Come and See

Jesus never insists that we clean up our lives before we can be rescued and redeemed. Thank God. Jesus, instead, invites us to take a closer look. To listen to the whispers of our curiosity. To come and see who He really is. Jesus is still inviting people to draw close to Him by using the words He’s always used, “Follow Me.” When we find and follow Jesus, we experience the abundant life He promised. We find Jesus in a simple one-time moment of belief. But we follow Him in a lifetime of devotion.

Transcription

Hey great to see everybody.  I love that we get to be together here again, week after week after week we get to do something special.  And this actually a very special time of year.  And not just because football season has started, not just because the kids are back at school.  But also because this represents a brand new start at a new ministry season around here. Yeah give it up.   You’ve already heard earlier in our service that this is promotion Sunday, so our kids are uh moving up to their next grade, students are moving up to their next grade, so there’s a lot of excitement and activity going on around here today which is pretty special, but in addition to that, we kind of get a full sail of approaching a brand new ministry season together with anticipation and uh excitement about what God’s gonna do with us together as a church family as the year begins.  And so I’m super excited about that.  So, there’s no greater compliment than for someone to say of you “That man, that woman, that boy or that girl is following Jesus.”  Nothing can compare to that because if you are following Jesus, that means that God is working in your life to transform you.  Your character is changing.  Your intentions are changing.  Your goals are changing.  Your outlook on life is changing.  You have the ability to influence other people with God’s help.  You’re growing to become more like Jesus.  You’re influencing those around you.  There is no greater compliment.  And so, that’s why together we’re gonna spend some time talking about Jesus’ invitation to come and follow Him.  He said it plainly, “Follow Me.”  And then out of that, we discover some other things.  For example, today one of the things that we’re gonna discover is that closely associated with Jesus’ invitation to “Follow Me”, we find also the invitation to “Come and see.”  Come and check out what it Jesus is really all about.

 So, I’m very excited about launching this brand new series with you here today.  John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus.  He was the guy ordained by God to announce the coming of Christ and to identify Christ as the long-awaited Messiah.  What an incredible person, a little quirky, weirdly dressed.  You know lived in the desert.  He was a strange dude.  But God had His hand on him as the forerunner of Jesus.  And so in John’s Gospel, the very first chapter in verse 29, we find that the next day, John, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Wow! And with that those who had an awareness of a coming Messiah would have heard those words and their interest would have been piqued.  They would have said, “Finally, here He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  And it’s in that same chapter, and I would invite you to follow along, if you brought a Bible with you, that the story continues, verse 35.  Again, the next day.  You’re going to find a progression here and this day and there’s a next day and the next day, John the Baptist stood with two of his disciples.  Now, I don’t know if you knew it, but John the Baptist had disciples.  These were people who followed him around, learned from him.  John stood with two of his disciples and looking Jesus.  Here comes Jesus again, as he walked, John the Baptist, says, “Behold the Lamb of God.”  And the two disciples, two of John the Baptist’s disciples, heard John the Baptist speak and they followed Jesus.  I love the simplicity of those last few words.  John’s got disciples.  They’re hanging out with him.  John, the forerunner identifies Jesus, here He comes.  “Behold the Lamb of God.”  John’s two disciples hear that and what do they do?  They follow Jesus, which is what John the Baptist was all about anyway.  It was Christ who must increase, John the Baptist who must decrease.  We know as read the accounts several verses down that one of these disciples of John who is now a disciple of Jesus is Andrew, the brother of Peter.  The other disciple who left John to follow Jesus is unnamed, but by all accounts, he is most probably John, the Gospel writer.  This is John’s custom in his Gospel to mention other unidentified people who were actually him.  And so we can assume that Andrew and John followed Jesus.  So these men followed Jesus, literally followed Jesus.  And Jesus sees them following, turns and says, “What do you guys want?”  And they said, “Uh, where are you staying?”  And then Jesus utters simple words that will be repeated in this gospel.  Jesus says to these two who are following Him, “Come and see.  Come and see.  Come and hang out with me.”  And we know the text says that they did.  They spent time together.  As the story unfolds, Jesus continues recruiting His disciples.  Verse 43, if you’re following along, “The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.”  Follow me, He says.  And Philip went and found his friend, Nathanael, verse 46, “And Nathanael said to Him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  (John 1: 43, 46). In Nathanael’s mind, he’s knowing the Savior would come from Bethlehem.  He would be born in Bethlehem.  But he hasn’t asked enough questions to know where Jesus was born.  Jesus is just a resident of Nazareth.  And Philip says to Nathanael, here we go again, “Come and See.”  Come and see, let’s take a look at who this is.  Now notice the appeal to curiosity here.  It’s beautiful.  The curiosity is that innate desire inside of us that wants to know or learn something.  And God is never afraid to appeal to that God-given thing He put inside of us.  And I have to say, curiosity is a wonderful thing especially when associated with God. So God says to us, “Hey come and see.”  You know what?  I fear the opposite of curiosity is complacency.  We’re just satisfied to sit around and to not nurture that curiosity that God’s placed inside of us when God nudges us and prompts us and says, “Come and see.”  So, are you curious?  Or are you complacent when it comes to the things of God? 

Later in John’s Gospel, in chapter 4, a Samaritan woman is having a conversation with Jesus at Jacob’s well.  Jesus is beginning to describe for her this thing called Living Water.  She’s thinking literal water, and can you give me this so I don’t have to come to this well day after day after day?  It’d make my job a lot easier, and of course, Jesus is describing eternal life that’s found through Him.  So this woman begins to understand that this is a different kind of guy here, and she begins to say, “You know, I know the Messiah is coming.”  And then Jesus utters those words.  If it were a scene in a movie, it would be a chilling pause in the movie and the music would die down and stop as Jesus utters these words to this woman, “I am who speak to you am He.”  At that point, the woman drops her water pots, leaves them at the well, goes into the city.  And there we’re told, you know the words she says?  “Come and see. A man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”  So this account begins to gain momentum as we find on the one hand follow me, on the other hand, “Come and see.”  Follow me, come and see this beautiful unfolding of Jesus’ ministry on earth and His recruiting of the disciples.  But let’s dig in a little more and ask some questions.  When Jesus says, “Follow me.” What does he mean?  Now at the risk of stating the obvious, we know that on one hand that what Jesus means is that they literally follow Him.  That they literally walk next to Him, beside Him, behind Him, that they literally come after Him.  The account unfolds as Jesus is recruiting these men and identifying them.  Obviously this is what He’s about.  Come on guys, leave where you are and walk with me.  Come follow me.  Now, I don’t know if you know this or not, we can’t do that anymore.  Not literally.  It’s not as though after this service Jesus is going to gather all of us outside there in the little semi-circle and say, “Hey everyone!  Follow Me.  I’m headed to Westminster, going to Chipotle.  I know it’s a lot of you, but you should see what I can do with a small burrito and a bag of chips.  Okay. That doesn’t happen.  We don’t literally walk around and follow Jesus.  Now we have to stretch it to a metaphor.  Why?  Because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He’s no longer walking the earth.  Those of us that are believers comprise His body now.  His body is still on earth, but it’s different.  It’s you and me.  He’s now at Heaven at the right hand of the Father.  So things have changed.  Right? 

When Jesus walked unto the scene, some followed Him because they believed He was Messiah, but others followed Him for the show or the free food.  But He always had a crowd around Him. Jesus always had people that were following Him around.  From town to town, and whenever He entered a city, “He’s here!”  And a crowd would gather around Him.  And in the crowds who followed Jesus were people who believed in Him and people who didn’t.  Not unlike today.  In fact, in this crowd of people, some of you are sitting here today and you have believed in Jesus.  But there’s a chance that some of you have not.  You’re trying to make sense of who this Jesus is and what He’s really all about.  I sat in church for about eight years before I believed in Jesus.  And all the while, I was just trying to do my best to be good and hope that no calamity would happen to me because I wasn’t sure I was going to heaven, but I was sure working my way there.  Eight whole years.  I don’t ever recall hearing the Gospel. Now that’s not to say I didn’t, maybe I was walled off at that time, but I don’t ever recall in those eight years hearing the Gospel.  And so when I heard it for the first time, it was like “Wow!  This is incredible.”  So we know that from the accounts in the gospels, and in particular in John Chapter 6 here that when we’re talking about unbelievers and believers, and when we’re talking about followers and those who don’t follow Jesus.  Let me give you a simple equation that goes like this, “A believer can follow Jesus.  An unbeliever can follow Jesus.  An unbeliever can un-follow Jesus.  A believer can un-follow Jesus.  Did you get all that?  ‘Kay?  That’s how it works.  Friends, that’s reality.  That happened in Jesus’ day when people literally followed.

All this makes so much more sense when we acknowledge what I consider, my opinion, the single most important distinction in the New Testament.  And that is the distinction between salvation and discipleship.  Because if you confuse these categories.  Listen to me very carefully.  If you confuse the categories of salvation and discipleship, you will inevitably end up with a view of salvation that requires works on your part to get it.  That’s how significant this distinction really is, and God plays it out very clearly for us throughout the Scriptures.  You may know the name, Oswald Chambers.  He wrote the classic devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest,”  just a fantastic devotional.  He says in one of those daily entries, these words, “Our Lord never lays down the conditions of discipleship as the conditions of salvation.”  You understand what he means by that?  He never says, take the requirements of being a disciple and overlay them to the requirements of being saved.  Because they’re different.  That’s his point here.  “Kay?  God never lays down the conditions of discipleship as the conditions of salvation.  Put another way, the prerequisites of receiving the gift of salvation are different from the requirements to follow Jesus.  The requirements of becoming a Christian are distinct from the requirements for living as a Christian.  Again, if you get this, the Bible’s gonna make a lot more sense to you.  So when Jesus walked the earth, He issued a simple invitation to His would-be disciples.  “Follow me.  Follow me.  Let’s go.”  Now what was Jesus doing?  Remember Jesus was a Rabbi, and a Rabbi has followers.  And followers are looking for a Rabbi.  And Jesus says to these young guys, teenagers by the way, “Hey guys, follow me. I’m a Rabbi.  You’re followers.  Follow me.”  And that‘s exactly what Jesus was doing when He was challenging these men to come and follow Him as His disciples.  Now, what is the meaning of the word disciple?  What is a disciple?  Again, you’re going to be very confused if you’re just translating the word disciple as a Christian or believer in Jesus.  You know what the word disciple means, literally, from the original language?  A learner, a pupil, an apprentice.  A disciple is a learner, a pupil, an apprentice.  Slightly different definition from just a child of God.  Okay?  So we keep these ideas in front of our congregation, week after week after week. If you were given a worship guide when you came in, would you just like humor me and put it in your hands real quick, okay?  Because on the cover on this worship guide that if you’re a part of this family, you attend here, you receive week after week after week the words on the cover here are not just decoration.  They remind us of what we’re all about here.  We’re about influencing people to find and follow Jesus.  Find and follow Jesus.  If you’re looking for a little exercise just in your time with God, I’d suggest one.  Take this cover and under the little word “find” there, write down what that means.  What does it mean to find Jesus?  And look for Scripture passages that support what that means.  We’re talking here about becoming a Christian.  And then you can do the same thing under this word “follow”.  What does it mean to follow Jesus?  Go to the Scriptures and discover what is that all about?  And so right here in front of us week after week after week we have this reminder that it’s important to both find and follow Jesus.  By the way, they’re not the same thing here.  We’re not wasting ink here.  They are different.  To find Jesus is different from following Jesus.  And so today, I just want to offer two what I call essential reminders about following Jesus that are going to help us understand this as we week in this series to really follow Christ.  Okay here’s the first one.  You cannot truly follow Jesus until you first find Him.  Now I get it.  There’s some of you, again, who may not be Christians here, who haven’t found Jesus yet.  And you’re following Him in some sense.  I mean you’re here. You’re trying to put it all together and figure it out and curious about Jesus and all that but notice the word here that I’ve intentionally included.  You cannot truly follow Jesus until you first find Him.  Til something has happened inside of you by way of the new birth.  I’ll often talk to people who say things like this, “I just need to do something for God.  I just feel like I want my life to count.  I wanna serve.  I wanna get involved.”  And that’s a wonderful thing.  But in those conversations, I always drill down and I ask, in these words or in other words, “Do you know Jesus personally?”  Cause the last thing I wanna do is to cut people loose to do, do, do things when they don’t have that relationship with Jesus.  Because that relationship with Jesus- whether or not a person has found Christ yet is of central importance.  Not an extra – not just “Oh let’s just serve Him and do humanitarian goodness and we’ll tack Jesus on later.”  No, no, no, this, this is the beginning point.  We have to start with Jesus and the gift of salvation He freely offers.  And if that relationship with Jesus is missing, we do ourselves a disservice if we’re trying to just do good things apart from Him.  So, how do people find Jesus?  How does that happen?  Well, there are common ways of expressing how you get salvation.  For example, here are several:

Accept Jesus Christ

Ask Jesus into your heart

Commit your life to Christ

Make a decision for Christ

Make Christ the Lord of your life

Pray to receive Christ

And the list could go on and on and on.  But looking at this list that I have on the screen here today, do you, do you notice a common theme?  Is there a common element that you’re seeing here?  Let me tell you what it is.  None of these phrases are found in the Bible.  And yet they’re so common.  We get very sloppy about describing what it is a person must do or how it is a person gets saved.  What it is a person must experience before they know they have the gift of eternal life.  And this is more than just semantics because words matter here.  The free gift of eternal life involves an unconditional promise received by faith alone in Christ alone.  An unconditional promise received by faith alone in Christ alone.  Let me tease that out a little bit because it’s very important.  In coming to Christ for salvation we cannot make any behavioral contribution to the transaction.  Faith alone.  It is not as though we’re cleaning up our lives beforehand to get God to love us or give us this gift or cleaning up our lives afterward to prove that we really had it.  There is no behavioral contribution.  This, friends, is grace!  And it is completely offensive to so many people.  Even well-meaning church people who try to add to the requirements to get the gift of eternal life. 

So we find Jesus through belief- that’s the word.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Jesus said this way in John’s Gospel, “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” Or that account where  the Philippians jailer and this great earthquake and Paul and Silas are there and the man says to them, “What must I do to be saved?”  You talk about a slow pitch, evangelistically.  “What must I do to be saved?”  Do you remember their reply?  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”  Or Jesus in the context of the raising of Lazarus, in John Chapter 11, “He who believes in me,” he says, “will never die.” 

Now, I don’t know if you know this or not, but John’s Gospel is the only one of the four Gospels written with an evangelistic stated purpose He says that the things that he’s recording there are so that people might believe in Jesus.  And that believing, they might have life in His name.  The word believe is a word that John uses 101 times in his gospel.  Over and over and over again.  This is what’s required to receive this gift of eternal life- to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s so huge, but what does it mean to believe?  Well, the Greek word “pytho” means to come to believe something, to give a scent to, to be convinced, to be persuaded.  In addition, John, in fact, is fond of using the two Greek words together, which in his context is to believe that Jesus is the Christ or the Messiah.  The Christ was the one appointed who would come who guaranteed eternal life.  Belief is the persuasion or confidence that something is true.  This is so important.  We gotta really get this clear in our minds, and I wanna drill down on this a little bit.  Belief is the persuasion or confidence that something is true.  Therefore, belief is not a choice.  Belief is not a commitment.  Belief is not a decision.  That’s not what the word means.  Let me explain it this way, with a current illustration, okay?  So we’ve just come through a month and a half ago the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon.  I don’t know about you, some of you look old enough to be like me where I lived through that as a kid.  You talk about being glued to your black and white television. That was incredible.  I mean it was everything a little boy could have dreamed of.  And so on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong steps on the moon, boom there it is.  Buzz Aldrin follows him down the ladder a little bit later, and it was just this incredible thing.  So, let’s think about that whole event.  Now I realize there’s some of you here who might think the moon landing was faked.  We can have a conversation after the service, alright?  But think about whether or not you believe that event and how you’ve come to believe that event.  I would suggest when you think about the moon landing, you don’t choose to believe that it occurred.  You don’t commit to believe that it occurred.  You don’t even decide to believe that it occurred.  You are persuaded and are confident based on that persuasion that it actually happened.  Okay?  Now, what in the world does the moon landing have to do with Jesus Christ?  We’re talking about Jesus faith versus moon-landing belief faith.  I’ll tell you why.  There’s no difference in the word faith or belief.  When you turn to the Bible there’s no super-duper Bible faith.  It’s just believe like we talk about believe.  Well then, oh my gosh, what in the world is the difference?  I’ll tell you the difference.  The difference is the object of our faith.  What is the object of your belief?  Well of course, our object when we’re talking about Jesus is that Jesus has come died o the cross, paid for our sins, he has offered us this free gift of eternal life. So this is why you don’t have to do anything other than believe to become a Christian and to receive life.  Now I find there’s one question I find is very helpful when I’m talking to somebody about whether or not they have received this gift of eternal life.  I think it was probably from an old evangelistic presentation years ago, but I think it’s awesome.  And the question is this, in talking to somebody.  Let’s suppose a scenario and you have died and appeared before God.  Now most of these illustrations involve somebody’s death, I realize that okay?  You’ve died and appear before God.  You’re standing before God and you’re waiting to get into heaven, but God says to you, “Why should I let you into heaven?”  Now, this is a revealing question because this is what you’ll often hear, “Wow, never thought about that.  Mmm, okay. I think I would say to God, I’ve been for the most part a good person.  I haven’t hurt anybody,  killed anybody, never robbed a gas station.  You know?  I try to do good. I’m involved in service projects in my community.  I give financially.  I think like when I look around and compare myself to other people, yeah I’m pretty good.”  Wrong answer!  There’s only one answer that gets us into heaven.  Have you placed you faith, have you believed in Jesus who has offered you a free gift based on His death on the cross for you?  Nothing more nothing less.  Friends this is called grace! And I realize for many of us it can be offensive.  Because it’s just not how our minds are wired.  It, it’s different than that.  That’s how you find Jesus.  But following Jesus is different from finding Him.  Following Jesus is different from believing in Jesus for eternal life.  Even though Jesus is no longer walking the earth, we can still follow Him, can’t we?  We can still be His disciples.  You!  Current day, present tense, as a believer in Jesus with the Holy Spirit living inside of you, you can be His disciple, a learner, a pupil, an apprentice of Jesus.  This is what it means to follow Him.  But here’s another essential reminder about following Jesus.  It goes like this; you cannot truly follow Jesus unless He is your first and greatest priority.  Those are strong words.  See Jesus came to give us life so that He would be our life.  Not just an extracurricular activity.  I often say it this way.  Jesus is not a slice of the pie of your life.  He wants to be the whole pie.  He wants to be your everything.  That’s the arrangement of following Him.  Salvation is free, but following Jesus is costly.  And we have to be honest about whether or not we’re willing to pay the price of following Jesus. This is how Jesus said it, “Hey if you’re thinking about following me, you must first, sit down and count the cost.”  Count the cost, He says, because there is a cost involved in following me.  You see following Jesus challenges our selfishness, our pride, our independence, our sin, our self-sufficiency, all those things.  So when God tells us about following Jesus, He’s honest about the cost involved.  He’s not trying to hide anything.  Listen to Luke Chapter 9, verse 23, “And then Jesus said to them all,” Listen very carefully to these words, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  There’s some powerful language in there.  “If anyone desires to come after me,” words used of a disciple,” Let him deny himself, let him take up his cross daily, and follow me”.  If this is a description of salvation, of finding Jesus, you cannot know the moment you have believed in Him that you have believed in Him.  Cause you gotta carry a cross daily, every day of your life.  “Follow me”, he says.  Now I just, I love language, but I’m no linguist.  I just have to tell you that this is not the language of the author of a free gift.  It’s just not.  Here’s the language of the author of a free gift.  Revelation 22:17 “Let him who thirsts, come whoever desires.  Let him take of the water of life without cost.”  That’s what a free gift is all about.  I love the scripture that use the phrase free gift.  You know that’s redundant.  We can just use one of these.  Okay?  But it’s as though the writer’s of the New Testament are hammering the fact that this thing is free.  It doesn’t involve a cost.  You find Jesus by believing in Him, by coming to Him by a simple act of faith.  M. R. Dehaan, a Bible scholar from a generation ago, and his commentary of the Hebrews says, “There’s a vast difference in coming to Jesus for salvation and coming after Jesus for service.  Coming to Christ makes one a believer, while coming after Christ, makes one a disciple.  All believers are not disciples.  To become a believer one accepts the invitation of the Gospel.  To be a disciple one obeys the challenge of a, to a life of dedicated service.  There’s a difference.  So Jesus continues to tell us about the cost of discipleship.  Look at Luke Chapter 14, He says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes his own life, he cannot be my…..” What’s the word?  “Disciple” “He cannot be my disciple.”  Now what Jesus is saying, is if we’re following Christ, He has no rivals, like even our families.  As much as we love our families.  This is not a command to do harm to your families. He’s talking comparatively here about our devotion to Christ is first and foremost in our lives and every other relationship pales in comparison to that devotion to Him.  And he continues “Whoever does not bear his cross and come after me, he cannot be my disciple.”  

One day, I think Peter was wondering if following Jesus was worth it.  Jesus is talking about what it means to enter the kingdom and be part of what he’s doing and Peter says, “Jesus, we’ve left everything to follow you.”  And here’s his question.  “What then, shall we have?”  Let me re-state his question.  “Jesus, we’ve left everything to follow you.  What’s in it for us?”  This is a fascinating question and one to which Jesus does not address in a condemning way.  He doesn’t say to Peter, “Shame on you, Peter.  You should be thinking about all these other people, not thinking about yourself.  What does he say?  “He says, Peter, let me tell you it’s great.  It’s worth it.”  And he describes for Peter the reality of the future.  Peter and the others will be co-reigners with Jesus Christ.  That’s true for every believer who follows Him by the way.  Some people when they hear the language associated with this, I’ve known of people who’ve been so discouraged with the challenge of following Jesus, they’ve actually left the church and stopped following Jesus altogether.  Because they’re overwhelmed by what this represents.  That’s really sad to me.  In fact, they, like the rich young ruler go away sad at the requirement for following Jesus.  You know what?  You don’t have to turn away.  You don’t have to be defeated.  You don’t have to be overwhelmed.  Jesus is inviting you to find Him and to follow Him.  And friends, I can assure that with whatever feeble walk I’ve maintained in following Christ it is absolutely worth it.  It is the investment of your life that has dividends in this life and in the life to come.  This is the invitation Jesus has for you and for me. He no longer walking the earth, but He is certainly a Savior who is alive. 

Recently I’ve had conversations with people who have found Jesus over the last few months, right here in our church.  I love the wonder in their eyes, their enthusiasm, their expectation, their gratitude.  It’s all beautiful.  And now they’re asking, “Now what?”  And we get the opportunity as a community of faith together to look each other in the eye and say, “If you found Jesus, by all means, follow Him.  Align your life and priorities and all that you are into following Jesus.”  It’s the greatest investment of your life.  This is what Jesus is inviting us to do.  My hope is that by even hearing this even today, some of you for the very first time have found Jesus.  We’re told in the New Testament, one day Jesus is speaking and many as they heard Him believed in Him.  That’s all it takes, but we need to discover that while faith is not a choice or a commitment or a decision, it’s a persuasion that something is true, following Jesus is a choice, is a commitment, is a decision to cooperate with God’s work in your life. 

In a minute you’re gonna hear a song that in its simplicity is, I think is just overwhelmingly worshipful.  I’ve listened to this a couple of times prior to this service today.  And it’s a simple acknowledgment of Jesus’ invitation.  Like whatever you face in life, “Come to me. Move-in my direction.”  And my hope is that as you sit here and just listen to this song, that you’ll allow it to wash over you, that you’ll hear God’s voice speaking to you and that you will say, I must find Jesus (if you haven’t), and I must follow Him with my life.

            “Our Father, we are amazed at grace.  It offends our sensibilities.  We are not hard-wired for such an arrangement but we thank You that in Your gracious generosity You have extended life through a simple gift.  A gift secured by Your son and available, accessible to us by belief alone in Christ alone.  Oh, Father, our prayer would be that it wouldn’t stop with just the assurance of heaven but something inside of us would rise up and say, “Not only will I come and see, but I will rise and follow. I will align my life in such a way where I am your disciple, your learner, your pupil, your apprentice.  And we know You’re available there through the presence of your Holy Spirit along the way in every circumstance, every obstacle, every opportunity you are with us and we’re grateful.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Discussion Questions

What thoughts do you have when you hear the phrase, “follow Jesus?” How do you follow Jesus? Why is it important to find Jesus (believe in Him for salvation) before you can truly follow Him?

Read John 1:35-39. Who are the people in this account? What happened to the two men who followed Jesus?

Why is it important to distinguish between finding Jesus and following Him (salvation vs. discipleship)? Explain the following statement: Finding Jesus is free; following Jesus is costly.

Notice the use of the phrase, “come and see” in relationship to Jesus. Read John 1:39, 1:46 and 4:29. How would the phrase, “come and see” help satisfy people’s curiosity about Jesus? In what ways can you invite people to “come and see?”

Is it possible to believe in Jesus and not follow Him? Read John 12:42. Were these secret believers following Jesus? Read John 6:64-66. How would you explain the followers who did not believe and the disciples who stopped following Jesus?

Are you following Jesus? What does that mean to you? At what point did you believe in Jesus as your Savior? What are the details of that story?

Further Reading

Come and Die

When we believe, Jesus invites us to follow Him and live with Him as apprentices of His way. This is an invitation to come and die to ourselves in order to follow Him into a new life with the Father. To die to our sin, our brokenness, our plans to save ourselves, and...

Becoming Unoffendable

Seems like there’s plenty to be upset about in our world. We can even get personally offended by the actions and comments of others around us. Here’s a radical, relational idea: What if you can become unoffendable? That’s right—unoffendable. It’s rare but possible....

Counterfeit Connection

Our relationships develop and grow through the stories we tell each other. We connect with people when we know the past they've come from, the present they live in, and the future they hope for. We feel connected when those people also know our stories. But when...

Well Invested

Our society puts great emphasis on being well invested financially. There is no end to the programs and podcasts about how to invest wisely in real estate, IRA’s, 401K’s and the like, but how do we become well invested relationally? As in all investments, each of has...

The Rumbling of Grumbling

It’s a word we don’t use much anymore. It even sounds a little old fashioned and out of date. Grumbling. You see the word all over the pages of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Grumbling is all about griping or complaining or murmuring or carping or...

Are You Listening?

One of the most significant barriers to relationships is the failure to listen. It is impossible to effectively relate to others if we’re not listening. When we do listen, relationships come to life. Listening makes us feel heard, understood, valued, loved. The power...

Community

We’re all made to live in community. But today we find ourselves living increasingly isolated lives. As we further disconnect from other people, we lose not only the support of community we need, but we also lose the sense of fulfillment in Christ that God intended...

Singing Off Key

There is a mountain of scientific evidence showing us that people do moderately well at evaluating others, but are often terrible at evaluating themselves.  As a result, many of us are not self-aware in regard to our relationships. Said another way, we don’t have a...

Next Level Faith

Sometimes we forget the power of a friend. Inside jokes, encouragement, support, and camaraderie all add together to make for a good friendship. However, the mark of true friendship is ultimately based on love. True friends exercise sacrificial love for one another....

Commitment

American culture gives us almost no need for loyalty. We regularly switch brands or cancel plans via text message. We have learned to avoid commitment as a negative thing, forgetting the benefits that accompany it. In this sermon, we’ll discuss the need to remember...