Summary: God calls us in order for us to be in a personal relationship with Him. Why is it that we want to keep Christ at a distance in our lives.
Not A Fan: Choosing Intimacy
Some of the ideas in this sermon came from Kyle Idleman’s series Fan or Follower which we did at our church.
We are in our third message in our series Not A Fan. We have looked at “Fan or Follower”, an “Open Invitation, and Today we will be looking At Choosing Intimacy. Let’s suppose for a moment you have a million dollars in your bank account and you want to make a difference in some poor teenagers lives. You meet two teens and they both say they really would like to be adopted by you. You think of how you can enrich their lives and how you can show them what a loving parent is like and you decide to go through with the adoption. You have plans for just all kinds of great things. You’re in court and the judge finalizes the adoption and wishes you well.
When you leave the courthouse, you tell your new kids, here’s what I have planned for us today. How do you feel when the teenagers respond, “we can’t do that, we got plans to be with our friends.” You keep your cool and you say, okay, well this week we, will go look at this school I have for you to consider. They respond, “we don’t want to go to another school, we want to stay with our friends. You say we will talk about that later. You say, we’re going to have a family night once a week to get to know each other better. They respond, do we have to come if we don’t want to? You say why did you want to be adopted to which they respond, “because we knew you were rich.” Whereas you were seeking relationship and intimacy, they were simply seeking access to things.
That’s kind of how fans treat God. They show up when they want something or need something. They will even invite God over for a moment or two, but they are expecting to get something. Followers on the other hand are trying to get to know who God is and for God to know who they are, so they can be helped.
In Luke Chapter 7, there is a guy by the name of Simon who is a Pharisee. Pharisees were very religious people who were leaders in the community. They studied the Scriptures quite often and would teach people what the meaning of the Scriptures were. They came up with all kinds of rules to make sure you were right with God. In addition to the laws of Moses in the first five books of the Bible, they had another who series of laws that they came up with to keep you on the path of holiness. Jesus had a few run ins with the Pharisees because he felt some of the laws they came up with were not in agreement with the word of God and sometimes even set aside the word of God.
For instance, God said “honor your father and mother” which included taking care of them in their old age, but the Pharisees declared, “If a person said, anything I might have given to you is now devoted to God, then the person would not have to take care of their parents. Jesus said this was cancelling out the word of God.
Jesus has done numerous miracles before chapter 7. He has cast demons out of people, he has healed people of many diseases and sickness, he’s done a miracle catching two boatloads of fish, he’s healed a man of leprosy and he’s recently healed a man who had been paralyzed. What amazed the Pharisees about this last healing was that Jesus said to the man, Friend your sins are forgiven. They were thinking, who can forgive sins, but God alone. They knew in saying that, Jesus was saying He was God. Jesus ha gotten some other Pharisees upset because he healed a man right in the synagogue or a church service on the Sabbath which was to be a day of rest. Jesus had done so much good for so many people that it was hard to say he wasn’t working with God, but he stirred up enough trouble by not following the traditions of the Pharisees that they did not know what to do with him.
Well one Pharisee by the name of Simon had been a fan of Jesus. He was aware of all that Jesus was doing and had done. Perhaps he had to make a decision for himself on whether Jesus was for real or a deceiver of the people. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow he invited Jesus over to his house along with some other important guests for dinner. Now this was going to be an important event and word spread that Jesus was going to be at a dinner party hosted by none other than Simon the Pharisee. The last party we know that Jesus had attended was a big party hosted by Levi the tax collector when Jesus invited Levi to come and follow him. The Pharisees had been furious that Jesus actually went to Levi’s party and ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. Perhaps Simon wanted to show Jesus the difference between a party from sinners and a party from the righteous.