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January 17, 2010
I Introduction – Be Like Jesus?
1. We are going through the Gospels and finding things said about what a disciple is. Jesus said :make disciples” and we are seeing what it is that we are called to make. So far:
a. Knows who Jesus is – The Christ, the Son of God – Mt. 16:18
b. Takes up his cross daily and follows Christ – Mt. 16:24-28
c. Loves his fellow disciples – John 13:34-35
d. Fasts for the return of Christ, the conversion of sinners – Mt. 9:14-15
2. We are looking at these things as part of us considering the church. The church is made up of disciples and before we look at what the various parts of the NT say about the church we are simply considering who the people are who comprise the church.
3. “To be like Jesus; to be like Jesus; all I ask to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, all I ask to be like Him.” What do you suppose that looks like? When we talk about being like Jesus what do we normally think of? What occurs to you when we are said to be predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son of God? (Rom. 8:29) Be like Jesus
i. Earthly pleasures vainly call me;
I would be like Jesus;
Nothing worldly shall enthrall me;
I would be like Jesus.
Be like Jesus, this my song,
In the home and in the throng;
Be like Jesus, all day long!
I would be like Jesus.
He has broken every fetter,
I would be like Jesus;
That my soul may serve Him better,
I would be like Jesus.
All the way from earth to glory,
I would be like Jesus;
Telling over and over the story,
I would be like Jesus.
That in heaven He may meet me,
I would be like Jesus;
That His words “Well done”may greet me,
I would be like Jesus.
b. Perhaps the author of a different hymn, Isaac Watts, came closer to the truth when he wrote:
i. Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause
Or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight, if I would reign
Increase my courage, Lord!
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.
Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
Shall conquer, though they die;
They view the triumph from afar,
And seize it with their eye.
When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.
But this is not what we are talking about either. Both hymns speak great truth. But neither of them really deal with the issue of being like Jesus do they? The first hymn speaks about being like Jesus as if it is a walk in the park. The second admits that the Christian life is hard but it does not say that it is hard for us because it was hard for Jesus. It speaks of the warfare of the Christian life but it never indicates that Jesus was in the warfare. So this morning we are going to attempt to see what Jesus meant when He said “It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher.”
Just a word about this whole passage of Scripture that we have from 10:1 to 10:42.
There are some difficulties in interpreting this text for us in the church in the 21st century. Do we have a record of some instructions that are just for the twelve apostles Jesus was addressing or do we have something that is being spoken directly to us? The question is not as simple to answer as it seems. For instance, is God telling us to go out and heal and cast out demons? (V.8) Is He telling us to take no money for the work of the Gospel whenever we preach? (V. 9) Is He telling us not to preach the Gospel to Gentiles? (V.5) Is He telling us never to stay in hotels when we go to different places to preach the Gospel? (V. 11) Is it only the twelve who were sent out by God as sheep among the wolves?
It seems best to say that there are some perpetual things here that apply to all believers of all the ages and there are some that only apply to the twelve as they were sent out. Verses 5-15 seem specific to the mission of the twelve at that time. We may be able to get principles out of it but it is not directed to us. Beginning in verse 16 the instructions seem to be more general and more inclusive for all the church for all the ages, from the day of the Apostles right up to now.
Verses 24-42 are certainly teachings that go far beyond the days of the Apostles. They are instructions regarding following Jesus that tell us much about being a disciple regardless of when in history you find yourself.
II Jesus Sends Out the Twelve – Mt. 10:1-5
1. In Mt. 10:24-25 Jesus makes yet another comment about what a disciple of his is. A disciple is one who is “like his teacher”. We are called to be like Jesus. Visions of WWJD dance afresh in our heads. And so they should. But only if we know what Jesus was like.
2. The context – Note Matthew 9:35-38 and then see 10:1, 5, 16. Matthew does not always record things in the life of Christ in the order in which they occurred. He is somewhat more topical than historical. You want an accurate historical outline of the life and ministry of Jesus then you should go to the Gospel of Luke. (See Luke 1:1-4) But it is a striking thing that Jesus’ comments in 9:35-38 … are followed by this commissioning of the twelve in 10:1-5.
a. Jesus is saying – “Pray for workers (9:36) – now go be the worker that you prayed for (10:1, 5)”.
3. When we get all the way to verse 24 we need to see that what Jesus is talking about in a disciple being like his teacher is related to the context of this whole body of teaching. And it starts here:
a. We are to be like Jesus in our compassion for the multitudes – 9:36
b. We are to be like Jesus in how we see people – 9:36
c. We are to be like Jesus in where we start showing that compassion – on our knees – 9:38
d. We are to be like Jesus in getting to those people that we have seen and prayed for – 10:1, 5
i. How is it that these disciples know what to preach? How is it that they are not sent to seminary before Jesus finds them fit to go and preach? Because they have been in seminary for over a year already. And what have they been a part of?
(1) See Luke 8:1 – Notice there how Luke goes out of his way to point out that the twelve were with Jesus in this teaching time. What is Jesus preaching? The Gospel of the Kingdom. You think there wasn’t some teaching time after those sermons? You think that Jesus wasn’t explaining and teaching the twelve more deeply than He did the crowds? Of course He did.
(2) Matthew 5-7 – They have heard the sermon on the mount
(3) Matthew 13 – (This actually occurs before Matthew 10) They have had the parables explained to them.
But there is still something that we haven’t touched on yet. It is not just in preaching that we are to be like Jesus. We are to be like Jesus in being ill thought of because of the Gospel.
III Be Like Jesus – Mt. 10:24
1. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master – We cannot expect to be better treated than Jesus was. There is much about us that is better than the way Jesus had things. He had no place to lay his head. We all have such a place. But that is not what Jesus is talking about here. He is not saying that everything that happened to Him will happen to us. He is saying that since He was opposed and rejected and maligned … so will His followers be. We should expect no less and no better. We should not expect to rise above the reputation of our teacher.
a. John 15:20 – Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
b. Hebrews 12:3 – Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
c. 1 Peter 2:21-23 – For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.  He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
d. This text is an assault upon the prosperity Gospel. We have no right to expect to live better, be better treated, than our Lord, who said “Follow Me”. Follow Him where? Wherever He went.
i. He went to teach and was opposed – follow Christ
ii. He went to preach the Kingdom – follow Christ
iii. He went to the desert to fast – follow Christ
iv. He went to banquets to feast – follow Christ
v. He went to the cross and died unjustly, voluntarily, shamefully and publicly – follow Christ.
e. Dear ones, read your New Testaments. When it calls us to follow Christ, it never, never, ever even hints at popularity, large numbers of converts, money. It will always talk about sacrifice, suffering, commitment … . Why is that? Because discipleship means being like Jesus. And He did not have a lot of followers by the time He died. And He was not popular. And He was not liked. And He suffered unjustly. Oh yes, He had large crowds when He healed and performed miracles and cast out demons. But when He got down to talking about following Himpeople left Him in droves. There was a very large crowd when Jesus fed them and only 12 left when He refused to do it again. A huge monstrous crowd when He rode into Jerusalem as the promised Messiah. But no one when it became evident that Jesus was not going to deliver the political liberation that they were expecting.
f. So, here is Jesus sending us out. “Go and make disciples. And be like Me. They called me the devil and you should expect the same.”
2. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.
a. It is enough – We should want for no more than to be like Jesus. He is our goal. We are not clamouring to be rich or famous or influential or … . We just want to be like Him. Phil. 3:8-10; II Cor. 5:9. WE have enough if we are treated like our Master.
3. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household
a. To be like Jesus means to be seen to be like Jesus. Dear one – is your faith known? Are you seeking to be Christlike and finding that not everyone is thrilled with you? The old saying is asked “If you were put on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?”
b. The structure of the sentence is such that it means that Jesus was generally seen by some to be doing the work of the devil. It was a continuous thing. They never let up. For all His popularity there were many who would have nothing to do with Him.
i. This will be the case for those who follow Him. There will be those who will respect you for what you are doing. There will be those who will hear and listen and come to faith. There will be those who will sing your praises. And while they are doing that there will be those who will see you as deluded, evil, stupid, deceptive … And they will not be afraid to say so out loud.
(1) This happens at the personal level
(2) This happens at the corporate level –
IV Our Calling
1. This is our calling : be like Jesus in suffering for the truth.
a. See verse 25
b. Dear ones – this is our calling.
i. John 15:25
ii. See Paul in Acts 9:16
iii. I Cor. 4:13
iv. I Peter 3:9; 4:12
v. Mt. 5:11-12 – When they revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against falsely on the account of Jesus. Dear ones – has this happened to you? Why not? Why – in God’s name – not? This verses says “when” not “if”. You are going to suffer in some fashion for the sake of Jesus Christ.
(1) II Tim. 3:12
vi. Why? Why should this be our calling?
(1) Because the disciple is not above his teacher. Because a servant is not above his master. Because it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher. Because they have accused Jesus of being evil and so too will they call those who live for Him. It is inevitable.
Illustration – If someone says they are a disciple of Osama Bin Laden what will you assume about him? You will assume that he supports acts of terrorism in certain situations against certain people. You might even assume that he himself is a murderer, a defender of murderers. Why would you assume that? Because of who he follows.
V Why Follow Jesus Then?
1. If all that is true then why should we ever follow this Jesus? (Well, there is Acts 5:41)
a. Matthew 13:44-45 (ESV) is why – “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
b. 2 Tim. 4:6-8 (ESV) is why – For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
c. 1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) is why – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
d. 1 John 3:1-3 (ESV) is why – See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we will be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
e. Jude 1:24-25 (ESV) is why – Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
f. Rev. 12:10-11 (ESV) is why – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
This, dear ones is what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And it is a glorious calling.
We do not follow Christ because of the peace and safety it gives us now. It does not give it to us now. We follow Jesus Christ because what He does give us is worth more than all the peace and safety that the world can offer. And of a truth, it cannot offer much. We follow Christ because we were created for Him and we are round pegs in square holes until we find Him. We follow Christ because He has put a love for Him in our hearts that is worth it all. It is so precious to us that we want others to have it too.
Do you not know Jesus? Has He not yet given you the forgiveness of sin because you haven’t asked Him? Coem to Him this morning. Come and know forgiveness. Come and know real joy. Yes, come and know suffering and rejection and unpopularity and rejection and difficulty … . But come to Him who will make you glad to be able to endure those things for Him. What do you have that is worth dying for, suffering for, being rejected for. What do you have that will bring you peace with God?