4 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. 28“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16.24-28)
Memory Verses: 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16.24).
We must not be ashamed of the gospel; we have been given eternal life through the grace of God by His righteousness through Jesus Christ His Son (Romans 5.21). But the gospel did not start with the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, nor did it begin with His resurrection, but it began when He began to preach “repent the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4.17).
This was Christ’s primary message to the people, ‘repentance,’ turning from their sinful lifestyle calling them back to live as God had commanded them to, because the Kingdom of Heaven was near. But the people refused to listen to Him, Jesus said on several occasions how He had come to save the lost (Matthew 15.24, 18.11; Luke 19.10; John 18.9). Jesus also declared, “How He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15.24, ESV, emphasis added). But this did not stop Him from having compassion for this woman whom He was speaking to, nor on the “great multitude, He had compassion on them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd” (Mark 6.34, ASV, emphasis added).
Christ preached the gospel to all He saw, He had compassion on everyone, and called all to repent of their sins, desiring that they would have an intimate personal relationship with His heavenly Father, just as He had.
The gospel has many parts and we all play a part in spreading the gospel throughout the world. Of course, the main context of the gospel can never change. Jesus Christ is its core message, He came to earth, born of a virgin, lived among us, was crucified on the cross as the ‘Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world’ (John 1.29).
Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to His own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53.4-6, ESV).
Therefore, we must declare this gospel and no other, we must share this gospel with our mouth, with our actions, with our deeds, and with our whole hearts. So, all the world will know who Christ is not just by our words, but by our deeds, and actions. Then the words of James will ring true, “Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works (James 2.18, CSB).
There are three parts of the gospel we need to understand for us to be effective in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Understanding the needy, knowing people have to listen, and teaching people the privileges of believing in Jesus Christ. Today let us look at understanding the needy and how to invite them to Christ.
Before we begin we need to understand what we mean when we say ‘needy.’ We are not talking about the down and out, nor are we talking about those without or who have nothing. We are using this term to refer to those in spiritual need, those who need Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Therefore, we all at one time were the ‘needy’ and the gospel is an invitation to us all to come to saving faith in the only One Who can provide the way to eternal life, Jesus Christ.
It is this invitation to the needy which we will explore; how did Jesus Christ go about reaching the lost with the gospel? He did this by sharing with them His Father’s amazing love (John 3.16), He offered them rest from the burden of the law (Matthew 11.28). “The “I Am’s” of John’s gospel are invitations to experience the divine provision for the needy. To respond to the invitation, through repentance and faith (Mark 1.14), is to experience salvation (Luke 19.9), to enter the kingdom (Luke18.18-24), to gain a new and eternal relationship in the family of God.”
Our invitation to the spiritually needy cannot just be a casual invitation for Christ’s was not. He came to call of Israel to repentance, to salvation, to a relationship with their Heavenly Father ((Luke 4.43). We must do the same, asking each person to make a commitment to God Almighty, following after the words of Jesus, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16.24, NASB).
Christ has called us to come after Him, by denying ourselves, we must invite others to come after Christ teaching them to deny themselves and allow Christ to fill their lives. When we and they do, then we all will be able to do all Christ ask of us, picking up our crosses daily for Christ and serving Him every day. All of this will allow all of us to follow Him unto the ends of the earth.
Our invitation to the spiritually needy needs to be plain and open, calling all to come to a saving knowledge and faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He has given His life, His blood, and God has raised Him from the dead so we can have eternal life. What great news we have, what a wonderful gospel we have to share, what an invitation, let us invite all to come to know Jesus Christ today.
Our God, Master of All in the Heavens, and on Earth. Creator of the sun, moon and stars, You have made everything for Your glory, to bring worship to You and You alone. Lord I have not given You praise and glory as You require, nor have I shown You the proper reverence or honor. Lord forgive my sinful heart and mind, as well as my sinful ways. Lord I know I have sinned against You and You alone. Please create within me a new heart and renew a new spirit O Lord, so I may worship and serve You as You desire. I know I am frail and weak but with Your help I can be who You want me to be, and all You want me to be. Lord give me boldness to share Your gospel with others, and not to be ashamed of You or what You have done for me. All this I pray in Your Son Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 16:24–28). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 15:24). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Mk 6:34). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 53:4–6). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Jas 2:18). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 Tenney, Merrill C. The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, 5 vols. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976. Vol 2. Pg. 780
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 16:24). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
You Can Download This Blog Here – November 17 – Matthew 16.24-28