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Sunday, 22th October, 2006

          As a means of understanding our role as a church and as individuals we have adopted a ‘vision for mission’. At the heart of it is God’s love expressed to us through Jesus Christ.  That leads us to being commanded by Jesus to have three loves and four. It also leads us to think in terms of 9 responses to the love of God. Today we begin to look at Discipleship.

So what is ‘discipleship’ all about? The very word is rather non culture. Discipline is something we resist. Even as Christians we have got it neatly sorted so we can be answerable to no-one. It is all about grace, not about obeying rules so you cannot demand anything of me or I simply accuse you of being Pharisaic. So we live lukewarm, half-baked lives that are uncomfortable to us and poor examples of Christ to a dying world. Jesus did not have any problem with discipline. “If you love me, he said, you will keep my commands”. But discipleship is not primarily about obeying rules. I want to give you a quick look this week at Jesus’ discipleship and next week we will look at some of the activities of disciples.


You will not be able to keep up with me turning up scriptures, so I have given you a list you can annotate now and check out later.



John 1:43 calling Philip "follow me"

Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17: come and follow me and I will make you fishers of men

Mt 9:9; Mk 2:14; Luke 5:37; Luke 14 :27: Follow me (calling on Matthew )

Your calling is nothing more than that. Follow Jesus. SO read about him, talk to him, ask his guidance , observe the way he walks and imitate him. Challenge your own behaviour by whether it lives up to the example of Jesus. How often do you read the gospels?  Over the years I have noticed that we can apparently be good evangelicals and major on the theology of the Pauline epistles avoiding the emphasis on actions, thoughts and behaviour that are as much the stuff of the Kingdom of God as knowing good theology.


This following is all important in the life of a disciple. Jesus said it is more important than burying your relatives!

Mt 8:21- 25; Luke 9:59 Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 22 But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.

Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.

Jesus went to the cross for our sins and rose again for our justification. When he calls us to follow him, he has a bit of a shock for us:

[Mt 10:37]; Mk 8:34;Luke 9:23: "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; [38] and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [39] Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

[Mt 16:24] Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. [25] For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. [26] What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? [27] For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. [28] I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

[Jn 12:25] The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. [26] Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

I can find no way round this teaching. Jesus wants you to be mor fanatical about Him than the Odeon is about film. More fanatical than any political a or religious extremist. It is not the total obsession with Jesus that is wrong. It is the

[Mt 19:21]; Mk 10 :21; Luke 18:22: Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

[22] When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

[Jn 10:27] My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.




Mt 9:10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. Also:Mt 9:19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples

John 21:19 after resurrection - to Peter - Follow me.; repeated in verse 21.



Mt 5:1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: 3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit,...

also : Mt 11:1; Mt 13:36





 Mt 9:11-14 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

[12] On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. [13] But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

[14] Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"

also: Mt 13:10; Mt 9:19


Mt 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."



Mt 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.



Mt 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."



Mt 12:1-2 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

also Mt 15:12; Mt 15:2l



Mt 12:49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."




Mt 14:13-33 - feeding 5000 and walking on water



The New testament is our discipleship Manual. Matthew’s gospel is thought to be exactly written for that purpose. So we need to read up on what being a disciple is.

Just a pointer to the disciplines of the Christian life. I intend to return to these next year. This is not a definitive list, just some that I have brought together to give you direction in where to go from here.








  Telling their story









But the key is not doing the disciplines, it lies in being captivated with the love of God. Jesus said “If you love me you will keep my commands”  The rules are there to allow you to express your love more richly. You cannot make God love you more and you cannot earn your salvation, God offers that freely. He gives it by grace. You receive it by faith. You trust him and his word. Discipleship is what you do to say “I love you” to God.

Finally I want to direct your thoughts to the objective of discipleship. Jesus said

I choose you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. John 15:16

Here Jesus is speaking about the fruits of the Spirit which at least the Razzmatazz leaders should be able to recite


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22


These are the outcomes of discipleship. That is what Jesus seeks to create in your life. These are the treasures you store up in heaven. And it comes from being ‘in love’ with Jesus.


I want to be out of my depth in your love…

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