Summary: Tenth hour moments - times that change our lives forever

What happens in the lives of people to bring profound change? John remembered the day Jesus called him to follow; what’s more, he remembered it was the tenth hour. [1] He recalled the exact time. What makes a man remember such detail 50 years after the event?

Napoleon said that in every battle there [is] a period of ten or fifteen minutes which decides the issue of the conflict. Certainly in the battle of life there are moments and hours which, so far as we can tell, determine our history: hours when the spirit in which we lived, the step we took, the word we uttered, or what at that moment we thought, resolved, accepted, rejected, did, or did not, gave a complexion to our whole being here, and it may be, hereafter. These are tenth hours when a whole life seems packed into a single hour of revelation and destiny. [2]

Coming to know Jesus Christ is a tenth hour experience. So is sharing Christ with another person. This morning we will look at tenth hours in the lives of two fairly ordinary individuals. Notice what happens...

Mr. Scholar’s Tenth Hour

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

Jesus found Philip; I believe that took Philip by surprise. He was the scholar. Shortly afterwards he informed Nathanael that they’d found the Messiah of Moses’ law – the one about whom the prophets had written. Philip was too smart for his own good. He had Jesus identified, categorized, and networked. I wouldn’t be surprised if Philip was the spearhead behind the movement to make Jesus an earthly king.

As with all of us, Philip’s thinking needed some major renovation. All Jesus wanted this thinker to do was follow.

That’s it? That’s all, Lord? Just follow?

Don’t you want me to write some legal brief to present at the Sanhedrin?

Shouldn’t I be calling the legislature to set up a press conference?

What about liaison with the Romans?

Just Follow? But.... Follow --

OK, I guess you know what you’re talking about.

But..... OK, OK! Just follow….sheesh, OK.

The thinker began to follow when he went to get Nathanael. Many of us want to think Jesus to death. He only wants us to share His life with those we care about. Most of us shrink back from that simple activity. We find some way to excuse ourselves from witnessing.

George W. Truett was the beloved Pastor of Dallas’ First Baptist Church for more than 60 years. He tells of a woman who came to him after a service. She was a poverty stricken widow with several children. She said, Pastor, I have never known you to be unfair -- yet you were so in your sermon. He inquired as to why she felt that way. Her reply, You said during your sermon that everybody can win someone to Jesus. Certainly you can’t mean me. I am a poor widow. I work long, long hours just to squeeze out a living for my children and me every day. I cannot entertain, or spend time winning souls to the Lord. I can barely exist. You are not fair in your speaking when you say everybody can win someone. Truett replied, Madam, does anyone come to your house? She said, Yes, a few -- the mailman, the milkman. He ended the conversation -- Then you do have an opportunity. You simply have not tried.

The woman went home troubled, and thought about the conversation most of the night. By dawn she heard the milkman at her front step. Convicted, she threw open the door, and greeted the man. As they exchanged small talk, the woman was nervously trying to think of some small word to put in for the Lord -- but the milkman turned to go. She began to close the door, but threw it open again. Come back, she asked. He did so, and she said, I wanted to ask you something, but I have been afraid. May I ask you a question? He agreed. Stumbling, she began, I just want to know if you know Jesus. Have you been saved? He looked at her with incredulity, What in the world made you ask me that? Oh, woman, said the milkman, I didn’t sleep at all last night worrying about my soul. Do you know how to find God’s light? In a short moment she was sharing with her new friend how to come to Christ. [3]

Winning others to Christ isn’t some mental exercise, with requirements of education and extensive training. Everyone can win someone to Christ. But, if we will not try, there is no hope. Philip the scholar met with the simplicity of the Gospel, and he shared it with Nathanael, a skeptic -- a man who needed convincing. Jesus provided that! And God will supply that in your life as you share with others.

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