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Summary: Do people see Jesus in us?

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John 1:43-51

“Check It Out!”

By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org

John Mellencamp has a song on his album, Lonesome Jubilee, which I think speaks to the human condition pretty well.

The song is called: Check It Out.

Listen as I read some of the lyrics:

“Check it out

Goin’ to work on Monday

Check it out

Got yourself a family

Check it out

All utility bills have been paid

You can’t tell your best buddy that you love him

So check it out

Where does our time go

Check it out

Got a brand new house in escrow

Check it out

Sleepin’ with your back to

Your loved one

This is all we’ve learned about happiness

Check it out

Forgot to say hello to my neighbors

Check it out

Sometimes I question my own behavior

Check it out

Talkin’ about the girls we’ve

Seen on the sly

Just to tell our souls we’re

Still the young lions

So check it out…

…this is all that we’ve learned about living

This is all that we’ve learned about living”

Can you relate to some of these lyrics?

Do you suppose any of your friends, family and neighbors can relate?

“Check it Out”

I think the first disciples, so many years ago, if they were sitting here today, could relate.

“This is all we’ve learned

About happiness…

…This is all we’ve learned about living”

These first disciples of Jesus that we meet in our Gospel Lesson for today were followers of John the Baptist before becoming Jesus’ companions.

They had been baptized by John for the remission of sins…

…but was that all there was?

Was that all they were to learn about living?

…about happiness?

Sure they had repented.

And John had given some awesome sermons.

He’d even said that he—himself was not the Messiah…

…He’d said that he was making straight the way for the Messiah.

He’d said that this Messiah, would come after him, and that John would not even be worthy to untie this Messiah’s sandals.

“Whatever that means.”

But still.

What is the meaning of this life?

I get up and go to work.

I come home to the wife and kids.

I even have a few adulterous affairs on the side…

…but I am not fulfilled.

This life I live is kind of a drag.

I get up the next day and it’s the same thing all over again.

Is this living?

It this happiness?

There must be more to it than this.

I don’t even know my own neighbors, and they don’t seem too eager to get to know me.

I get drunk sometimes to ease the boredom…

…but it only leaves me with a headache the next day.

I’ve repented but my life hasn’t really changed.

Sounds a lot like our world does it not?

This is how many of us go through our days, weeks, years, lives.

Until, until…

Jesus had found Peter and Andrew.

John the Baptist had pointed Jesus out to them: “Look the Lamb of God,” John had said.

The next day, they picked up Philip along the way.

And then Philip ran and found his friend Nathanael.

When he found him, he proclaimed: “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Nathanael was unimpressed.

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” he asked.

Ha.

What a snub.

Have you ever been really excited about something—a new find—and you expect everyone you tell to be just as excited as yourself?

It’s a downer when they aren’t.

When I had my initial “born again” experience, I was so excited!!!

I wrote all my friends, I called my parents.

People not so much excited for me…

…they were a bit worried.

They thought I’d joined a cult.

Anyhow, Nathanael’s response reflected conventional wisdom: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

This is like saying: “What can you expect from those people!”

And this is often the world’s response when someone invites them to come and meet Jesus at Church.

“Can anything good come out of that church? What can you expect from those people?”

In the 21st Century, the Church has gotten a bad reputation.

Never before, in America, have we seen so many people who are out right hostile toward the church.

They read about the scandals and become justifiably disgusted.

They hear the proclamations from some of the television evangelists and either laugh or turn the channel.

They listen to the political pundits using the Church in order to get their candidate elected and they become angry.

Grace is often the last thing that comes to mind when folks think of the church.

Salvation?

What is that?

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