Identifying Jesus and His Disciples, part 2
A very old German legend tells the story of a man named Faust, who makes a bargain with the devil. In exchange for knowledge and pleasure, Faust forfeited his soul.
Many other stories and dramas have used this same idea. In order to gain power and popularity, people make a deal with the devil. They enjoy great worldly success, but at the end, they lose their souls.
Legend has it that Robert Johnson, a very talented guitarist from the 1930s, sold his soul to the devil one night at the crossroads. He was so talented that people thought he must have made a deal with the devil to be so good. Johnson died at age 27 without gaining much worldly success. His recordings were rediscovered in the 1960s, and he is now considered one of the great pioneers of modern guitar.
In our text today, Jesus questions whether gaining the whole world is worth the cost of your eternal soul. Jesus invites us to come and follow him, but he urges us to understand what it means to be one of his disciples.
Thus far in this passage, we’ve seen, 1), that Jesus’ disciples identify him correctly and 2), that Jesus’ disciples understand his work accurately. Who is Jesus? Peter rightly identifies him as the Christ of God. What did Jesus do? He suffered, died, and rose again. That’s the Gospel in a nutshell; that’s what you must believe in order to be saved.
But the Gospel calls for a broader response. It’s not enough merely to affirm these facts mentally or intellectually. The Bible tells us that the demons of hell affirm the basic facts about who Jesus is and what he did. Simply affirming the facts is not enough.
So how should we respond to the message?