Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jesus Words - Follow Me


John 1:37-42


If you read Return of the Jedi from the Star Wars series you find the hero Luke Skywalker being challenged by his father to follow him, to join him in his quest to rule the galaxy. His father claimed it was Luke’s destiny! As we look at the world around us we see a lot of people and companies asking us to follow them. Politicians want your support based on their social platforms. Companies want the loyalty of your business for your dollars. Organizations want your volunteer hours to help them with their cause.


We as a church do not want you to follow us. I don’t want you to follow me. I want you to follow the One whom I am following. Jesus has called us into community. He has gifted you and me, and in the context of this community He calls us all to follow Him. My role as pastor is not in isolation of the rest of you. I have the same challenge to reach the people in my life with the gospel as you do. I am to grow closer to Jesus just as your are—it’s our destiny! Let’s look a bit closer at this calling in our lives together.


Context - The buzz is out!


John recognizes who Jesus is and proclaims it. Look at the names of Jesus in this chapter: Word (1), Creator (3), Light (7), only begotten God (18), lamb of God (29, 36), Son of God (34, 49), Messiah (41), King of Israel (49), Son of Man (51)

Two of his disciples hear him, and then start following Jesus. They stayed with Him that day. One of these 2 was Andrew – Peter’s brother. Andrew goes and gets Peter.
Then Philip gets called. Philip goes to find Nathanael and tell him the news.


2 Timothy 2:2 “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”


Conversation – The Son of Man calls out to us, “Follow Me!”


Right at the beginning of His ministry, before anything else has gone on, Jesus is proclaimed the Messiah, the Christ (anointed One). This is all about fulfilling the Old Testament.
Jesus called people to follow Him. To spend time with Him, walk with Him, eat with Him. With Peter He affirms his name and then promptly renames him, foreshadowing his conversation with Peter in Matthew 16. With Nathanael He starts with a character trait “in whom there is no guile.” When Jesus meets these people He interacts with them on an individual level loaded with discernment.


Jesus calls us as individuals. He wants you to bring all that you are and aren’t, as you are. He didn’t come to save the found, but the lost. It is only those who come with authentic faith, with all their imperfections that receive His gifts of grace. In that calling is relationship, and in that relationship is life change.


1 John 2:6 “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”


Calling – Focus on what He has called us to, not what He hasn’t called us to.


Jesus calls you to the Good News. The message of salvation is that eternal life is found in Jesus. I met with a group of men on Friday. Three of them were district superintendents, and 2 were pastors, all representing different denominations. We met to talk about Saskatchewan, and how to help one another connect enough to share this mission. The fact is we are all trying to help people get to know Jesus, and to become more like Him in their life. The Pentecostals, the Baptists, the salvation army… we are all doing the same thing, we are all part of the same church. If I have a chance to lead somebody to Christ, I will do it whether they end up in our church or the one down the road. I am not here to build the kingdom of the Nazarenes, but the kingdom of God. He calls all of us to share the Good News.


Jesus calls you by name. We are called to follow Him, individually. He calls you as you are, knowing His Spirit in you will turn you into a revelation of Himself. He speaks to your life, your character. He calls you to a task that is fit for you. He equips you and uses you in your strengths, and where you are weak, His strength abounds. You have a place in this world, and Jesus is calling you today to it.


Jesus calls you in your relationships. Did you notice Andrew? He hears John talk of Jesus, and goes and finds his brother once he knows where Jesus lives. Philip went and got Nathanael. The reality of Jesus in your life should drive you to talk to those around you. If you don’t, you need to go see where Jesus lives yourself. You need to draw close to Him, to understand He is the Savior. When you really get a hold of that, you’ll want to share it. Don’t try to get better before you follow Him, just start following Him with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and He has promised that He will refine you into something priceless. As you step out and follow Him, who can you go and tell about your encounter with Jesus?

No comments: