Andrew Fountain - The Gospel 1: The Preaching of Jesus

The Gospel pt1—Follow Me

Robert Jones said he trusted his navigational system and continued to follow it when it told him the steep, narrow footpath he was driving on was a road.

driver on cliff edge

His BMW nearly plunged down a 100ft cliff in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, on Sunday.

He was only stopped from falling after the vehicle rammed into a wire fence.

Police and rescue teams then spent nine hours recovering his car following the incident.

driver on cliff edge 2

The 43-year-old, who works as a driver, said he relies on his sat nav for his job and described the incident as a “nightmare”.

  • What does it actually mean to “Follow Jesus” ?
    • Follow me = believe and trust in me, but also to obey

1. Leadership

  • Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6]
  • This is an exclusive claim
  • A story of following a leader...

2. Control

  • Human beings cannot stand being out of control

3. Cost

  • Let’s have a look at Jesus’ sales pitch in Luke 14:25-33
    1. Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said,
    2. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
    3. Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
    4. For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
    5. Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him.
    6. They will say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’
    7. Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
    8. If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace.
    9. In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.
  • Why would anyone go for that?

4. Death (or what seems like it)

  • Mark 8:34-36
    1. Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
    2. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it.
    3. For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?
  • Means giving up our freedom
  • Trust (like a parachute jump)
  • But ultimately not death, because it leads to life:

5. Life

  • John 10:7-11
    1. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
    2. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
    3. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
    4. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    5. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
  • So the irony is that it is death that leads to life.
    • The word “Christian” means almost nothing today
    • Much better to say “I am a follower of Jesus!”
    • Then you can explain what that means:
      • I have chosen to follow him which means:
      • He is my leader, I follow his instructions
        • I trust that the cost of doing this (death to self) actually leads to life
        • Ultimately you have to know a person to trust them
      • Read the stories of Jesus in the Bible and ask him to reveal himself to you!