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Summary: To follow Jesus means a lot more than reading about Him. It means living in the shadow of His teaching and becoming like Him through change.

Following Jesus

Griffith Baptist Church – 12/28/08

A.M. Service

Text: Mark 1:16-18

Key verse: Mark 1:18 - And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

Premise: To follow Jesus means a lot more than reading about Him. It means living in the shadow of His teaching and becoming like Him through change.

The Introduction

What does it mean to follow Jesus?

o Everybody has their own ideas

o The real answer is not that easy to take

o It requires some adjustment in our attitudes and perceptions.

In a chapter about rethinking discipleship James Emery White states: Some of you may remember comedian Yakov Smirnoff. He said when he first came to the United States from Russia; he wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He says, "On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk--you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice--you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to my self, what a country!" James Emery White, Rethinking the Church, Baker, 1997, p. 55-57

When we are disciples, we have to truly rethink everything we know.

Three unarguable principles of discipleship to consider:

1. We have to dedicate ourselves to some principles we may not be used to.

2. We restructure our thinking to think like the master we follow.

3. We readjust our lives to look more like the influence we are under.


1. The Calling of Discipleship – 16-17

A. To be a disciple you must sit under and study the master

i. You cannot learn by a little here and a little there

ii. To really be a disciple there must be for the master:

a. admiration

b. adoration

c. imitation

B. Jesus sees the potential in us before we do

i. American artist James Whistler, who was never known to be bashful about his talent, was once advised that a shipment of blank canvases he had ordered had been lost in the mail. When asked if the canvases were of any great value, Whistler remarked, “not yet, not yet.” Today in the Word, December 3, 1992

ii. We are the “not yet’s” of the master.

iii. John 10:27 - My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

iv. He saw them casting their nets and knew beforehand that they would follow Him

v. He would put their skills to use

vi. Jesus knows us and our rough edges

a. He works with us and molds us

b. He is patient with us

C. Jesus commands the process by which we are made disciples

i. He said in verse 17 - I will make you to become fishers of men.

ii. He did not give them a text book and tell them to go and learn

iii. His process is simple:

a. Follow

b. Learn

c. Do

d. Repeat

iv. There is more that lies in between all this, but that is basically what He does.

v. Christ is hands on.

2. The Requirements of Discipleship - 18

A. It requires obedience

i. Thomas Brooks said, “Every man obeys Christ as he prizes Christ, and no otherwise.”

ii. Living by the Word of God - John 8:31 – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

iii. Loving one another - John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

iv. Showing progress in one’s spiritual life - John 15:8 – Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

B. It requires giving up the lesser for the greater

i. The Butterball Turkey company set up a hotline to answer consumer questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in her freezer for 23 years. The operator told her it might be safe if the freezer had been kept below 0 degrees the entire time. But the operator warned the woman that, even if it were safe, the flavor had probably deteriorated, and she wouldn’t recommend eating it. The caller replied, “That’s what we thought. We’ll just give it to the church.” -A sacrifice isn’t a sacrifice unless it costs you something

ii. Sacrifice - Luke 14:26-33 - 26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

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