0600: Invited to Live His Life
24: A Day in the Life of Jesus
March 5, 2006
Welcome to “24: A Day in the Life of Jesus”! Just a minute while I set my stop watch. Starting “NOW”… I have 24 hours to finish this message! (Just kidding!). Seriously, do we have any ‘24’ fans here this morning? (show of hands) I honestly didn’t know much about the show, (and hadn’t really watched it) until the Vargas’ gave me 7 disk set of “Season 4” to preview. So as I’ve been ‘doing research’ for this message series by watching them, & I have to admit this morning… I’m a convert to the show! I wouldn’t have had the patience to watch it from week to week, because it’s so intense.
In case you’re ignorant (like I was) about “24”, it’s a 1-hour drama that centers around Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland), He’s an American intelligence agent for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). Bauer is America’s best and last hope against international terrorists, drug trafficking and just plain evil. Each episode covers 1-hour of real time and an entire season’s story takes place in one day. It’s a pretty unique format, and it allows us to follow the characters through a single momentous day that none of them will ever forget.
Jack Bauer is the ‘new’ James Bond. Here are a few facts about him…
· He never uses a bullet-proof vest. Instead, he relies on his mane of chest hair to stop any bullet that tries to penetrate his skin.
· If you wake up in the morning, it’s only because Jack Bauer spared your life.
· JB’s favorite color is sever, terror, alert red… his 2nd favorite color is violet… but only because it sounds like the word ‘violent’!
· J.B. lost his car keys once, and spent the next 3 hours torturing himself until he gave up the location.
· Superman wears J.B. pajamas
· J.B. doesn’t miss. If he didn’t hit you, it was because he was shooting at another terrorist 12 miles away.
· The only reason you’re conscious right now is because J.B. doesn’t feel like carrying you.
· Killing J.B. doesn’t make him dead… it just makes him mad.
· When life gave J.B. lemons, he used them to kill terrorists, ‘cause he hates lemonade.
· J.B doesn’t sleep. The only rest he needs is when he’s knocked out or is temporarily killed.
· J.B. could get off the ‘Lost’ island in 2 hours.
A lot of people would like to live a day in the life of Jack Bauer! Unfortunately that’ll probably never happen! But what CAN happen (and I want to challenge you to do during this series) is to live a day in the life of Jesus. In fact, I want to challenge you to live ALL of your days like Jesus Christ! In Mark 1:14-38, we’re given an example of 1-day in the life of Christ, and so each of the next four weeks, we’re going to cover an episode of Jesus’ 24 hour day! Now, even though Jesus didn’t fight terrorists (per se), he did deal with some threats of a much more serious nature. As a way of getting us acclimated, let’s read the entire passage this morning… (READ)
The 1st thing that happens in this 24-hour period of time is the calling of Jesus’ disciples. The timing is interesting to me, because it’s right on the heels of John the Baptist being put into prison. It’s almost like Johns imprisonment was the ‘checkered flag’ for Jesus to charge into the fast lane! And that’s what he did! God had been counting down to this very moment all through history…(dink, dink, dink, dink) and now the time had finally come for the rule of God to begin on earth! As Jesus leaps out of the starting blocks, he begins to tell people excitedly…“At last the time has come!”… “The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!” –Mark 1:15 (NLT) The word Jesus used for ‘good news’ was actually a word that meant, “the good news of victory!” It was like a messenger coming back from the battlefront and announcing that the battle had been won! And that’s what Jesus is telling us!
The battle with evil is won! Get excited!… and then get in line! Because the next thing he does is to begin recruiting volunteers who will not only help spread the message, but will live it out! And He’s still doing that! Jesus is in the business of recruiting believers who will not only talk the talk, but live the life! The kingdom of God is shown first in His life, and then in the lives of his followers.
In the OT, once a judge or a king had been anointed, proclaimed and given God’s Spirit for the task… he had to go out and prove his calling. And that’s exactly what we see Jesus doing during this pivotal day in his life! Mark has already told us that Jesus was the Messiah (God’s Son)…now he shows it! He’d already conquered the enemy in the wilderness; now he conquers him in the ordinary lives of people like you and me!
Jesus is on a mission! Several months earlier he’d already met Peter, Andrew, James, and John; and they’d all come to trust Him (see John 1:35–49). So, this wasn’t their initial call to faith and salvation; it was an initial call to discipleship. He knew they were fishermen, so when He’s walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, this wasn’t some leisurely walk along the beach… (La-de-daa… ). NO! Jesus was looking for these guys! He’d been watching, evaluating them for months. Now (with his decision made) he goes out searching for them, and He found them… where else? …fishing on the Sea of Galilee! See, fishermen are very predictable people! If you don’t know where they are… try the nearest lake or stream!
You ask, “Why was Jesus gathering these men together in the 1st place? What did he need them for? Couldn’t he do the job of proclaiming the kingdom himself?” Later in Mark 3:14,15, Mark answers that question for us. READ it with me… “Jesus chose twelve men and called them apostles. He wanted them to be with him, and he wanted to send them out to preach and to have the authority to force demons out of people”. – Mark 3:14,15
According to Mark 3, the reason Jesus chose these guys wasn’t so he could start an “All Boys Club”… but so they could watch his life, and then go out and duplicate what they saw Him do and say,in their own lives! By the way, that’s a pretty good definition of what it means to be a ‘disciple’ of Jesus Christ! Watch what He did and said…and then learn to do and say the same thing!
Just like Jesus knew these men, today, right now… He knows you! He knows all about you, (did you realize that?) He knows what you’re thinking, he knows about your dreams, your failures, your past, your secret sins…He knows it all. And He still wants you to join Him! He’s actually intensely, purposefully hunting you down! Some of you are running pretty fast to get away from Him… but let me just let you know…He’s very persistent! Someone once called him…”the hound of heaven”. And eventually He’ll catch up to you and challenge you to be His disciple, so you can live His life! In the time we have left this morning, let me share with you 5 marks of a true disciple…
The 1st mark of being a disciple of Jesus Christ is to…
In Jesus’ day, a person who wanted to be a ‘disciple’ would look for their own teacher. It was kind of like we look in the Yellow Pages for a tutor for our kids, or a church for our families. It was a big commitment, so they wanted to make sure their credentials were up to snuff! But unlike the other Rabbi’s of his day, Jesus handpicked his OWN disciples. See, the reality is, we don’t pick Jesus… He picks us! Notice Jesus doesn’t say, “Oh, Oh!!! Pick me! Pick me! I’ll promise you a great life and all the chicken potpies you can eat! ” NO! He says, “Come! Follow me!” Lit. “Get behind me!”. In otherwords, Jesus is saying, “I don’t follow you… you follow me!” No conditions, no negotiations… just follow! A disciple ‘follows’ Jesus, he never leads him! Some people have that all mixed up in their minds!
In kind of a strange way, it’s easy to begin to believe that Jesus exists to follow us! To satisfy our demands and provide our wants. But when Jesus said to “Follow me” he used a special grk. word that meant we were to “embrace Him as the center and essence of our life”! That’s still his call today.
Now, any “Star Wars” fan will tell you that before being entrusted with the protection of the Republic, every Jedi Knight has to 1st of all be a “Padawon Learner”. He’s ‘mentored’ by another Jedi while in the line of fire. Isn’t that what got Anikan Skywalker into so much trouble? He didn’t want to be a follower. He wanted to be the leader! And he ended up on the dark side of the force as Darth Vader! (This is deep theology folks!) At the point you start to think you’re the leader, you’re in trouble! Like the bumper sticker says, “If Jesus is your co-pilot… move over!”
Now I know that being asked to follow anybody can be a scary thing! We’ve all been raised in a day when to follow somebody means to be a ‘mind-numbed’ robot! We’ve been betrayed in relationships, we’ve trusted people who turned out to be untrustworthy (politicians, corporations even church leaders). So ‘following’ isn’t exactly something we do without a lot of hesitation and cynicism. Now Jesus invites us to follow Him. He wants to be the leader of our lives. Is He trustworthy? I believe He is! He’s been faithful in my life! He’s never betrayed, misled, manipulated or used me. As a result of His leadership in my life, I’ve gotten stronger not weaker, my life has gotten fuller not emptier… and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Him! He’s been a perfect leader, even though I haven’t been a perfect follower!
For 2,000 years He’s been the leader to millions… and they’d pretty much say the same thing! In fact, Jesus’ leadership was so profound and so life changing… that after He left them physically… the 12 disciples followed him for the rest of their lives… even to the point of a martyrs death! So 1st of all, being a disciple means being a follower. Nothing more, nothing less. What He says… I do! Where He goes… I go! No questions asked. Sometimes that means that I take up a cross. Jesus said I need to do that daily or I can’t be His disciple! (explain) Regardless of where He leads me… I follow. Are you ready for that?
READ Discipleship 10 – A Letter from Dale…
The 2nd mark of a true disciple is…
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, He interrupted their routines and DIS-rupted their careers. For them, to ‘follow’ meant to leave everything behind, in order to physically be with Him for the next 3 years. As far as they knew, His ‘call’ could be for the rest of their lives (which it was!). Only one thing stood between them and total commitment and devotion. Did you see what it was? It was their nets!!! If they were going to follow Jesus, they’d have to drop their nets. As fishermen, their nets represented security, income, comfort …survival!
Vs.18 is one of the most tense verses in the entire bible. Jesus challenged them to follow him and they had a choice to make. Without a 2nd thought, the bible says that they, “…immediately left their nets and followed him.” These guys didn’t wait around for a 2nd invitation… like students being let out of school, they just dropped their nets and took off! Zebedee (their father) is probably stunned! Write this down… “Disciples are ‘netless’ believers”. A ‘net’ is anything that inhibits my total commitment to follow Christ” (REPEAT) Let me give you a few examples of some ‘nets’ that can entangle your life…
1. PEOPLE can be nets
You can be more afraid of what your friends think about you than what Jesus thinks about you. If that’s the case Jesus says, “You’re not worthy to be my disciple”.
2. THINGS can be nets
Possessions can become symbols of our significance. (Our car, a house, our body.) To the point that we’re spending so much time pursuing ‘things’ that we don’t have any time left to pursue Jesus.
3. PLANS can be nets
It’s so easy to have our own plans and dreams that have nothing to do with what Christ wants us to do.
4. ATTITUDES can be nets
If we have an attitude of pride, or… we’re always critical and judgmental of others we can’t follow Christ, because those are things He wants us to leave behind.
5. MONEY can be a net
We spent a whole month talking about how we can get entangled in the ‘money net’. To the point that you love your money more than you love God. And you can only choose one… so people choose money!
6. SIN can be a net
You could have a secret sin this morning that trips you up every time you get ready to really commit yourself to following Jesus. You end up falling on your face, too ashamed to get up. Or it could be you know that if you decide to really follow Jesus, (all the way) you’ll have to give up that ‘pet peeve’ sin… and you don’t want to do it. That’s a net! It’s inhibiting you from making a total commitment to follow Christ!
7. A CAREER can be a net.
Not one of the disciples left their business because it was going badly; they left behind well-paying jobs to follow Christ. I know too many men who turned down Christ’s invitation to follow him because of their careers, only to regret it years later. Earning money and achieving was more important.
Now, a ‘net’ isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, but if it stands between us and Him… it will keep us from being a disciple and gaining the freedom that comes with being a truly devoted follower of Christ. Ask yourself this morning, “What kinds of things am I holding in my hands that could be considered ‘nets’? Things I need to let go of before I can really follow Christ?
3rdly, to be a disciple of Christ means…
Now don’t get all excited Joe… Jesus was talking about being a ‘fisher of men’, not a ‘fisher of fish’! In vs. 17, “Jesus said to them, “Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Personally, I think it’s pretty amazing that as many as 7 of the Lords disciples were fishermen (John 21:1–3). Obviously Jesus saw something in fishermen that we don’t (just kidding!) Seriously, maybe the qualities of a good fisherman make you successful at winning over peoples hearts to God! Things like patience, faith (you need lots of that if going to be a fisherman!), tenacity (you need lots of that if you’re going to catch men)…not to mention, that every good fisherman has the ability to tell good stories!
Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus didn’t invent the term “fishers of men.” In his day, it was a common description of philosophers and teachers who “captured men’s minds” through persuasion. They would “bait the hook” with their teachings and “catch” disciples. In a sense that’s what every disciple is called to do… the life of Jesus has to be soooo real that we can’t help but tell others about Him. Col.4:5 gives us some fishing guidelines… Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.”
What he’s telling us is that effective ‘fishers of men’ know how fish think. People who catch fish tell me that it’s real helpful if you understand the habits, preferences and feeding patterns of the fish your trying to hook. Certain fish like smooth still water, others like rushing rivers. The chances of catching a salmon in a pond are pretty slim! In the same way, when you’re trying to ‘capture men’s minds’ for Christ, you need to know that ranting and raving at them probably won’t work! You need to build a relationship of credibility 1st…Paul says, “when you talk to people respect them, their time and their culture… and then know God’s Word well enough that you can answer the questions they have!” So, a true disciple by nature is a ‘fisher of men’, or at least a ‘fisherman in training.”
4th… true discipleship is about …
A lot of people think that being a disciple of Christ is all about having a religion. But it’s not… it’s all about having a relationship with the living Christ. Jesus said in John 15:15… “ I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. –John 15:15 (NCV) In Jesus’ day, if you wanted to know the right way to live, you’d initiate a relationship with the local rabbi, in fact many times, they’d move in to the rabbi’s home so they could get to know and grow towards God. Jesus didn’t chose the 12 disciples to be his servants, he chose them to be his friends!
They laughed together, kidded each other, and experienced life together. Jesus shared his deepest thoughts and grief’s with them. They became his family. They gave up everything for him and he gave up everything for them. He loved them, He loves me… and I love Him! See the biggest deterrent in my life towards living a life of sin, isn’t because I fear what God would do to me. (I’m not afraid God’s going to infest my nostrils with the fleas of a thousand camels if I mess up!) The biggest reason I want to live a life of obedience to God, is because…Jesus is my friend, and I don’t want to do anything that will hurt or disappoint him! See, slaves fear their master, friends follow their master.
Following Christ is a relationship that drives and defines everything we do and say. We’re not following a project, we’re following a person. A person who loves us perfectly and would never allow anything to come into our lives except to improve and mature us. Discipleship is really a ‘friend’ relationship between my Savior and me!
The fifth mark of a true disciple is…
You know, when we get a new president, everyone watches closely to see who he picks for his cabinet. Of course you’d expect he’s going to choose the top people in their fields. But when Jesus comes to earth, (God in flesh) he surrounds himself with ‘The Motley Crew’! Now if it was up to me, I would’ve counseled him to go to the finest seminaries and pick 3 of the top theology professors. Go to Hollywood and get someone with charisma and looks, (who can communicate), and then go to some Fortune 500 companies for a few C.E.O.’s (to run the business end of your operation) But then again, Jesus didn’t ask me! Instead he went out into the streets and the wharves and picked the strangest group of misfits ever assembled. As I’ve studied the personalities of the men Jesus picked, it’s a perfect recipe for disaster! Walk within 50 ft. of these guys and you start detecting the strong odor of fish!
· Peter had a strong Type A personality and a bad case of ‘foot in mouth disease’!
· Simon was a Zealot… a resistance fighter trying to overthrow the Roman Government! We’d call him a ‘terrorist’ today!
· Matthew was a tax-collector… everybody hated tax-collectors! (Putting Matthew in the same group with ‘Simon the Zealot’ was like putting Malcolm X and David Duke on the same team!
· Then you’ve got Thomas the skeptic… the professional cynic raining on everybody’s parade.
· John’s the only one who’s somewhat normal… but then his quiet, loving demeanor would get on your nerves!
So here these guys are, thrown together for 3 years, 24/7…and somehow, for the most part they’re getting along and working together as one. Amazing! I look at that, and I think, “There’s hope for us!” See, because if Jesus could work with them… then He can work with me! He can work in our church! Because we’re kind of thrown together too! We have different backgrounds, (some pretty sketchy!), different temperaments, different hang-ups… and yet somehow we get along pretty good! READ I Cor.1:26-30
“Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you came from important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and he chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on, and thinks is nothing… in order to destroy what the world thinks is important. God did this so that no one can brag in his presence. Because of God you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God. In Christ we are put right with God, and have been made holy, and have been set free from sin. – I Cor.1:26-30 (NCV)
You know what brings us together? Jesus! No matter what our backgrounds, or personality type, no matter how irritated and frustrated we can get at each other…the fact that we’re all followers of Christ is the beginning point of our unity. Even though the disciples had very little in common, they recognized that Jesus was more important than their differences. In fact, I kind of think that Jesus threw them in together for a reason… as a way of rubbing against each other and knocking off the rough edges!
The speaker at the Pastor’s and Wives Retreat I went to a couple of weeks ago gave us a great
illustration. He told us how he and his wife were shopping for a new washer machine. He didn’t know about front load vs. side load… Side load… agitator…bang against… put in jeans, try and take out! Front load… no agitator. How get clean? Clothes rub off each other and knock off dirt! Actually get cleaner and less wear and tear on clothes. Some churches hire and agitator… high powered preacher! Cleanest, most harmonious churches… rub off each other!
The best definition I’ve ever heard of discipleship is… “a long obedience in the same direction”. Discipleship is obeying Jesus Christ over the long haul. Being a disciple and being a ‘church attender’ are different! Church attenders may be content to just sit on the sidelines and observe… but disciples strive to model Christ in every area of their lives, and then they make a difference for Him! Which one are you? Are you a disciple?
· Are you a follower? Or are you trying to lead?
· Is your life marked by freedom, or are you still hanging onto a net?
· Are you becoming a fisher of men? Do you even want to be?
· Are you experiencing a friendship with Jesus, or is He just a religious figure?
· Are you involved in the lives of other disciples? Allowing their strengths to strengthen and change you. Your strengths to challenge and change them?
Before He can ever be your leader, you must make Him your Savior! As a disciple, you’ve chosen to not only believe in Him, but to give your life to Him! Have you trusted him with your eternal life? Have you made a choice to follow Him? I want to encourage you to take the first step in living a day in the life of Jesus by making a decision to follow Him. He’s calling your name! What will you do?