Episode 185

Disciple Up # 185
A Disciple’s Identity, Pt. 1
By Louie Marsh, 11-11-2020


This is coming out on Veteran’s Day – November 11th so Thank You!

1) Jesus tells me what it TAKES & MEANS to be His disciple.

1  Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. Matthew 5:1 (ESV)

In Greek THE mountain – the Sinai of the NT

2) He begins by describing WHO & WHAT real disciples of Jesus are.

2  And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:2-9 (ESV)

A new view of the Beatitudes.

Jesus begins the SOTM by vision casting who and what authentic disciples of him really are. All true disciples already have these characteristics. To one degree or another. No perfectionism here.

The Beatitudes contain:

  • No VERBS
  • In the 3RD PERSON

What are they?

  • They are simply a description of
  • They form a circle

1st Beatitude blessed are ____ theirs IS

2nd – 7thSHALL


Is exists now, shall is a promise of something to come at some point in the future

We are in the Kingdom NOW it’s benefits will come to us, but note we are not told when.

  • The last beatitude is repeated as a transition point.

 10  “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11  “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)

3) God’s TRANSFORMATION of me is the real blessing.

Blessed – used 55 times in the NT. Used of outward prosperity and of the gods themselves in the Greek. Yet it’s not the common Greek word for happy which isn’t found in the NT. In the Bible there’s a moral and spiritual dimension added to it.

13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Revelation 14:13 (ESV)

17  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:17 (ESV)

11  in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. 1 Timothy 1:11 (ESV)

Many scholars translate it as happy. One well know Christian author and Pastor, and former chaplain of the US Senate Lloyd John Ogilvie said it should be translated “Congratulations!”

Test both out –

The glory of the happy God  The glory of the congratulated God

Happy are the poor in spirit – Congratulations you poor in spirit!

4) To really follow Jesus I must ABANDON myself.

3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (ESV)

Poor = extreme poverty. Think starving people in refugee camp kind of poverty.

  • Discipleship means I push back against our culture’s SELFISM .

34  And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35 (ESV)

A radical departure from our culture of selfism.

Selfism = believe in yourself, etc.

American Culture more than most tells us that life is manageable if only we try hard enough, get educated enough etc. That’s a lie. Thinking will power will get you through is a lie as well. Will power becomes won’t power quick enough.

  • Will power becomes won’t power very quickly.
  • Will power makes me SELF-ABSORBED.

 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. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

Cultures mixed message on self – need self-esteem, self-motivation. Everyone sends you all sorts of things saying “you’ve got this,” “Believe in yourself.”  People are urged to “find themselves.”

But at the same time we’re told that “Where ever you go there you are,” and “You are your biggest problem.”

So which is it? According to the greatest leader, thinker and teacher of all time – you need to become selfless!

Jesus says to listen to your doubts when you think I can’t do it, I’m not able. Because they are telling you the truth! You cannot save yourself and you cannot become like Christ by yourself.

The main problem all of us face is more than psychological it is spiritual. Problems go beyond what any of us can deal with except God alone.

AA 1st Step: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable.

Christianity isn’t self-help – it is self-surrender, self-denial, dying to self and living to God.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org


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