Thursday, September 29, 2011

It’s About the Message!

John 1:37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

Why do people go to church? Why do many claim christianity as their religion? Why do people wear crucifixes? Why do folks claim to be followers of Jesus?

The answers to these questions are clearly wide and varied. But one thing is for sure...not everyone that goes to church, claims Christianity, wears a crucifix or even claims to be followers is not doing it for the right reason.

I have heard people tell me that they are a “christian” because their mom and dad were and they “passed it down”....but they really don’t do anything with it. I have often seen the pop singer Madonna wear huge crucifixes and wondered if she really cares about what Jesus says? We have at least one example in the Bible where Jesus criticized some followers for seeking him for the wrong, selfish reasons.

John 6:24-27 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. (25) And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? (26) Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (27) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Here he confronts these people that are seeking him. He tells them that they were only looking for him because the day before he fed the large crowd of people and they were looking for another free meal.

Do people “follow” Jesus today for selfish or wrong reasons? Perhaps. If they did then they probably do today as well.

In our text this morning we find that two disciples that heard Jesus speak....and they followed him! They followed him BECAUSE of the message! They followed him BECAUSE of the truths that he spoke! They followed him BECAUSE of the hope that only Jesus can offer because of his Good news!

Likewise, in Jesus’ response to to those following Jesus for food, he tells them in verse 27...labor not for worldly, temporary stuff, but rather labor the “meat” or substance that can lead to eternal life! That is ONLY the word of God!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Do You GET Jesus?

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

This passage tells us so much about our Savior. That he is eternal in nature. That Jesus is Deity...He IS God! That he was integral and vital in the creation process and in Him is life eternal. As important and critical as those truths are, most attention is often given to the first 4 verses so I want to focus on verse 5.

In verse 5, Jesus is compared to light, in contrast to the darkness of the world. But it was not just a simple contrast, through inspiration, the writer very subtly shows the power of Jesus. For he “shined” in the darkness. Like a simple match can overpower the darkness of a deep, dark cave, Jesus, against incredible odds, shines and gives hope in this dark world. But notice the last statement. “...The darkness comprehended it not.” Notice the profoundness in that statement. Can you imagine being lost ina cave and suddenly you see a small light in the distance and not gravitating to it? It seems obvious that most of us would make our way to that light for it represents salvation. But that is the opposite of what the Bible says. The world, the darkness...even some religious folks don’t REALLY “Get” Jesus. Oh they see him! Many even think that they have embraced our savior. But the darkness comprehends it NOT.

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus says that not everyone that claims him as Lord really get him.....because they simply are not willing to do what he says.