I. Be Willing To Face Death Vs. 23-27

A. Disciples Of Jesus Follow Jesus V. 18, 23

1. “His disciples followed Him”. This is the essence of what disciples do
a. Disciples discern what Jesus is doing, or what He is commanding them.
b. They follow Him, they obey Him.

2. His disciples have heard the terms of discipleship that were just explained
3. They are about to learn much more about Jesus, and what it means to follow Him

B. Disciples Of Jesus Face Death (All People Face Death)

1. In following Jesus, we may follow Him into a storm. (literal or allegorical)
2. Some of these men were fishermen; they knew the danger of these storms
3. One must never think that following Jesus means “storm free living”
4. Disciples must constantly re-evaluate their willingness to follow Jesus.
5. Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
6. Whether we realize it or not, we are spending our lives on some kind of pursuit.

a. We are disciples of someone or something
b. We are disciples of philosophy, capitalism, self-improvement, etc.
c. Bottom line: We are either disciples of God, or of self.

7. Some may not want to “risk their lives” to follow Jesus.

a. There are no guarantees in following anything on this earth.
b. You risk your eternal life in not following Jesus.

8. We will all die trying to accomplish something, even if your pursuit is “to avoid everything”. We will die as we pursue activity or inactivity.
9. We are all on a “death walk”. Some try to steer away from that and preserve self.
10. How much wiser it is to spend your life for eternal values and blessings.
11. 1 Kings 2:1-3a 1Now the days of David drew near that he should die, and he charged Solomon his son, saying: 2“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. 3And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies…”
12. Jim Elliot- “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

C. Disciples See Jesus’ Power Over Deadly Situations

1. They understood Jesus’ description of the cost of discipleship
2. They were willing to proceed, knowing the costs involved.
3. That willingness led to them experiencing a storm, deathly fear, and desperation
4. That also led to a momentary misunderstanding of Jesus’ concern for them

a. Disciples sometimes face temporary confusion about Jesus’ intentions
b. Confusion was eventually followed by understanding

5. They were the only ones that saw Jesus calm the stormy sea.
6. Our “deadly” situations allow us to see Jesus’ power, but only followers see it.

a. It will show you your weaknesses & limitations, but His power.
b. The men “marveled”– to wonder, to be in admiration.
c. Following Jesus brings wonder about Him, admiration of Him.
d. See Psalm 89; 8, 9

7. Those who valued comfort and loved ones more than Jesus missed the miracle.

a. The same is true today.
b. Living for comfort or loved ones may keep you from seeing God’s power
c. Your focus will be on things & people instead of Jesus
d. Being that kind of “follower” will never put you in the place where miracles occur.
e. Your experience of Jesus won’t be “marvelous”; it will only be “nice”.

II. Be Willing To Be Engaged In Spiritual Warfare Vs. 28-34

A. Jesus Confronted By Demoniacs (See also Mark 5, Luke 8)

1. Men possessed by fallen angels, “demons”. One possessed by 1000’s of demons.
2. They come to Jesus. Christians will be confronted by spiritual opposition.

a. Spiritual confrontation might be overt
b. It might be deceptive & innocent; i.e. half-truths, twisted values
c. To follow Jesus means that you will be engaged in various spiritual battles
d. See Ephesians 6:10-13

3. They know who Jesus is, and what their appointed end is
4. They are subject to Jesus, and ask to be cast into the swine
5. Jesus casts the demons into the swine, and the swine are quickly destroyed

a. Indicates the destructive power and intent of satanic presence

6. 1 Peter 5:8-9a 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in the faith…

B. The Public Response

1. No appreciation from the people that the men were now safe to be around
2. No giving of thanks that these men were made whole, and delivered
3. Instead of thanks, they ask Jesus to depart from their region.
4. Jesus had destroyed their swine business (which was illegal for these Jews)
5. They preferred financial prosperity to spiritual wholeness and freedom
6. Don’t be surprised if following Jesus results in people asking you to leave

III. Being A Disciple Of Jesus Requires Consideration Psalm 73

A. Consideration Based Upon Experience
B. Consideration Based Upon Faith
C. Consideration That Leads To Commitment