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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1014. The cost of obedience can be rejection (19/3/24)

This week in our Come to Jesus Daily Devotionals, we continue in the gospel of Luke. In Luke 9:51-62 we learn that we are called to model our lives on the costly obedience that Jesus showed to His Father. Today, we see that our obedience, Like Jesus’, may lead to our being rejected. 

‘And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”  But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.’ (Luke 9:52-56) 

Lesson: Like Jesus, our obedience to God may well earn our rejection or disrespect. 


You can listen to this devotional below (It’s also available on Spotify on the Community Church Putney podcast) 



Maybe you’ve had the experience of a friend or group of friends turning on you. Once you were close and happily having fun together, but now you’re ostracised. In our day of social media, this problem has become a much more common experience as It’s never been easier to gang up on and bully someone. Here, Jesus is being shunned by these Samaritans because He was going to Jerusalem. 

Their rejection of Jesus is likely linked to their disagreement with the Jews over the proper place of worship. For example, we read in John 4:

‘“Sir,’ the woman said, ‘I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”’ (John 4:19-20)

Among a number of beliefs, the Samaritans believed that the one holy place was Mount Gerizim, the ‘this mountain’ mentioned by the Samaritan woman, and not Jerusalem as Jesus is now intimating. 

Jesus, in going to Jerusalem, and so siding with the Jews in its central importance, had clearly offended them. Jesus was prepared to ‘carry His cross’ and be rejected for the truth. Jesus did not change His mission or message in order to be acceptable. 


Response

Like Jesus, our obedience to God may well earn our rejection or disrespect. How important is truth to us? In the Christian life, there are primary and secondary issues; some things we can agree to differ on, whilst other things are to be held onto even at the cost of rejection. To narrow this down to our text, Jesus' death for sin is the only way we can be saved and this is non-negotiable. Peter, writes:

‘“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”’ (Acts 4:12)

Like Jesus, are we prepared to carry the cross of rejection because we are faithful to the truth? Or like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, will it be said of us:

‘”They loved human praise more than praise from God.“‘ (John 12:43)

Are you and I prepared to follow Jesus even if it means rejection? 


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News or the Teaching button on the website. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday was entitled, The cost of following Jesus (Luke 9:51-62). In this section, Jesus sets the perfect example of carrying His cross and suffering, and then calling His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him, even when obedience is costly.


Please read Luke 9:51-62, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • How do verses 51-56 teach about Jesus’ suffering?

  • Read verses 57-61 and discuss: What are the various ways in which following Jesus may be costly? And, secondly, what experiences do you have of carrying your cross for Jesus? 

  • What is the principle and application taught in verse 62?

  • SIV - How might seeking to share our story and the message of Jesus be costly to us?

  • SIV - Why will living a wholehearted life for Christ, as outlined in this text, make us effective as witnesses to the gospel? 

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s come out of our time in God’s Word.

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