Summary: By looking at the life of Jesus we see behavior patterns that we should follow.
Living Like Jesus Or What Would Jesus Do?
1-3 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4-5 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets."
6-7 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
8-11 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
I. Crowds are Crowded
II. Invest in Individuals
III. Have Confidence in the Future
I. Crowds are Crowded, Notice what Jesus did in verses 1-3 when the crowds pushed in He pulled away. He did abandon the crowd, but He didn’t become a part of the crowd. Do you blend in? If so, why?
Romans 12:2 tell us, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
God does not want us to blend in, He wants us to be in Him.
You cannot hang out with the crowd and be in Him. 1Corinthians 15:33 says, Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
This takes us back to the old saying, We are in this world, but not of this world.
What behaviors distinguish you from the world? In times past Christians dressed differently. The Puritans wore the outfit you see on the Quaker Oats box, I don’t know why they didn’t use a Quaker for Quaker Oats, but they used a Puritan. Some Mennonites wear hats, Amish men have beards and the list is long. In recent decades the church has proposed that their people dress down in an effort to make new attendees more comfortable. The denomination known as Calvary Chapel even advised this as a policy for their adherents. The Bible says in 1Peter 3:4, "let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious."
Author Jennifer McBride wrote,
"Ladies and gentlemen, I exhort you to dress in such a way that does not capture anyone’s gaze, but actually gives others something else, besides your attire, to think about. Discretion is a godly trait. At times, it is better to exercise self-control, by setting aside our personal preferences for the glory of God. May our godly words and godly behavior be unimpeded by the things we wear as we seek to assist others to see Christ in us."
Crowds are crowded and it’s not just in the fashion world; we find it in politics, opinions on diets and health care, electric cars, versions of the Bible, denominations and on and on. But when we pull away from the crowds, we need to always keep in mind that we have a message for the crowds. A message of love and hope, a message of the value of faith in God and trust in Christ. People won’t listen to you if they think you are a weirdo, but they also won’t listen if your life is a wreck. So find that middle ground.
Crowds are crowded, but living alienated is lonely and crippling. So chose your friends and chose them wisely.
All week long, we come and go with the busyness of life, then on Sunday we show up here at church. Here the faithful Christian is normal, here we can relax, here we are uncontested believers. Here we are reminded that God loves us and others receive it when we remind them. Here we are reminded that God has made sense out of the senseless things of life; that He has made a hope that lives in the midst of adversity and that even in death He creates life.