Summary: Disciples of Jesus are all about following Jesus and helping others follow Jesus. Therefore it is important for disciples to know and teach the truth about who Jesus is and what Jesus expects.
A. One Sunday after coming home from worship, a mother asked her young son, “So, who was your Bible class teacher today?”
1. The little boy replied, “I don’t know her name but she must have been Jesus’ grandmother - all she did was talk about Jesus.”
2. I love that – don’t you? And isn’t that the way all of us should be?
3. Shouldn’t we be so dedicated to Jesus that we talk about Him all the time, like grandmothers do their grandchildren?
B. If our working definition of a disciple is a person who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and committed to the mission of Jesus, then don’t you think it is important for us to know Jesus, and believe in Jesus, and want to tell everyone about Jesus?
1. If Jesus is not who He says He is, then there is no reason for any of us to be devoted to Him.
2. But if Jesus is who He says He is (and I believe He is who He says He is), then He is the greatest person in the universe and the only one worthy of our total devotion.
3. Back in the 1920s, a preacher named James Allan Francis, wrote these well-known words: “He was born in an obscure village. The child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where he worked in a carpenter shop, until he was thirty.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never went to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things usually associated with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty three when His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone and today Jesus is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress. All the armies that have ever marched. All the navies that have ever sailed. All the parliaments that have ever sat. All the kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully as that one solitary life.”
4. The late Wilbur Smith, a respected Bible scholar wrote: “The latest edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica gives twenty thousand words to this person, Jesus, and does not even hint that He did not exist – more words, by the way, than are given to Aristotle, Alexander, Cicero, Julius Caesar, or Napoleon Bonaparte.”
5. Even Napoleon admitted: “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ was no mere man: Between Him, and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison.”
C. If we want to be true disciples of Jesus and want to make disciples who make disciples, then there are few things more important that our faith in Jesus and what we teach about Jesus.
1. The apostle John made that clear in his first letter when he wrote: 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well (1 John 2:22-23).
2. In chapter 5 of that same letter, John concludes: 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. The one who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:10-13).
3. From those verses, we see just how important it is for us to understand who Jesus is and to put our faith in Jesus – eternal life is in the Son and whoever has the Son has life.
D. Unfortunately, over the past 2000 years many people have propagated misunderstandings about Jesus and have not allowed Jesus to be who He is, but have made Him who they want Him to be.