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A JESUS FOR ONE

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A Jesus for One
Sermon Discussion

After talking the last couple weeks about "a Jesus is for Everywhere" and "A Jesus for Many" this week Pastor Duane read about Jesus having a private conversation with His disciples to discuss if they really knew Him yet, and share with them His secret plan.

The disciples were Jesus closest friends, if anyone knew who he was, really knew, it would be one of them. Who would you say really knows who you are?

Let's read the passage and hear about Jesus plan for His friends:

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" 19 And they answered, "John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen." 20 Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." 21 And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." 23 And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God." [Luk 9:18-27 ESV]

Duane wanted to emphasize 3 clues from this passage that all point to one undeniable message: You matter to Jesus. The 3 clues were:

The Christ
The Cross
The Cost

THE CHRIST

Jesus after this huge event teaching and feeding approximately 12,000 people, turns to His disciples and asks what Duane has called "The single most important question you can ask in your life: "Who do you say Jesus is?"

How do you think your friends, coworker, or neighbors answer this question? Why is this question so important?

the disciples answer Jesus by saying the crowds have some mixed ideas about who they believe He is. Jesus then directly asks His disciples "who do you say I am" and Peter jumps right in with the answer of "The Christ, the Savior from God." And Jesus is thrilled! (Matt 16:16)

Why do you think Jesus was so happy to hear Peter's answer? What do we learn about Jesus and God from Jesus' reaction?

THE CROSS

Jesus goes on to elaborate on what being The Christ will really mean. In Verse 22 we see Jesus tell them the future, His plan for coming to earth. The plan, it turns out is a lot of suffering for Him and His followers.

What do you think the disciples were hoping the plan would be? Why do you think they continued following after hearing that?

In verse 24 we see Jesus tell the disciples "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. " It's a really hard statement.

What could this statement mean? How would you explain it to a friend?

Duane pointed out that there was no mistake in Jesus being sent to earth right when the Cross was becoming the en vogue means of capital punishment. It's widely considered the most painful and cruel ways to be put to death. Showing there is nothing Jesus wouldn't do for you.

What is the worst thing you've endured for a friend or family member? What insights does that give you about how Jesus felt about going to the cross for us?

THE COST

Jesus does indeed suffer just for us, but He also calls on us to suffer a cost also (v 23). Duane pointed out that as life goes on, we tend to create and wear many false selves that weigh us down and hide us. God wants us to give all those up. Stop trying to save our own life with those selves.

How do you recognize a false self? How can you put to death a false self?

Jesus said we'd have to do this everyday. Everyday we're going to want to get back to being our own savior through our false self.

What things do you find yourself battling with everyday? What are somethings you can do every day to experience the "Expulsive power of a new affection" Jesus offers?

Our lives are not our own, our friends, our jobs, our homes and money. Jesus tells us to give all of that to Him and He'll do work through it.

Friendship, job, home, money did any of these strike you during the sermon and bring an idea about how God may be asking you to give them over to Him?

PRAYER

Pray with your group, thanking God for thinking so much of us to suffer the cross for us and give us courage to deny ourselves daily and pick up our crosses in response.