Summary: God plan for you in the Body of Christ

“You are Better Than You Think”

May 6, 2007

Jesus was walking the dusty streets of Israel when John the Baptist happened to see Him. Turning to the two men who were his disciples John said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.” The men, one of them being Andrew, stopped what they were doing and began to follow Jesus. Jesus’, seeing He had a tail, said, “What do you guys want?” They said, probably a little flustered, “Uh, where do you live?”

Jesus said, “Come and see.” So they followed Him home. I don’t know what they talked about but somehow it convinced them that Jesus was the Messiah. Andrew got his brother Peter and told him that they had found the Messiah, and brought him to Jesus. I think this was the first recorded event that some Baptists converted to Nazarene – but certainly not the last!(just kidding!) Anyway, when Jesus met with Peter He changed his name from Simon to Peter. He told him that he was a ROCK and he would build his church on him.

WOW! Don’t you think that would blow a new member away? Jesus had plans for this man – faults and all! The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee and wanted a walking buddy so He found Philip and invited him along.

Isn’t that neat! Jesus found Philip and invited him to go with him. Do you know He does the same thing with you? He hunts you down, wherever you are, and invites you to join Him. Anyway, Philip went with Jesus. After his walk with Jesus he decided he needed to share this blessing with his brother Nate (otherwise know as Nathanael) so he found him and told he that he had found the Messiah. Nate wasn’t too quick to swallow this - so, knowing his bible, he asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” What that meant was that the Messiah was not suppose to be from Nazareth – everyone knew the Scripture said He was to be born in Bethlehem.

Philip, being a smart brother, said, “Well, come check it out for yourself.” So he did. When he was approaching Jesus, Jesus looked at him and said, “Here comes an honest man. He is a true son of Israel.”

Nate was blown away. “How do you know me?” He asked. Jesus had pegged him exactly right. Then Jesus said, “I saw you when you were sitting under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

Nate was convinced. No one knew he was under that tree – but God. He believed Jesus WAS the Messiah.

There are a couple of things I want to point out to you from this incident in the life of Jesus. You can read it for yourself later today in John, chapter one. But first notice how Jesus’ team was built. John the Baptist said something to Andrew and another man. Andrew told Peter and brought him to Jesus. Then Philip told Nathanael and brought Nate to Jesus.

That’s how the kingdom is to be built – one person at a time. You pass on the blessing to someone else. It just happens. You don’t need to go to a seminar. You don’t need to go to college. You don’t need to call in a church growth expert or even an evangelist IF the church is healthy and if Jesus is there. Growth will just happen - if we are excited about Jesus enough to share Him with others.

That’s just a little side thought. What I really wanted you to notice is how Jesus knew Andrew and Peter and Philip and Nate. He KNEW them! He saw them in the past and He saw them in the future. Isn’t that cool! He saw Nate under the fig tree. He knew he was honest and true. He saw what was going to become of Peter – that he would become a solid rock of a man. He would be someone the church could be built on – a pillar in the church.

Jesus didn’t tell him he would die a martyr’s death or that he would deny he even knew Jesus – three times! He didn’t point out his failures and faults and immaturity. He knew them – but Jesus only shared what was encouraging and helpful. I like that. We need to follow Jesus’ example here. Build up. Edify. Encourage. Be constructive. Lift up people. They need that a lot more than anything else.

I want you to know that Jesus knows YOU! He knows where you have been and where you are going. He knows what you did and what you didn’t do. He knows your faults and failures. That thing that is so embarrassing that you would die if anyone found out- Jesus knows about it. But He forgives you and loves you. He will help you to overcome it and put it behind you.

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