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Disruptive Discipleship

September 17 | DNA Guide

Be Real Together:

Take a few minutes to catch up, tell stories, and laugh together. Trust and friendship take time to build. If you’re launching a new DNA, one person should tell their story — what do we need to know about you? Next week, have another person in your DNA share their story.

Read Together:  Matthew 8:18-23 CSB

The One Question:
Ask this question at your family meal or DNA.

When you look at Matthew 8:18-23, what do you believe Jesus is calling his followers to do at this moment in time?

Grow Together:
Use these questions to go deeper with your DNA or for personal study.

In this passage following the Sermon on the Mount, Mathew reveals Jesus as a Rabbi and a Discipler. Many today don’t believe the King is the center of His Kingdom. Secular humanism subverts the Gospel. Jesus has become our therapist/life coach/cheerleader and we’ve become the main character in the story. We are in a discipleship crisis.

In Matthew 8:18, a large crowd is around him, but his mission is not the contentment of the crowd; instead, he serves the will of the Father, not the desires or purposes of the people. When Jesus commands his disciples to cross to the other side of the Galilean sea, we are reminded of his authority.

In Matthew 8:19-20, a scribe approached him and called him “Teacher,” but Jesus is so much more than a teacher. In fact, Matthew leaves two choices in how we call upon Jesus,:“Lord” or “Teacher”. When Jesus responds, “The son of man, has nowhere to even lay his head," he is defining his ministry as one of poverty and uncertain living conditions. And Jesus is declaring his preferred title, Son of Man. Whatever expectations you have about following Jesus, throw them out and instead, look at Jesus' life. This is the lifestyle you’ll have. You will be without comfort, and at the mercy of God’s will. That might sound scary, but for citizens of the kingdom, we know God‘s character and his heart for us.

In Matthew 8:21, another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me go bury my father.” This follower of Jesus places the immediate following of Jesus below the priority of something else in his life. Jesus re-prioritizes this man’s discipleship to the thing that is most important. Jesus redirects the focus from the unfortunate circumstance of an untimely death, and places it on the disciple himself and If he will choose to follow or not. There are many things in this world that beg for our attention that aren’t Jesus, but the disciple of Jesus must choose to put Jesus before all. Discipleship to Jesus disrupts our expectations and discipleship to Jesus re-prioritizes our life. The path of maturity, when following Jesus echoes his very words, “Not my will be done, but yours.“

In Matthew 8:23, as he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. The sea of Galilee will challenge these disciples and their faith. The future was uncertain, but they trusted Jesus enough to follow him. Though getting in the boat is a promise of hardship, fear, and the testing of faith, Jesus’ presence in our lives is our greatest reward.
Questions to Discuss
  1. What practical steps can we take to deepen our commitment to following Jesus as true disciples in our daily lives?
  2. Jesus tells the scribe that he has nowhere to lay his head. What does this statement signify about the life of discipleship?
  3. What can we learn from Jesus' statement, "Let the dead bury their own dead," about the cost of discipleship?
  4. Jesus' call to discipleship is about following him no matter the circumstances. How can we cultivate contentment and trust in God's provision while on this journey?
  5. How can we maintain a strong commitment to discipleship even when faced with competing demands and distractions?

Pray Together:

Take time to pray with and for each other.

Enduring Word Commentary: Matthew 8