Summary: A look at those who followed Jesus and why people today still do
Intro: I love reading the Bible in story form. Taking each story, paragraph by paragraph, and trying to put myself in the scenes. I have always loved to read the Word of God like I am actually there, to try to soak up the entire experience of every event. That may not be theologically gratifying to some, but it makes scripture come alive for me. Our story today takes place as Jesus is walking by the sea of Galilee, he spots Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew casting a net into the water to catch some fish, he said to them, "follow me and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately drop everything and follow him. Can you believe it, leaving everything behind just to follow Jesus. A little later he sees James and John, the sons of Zebedee, mending nets, he calls to them and they immediately leave everything and follow Jesus. As they follow Jesus, he begins to teach, preach, heal the sick, talk about the kingdom, cast out devils, heal people in their minds who are lunaticks, this goes from Galilee to Decapolis, and Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond Jordan. Witnessing all of this you ask the simple question, “ Why Do People Follow Jesus.”
I guess anyone could get a few guys to follow them around promising to do great things in them and for them. But Jesus had this effect on the multitudes. For 3 more years the story was the same, Jesus shows up, the multitudes follow. But why did people follow him, and why 2000 years later do people still follow him, share his message, die as martyrs for him, give their lives for this one man. I guess that is the gospel, I guess it comes out in scriptures that we will use today. The reason people follow Jesus:
a. they hear things they have never heard before
b. they see things they have never seen before
c. they do things they have never done before
d. they go places they have never gone before
I. They hear things they have never heard before: Matthew 7:28-29 (when Jesus ended his sermon, the people were astonished at his doctrine,(or words), for he taught with authority, not like the other religious teachers.
Today that is why I follow Jesus, because of His Word. I know some who have turned following Jesus into a chase for an emotional high, a feel good experience, but I have learned that my emotions can be up and down, sometimes the top of the mountain, other times the bottom of the barrel. That is where the Word comes in, it causes me to be like a tree planted by moving waters, and I can say, I shall not be moved.
When I hear the gospel, when the Word becomes flesh and I behold His glory, I say with Peter, where could I go but to the Lord. You have the words of life. You are the way, the truth, the life, there is no way to God except by you. If I have a question, He is the answer. If I have a problem, He is the solution. I could read a million novels, I could read about all the great leaders and all the history of the world, but I follow Jesus because I am going to hear things I have never heard before, for instance, “ with men this is impossible, but with God nothing is impossible.” I need to know that, when I face something that seems impossible for me, I need to hear Jesus say, don’t worry about tomorrow, God is taking care of everything else in this world, surely He will take care of you. He isn’t like the great minds of this world giving me a theory on things, but He is from above, giving me the truth that will set me free.