About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact
About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact

What It Means To Follow The Leader


Matthew 16:24-28

To begin this morning I want to play a little game with you…for just a minute or so we are going to play, “Follow the Leader.”

Let’s look at the passage and let’s learn what it really means to be a disciple or “follower of Christ.”

Up to this point in the gospel of Matthew a lot of people have been trying to figure out who this Jesus is?

Now Peter had the right answer…but he had the wrong definition.

And Jesus in verse 23 turns around…and rebukes Peter…and He says, “Get behind Me, Satan.”

But you see, what we need to realize is “we may sometimes consider ourselves to be true disciples…”

So, what are the marks of a disciple? Look at what Jesus says again in vs. 23, “Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

And a disciple “sets his mind” on God’s interests and not man’s or his own.

And notice the phrase there in 33 where Jesus says, “setting your mind on God’s interest.”

What is God’s greatest interest?

When Jesus speaks of “setting your mind on God’s interests”, as disciples, we should be constantly interested in people…and their salvation.

Even if you are sick…not feeling well…don’t leave God’s interests behind.

Whatever you do…if it is eating out…or going to ball games…or working…or visiting…or traveling…or going  to the grocery store…or walking down the street…or driving…have your mind “set on God’s interests and not so much on your own.”

That’s what a disciple does.

But Jesus doesn’t quit there. Look at verse 24.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

When Jesus says, “Let him deny Himselftake up his crossand follow Me”…every one of these phrases is an imperative…or a command.

And this isn’t something you do once; it is not something you do occasionally.

And let me make something clear here.

Well, it doesn’t work that way. Turn with me to John 6:66.

“You do not want to go away also, do you?”

 What we need to understand is, “deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow Me”, means every day!

Go back to Matthew 16 and notice something else in verse 24.

He says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow ME”, PERIOD!

Now look at the phrase, “deny yourself.”

Instead, Jesus says that you “take up your cross.

Do you know what the cross was?

So Jesus says, “You deny yourself…and you “take up your cross”…you take up the “will of God” and you follow after Him.”

A number of years ago, Queen Elizabeth was a child, and her nanny refused her a toy. And the 5 year old princess stomped her feet and said, “I am a princess and I can do whatever I like.”

To deny self and take up your cross” means that your life belongs to the kingdom and not to yourself.

Now this is hard preaching. It is even harder living.

Well, Christ tells us. Look at the next 2 verses and notice that each verse begins with the word “Because” or “For.”

26 “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.

The reason for living your life as a disciple of Christ is the reality of eternity and because of the finality of judgment.

Beloved, Jesus never promised us comfort.

And let me say this, your view of discipleship is directly related to your view of  Jesus.

And discipleship demands that you “deny self, take up your cross, and follow Him.”

Let’s be the disciples that Christ wants us to be. Let’s follow the Leader.

If you haven’t been repent.

If you haven’t even started won’t you deny yourself today…take up your cross…take up His will and be baptized…and follow Him.