Summary: A critical part of the Way of Jesus platform is to come to appreciate Who Jesus is, and what His attitudes, behaviours and character says about Him. When we know what He is like, we seek to become like him in order to honour His name.
CATM Sermon - January 20, 2017 - The Way of Jesus # 3
“I am Becoming Like Jesus in My Attitudes, Behaviour and Character” John 8:1-11;
Bill, a college student, was a new Christian. According to author Rebecca Manley Pippert, one Sunday he visited a church near campus. He walked in barefoot and was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The service had already started, so he walked down the aisle looking for a seat. Finding none, he sat down cross-legged on the floor-right in front of the pulpit! The congregation became noticeably uneasy.
Then, from the back of the church, an elderly deacon got up and with his cane slowly made his way to the front. Every eye followed him. The minister paused and there was total silence. As the old gentleman approached Bill, he dropped his cane and with great effort lowered himself and sat down beside him so the young man wouldn’t have to worship alone. (Story by Ajai Prakash). There were few dry eyes in the congregation
We’re continuing today on our journey through the markers of The Way of Jesus. This series is, in part, preparation for those of us who will be attending the Way of Jesus Introductory evening on February 15 at 6 pm, here in this space.
Does anyone recall the first marker? “I have begun following Jesus and I am depending on the Spirit of Jesus for my journey” Does anyone remember last week’s marker, the second marker? “I Am Being Sent by Jesus to Bless Others and Invite Them to Follow Him”.
Today’s marker, marker #3 is this: “I am Becoming Like Jesus in My Attitudes, Behaviour and Character”
The Way of Jesus is really all about discipleship. How do you and I live as faithful disciples of Jesus? "Discipleship is not about information but intimacy. It is following a person." Mike Pilavachi
Actual discipleship, being a student of Jesus, is quite specifically following Jesus, the person. The person Who is God. It is submitting myself to His teachings and His authority as God Who has all authority. It is understanding Him as He is. Who he is is admittedly overwhelming. He is God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Maker of everything, the Lover of our souls. And He is our teacher.
What kind of teacher was Jesus? Jesus was a rabbi. He was a rabbi, who like all other rabbis gathered disciples, students, around Him to teach them and to live out for them what it means to love God...And to teach them what it means to live ‘on mission’ - to live a life for God, for His glory and on God’s mission.
What is His mission, as we’ve discussed over the past few weeks?
He was sent by God (John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him). Not to condemn the world but to save it. Because he so loved the world. 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. And
(John 20:21 As the Father has sent me, I am sending you).” As He was sent, so He sends us.
It is to live so as to bless others and to invite them to follow Jesus.
Now, we don’t have Jesus in the flesh here with us. He resides now in heaven, at the right hand of God the Father. But we do have His Words preserved in the Bible, and we have the WHOLE counsel of the Bible to instruct us in the way we should go. But, and this is important. We’re not, properly understood, about following the Bible.
We’re about following Jesus, all of whose teachings perfectly align with the whole Bible, if we care to read and discover that.
We follow a person, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords. The Way of Jesus is about following Jesus as He has revealed Himself in and through the Bible, the Word of God.
Now there’s often a skeptic or two in church on a Sunday. We really hope so. If that’s you, you need to know that you are welcome here. Once, I was you. Entirely or partly unconvinced about any of the things you’ve heard here today. Again, we want you here. This is a safe place to work through your questions and, let me say...
I spend a lot of my time with people who are working through their questions - so if you wish to, talk to me after the service and we’ll go for coffee soon, maybe this week. That offer is open to everyone here.
So someone here might say: “Hold on. How can you possibly know what Jesus was like, really? How can you possibly even guess at who He is in order to follow Him. How can you know what He is or was like, His attitude, the underlying character and heart of Jesus?” That’s a good question. Maybe you can’t. Or maybe you can.