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The Invitation To Follow - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
August 16, 2021 8:00 am

The Invitation To Follow - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. It says, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dying with Jesus and his disciples that just friends see Jesus is always very comfortable. Notice that all the people who are nothing like these are currently in question is are received were not comfortable with certain kinds of people who are among us, that's on us next on joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word to find out what what is new here. That's all the time is 1 1/2 million Christians on the planet.

What is it mean to be a Christian. Many cases, it means that you're a member of the church that makes you Christian. Sometimes people say I was born in a Christian family that makes me Christian. In fact, there are even ceremonies to Chris and you. In other words necessarily make you Christian others say you need to be a member in good standing of some local church or denomination mentors the whole list of people that really think Christianity is just, it's the do's and don'ts.

Christians, they sorta combine the 10 Commandments and then the things Jesus said, and if you do the 10 Commandments and you do what you should do and you don't do what you should shouldn't do and you do the things that Jesus said to do but you don't know the things that Jesus said not to do. That's Christianity, but that's not Christian.

There are others that say law. If you only pray this prayer to pray the prayer than your Christian you know if you want to the gospel accounts and all you had with the Gospels and all you had with the words of Jesus, you might be amazed at how simple it is to understand what it means to be a Christian.

Open your Bibles to John chapter 10 the gospel of John chapter 10 the words of Jesus Christ, beginning in verse one, truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way.

He's a thief and a robber, but he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep to him. The doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out and when he puts forth.

He says always own. It goes ahead of them and then it says this in the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.

Jesus defines us as relational shepherd sheep. His voice they follow drug vendor. Verse 22 of John tented says that at that time, the feast of Dedication Took Pl. in Jerusalem and it was winter and Jesus, walking into the temple.

He says in the portico of Solomon and the Jews then gathered around him and they were saying to him how long will you keep us in suspense. If you are the Christ, tell us plainly by way up till then he had told him over and over and over and over and over again Jesus said I told you we do not believe the works that I do on my father's name. These testify of me.

But do not believe because you are not of my sheep my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me, and then notice what he says that those who follow him as sheep and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who is given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of my father's. I am the father one Jesus is those who follow me, I give them eternal life is either my sheep.

It comes down to something that's simple, that's what I want to illustrate this morning that keep asking the question I'm going to begin a short series on simply following the question I have for you is are you a follower. Do you follow really care what family were born into or where you attend church or anything else you will follower of Jesus Christ told me not to Matthew chapter 9 Matthew chapter 9 here's a story of one of the first times we run into this idea follower in verse nine and Jesus went on from there he saw a man called Matthew and Luke Dr. Luke says that because of Levi to names not uncommon for Scripture, and he saw a man called Matthew sitting.

He says in a tax collectors booth. Now let me give you some sense of this Jesus in Capernaum at this time and I want to understand that's right on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus is been doing incredible things.

One miracle after another and he's been teaching the please understand something the city of Capernaum at the time of Christ.

The population was right about 1500 people. That's a small small town you can imagine that someone like Jesus showing up doing the miracles of Jesus was performing teaching the way Jesus taught everybody in Capernaum knew about Jesus. You couldn't go and live in Capernaum when I hear about is the most exciting thing that probably ever happened in Capernaum.

So Jesus finds this guy and it says his name is Matthew. Any he sitting in a tax collectors booth. When you think about tax collectors and most of you know, they're not very popular then and as they're not really that popular.

Now, but he is a tax collector, and according to Alfred enter shine in his work on the life of Christ. He says that there are two kinds of tax collectors. There are those who are really bad and then those who are worse than the really bad ones collecting taxes they collected taxes on land income and a poll tax now tabs gathered by the way were collectors were called publicans because they work for Rome so they viewed him as publicans receive publicans and sinners, that's for talking about those who were loyal to Rome, the one who was just bad. He was called a goodbye okay the tax collector was called a goodbye in the kind of appropriate when you pay your taxes, you say goodbye to your money right but that's not the type he is he is a mocha's in a mocha's is much worse. Mocha's has his own little business set up. He's a franchisor and he is able to tax people for anything he can come up with.

As long as Ron gets the lion share of his taxes so they would tax you a mocha's may tax you for things anything everything imported or exported. You may be tax for traveling, you may be tax for crossing bridges. You could be tax for all kinds of things the mochas was the most vile person, a person could be. They were extremely unpopular. The only way I could describe someone like Matthew a mochas would be how do you feel when you hear about somebody who's a drug dealer who spends all other time in junior high school selling drugs. The middle school kids. That's what matters. Like he's that person.

That's how the people felt about him and notice he has is booth kind of set up, it says Gary was sitting at the tax collectors booth probably at some intersection now Jesus is going to go up and talk to know what could've Jesus said to does your mother know what you do really you should be ashamed of yourself and instrument of Rome fleecing your brothers and sisters in Judaism should be ashamed of yourself. I mean, Jesus could've said an enormous amount of things to him all condemning them and that been true though slow and Jesus said to him, and he's follow me sick, follow me. Same thing he said about the idea. If you're one of my sheep follow.

I'm the shepherd for just follow me.

While notice what he didn't say what we would often say if you are willing to do this blank then you can follow me. Jesus doesn't see it assess follow me, could've, Matthew said. Wink wink. Do you know who I am. You know what I do it it's and it can't be that simple.

Just imagine how Matthew felt, but please understand something else here, something else is going on Jesus invites apparently all kinds of people and later will see why. But the point of it is Matthew has a lot of information that when you reading this text, you're not aware of it all. I am certain it is heard Jesus teach. I am certain he is taught the people who heard Jesus teach. He also was very where the writer whined and that little 1500 population town. Jesus done extraordinary things. He shown his power over distance. That's for the centurion came to him and said, my son is still and from a distance Jesus healed didn't have to be there didn't touch him.

He just Hilda.

It's also a place where he show the power he had over disease with Peter's own mother. She became ill and he just when enemy any older.

He also showed that he had power over nature. It was right in Capernaum, where they were going to put out. Remember, the seed turned in the turmoil of the disciples thought they were going to get on that. He called the sea by words. You know how that would spread through Tana 1500 people. He exercised demons. The demoniac, a Gadarenes across the sea. They heard about this. This guy was a legend. So Jesus took the demons out of seat. Matthew had a lot of information when Jesus spoke to and he said to them, follow me and he got up and followed him. That's it. Wow, how complicated was this you know you need to join our organization, you'll be interviewed by people to see if you're worthy. He said, follow me, just got up and followed him. And then in Matthew, it says and then it happened that Jesus is a reclining at the table. Wait a minute what happened. How can you be recon well.

Luke tells us again. Matthew decided to have a banquet. Maggie was so happy that he's following Christ. He said I'm in have a banquet and guess what Matthew does just what you would do it. A banquet invited all of his friends.

Now guess what Matthew's friends are like. It says, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came in and were dying with Jesus and his disciples. That's his friends really.

You see, Jesus is always very comfortable with people who are nothing like notice that all the way through the Gospels. He's very comfortable with people who are nothing like now he's our Lord.

Should we be the same way the question is are you you see her for not comfortable with certain kinds of people who are among us, that's on us is not on them see Jesus just had a comfort level with this. He was fine with it. But, by the way religious types were fine with it at all. Notice he says, then it happened. The Jesus reclining at the table in the house, behold many tax letters and sinners he says were dining with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to the disciples. Why is your rabbi eating with tax collectors and sinners. What's wrong with him.

Member the Pharisees account together, went to the temple and said I thank you God that I'm not like these people. That's we wise he's just filled with religious arrogance and pride is and how could he do this and it says, but when Jesus heard this, that's kind of funny to me every time in the gospel somebody talks the matter how far away you are. Jesus hears it in or you could just imagine them over whispering disciples, how come he's doing is Jesus tired. I think Jesus said this out loud for everyone to hear.

He said it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.

I think right now like Matthew and his friends are there, wait a minute. They just call us sick. Do they need to seek Jesus looking at him absolutely yeah I got it. I guess we are. You see, one thing that Matthew was never, never had any illusions about it all he knew is a center is a he knew it. He knew it by his profession. He knew it. So Jesus then goes on and says after he says that he says but go and learn what this means, I desire compassion, not sacrifice Friday not come to call the righteous, I can recall the centers see, by the way, we know that there are all sinners. Paul makes that clear. All sin and fall short of the glory of God.

We know that, but certain religious types, and certainly the Pharisees just concede that way at all. Didn't see themselves that way they sell themselves as righteous, but it was nothing but self-righteousness. But when Jesus says follow me. By the way, you know this cry for Jesus is that everyone is a universal calling following, but you know there's something wrong with you if you have any integrity or honesty at all.

You know there's something wrong with. In fact, you have your own rules to live by and noticed you don't live by the you have your own ideals your own will and you still don't we all know what Matthew knew that the Pharisees did you see the Pharisee view was this you need to change and then you can come and join us. Jesus perspective is. How about this you follow me, and you would change. He sees a completely different another thing I can take from this story. Being a sinner of any type does not disqualify you from being a follower of Christ. There is no sin that disqualifies you from being a follower of Christ, and secondly he is giving you an invitation. Your relationship is not asking you or giving you an opportunity to join an organization turn the page with me to Matthew 11 for a moment. Matthew 11 verse 28 famous versus what's how similar the idea is any dinners or calling here Jesus says come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, everybody who sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Everybody who thinks life stinks and it doesn't seem to get any better decision. Come to me. Everybody come to me all you are weary and heavy laden, and then he says some interesting I'll give you rest. I'll let you rest. It is come to me. He said you take my yoke upon you and you learn for me and we talked about that in the past that the large ox in the small ox, but he says you take my yoke and I just want to right here beside me. That's all I'm asking. And he says when you walk around that grinding mill with me. He says you will learn for me. He's a but I want to tell you something about me I am gentle and humble in heart, is that you will find rest for your souls is a gift understand something. My yoke is easy, my burden is light. That's Christianity. Just follow me. Just hope you yoke up getting my yoke with me just walk with me. I'll do the grinding number never uses other metaphors on the vine, you are the branches. You know, and if you abide in me will bear much fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing is all you have to do is abide all you have to do is stay in the same yoke.

All you have to do is follow me. Jesus says that's all it will take.

This is the first time in Matthew that this happens with me to Matthew.

For now, let's go back to Matthew four and verse 18. Now, as Jesus was walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen and he said to them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they left their nets and they followed him going on there. He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother in the boat.

Of Zebedee their father many minutes and he called them and immediately left their boat and their father in a fallen did you ever wonder about that when you read it like what does that mean, how did that happen.

It almost seemed it always reminds me of like a 1950s B-movie about like zombies.

You know the whole idea is a Jesus walked by and says follow me and are there facing the just thing about an the just following just blindly following it can't resist if they're just following that's not what happened.

That's not the way it worked out to see Matthew gives you an accurate account summation move the whole story bathroom number on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs is no Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly report of the 100 support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word.

4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is of the sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that FVC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series are looking you can search by title. Once you find the messenger looking for.

You can listen online work you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, unseasoned thanking you for listening to fellowship in order


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