The Walk: Week 4 – Day 5, “Motives”

Week 4 – Day 5, “Motives”

The meaning of discipleship is to follow Christ with total commitment. Now, if that’s what it means to follow him, why would anyone do it? What’s the motivation for this life of discipleship? The answer to that question is just as clear in this passage. It is this: The motive for discipleship is found in the Christ who calls us to follow him. Notice that this teaching on following Jesus begins with Jesus asking the disciples a question: Who do you say I am? In verse 20 Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Verse 21 says that immediately Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. There’s a reason for that. The Jewish people in Jesus days had misinterpreted the prophecies about his coming and had an unbalanced set of expectations about what he would do. They believed the Christ would primarily be a political leader who would save them from the Romans. For Jesus to be widely proclaimed as the Christ in that atmosphere would have almost certainly led to more misunderstanding than clarity. In verse 22 Jesus begins to explain what is actually going to happen. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Notice he said, the Son of Man must suffer, and be rejected and killed. Why did he have to suffer and die? Because he isn’t just a political savior. He is a Savior, who saves us from our sins by suffering and dying for us. His death is the necessary sacrifice for our salvation. His resurrection is the proof of our redemption. Our motive for following Him is based on the bigness and the beauty of who he is and what he has done! If he is the Christ of God who dies as our Savior and is raised from the dead as our Lord and offers us redemption and life and relationship with God, through faith in him, than it only makes sense that we would trust him and love him and therefore follow him.

We follow Christ because we trust him. Trust him when he says what he says in verse 24: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. This one saying of Jesus is repeated in all four of the gospels. It shows up in different settings and at multiple times. It seems to be one of Jesus’ most often repeated sayings. Because it reveals his purpose in calling you to follow him it raises the issue of your trust in him. His purpose is that you will live more fully, and save your life, by living your life for him.

We follow Christ because we love him. There is something very personal about all of this. You see it in verse 24-25: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. For what purpose? Jesus says you have to do it for me. Not only because you trust me but also because you love me. Where does that love come from? It comes from his love for us. If you believe in Him then believe this: You are the reason that he said, “I must suffer many things and be killed and rise again the third day.” What you could never earn or deserve, he freely gives you the moment you turn to him and trusts in him as your Savior. That first step of faith is crucial. It is the first step in a relationship with God and Christ. But it’s just the first step. It was never intended to be the only step. It’s the first step in a journey of discipleship in which as you live life with Christ and find life in Christ you commit to live life for him.

As we complete this week’s study on commitment: living life for Christ. Take a moment to write a summary paragraph. In your own words try to express how trust in Christ and love for Christ empowers of life of commitment to Christ.

Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.

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~ by Larry Kirk on February 13, 2012.

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