Understand what it means to follow Jesus
To understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The world has many definitions of what it means to be a Christian. However, in order to find the true meaning of discipleship, one must return to the stand of the Bible.
Key Scripture (Acts 2:36 NIV): 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Key Scripture (Mark 1:14–18 NIV): 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
Note: In this study, we will look at what following Jesus and being his disciple means.
Key Scripture (Luke 9:23-26 NIV): 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Question: How do you think they would understand Jesus’ call to take up their crosses daily?
Question: Is this a decision that you have made in your life?
Key Scripture (Luke 11:1–4 NIV): One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Question: What is your prayer life like?
Key Scripture (Luke14:25–33 NIV): 25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Question: What do you make of Jesus’ teaching here to “hate” our families? What does this mean?
Key Scripture (Matthew 28:18–20 NIV): 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Question: Have you ever embraced the call of Jesus to make disciples?
Key Scripture (Matthew 22:34–40 NIV): 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Question: What does God ultimately care about most?
Question: Has this kind of love characterized your relationship with God and how you treat and view
those around you?
Psalm 63:1–6 David had great love for God, and it shows
John 13:34–35 We must imitate Jesus in how he loved
1 John 2:3–6 We must walk as Jesus did
Acts 11:19–26 Disciples were called Christians first at Antioch
1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow the example of Christ