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Sermon of the Week, 6/2/13

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  • KurianThomas
    SERMON OF THE WEEK June 2, 2013   Next Sunday is the second Sunday after Pentecost. Gospel reading is from Mathew 10:32-39. In the gospel, Jesus tells us what
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2013
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      SERMON OF THE WEEK
      June 2, 2013

      Next Sunday is the second Sunday after Pentecost. Gospel reading is
      from Mathew 10:32-39. In the gospel, Jesus tells us what he expects
      of his disciples.

      Gospel Reading: (Mathew 10:32-39)�
      32 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge
      before my Father in heaven.

      33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father
      in heaven.

      34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did
      not come to bring peace, but a sword.

      35 For I have come to turn a man against his father,�a daughter
      against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law�

      36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.[a]�

      37 Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not
      worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than
      me is not worthy of me.

      38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

      39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for
      my sake will find it."

      Message:
      The meaning of "disciple" is, "one who accepts and follows a
      teacher or a doctrine." A disciple of Jesus is a person who
      follows Jesus and his teachings. Thus every Christian is
      a disciple.

      In Acts 11:26, we read the disciples were first called
      "Christians" in Antioch. There shouldn't be any distinction
      between a disciple and a Christian. Every Christian is a follower
      of Jesus. We are all disciples of Jesus.�

      What does Jesus expect from his disciples? This is the
      subject matter for this Sunday's gospel reading.

      It is clear from the reading that Jesus expects complete
      commitment. The gospel projects three components of
      commitment. They are:

      1. Acknowledge Jesus before others: "Whoever acknowledges
      me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my
      Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men,
      I will disown him before my Father in heaven." (v. 32-35) 
      "Whoever disowns me" refers to a life long denial of Christ.
      Peter denied Jesus, but that was not a life long denial. We all
      sometimes deny Jesus with our unkind actions or behavior,
      but we repent our sins.

      2� Love Jesus more than anything or anyone else: Jesus said,
      "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.
      I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come
      to turn a man against his family. (v.34)

      Sometimes when a person becomes a disciple of Jesus,
      his family turns against him. Therefore, a choice must be
      made between Jesus and family. Family ties cannot be allowed
      to pull a disciple from complete allegiance to Jesus. His love
      for us demands that we love him for more than all others.

      3. Willing to give up everything to follow him. Jesus said,
      "Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not
      worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever
      loses his life for my sake will find it. (v,38,39).

      In the first century, if anyone was carrying his cross,
      it was clear that he was on his way to die. Many have been
      losers for Jesus with their life, but will not be a loser by
      him in the end.

      Large crowds followed Jesus in the beginning, but the
      crowds gradually disappeared. It was because Jesus
      demanded total commitment from his followers. He
      made sure that the cost of discipleship was high. Jesus
      said, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower,
      will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see
      if he has enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:28).
      Jesus has already counted the cost of discipleship�
      for us.� The cost is everything we have. Jesus didn't
      say, "Follow me, and you will be happy, and wealthy."
      Instead he said, "Discipleship is going to cost you�
      whatever you have. Do not expect comfort and ease."

      Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny
      himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever
      wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life
      for me will find it. What good will it be for man if he gains
      the whole world, yet forfeits his sour. (Mathew 15:24-26).

      The "whole world"�refers to all the things that could
      possibly be achieved or acquired in one's lifetime. Gaining
      the whole world looks more appealing than losing everything
      for Jesus. But the reward for following Jesus is eternal life.
      While the final result of gaining the whole world is the loss
      of one's soul.

      As Christians, disciples, or followers of Jesus, acknowledge
      Jesus before others, love Jesus more than all others. And be�
      willing to give up everything for Jesus. That's how�we�become�
      true Christians.

      (Prepared by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas Valiyaparambil)
      kurianvthomas@...
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