Summary: Following Jesus begins with a first step to listen and then trust enough to follow.

Title: Follow-First Step

Place: BLCC

Date: 3/19/17

Text: Matthew 4.18-22; Luke 5.1-11

CT: Following Jesus begins with a first step to listen and then trust enough to follow.

[Screen 1]

FAS: Much of the world looks upon the adrenaline junkies who jump out of "perfectly good airplanes" as crazy, but jumping from 25,000 feet without a parachute or wingsuit? That would just be suicide, right? Not anymore. Luke Aikins recently plummeted from an airplane at 25,000 feet without any kind of parachute, landing neatly in a square 100-foot by 100-foot net set up to catch him. He landed at a terminal velocity of 120 mph. Utterly crazy and even stupid, right? The guy has a wife and a four-year-old son.

But there is another angle to this story. Aikins was clear that this stunt involved a ridiculous amount of training. For starters, the 42-year-old has over 18,000 jumps to his name. Then according to CNN, "He prepared for the stunt by doing dozens of jumps—each, naturally, wearing a parachute—aiming at a 100 square foot target, opening his chute at the last possible moment. In his practice jumps he would pull the cord at 1,000 feet, something he had to get special dispensation for. He said in the runup to the jump that he had consistently been hitting a much smaller target, giving him greater leeway with the full-sized net."

As Aikins said, "Whenever people attempt to push the limits of what's considered humanly possible, they're invariably described as crazy. I'm here to show you that if we approach it the right way and we test it and we prove that it's good to go, we can do things that we don't think are possible."

Okay, so the guy still might be insane, but he does have a good point: Proper training will get you to places you never thought possible.

LS: Faith isn't just a blind leap into the dark. It is always a step that involves risk, but it is also based on good and sufficient reasons. When we truly listen and trust in what our Lord tells us it is unlimited what impossible things we can do.

Andrew Finch,; source: Euan McCurdy, "World first: Skydiver plummets 25,000 feet—;with no parachute," CNN (8-7-16)

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We are in our second week of the sermon series we are doing together called “Follow”. We learned last week that we didn’t have to be perfect before we were invited to follow Jesus. Actually we said it was a prerequisite to be a sinner. All those who followed Jesus were sinners or worse and needing a savior

We said last week that you didn’t have to even believe Jesus was who he said he was. None of the people who followed Jesus in the gospels believed he was the Son of God….yet.

You see, religion puts it like this: Change and you can join us. That is what the Pharisees believed and the only way you could follow them was to be good at playing the game “Pharisees Say.” Kind of like the game Simon Says only it was played to glorify the Pharisees not Jesus.

Jesus on the other hand didn’t even expect you to be good at Jesus Says. He said to “Follow Me” just as you are. Now the truth is that when Jesus lets just anybody, someone like me, follow, the religious types tend to get a little upset.

But Jesus says, “follow me and you will be changed”.

So have you asked yourself this week if you are really following or are you still just watching as Jesus passes by? Are you applauding what he is doing but are you doing anything yourself to follow?

Today we are going to be looking at a story found in Matthew. The problem is Matthew just gives us a brief look into what happens. He leaves us hanging a little bit in my opinion. Here is the cool thing about the gospels. They all have basically the same story of the life of Jesus, but in some ways from a different angle.

I even brought my Land Book, that is the guy’s name that put it together. It puts all the gospels side by side on each page and compares them to one another. It demonstrates the similarities of them all and how some of the gospels go deeper with different parts of the gospel. We are going to look at one such instance today.

Let’s start with Matthew. [Screen 3] Turn to Mattthew 4.18-20: 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. [Screen 4]19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” [Screen 5] 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

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