WHAT KIND OF FOLLOWER AM I? Leadership is not always the answer
Jesus Encountered Passive Followers 1.These want simple answers and arguments answered, period.
Someone in the crowd said to him, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Luke 12:13 Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another? Matthew 11:3 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Matthew 22:17 Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished? Mark 13:4
Do we want quick and easy answers today? Eating in the meeting house? Marriages/funerals in the bldg? Yes/no on re-marriage questions? What is modest? Must I attend Bible class? Womens role in the church? The authority of elders? Etc., etc., etc.
Jesus Encountered Passive Followers 1.These want simple answers and arguments answered, period. 2.The passive follower wants no personal challenge, no change, no effort
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? 17 And he said to him, Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments. 18 He said to him, Which ones? And Jesus said, You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.20 The young man said to him, All these I have kept. What do I still lack? 21 Jesus said to him, If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Matthew 19:16-22
Just like the rich young ruler… We dont like wrestling with character or behavior Would we rather turn away than face our own bad attitudes and criticism? Are we only interested in the yes and no answers, the right and wrong answers?
Just like the rich young ruler… Jesus challenges us and our honesty, Even intellectual honesty Pet sins that are close to us Presuppositions and traditions that surround us with a comfort zone
And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. Luke 13:16-17 Jesus called people to think about their actions
And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Matthew 12:10-12 Jesus called people to think about their actions. Jesus called people to judge the value of a man vs. the Law!
Teaching one HOW to live is seems more important than just what to do. 1.Requires talking 2.Requires study 3.Requires thoughtfulness 4.Requires vision
Jesus Also Encountered Active Followers As they were going along the road, someone said to him, I will follow you wherever you go. 58 And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Luke 9:57-58 These want to go with Jesus.
Jesus Also Encountered Active Followers When many of his disciples heard it, they said, This is a hard saying; who can listen to it? John 6:60 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, Do you want to go away as well? 68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:66-69 These will not leave at hard sayings
Sometimes they argued with Jesus Sometimes rebuked for not getting it And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you. Matthew 16:22 Sometimes they complained So Thomas, called the Twin said to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. John 11:16 And Peter said, See, we have left our homes and followed you. Luke 18:28 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30 And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them? 55 But he turned and rebuked them Luke 9:54-55 Sometimes rebuked for worldly thinking
But after all was said and done, at the end of the day… You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, Luke 22:28 The disciples stayed with Jesus. They matured and strengthened.
Jesus came to lead us, not to herd us. We are admonished… To grow in grace and knowledge To be equipped To be mature To be teachers To be examples To stand like men What kind of follower am I … Passive? Wanting easy yes/no, right/wrong answers? Or… Active? Following even when its difficult and requiring change?