SUIVRE JÉSUS ET LES CONDITIONS ASSOCIÉES

A SUIVRE JESUS: LES CONDITIONS ASSOCIEES

CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

SUNDAY APRIL 18TH 2021

Sermon by Pastor Marc Simeon

SUIVRE JÉSUS ET LES CONDITIONS ASSOCIÉES

FOLLOWING CHRIST AND THE CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED

Reading: Matthew 8: 19-22

Mt 8:19 Un scribe s’approcha, et lui dit: Maître, je te suivrai partout où tu iras.

 20 Jésus lui répondit: Les renards ont des tanières, et les oiseaux du ciel ont des nids; mais le Fils de l’homme n’a pas où reposer sa tête.

 21 Un autre, d’entre les disciples, lui dit: Seigneur, permets-moi d’aller d’abord ensevelir mon père.

 22 Mais Jésus lui répondit: Suis-moi, et laisse les morts ensevelir leurs morts.

<><><> 

Mt 8:19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

 21 Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

INTRODUCTION

  • There is a great confusion in Christendom today as what to expect when one decides to follow Christ.
  • Living in a success driven society, many would like to follow Christ for selfish desires.
  • There was a time when becoming a minister of God was considered a respectable position in society.
  • Many flooded the ministry field for the high exposure to the main streams of society, but especially for the other benefits associated.
  • In some circles, a preacher was automatically accepted in the class of the noble.
  • Many denominations went out of their ways to provide lucrative living arrangements for their clergy members that far exceeded that of the average parishioners.
  • That happened a lot in poor countries like Haiti.
  • Because of that, when people were discussing what field to go after they finished high school, theology was among the favorite.
  • Admittedly, those preachers were far more prepared academically and theologically than our contemporary preachers, because the field had more prestige tagged to it.

FOLLOWING CHRIST AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST DON’T MIX

Mt 8:19 Un scribe s’approcha, et lui dit: Maître, je te suivrai partout où tu iras.

 20 Jésus lui répondit: Les renards ont des tanières, et les oiseaux du ciel ont des nids; mais le Fils de l’homme n’a pas où reposer sa tête.

Mt 8:19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”

 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

  • As the ministry of Jesus was picking steams, so was the interest of many to be associated with Jesus.
  • At first it was just a bunch of guys following a strange guy who thought he had some special connections with God.
  • In another year, it became a movement.
  • People from all walks of life were seeking the attention of Jesus.
  • Great crowds were always following Jesus.
  • Miracles left and right.
  • Jesus could even silence the big guys with his rhetoric and his teaching style.
  • All eyes began to be set on Jesus as the next revolutionary leader.
  • All a sudden following Jesus seemed like a wise investment.
  • Jesus questioned the motive of each person who desired to follow him.
  • Jesus often raised the bar when He noticed someone who wished to follow him for questionable motives.
  • Some saw Jesus as a good connection in their social status.
  • They don’t want their lives to be rearranged nor changed; they just want a little bit of Jesus in it as decoration to their beautiful life.

THE RICH YOUNG RULER WENT HOME SAD.

  • Although Jesus was busy looking for disciples, some of the candidates were turned down because they came to Jesus with a different agenda than Jesus had in mind.
  • A rich young ruler was asked to go sell all his possessions and to return to follow Jesus.
  • When the price of following the Lord was laid out to him, he went home very sad because he could not afford to endure a setback in his social status in order to serve God.

THE PRICE FOR THE SCRIBE: A WISHFUL FOLLOWER OF CHRIST

20 Jésus lui répondit: Les renards ont des tanières, et les oiseaux du ciel ont des nids; mais le Fils de l’homme n’a pas où reposer sa tête.

20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

  • This scribe was given an answer based on the penchant of his heart.
  • He might have seen a bright future in Jesus, or he probably was accustomed to luxury.
  • Some may not be looking to gain any steps in the social ladder, but they are not interested in anything or anyone that may cause them a descent.
  • Jesus told the scribe that following Jesus is not just about showing up for a public spectacle where everyone says bravo.
  • Jesus avowed that following him may incur some serious discomforts.
  • We never heard of that scribe again, that means that he might have changed his mind.
  • This Scribe was a rare suitor who wanted to follow Jesus.
  • Jesus knew the heart of that scribe and gave him a warning.
  • You want to follow me everywhere, right?
  • We don’t have membership affiliation with the Holiday inns, or the Four Seasons, or the Ritz Carlson, the Waldorf, or the Hyatt, or the Hilton, not even motel 6.
  • In fact, you are not even guaranteed a regular bed or a meal every day.
  • Are you still interested in following me Mr. Scribe?
  • The presence of a scribe could give more validation to the ministry of Jesus, but He turned him down because his motives were not right.
  • Many preachers make regrettable ministry moves that are out of the will of God because of wrong motives.
  • Bigger church means better. Higher salary means God’s approval.
  • Some preachers join denominations that have drifted away from God because of the comforts they offer.
  • Nowadays, the denominations that guaranty financial securities are flooded with preachers who once were preaching against their false doctrines.
  • Some preachers try to maintain their old Christian identities while enriching themselves out of the fat of a cult or a false church.
  • The love of money is the root of all evils.

THE HINDRANCE OF FAMILY TIES IN FOLLOWING CHRIST

21 Un autre, d’entre les disciples, lui dit: Seigneur, permets-moi d’aller d’abord ensevelir mon père.

 22 Mais Jésus lui répondit: Suis-moi, et laisse les morts ensevelir leurs morts.

21 Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

  • It is remarkable how Matthew and Luke put these two narratives side by side.
  • To one it was as if Jesus was saying don’t come, I don’t have what you are looking for.
  • To the other, Jesus was saying don’t leave me. Don’t put your family concerns over my service.
  • Jesus does not have a one size fit all approach for all his followers.
  • Here comes another well meaning disciple, his only problem is a family concern.
  • Following Jesus would require him to miss out on his basic family duties.
  • He might have been the first born in charge to give direction to the rest of the family.
  • To most and to me as well, this disciple had a legitimate concern to pay respect to his family.
  • He asked Jesus for some time out and the request was denied.
  • Even if we don’t phrase it this way, a lot of preachers have had to sacrifice their family expectations in order to stay on course with the call upon their lives.
  • Family members won’t understand it.
  • Many preachers and Christians alike have had to miss many family reunions, or missing to maintain proper closeness with family members due to their constant engagement with church functions.
  • Some family members return them the favor by excluding them completely on future gatherings.
  • The Lord Jesus found himself so buried in the work of God that his immediate family got neglected.
  • His mother and his brothers and sisters have had to chase him.
  • When they finally located him, he was in the middle of a session, yet He did not stop to welcome them.
  • Jesus said: I have adopted another family. Who is my mother? Who is my father? Who are my brothers? Who are my sisters?
  • You who are with me day in and day out listening to my sermon, following the word of God, assisting me in my needs.
  • You are my mothers; you are my fathers; you are my brothers; you are my sisters.
  • This was unexpected to come out of the mouth of Jesus, for we know how much Jesus cared about his mother who by then might have already been a widow.
  • As a big brother, Jesus had so many family expectations that were laid for him that obviously got neglected because of the demand of the ministry.
  • This statement weighs much more than it appears because the pressure to fulfill them is enormous. I am a vivid witness of that.
  • The pressure that one feels to take care of the needs of his family be it his wife and children or his father and mother and siblings is burdensome.
  • Many would like to take care of these people before giving a full devotion to God.
  • Jesus told this disciple to let the dead bury their dead and come and follow me.
  • You mean that I must dismiss my responsibilities to follow you?
  • How many of you would call Jesus on the side to avow your disapproval to that statement?
  • You could even find Bible passages to back up your argument with Jesus.
  • At the end of the day we all realize that following Jesus is more involved than we thought.
  • Jesus used an extreme situation to make a striking point.
  • It simply means that there will be time when a disciple of Christ will come to a T intersection where he either turns left and goes fulfill his family duty while neglecting the call of God upon His life, or he goes right to satisfy God while disappointing his very own family.
  • That is the solitary turn that many missionaries have had to take in order to bring the Gospel to the pagan world with no real hope of ever seeing their motherland ever again.
  • Some have carried their caskets along with them to be buried in a fashionable way if they die among the barbarians.

WHAT IS YOUR ISSUE WITH JESUS?

  • What’s keeping you from saying yes to God?
  • Is it the housing issue?
  • Is it the family ties issue?
  • Is it the economic issue?
  • Is it the loneliness issue?
  • Is it a social expectation issue?
  • Is it the respect issue?
  • Is it the holiness issue?
  • Is it the getting along with others issue?
  • Is it the subordination issue?
  • Is it the lack of appreciation issue?
  • Is it financial security for old age issues?
  • Is it the self sacrificing issue?
  • Or is it a lack of faith in God issue?

LAISSES LES MORTS ENSEVELIR LEUR MORTS

  • Jesus is stressing about burial rituals here, customs, expectations, traditions, etc.
  • There are enough people who are interested in those things, Jesus calls them the dead.
  • There are Christians who act naively in satisfying the wishes of a dead person.
  • Some Christians go as far as digging where they buried a loved one to bring them to another location.
  • Some so-called Christians out of ignorance would go to the tomb of their late family members and have a long talk. It is a sin. You are inviting demons in your life.
  • There is a lot of power in that realm that controls those who are under their influences.
  • You are a Christian but your parents were not.
  • Should you give money for the ritual associated in the burial? Not if they dishonor God.
  • Should you serve alcoholic beverages to the mourners?
  • Should you go back to the cemetery on a set day as the custom requires it?
  • Christians run the chance to jeopardize their testimony in fulfilling all the ceremonial expectations associated with burial.
  • In most cases, let the dead bury their dead.  
  • Your absence will of course offend some but your presence will offend God.

CONCLUSION

  • This message is not about burial rituals but about the cost to follow Jesus.
  • Don’t be driven by the need for comfort in this world when you come to Jesus.
  • The assignment that God has for you may not include luxury and comfort.
  • If you are too concerned to fulfill all the family obligations that are laid for you, then, following Jesus may not be for you.
  • Following Jesus must take precedence in all your endeavors.

Lu 14:26-27

26  Si quelqu’un vient à moi, et s’il ne hait pas son père, sa mère, sa femme, ses enfants, ses frères, et ses soeurs, et même sa propre vie, il ne peut être mon disciple. (LSV)

 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)

 27 Et quiconque ne porte pas sa croix, et ne me suit pas, ne peut être mon disciple. (LSV)

 27 “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)

<><> 

Mt 10:37 Celui qui aime son père ou sa mère plus que moi n’est pas digne de moi, et celui qui aime son fils ou sa fille plus que moi n’est pas digne de moi; (LSV)

 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (NKJV)

<><><> 

  • May God help us to grasp the message today!
  • And, May God add His blessings upon His word!
  • Amen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s