Summary: This series examines how Jesus interacted with his followers, and draws principles we can learn from. #1 - Investigate His Claims Honestly. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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How to Follow Jesus - Sermon #1

The temptation is to think that we can’t follow Jesus, because there’s too much that we don’t understand. Too much we don’t know. . . too many mistakes I’ve made in the past. . .

Each Sunday I will give you an example that proves these guys were no different than you or me. They had problems. . . they had things they didn’t understand.

Really, we may look at these guys, and say, “They were morons. Even I know better than that!” Let me give you an example:

> Two of them had their mom come to Jesus and ask if they could be second in command when He set up His kingdom on this earth. Now that’s just sick. I mean, it’s bad enough if you’re enough of a kiss-up to go ask if you can be the top dog. . . but to have your MOM go ask for you?

> Jesus tried again and again to explain to them that he had to die so that he could rise again and defeat death. They never understood.

Here’s the big idea of this sermon:

I can be a Christ-follower, if I will investigate his claims honestly.

Joh 1:29 ¶ The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

30 "This is He of whom I said, ’After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’

Joh 1:35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"

Joh 1:37 ¶ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?"

39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day

These guys heard John speak, and got curious. So they decided to check out Jesus.

He invites you today to come and see. The Bible says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8)

What were Jesus’ claims?

1. Jesus claims to be God.

Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (John 8:57-58)

This statement in Greek, “I AM”, was the Old Testament name for God.

2. Jesus claimed to be the only way to forgivness.

“...if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

3. Jesus claims to be the only Way to the Father.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

4. Jesus claims to be the source of all contentment.

Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:13-14)

And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

HOW to honestly investigate Jesus’ claim.

1. Decide that you’re willing to follow Jesus.

Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. (John 7:17, NLT)

Notice that I didn’t say that you WILL follow Jesus. I just said to decide that you’re WILLING to if that’s the way the evidence points. You see, Jesus’ statement here reveals a great insight into the human mind. We see only what we’re mentally prepared to see.

The Loch Ness monster. . . Tourists were taken out on a boat, told that the monster had been sighted that morning, and they were hoping to get another glimpse of it. A diver was ready, and at a signal, raised a board out of the water a few feet. After the boat got back to shore, the tourists were asked to draw their impression of the “sighting.” Almost all drew a neck with a head, even though the board was plain – nothing resembling a head.

If you’re investigating whether you are going to follow Jesus,

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