Sermon for Pentecost 13, September 3, 2017 Matthew 16:21-28

“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27).

When we act like Jesus’ sheep there is no space between Jesus voice and following him. No deliberation. Just obedient following. But in today’s text Jesus speaks to those who do not act like Jesus’ sheep, because they must make a choice. They must deliberate. He tells those who want to follow him what following him entails: 1) giving up self-determination for obedience and 2) suffering the consequences when that obedience collides with the ways of the world. Then he discloses the logic of those who make such a choice: “what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?”