Matthew 16:24-28, June 28, 2020
16:21-23 Jesus Predicts His Death. Sad and terrible truth for His disciples. Knowing now who He is, they learn He has to die and on the third day be raised back to life. It was so terrible that Peter privately rebuked Him. Of course Jesus was having none of that and publically rebuked Peter. Jesus’ rebuke showed the difference in how He and Peter looked at the same thing.
We, like Peter, often only look at the human aspect of issues and events, while Jesus had in mind the concerns of God – our salvation.
Look at v24 alone for a moment. Two things I want you to do.
First, consider what Jesus predicted in v21. It is no accident this section and discussion follows Jesus’ prediction of His death and resurrection. Now after predicting His death and resurrection He begins to tell His disciples what it means to be one of His disciples.
Second, ask yourself what is a disciple? Jesus names three conditions for anyone who wants to be His disciple
1 – the person must deny them self
2 – the person must take up their cross
3 – the person must follow Him
Notice this does not tell us what a disciple is. For that we first go to Strong’s Concordance where we find the Greek G3101 mathetes (ma tha tast) which is as we might suspect a learner, pupil, disciple. But in Vine’s Dictionary we find out A “disciple” was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher. Imitators of their teacher! There is a name for pupils or disciples of a rabbi from ages 15 to 30 when they would become a rabbi in their own right. Those who were chosen as those students were referred to as talmidim (tal mid ee).They would literally follow in the dust of their rabbi – desiring to emulate the rabbi in all of his mannerisms. They would eat the food in exactly the same way as their rabbi. They would go to sleep and awake the same way as their rabbi and, more importantly, they would learn to study Torah and understand God the exact same way as their rabbi.
There is no doubt Jesus’ disciples walked in His dust, wanting to be just like their Rabbi! They were His Talmidim! History and the Word reveal to us that Jesus trained His talmidim in three years (not fifteen) and His training was so inspired that they (His talmidim) literally changed the world!
The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) refers to the disciples as talmidim as does the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
In the book of John 8:31-32 while addressing the Pharisees many people put their trust in Him and He told them (TLV) “If you abide in My word, then you are truly My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!” Most versions say If you continue or remain in My word or hold to My teaching. So now we have a fourth condition for anyone who wants to be His disciple.
4 – the person must abide/continue/remain in His word or hold to His teaching
And then, a few chapters later in John 15:8 Jesus in a discussion about the vine and the branches states This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Now we have a fifth condition!
5 – the person must bear much fruit
Here let’s look at all five of these on one slide and then each of them individually on separate slides.
It is my hope you will take the quote from Fredrick Douglass, You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed and know that fruit is not only the obvious where you bring others to Christ, but that you no longer lead people away from Christ. Instead they look at you and your life and wonder how they could have what you have.
16:25-27 Saving your life. The whole point here is that through discipleship you really truly save your life. By giving your life to Jesus you save your eternal soul. That is why, as Christians, we are focused on resurrection life, life in Heaven with Jesus, with His Father, with the Holy Spirit and the millions of others who have chosen the life Jesus wants us to live. Then the incredible news, Jesus is going to reward us for all the good works we have done.
16:28 Jesus in His Glory. Next week! Jesus transfiguration, but also John 1:14 and John 18:6.