Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Among those who spurn the invitation to follow Jesus, there are typically three types of objections: Intellectual (“It’s narrow-minded to suggest that Jesus is the only way to God”), Emotional (“How could Jesus condemn anyone to hell?”), and Volitional (“Too many of his commands seem outdated, why would I subject myself to them?”); but there are two allegiances, or loves, that derail more would-be followers than, perhaps, any other.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Jesus often seems like he is trying to avoid crowds (see Matthew 5:1 & 8:18). Why?
2. German theologian, Joachim Gnilka, once said: “The disciple of Jesus is thrown existentially into insecurity.” How so? What in your life has been uprooted because of your allegiance to Jesus Christ?
3. A man asked Jesus if he could “first, go and bury his father” (verse 21) and then follow Jesus. What does his question reveal about his priorities?
4. If someone took inventory of the way you spend your time, what might they include is most important to you?
5. What is the danger of presenting Christianity as the secret to a perfect life, while neglecting to point out the cost?
6. What cost did Jesus incur in bringing salvation to the earth? How does this strengthen your resolve in the midst of your struggles?
1. Read Matthew 8:18-22
2. “They do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see.” – Matthew 23:3-5 NIV
3. “The disciple of Jesus is thrown existentially into insecurity.” – Joachim Gnilka
4. 01. To follow Christ means to embrace discomfort and uncertainty as certainties.
5. Read Matthew 8:21-22
6. 02. Disciple-making takes precedence over the most “sacred” social and familial obligations.
7. “Americans agree: Family trumps everything.” – Charles Sell
8. “We are left to ponder the story, to finish it ourselves. What would you do? What are you doing?“ – Daniel Doriani
9. 03. The greatest cost was willingly incurred by Jesus, but he paid it so that we could have the infinite prize.
10. “Christ took your cup of grief, your cup of the curse, pressed it to his lips, drank it to its dregs, then filled it with His sweet, pardoning, sympathizing love, and gave it back for you to drink, and to drink forever!“ – Octavius Winslow