can lead us to live our lives with less stress, trusting God to provide for our needs. He is always faithful. We can trust Him. Let’s ask Him to help us live this way.
- What is worry? Look up the definition and discuss. What are some things we worry about?
- Does God provide a way for ravens to find food? Are you more valuable to God than a raven? Why?
- Who makes flowers so beautiful?
- Does worrying add time to our life or take away from our life? How?
- In verse 30, Jesus says, “The pagan world runs after all such things." What does He mean by this?
- Instead of trying to gain more money and things, what does Jesus command us to do in verse 33?
- What is the cost of worrying? When we worry, what are we saying about our trust in our Father’s care for us?
Activity 1: It’s a Miracle
Did Jesus have to pay taxes? Read Matthew 17:27b. Act out this story. What does this story show us about God? Has God ever provided for your family or someone you know in a special way? Pray together and watch to see what God will do.
Source: Adapted from 8 Ideas for Family Prayer on intentionalbygrace.com.
Activity 2: The Biblical Antidote to Worrying
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that, “One in eight children suffer from anxiety disorders. And those are just the children who are diagnosed. Many more suffer quietly, trapped in a world filled with worry and fueled by fear.” One of the best things we can do for our children who worry is to help them uncover the biblical antidote to worry. The key to unlocking the shackles of worry lies in a very familiar passage. Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
For further information and activities, google "Cornerstone for Parents: Kids and Worry."
Small Group Discussion
- What examples are there to follow? There are and will be defining moments in our lives where we have opportunities to respond to Jesus. In Luke 10:38-42 we see a great example in Mary and Martha. How do you know when you are to sit and listen? How do you know when you are to take action?
- How do you discern God’s calling in moments, where you feel like God is asking you to move for His sake?
- How are you preparing yourself to answer God’s calling?