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The Greatest Man Meets the Greatest Lamb - Part B

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The Truth Network Radio
May 29, 2022 6:00 am

The Greatest Man Meets the Greatest Lamb - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 29, 2022 6:00 am

Everyone is good at something, maybe even great at something. Maybe you're a great artist or a great mom or even a great leader. Jesus said that John the Baptizer was the greatest man who had ever lived (Matt. 11:11). But John knew Jesus to be the greatest One ever—past, present and future - the Sacrificial Lamb sent to remove sin. Today we discover from John the Baptist how to witness for Christ and we look at the identity and the activity of this most unusual man.

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Following Jesus isn't always that easy when you follow Jesus is not like everything this goes all down the river of life can be very tough. Jesus defined the true discipleship in Luke chapter 9 verse 23, when he said if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

How many do you know the do that. Self-denial in our society are you kidding me this is all about self-indulgence in our culture. Okay, we might deny ourselves during this little recession is weightless over and then take up your cross, that sounds painful to do it daily, on what planet are you from, and we welcome you to correctly Skip weaker division if you're familiar with Twitter the new familiar with the concept of followers and forward on Twitter one follows various people one is interested in hearing from and to gain followers. One also tries to tweak things of interest to others.

And while there's a certain amount of prestige of having a large amount of followers.

The truth is, there really isn't much required to follow are being followed on Twitter following Christ, however, is an entirely different matter will learn what it really means to be a true follower of Jesus today hearing correctly Skip weekend visitation. But before skip.

Isaac begins, here's what we have for you this month in the connect with Skip resource Center play a huge role in the biblical narrative from Eve to Esther to Betsy that to Priscilla please find stories of faith and family explores for Queens of the Bible and her new teaching series. Here's where we see Bernice sitting right by his side. Unfortunately, Bernice go with flow common to peer pressure and remain silent hear more from my nap and she explores four different queens in Scripture. And when you give $35 or more today will send you the Queens of the Bible collection of teaching saying thank you. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. The crowd was watching Bernice was watching Agrippa was watching and you know you do stupid things in peer pressure say you don't like the movie really like everybody else is they don't like it, whatever it is you come peer pressure.

Get your copy of the special teaching visit to get online securely today or call 892 1888 turned once again in your Bibles to John chapter 1: storage study with a book that's had a profound effect on Skip's life I write a little book with me this morning I've had this book since I was a new Christian almost, almost, that old. It's amazing it's holding together. It was given to me by a friend of mentor at the time and made an huge impact on my life.

It's a simple title Called disciple and that's what I want to talk about today being a disciple and it was written by an Argentinian pastor, Juan Carlos Ortiz and that he writes a disciple is someone who follows Jesus Christ, but because were Christians. It does not necessarily mean we are his disciples.

Even if we are members of his kingdom. In recent centuries we been hearing another gospel. A man centered human gospel. The gospel of the hot sale, the gospel of the irresistible deal, but all Jesus says to us is follow me. He doesn't say where or how much he'll pay us. He just gives us the command so I want to talk about following Jesus Christ this morning because in John's Gospel we come to the first use of the word disciple put in the plural. He uses it twice in verse 35 and 36, and many even goes further and uses the word follower followed three times in our paragraph.

So being a disciple, which means that student a learner or an intern.

You might even translate it and following Jesus Christ. So the question I ask is are you following. Are you really a follower of Jesus Christ. There is a magazine called leadership magazine and it's for church leaders and their there's always cartoons in it that pokes fun at us and poked fun at the church and it can be humorous one that made me smile was cartoon of a grim faced preacher and he was interrupted with a little note in the middle of the sermon, and so he reads it to his congregation and he said we interrupt this sermon to inform you that the fourth grade boys are now in complete control of their Sunday school class and are holding Miss Mosby hostage. That's really the problem is and it the real problem is that we are so keen on following as we are controlling controlling the idea of surrendering our will to a higher will, a foreign will and alien will, if you will, is foreign to us.

It's against our human nature. The great author GK Chesterton once said, it's not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting. The truth is, Christianity has been found difficult and not tried what did he mean by that is simply meant the following Jesus isn't always that easy when you follow Jesus is not like everything this goes all down the river of life can be very tough. Jesus defined a true discipleship in Luke chapter 9 verse 23, when he said if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. How many do you know the do that self-denial in our society are you kidding me this is all about self-indulgence in our culture. Okay, we might deny ourselves during this little recession is weightless over and then take up your cross, that sounds painful and do a daily come on what planet are you from, so again the question comes.

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ really are.

You really want discipleship following Christ comes in different stages. We know that we come to him one way, and though we remain the same people throughout our journey with the Lord. We changed only we go from glory to glory. We get changed into the image of Christ. More and more as periods of growth and change. So I'm going to define discipleship.

I define it is this. It is a lifelong process of conformity to an alien will. That's a lifelong process of conformity to an alien will and will see that I think here. Now we get the privilege in verse 35 down to verse 42 to look at the first three disciples that followed Jesus. They were not originally disciples of Jesus, but disciples of somebody else, they become disciples of Jesus and so will you look and watch of their journey as they start their process of following and what it implies. So this morning I want to give you five characteristics of being a follower of Christ five characteristics and with each characteristic.

I'll give you a principal goes along with it. Summing up principal and here's the first characteristic transition transition and here's the principal every believer should be a disciple. Every believer should be a disciple back to the words of Ortiz in this book.

He said you might have a lot of Christians but not all of them are disciples, but every believer should be a disciple. Verse 35 again the next day, John, that is, John the Baptist stood with two of his disciples.

These two individuals are about to read were learners students pupils interns of John the Baptist. At first, but watch and looking at Jesus as he walked he that is John said lock. Check it out. Behold the Lamb of God and the two disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus.

So this is a transition.

John the Baptist is handing off two of his disciples to follow Jesus Christ. The word followed means to follow as a disciple, a Caillou that always the word to follow as a disciple. Okay, these two disciples.

These two guys and I'll tell you who they are just a minute you're one of them is name one of them is not.

They believed in God. They had the hope of the coming Messiah, and they were following the teachings of John the Baptist, but though they were followers of God, though they had messianic hope though they were following the teachings of John the Baptist. Now there's a transition. Now they are told by John to follow completely wholeheartedly. Jesus Christ and they followed him.

And so, here's the principal every every believer should be a disciple no matter what brand of Chris Sheehan, you are Christianity you been brought up with, every believer should be a disciple. Listen to the words of Paul the apostle, he said in first Corinthians 1. Some of you are saying I'm a follower of Paul others are saying I follow Apollo's or I follow Peter and then he asks can Christ be divided into pieces know we might even add to what Paul said, though I don't want to add to it, really.

But we could take John the Baptist and say some are saying I'm following Pauline following Apollo sign following Peter and here I'm following John the Baptist, but as a principal again. Every believer should be a disciple of Jesus cannot supply it. You might have in the body of Christ.

Some who say and that's okay to say it. I'm a Methodist that's fine. What they're saying essentially as I am a disciple of the teachings and lifestyle of John Wesley and George Whitfield.

I love the tradition they bring nothing wrong with that others could say well I'm a Lutheran and they're saying, in effect, disciple of Martin Luther and John Calvin. Others could say all open. I love the teachings of John MacArthur or Charles Swindoll or Chuck Smith and all of that is fine, but you better be a disciple of Jesus Christ not just a man, a teacher or a system, and one of the healthiest transitions is instead of seeing yourself as an adherent of Calvinism.

Arminianism Smith is him.

MacArthur is him. Jesus Christ, that is a healthy transition because those men those people those teachers in those systems are merely discipleship systems meant to point the way to Jesus Christ. Now I'll tell you the truth, any leader knows this to be true. There is always a temptation. Whether you're a small group leader or a pastor or the head of a denomination. We love people following us.

We love it when people say no. I need you and I learned from you. We love that kind of dependence. We we want to foster this will let me lead you at all.

All show you what to do but a healthy thing is seen here in John the Baptist is when we say hey you been my disciples, but now be his disciples and follow him. And that's what John does.

He hands them off. They leave his church and they join Jesus and later on, John the Baptist will say I must decrease and he must what increase and that's exactly what John does. John fades away from the story after this section, you only see them pop up once a little cameo appearance in chapter 3, but now it's all about Jesus. So it is natural to be drawn to a style of a teacher or a system that's fine but it's unhealthy to filter everything every truth, every experience through that one little filter or that one little system. Let's stop worshiping those who teach and start worshiping wholeheartedly and following Christ. That's a first principle of discipleship transition.

Every believer should be a disciple is the second evaluation evaluation.

Here's the principal every true disciple must sift through his or her own motivation for following verse 38 then Jesus turned and seeing them following said to them, what do you see they said to him rabbi, which is to say, when translated teacher where you staying. This is the first time Jesus talks in the Gospel of John is of the first red letters.

If you have a red letter Bible. The first word that John records Jesus ever saying. In fact, the first words in Jesus public ministry are this and isn't it interesting.

The first recorded words are a question, not even a statement income is a let me tell you I am thus in such first thing recorded is that he asked them a question, he sees them following the transference is what you want is what what you seek means what you seek is an old way of saying what do you want that question was not given for Jesus own benefit is not like Jesus was asking for information like he didn't know what they wanted. He was asking it for their benefit.

It was meant to be a searching, probing, evaluating, question, dealing with motivation and know what a great study as if you've never done it. Take the time to study in the Bible on your own.

The questions of God and you just discover that when God asked the question. He's not doing because he didn't know the answer.

He's doing it because he knows the answer, but wants you to know the answer or the person to know the answer because it's a very deep provoking statement that is leading them to. For instance, the very first question is found in Genesis chapter 3 Adam and Eve were in the garden. They just send in member what it is, God says Adam where are you think I was asking for latitude and longitude in your GPS setting. He knew exactly where they were, but it's a very probing, evaluating, question meant to provoke thought meant to deal with motivation and Jesus asked the question, what are you seeking and he will asked several more questions in the Gospels, what my favorite is Matthew 16 there all alone up in Caesarea Philippi answer Jesus hey who do men say that I am they give him answers and he says okay.

Who do you say that I am he wanted them now to get in touch with what they really believed about them is another question. Sounds kind of odd Jesus to a paralyzed man in John chapter 5 waiting at the pool of Bethesda. He's paralyzed. And Jesus comes up to insist, do you want to be made whole. The question is that attached to a paralyzed guy you want to get better. It sounds almost like is mocking them, but is not. It's a very provocative question very pointed questions.

You sure you want this you know what this could mean if you get better.

Your whole identity is wrapped up in what you do now you're knocking to be treated the same life is to be very different. Do you want to be made whole another question. He will ask Peter later on at the end of John's Gospel is Peter do you love me and he'll asking that three times.

These are very very specific questions to evoke an evaluation. So here's what I want to ask you know who you have in your life that will ask you the hard questions.

Why do that myself. I unmake self-evaluation.

That's good. It's a good start, were told to do that, but who's around you. What accountability person, mentor, partner, do you have to ask you deep provoking questions that will cause you to evaluate and spurn growth was Socrates. He said the unexamined life is not worth living.

But I think Paul the apostle said it best in second Corinthians 13 five examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine and nothing beats having another person to help you do that. So Jesus asked the question what you seek. How would you answer his question. If you were to be honest with him.

This could be the most important question ever imagine Jesus turning to you and say okay what you want when you seek wire you hear what you after what were you going in life. I wonder how we'd answer that some would have to say all I want is happiness. Others would say all I want to success. Others would say well I'm here because I want to find a wife or husband or in here because I'm lonely or I'm here because I want to grow and learn more about you, Lord, to good question should be asked a book that I recommend.

If you have never read is by a W toaster is called the pursuit of God. I've read it several times in my life and it's always a deep searching book he writes this complacency is a deadly enemy of spiritual growth.

Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to his people. He wants to be wanted that beautiful he wants to be wanted. It's too bad that with many of us he wait so very long and in vain so they're following them because John said here's a guy following the start following goes, what are you seeking and the principle is that a true disciple will make honest evaluation of their life. Take spiritual inventory and I would say do it from time to time there's 1/3 principle, not just transition not just evaluation but the third principle is submission. Submission and here's the principle true disciples will respond to commands when we brought net true disciples will respond to scriptural commands in verse 38 second part they say said to him, Rabbi, which is to say, when translated teacher or exalted one. Where are you staying and he said to them, come and see. They came and saw where he was staying and remain with him all that day. Now it was about the 10th hour. When they asked the question. It's by the way, a very unusual conversation wouldn't you agree when they meet in Jesus.

What you want and they don't even respond, ask him a question where you staying and nieces come and see. It's a very unusual first introductory meeting now and they said where are you staying do you think that they wanted the street address of the apartment number that they think they wanted something like I live at Box 777, Nazareth, no.

It's a very important word. I don't want you to miss this word. The word staying in the Greek language is one that you will find over and over and over again in the book of John.

It's a keyword to discipleship.

It's the word in Greek men no means a buy or remain or stay staying.

It's a keyword because in John chapter 15. That's what Jesus describes discipleship with that word meant no apply it in me and I will abide in you is the branch of the vine abide together and you will by abiding bring forth fruit. That's the word for staying or were you staying so what the disciples are are doing. When Jesus what you want is there answering by saying were you staying because we'd like to come closer and abide with you and and get more information directly from you.

That's what they were asking want to hang out with Jesus. They want further instruction and I love it. Jesus says in verse 39 he said to them, come and see you didn't give them information and said to go down the street, turn left at the third block was the last house on the right side of information gives them an invitation following someone on Twitter can be a fun distraction. It's often entertaining, usually informative following Jesus.

However, should be just a distraction that helps us feel good. There's much, much more weight than that. The good news is for those who choose to truly follow him. The rewards are great and many that if you like a copy of today's teaching. Just go to the website or you can ask for a copy when you call us at 1-800-922-1888 each copy of today's study is just four dollars plus shipping will talk more about what it means to really be a follower of Jesus Christ again next time so I hope you can make some time to join us.

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