September 18 - Message Update

Follow Me - Mark 3:7-21 – Pastor Eric

 

Queen Elizabeth helped to lead her country and the global world, but political power, human intelligence, and nobility didn’t lead her life.  Jesus Christ and His example of sacrificial service led her life to give us an extraordinary lady and leader.

 

Most likely, we won’t become royalty like Queen Elizabeth; however, if we follow Jesus Christ, then we too are part of a famous royal line.  We are blessed to be a chosen people and royal priesthood by God’s grace and His sovereign appointment. 

 

Therefore, we must ask ourselves this important question, what does it mean to follow Jesus Christ? What does it mean to follow the Savior of the World?  What does it mean to follow the King of Kings?

 

When we ponder this question, what answers fill your mind and your heart?  Possibly, following Jesus means obeying a set of rules and regulations like the Ten Commandments.  Following Jesus means believing in Him as the Son of God.  Following Jesus means following your faith as a good faithful church goer.  Following Jesus means seeing Him as a miracle worker and healer.

 

All of those answers are not bad necessarily, and they can be good.  But they can be misguided and false.  You can obey God’s rules and commandments and not follow Him, the Pharisees did that.  You can believe He is the Son of God, and not follow Him, the demons believed that. You can go to “Sunday church,” and not follow Him, the religious leaders did that. You can receive healing, and not follow Him, the crowd did that.

 

In Mark 3, Jesus interacts with several different types of people, some of who truly follow Jesus and others who do not.  Each encounter that we have with Jesus will hopefully help us to better understand what it means to follow Jesus and answer the question, “What does it mean to follow Jesus?”

 

(1) Following Jesus means surrendering to Him for who He is, not just for what He does. Following Jesus means submitting ourselves to Christ as both our Savior and our Lord.  Following Jesus means letting Him take control of ourselves and committing to Him for who He is not just the wonderful things that He can offer us. (Mark 3:7-12)

 

On this occasion, there is a great crowd following Jesus.  This is an enormous group of followers who have come from far and wide to hear Jesus speak and to possibly receive healing from Him.  They are converging on Jesus, and it is so overwhelming that Jesus asks the disciples to ready His getaway boat lest He become overcomed, and they all be crushed by the crowd.

 

However, the people seeking Christ are more interested in what Jesus can do for them, than for who He truly is. They only want the benefits of what Jesus can perform.  All they want from Jesus is physical healing, and it is debatable if they really want true wholeness, spiritual healing, from Jesus. 

 

On of top of the crowd, we find a similar response with a demon, who comes before Christ and says, “You are the Son of God.”   We understand the demons are fully aware of who Jesus is.  They know it in their minds who Jesus is, but not in their hearts.  They have no commitment to Christ, and they have no remorse to their sin or their evil deeds.

 

Thus, true faith must be accompanied with true repentance and surrender.  True faith comes from both the mind and the heart.  True faith comes from believing and surrendering to Christ’s lordship and authority over your life and letting Him have full control over your life and your eternity.

 

(2) Following Jesus means answering His call to serve. Following Jesus Christ is being given the appointment by the supreme commander of the Universe to serve Him.  Jesus gives every single person a purpose and gifting in life to honor and to glorify Him whether it’s the high school student, the auto repair man, the school teacher, the engineer, or a nurse. We all have a calling from God.  (Mark 3:13-21)

 

The mountain top experience was a very special thing in the ministry of Jesus for He appoints the Twelve on a mountain. The Twelve symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel, and the appointment of Twelve points to the restoration of Israel.  This is the completion of the journey of God’s chosen people and God’s redemptive plan for them.

 

Jesus chooses a band of ragamuffins and misfits.  People who you wouldn’t think of to lead His worldwide, history altering, movement.  God chose them to show us that the power is not in man but in Him, and that God can use anyone for His purposes. 

 

God can use you with your doubts.  God can use you beyond your temper, beyond your sinfulness and selfishness.  God can use you beyond your past history.

 

There isn’t a person God can’t use if He wants to, everyone is significant in His kingdom and all are valued and needed in His church. 

 

(3) Following Jesus means sacrificing for Him like He did for us.  Following Jesus will not always be happy go lucky.  There will be moments of trial, tribulation, and headache.  There is a cost to following Jesus, and we must count that cost as followers of Christ.  (Mark 3:20-21)

 

Jesus went home, and the crowd continued to follow Him. It was so crazy that they couldn’t even take a moment to eat.  Think about all the commotion that Jesus brought with Him and all the attention that He received.  It was a lot, and it was affecting His family.

 

Jesus is rocking the boat, and His ministry is affecting His own biological family.  And they don’t like it one bit. So much so they think that He has gone mad and crazy.

 

We learn from Jesus that following Him requires sacrifice from this world and at moments its costly. It can be very, extremely costly. 

 

But in those moments of costly sacrifice, let us be encouraged and let us be compelled to press on not by obligation or by duty.  But by an appreciation and gratitude for Christ that He paid the ultimate sacrifice in going to the cross of Calvary, and even at moments, He paid the price of His family’s confusion, shame, and even criticism.

 

Thus, let us not sugar-coat the question, what does it mean to follow Jesus?

 

For following Jesus means surrendering to Him and sacrificially serving Him just as He did for us.

 

Let us find courage remembering that Jesus sacrificed it all for us.  Let us be moved by the Spirit of God to surrender to Christ, to serve Christ, and to sacrifice for Christ out of a thankful love for what Christ did for us. 

 

So that, we can truly look back at the end of life like Queen Elizabeth and say, “Yes, I followed Jesus as far and as hard as He wanted me with great joy and delight in our hearts.”

 

 

Praise Songs:

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, Reign In Us, Psalm 90 (Satisfy Us With Your Love), Doxology