Follow Jesus (1 of 6)

Follow Jesus (1 of 6)

Sun 28 Oct 2012 AM

How many people can remember the last time Jesus spoke clearly to do something? Here's the real question. Have you done it? When nothing comes, go back to what the last thing Jesus said was. Following Christ introduces you to a whole new set of challenges in your life. Following Christ is a courageous thing to do because you will face things you'd never have had to face. You'll face some opposition, difficulties, challenges, setbacks. You've got more questions than answers, but they're different questions.
Audio Transcript
Let's open our Bible in Mark 2:14. I want to speak a message called Follow Jesus. It says: He came by and He saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office; and He said to him: Follow Me; so he arose and followed Him. Now as it happened, as He was dining at Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and the disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. Notice the word 'follow' again. Then the Scribes and the Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners. They said to the disciples: how is it He eats and drinks with all of these terrible sinners? Jesus said to them: those who are well, have no need of a physician; but those who are sick. I didn't come to call the righteous, I came to call sinners to repentance.

Let's go back to that first verse again: and Jesus said follow me; and he arose and followed Him. You know Levi was an unusual person. Levi was a tax collector. In those days, Israel lived under Roman oppression, and the Romans transacted with some of the locals to become tax collectors. In other words, they just used them. They used them as a go-between, and they required that they extract taxes. Now you can imagine the attitude there was, to someone who's a tax collector for the hated Romans, and most of them were corrupt people anyway. They put an edge, or a margin, on what they charged for tax; so everyone thinks they're paying too much tax, so they were absolutely scorned, derided and despised. He was a tax collector. He lived in a community where everyone hated him. His only comfort was the money he got, and the wealth he had, from living as a tax collector. But at a personal level, he was without friends; he was without a sense of belonging, or without sense of community. He's one of the most unlikely people in that town that Jesus would call to be His follower, and His disciple.

It's the same today. God chooses the most unlikely people; so the call comes out: follow Me. Here's the interesting thing about this; Jesus said: you didn't choose Me, I chose you. Now there's a lot of things in life you don't choose. You don't choose the city you're born in, you don't choose the nation you're born in, you don't choose your family. There's a lot of things in life you don't choose, and you can't have any say in it, you just have it. There's one thing you also can't choose, and that's the call of God on your life. It's God's decision to call you. Jesus - you didn't choose Him. He chose you. The Bible says: He chose you, before the foundation of the world. Think about this. God chose you. He selected you, chose you for something. The problem is, we don't mind being chosen, we just neglect the next bit. He chose us to do something. He didn't choose you for a ministry. He didn't choose you to be a great leader. He didn't choose you to Pastor a church. He didn't choose you to have some kind of phenomenal business. He didn't choose you for any of those things; and so often what we think is: because I'm come to Jesus, that now all of my life somehow will go well, and I'll be blessed, and I'll have all these things happening in my life. This is what Jesus called you to do: He called you and me, to Follow Him. Follow Me, follow Me.

I want to highlight for you, five characteristics of people who are following Jesus. I don't care if you call yourself a Christian or not. What counts is, are you following Jesus? People follow many things. I don't know what you're following. You could be here, and we all look when we stood up and worshipped God; but are we following Jesus in our personal life? That's what Jesus called you to do, to follow Him. Think about that. We are called to follow a person.

I looked up in the Bible, how many times the word 'leader' appears. I'm sorry - doesn't appear very often. I looked up in the Bible, how much the words 'follow,' followed,' 'follower' is. It's there everywhere. The world doesn't need a lot more leaders; it needs many people following Jesus. That is the core of it. If you follow Jesus, you'll have an influence, and create ripples; and people will want to follow you, because they see what you have. Why don't you have a think about this: Everyone is following something, everyone. Whether you're aware of it, whether you've made an intentional choice, whether you did or not, you are following something.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: tax collector, celebrity, fame, fashion, consumer society, iPad mini, global warming, Facebook, social media, demonic spirits, deliverance, great commission, identity, religion, challenges, fishers of men, journey of life, personal change, position