Introduction: In my morning sermon today, I talked about the way in which secular society is rejecting the biblical framework of morality, and about the vehemence of the gay-rights movement. One of the most alarming cases just occurred in the United Kingdom when the High Court barred Owen and Eunice Johns from being foster parents because of their Christian beliefs. The ruling says, in effect, that since the Johns believe homosexuality is immoral, they are unfit to raise children. In essence, Christians who believe what the Bible says about morality can no longer be foster parents because children risk being “infected” by Christianity and by traditional biblical morality. Luke 9 addresses the issue of being Christlike in a Christ-hating world.
- There are lots of opinions out there (Luke 9:7-9). When you discard the authority of Scripture, there is no final word on anything. Like Herod and the crowds who were perplexed and speculating about the identity of Christ, everyone has an opinion.
- The right views might get you killed (Luke 9:18-26). One of the quickest ways to be unpopular is to be a biblical thinker in a secular world. It has gotten lots of people killed. Just do an internet search for persecuted Christians and see what’s happening right now in the world.
- Death isn’t that big a threat to Christians (Luke 9:30-31). At His transfiguration, Jesus spoke of His “departure.” The Greek word used here was “exodus.” The meaning of this word certainly included His death, which was very much on His mind in this chapter; and Peter later used the same word to describe his own death in 2 Peter 1:15 (note that the context was Peter’s account of the transfiguration). But notice verse 51 in Luke 9, where the phrase “taken up” is used. Jesus was thinking beyond His death to His resurrection and ascension—His departure from earth.
- We have got to set our face to follow Christ, whatever the cost (Luke 9:51-62). This is one of the Bible’s classic passages on the cost of discipleship. Though none go with us, still we will follow. We’ve got to have dogged determination to follow Christ—and to be faithful in our daily walk with Him, in our positions, in our purity, in our prayers, and in faithful perseverance.