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How Not to Follow Jesus, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2021 7:05 am

How Not to Follow Jesus, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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April 23, 2021 7:05 am

The King’s Kingdom: A Study of Matthew 8–13

Clearview Today
Abidan Shah
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
The Voice of Sovereign Grace
Doug Agnew
Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Many Christians describe themselves as followers of Jesus according to Scripture, it's not enough to merely follow Jesus, we have to do it right today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll will help us understand the difference in a snapshot of Jesus ministry found in Matthew chapter 8 were surprised by the ambivalence of the disciples, they seem somewhat preoccupied with their personal duties. But Jesus clearly called upon his followers to drop everything and fall in line with this as a backdrop.

Chuck assigned an unusual title to his message today how not to follow Jesus said for years that the word of God can go over no surgeons scalpel can reach to go to the very soul the deep spirit within each of us and once that happens, there is a discernment that accompanies it. We see not only what God's word says but we see ourselves without any mask without any cover because it is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart were seated again as we continue our work through Matthew's gospel. If you have a Bible please locate chapter 8 I'll be reading from the new living translation. You may have another version, please follow along as we look together. In verses 18 through 27. Amazing. Only 10 verses pull from the core of this gospel account written in the first century, but with relevance that rings true even in the 21st will see ourselves written within the lines in between the lines of these verses. Matthew eight verse 18 when Jesus saw the crowd around him. He instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, teacher, I will follow you wherever you go. But Jesus replied the foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the son of man has no place even to lay his head. Another of the disciples said Lord first let me return home and bury my father.

But Jesus told him, follow me now let the spiritual, he did very their own. Did then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the link with waves breaking into the boat, but Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, Lord save us going to drown. Jesus responded why are you afraid you have so little faith.

Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great call. The disciples were amazed who is this man they asked even the winds and waves obey him to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.or/studies.

Another message from Chuck titled how not to follow Jesus know what a wonderful thing. We can go to school we got it from our parents.

We learn about life as we experience life and we gather facts and we put them together as best we can, and the result is a body of knowledge kind of a reservoir of knowledge that helps us make decisions and move on into adulthood and on into the later years of life. Knowledge is a great thing not to be confused with discernment, but I get there later. First, let's think about knowledge sometime we can be exposed in the reality that we thought something was true, but it doesn't Jay Leno when he was with that crazy late-night show used to do what he called jaywalking could looking like you didn't watch you wanted and I watched we all had fun laughing at people that he interviewed as he asked the questions that are so basic you answers you talk to the television. You know you're getting older when you talk to the tellers anyway you answer for someone over. They don't get the answer right like one time Jay ask an individual who was the first man on the moon died, no clue, stared back at Jason. Jason last name was Armstrong Armstrong. Long pause gluing.

Not not not a lady interviewed was looking at a flag pole with JB said how many stars in our flanks is nonelected. Tell waving too fast for me account really puts countries border United States. When I spoke with conviction. Australia maybe Hawaii J push the limits. When he asked the autobiography of Malcolm X. Long pause. I will even tell you what the answers were. You wouldn't believe. Always like it when he got into religious question when he looked to ask who was swallowed by the way the group was together. They shrugged and looked at each other, mumbled one guy was brave enough sleep. Pinocchio almost as bad as that high school test that was given by a teacher open New England checking out that seniors in the advanced class in literature you want to know how well they do their Bible someone the questions was what was Golgotha. What was Golgotha true story. One very sincere student God was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David is about four mistakes and that one answer. What makes all this so amazing is that knowledge may seem like it's the truth. Until you realize how wrong you had it but I'll tell you another far more valuable trait or certainly equally valuable and that's discernment is a discernment is not based on the building blocks of facts.

Discernment is what we possess within.

I think a good definition would be the ability to detect, to recognize, to perceive beyond what is said and in spite of what is spoken when you have discernment you spot a phony. You're not food you're not gullible that what we call read between the lines.

Discernment really is insight. It's the capacity to realize that what you're hearing isn't necessarily what that person believes or what you're seeing is not necessarily represent the true, why is it important what it does keep you from believing a phony. It makes you aware of danger. We were in another country and another time several years ago when one of our group chose to walk into an area that was obviously demonic and Cindy and I both had a shorter in our up and down our spines. We discern the presence of evil nothing from within shouting back evil stairway obviously not.

It's how you know the salesman is telling you the truth or not make a quick list of some example to tell parents know when their kids are lying. How do they know that is how bosses know when a report sounds fishy or when you're trying to pad your own record, his teachers know phony baloney excuses. There's a good, but it's how counselors know they're not hearing the whole thing even when the counselee says I'm telling you everything the discerning counselor knows better on the name. This is one of the things I've admired most about Jesus, which is one that most people don't even think I admire his discernment. He was never taken in that matter how elaborate downloads are how many tassels hung from the him or how much experience an individual may have had or what words reuse and we will see. He cut through them like a hot knife through butter.

He went right to the heart and review in his words, what was really there with all of this is sort of backdrop wants to turn to these four vignettes in Matthew 818 through 20 7C discernment at work. It is obvious discernment. Reality is unless you are at the moment, in the presence of, and you see an example, but in this case I'm sure the disciples must've had their mouths open at times is Jesus responded the way he did.

Take for example and by the way, in each case will learn how not to follow Jesus. Examples of these in these four first verse 18 when Jesus saw the crowd around him stop right there ever seen a preacher that didn't want to be around a crowd rarely preachers usually love crafts crowd seem to say your own target or we believe in you or we approve this, Jesus saw the crowds, he knew there was a shallowness in the crowds and those who followed from a distance are mingled in the crowd often did with wrong motives, maybe to see another miracle maybe to get another free lunch. Whatever the reason, this response, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the league interesting.

The message renders this thanks to Eugene Peterson's writing. When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute. He told his disciples to get him out of there. Why discernment you see. Understand this, Jesus.

Jesus isn't looking for following the follower's peacemaking disciple committee dedicated disciples men and women who genuinely mean it.

More than any other priority in their life. They're not fans.

They are dedicated disciple.

So here's the first do not follow Jesus because of the size of a crowd is a word we have is called groupings easy to become a Christian around certain base or certain speakers large gathering you kind of become a fan you're drawn out of curiosity. That's about it. Jesus with all of his discernment.

Says rather than what the crowds getting pieces get out of here is not what I'm looking for. Remember that when you find yourself tempted to go in the direction of the crowd. All of the words of Arnold Toynbee. It's doubtful the majority is ever been right.

So we go to the second scene verse 19. Then one of the teachers of religious law. Bible maybe redescribed scribe scribe was a Bible scholar in the first century, a teacher of the Scriptures usually was respected, though he was always legalistic.

A person of skill and intellect. The general public looked upon, usually with high esteem, even though they didn't always appreciate them. It's amazing that this cry would want to follow Jesus, but look closely, let's get little discernment. One of us teachers of the law said to him, teacher I'll follow you wherever you go, what sound a little overstated, especially since it's a initial encounter.

No matter what, me over to get real; I would use the word lucky you found me.

I can put her head on the shoulders of these guys around real student of the Bible Jesus responsiveness to make disciples go, what doesn't even sound like what you want. The man said, Jesus replied, Fox's Indians to live in birds that nest Son of Man is no place he believes he what is that about what is the man didn't have a clue as he overstated his loyalty as an idea what I think Jesus response implies. Listen man you and I could not be more different. You don't really know who I am and you certainly don't know where I'm going or what it will require that you I'm going to across. I'm going directly to across to die. On my way will be mistreatment and insults and brutality and I might add, homelessness, discomfort and displacement you would even have a roof over your head. By the way, I don't have reservations at the Ritz Carlton for tomorrow night. I'm sleep and I'll start my true disciples must learn to deny themselves take up their cross and follow me. She would grab the attention of this eager scribe was anxious to be numbered among Jesus, special assistant, there was self-love, but there was self-denial there was pious talk. There wasn't general humility. Interestingly, this conversation follows by the way you read nothing more scribe he's gone let me use these words do not follow Jesus full of herself. Lots of words but short on deeds. There's a saying among seasoned ranchers out in West Texas when they spotted a novice in their midst.

They refer to him as all hat and no horse. It's a good statement describes all hat no horse we follow Jesus. Be ready to deny himself not going your way you're going his way, you're not going to highlight your intelligence, but his authority over you is hard for many people it's hard for most people, this third man talk about a surprising response. Another disciple said Lord first. When we return home and bury my father first first blush, you think well. One neat guy cares about his family and was to be there to help this time of grief.

Jesus says to him, follow me now let the dead bury the dead light say that I'm telling you it's a matter discernment at first blush it sounds like a man is very caring. But what you may not know was that there was an idiom in that day called staying around to bury one's father and admit this you remained around the home for the remainder of your lifetime until dear old dad dies then you receive your inheritance which is passed along to you from the death of your father with this was a request of indefinite postponement. Let me be at the house and take care of things I don't want to miss my inheritance and I'll have that lean on when I need to met explains why Jesus responds as he does, take up, take a rain check later. Not now. By the way, with every calling. There is a divine urgency. Rarely does Jesus say to us when he's calling us to do something.

Just wait. He got some time, but rarely when he wants us to move in an area to do what's right, it is often with the word now deal with this now face this now follow me now see the word follow. Now follow me now. There's always those of you take care of. So here's my request.

As you add this to the list on how not to follow Jesus not follow Jesus with reservation don't have your own agenda.

Make sure when you say yes to him and you want to be numbered among those dedicated followers, dedicated disciples that you've laid aside your own agenda. That's hard to do.

There's no question as to what Jesus said in the man's mind. He knew that he saw through. I like the words of Mark Twain.

He wrote, is not those parts of the Bible. I can't understand that bother me. It's those parts that I do understand you understand now you understand do not follow Jesus full of yourself and finally they're able to get the boat and get on the sea versus 23 through 27 are somewhat familiar to us. We read them in the other Gospels. Mark mentions this scene rather briefly of Luke also John doesn't, but those to do and from what they say or write down along with what Matthew was written or able to piece together what occurred and happened on the body of water.

Many of you have never seen Solano is the Sea of Galilee. When you travel in Israel you will go to Galilee and when you're in Galilee you will be around the sea that large 13 miles long and as long as .8 miles wide at its widest point. Interestingly, 680 feet below sea level. So it's down like and trough just to the west of the Sea of Galilee.

If you're on it and look to the west, you will see high heels.

Some even refer to them as as mountains, Texans would call mountains is the highest hill. Here is the overpass at the tollway but that would be high. In fact, in some guided tours don't take you up in that area and his windswept you will look down the lonely tree. We would often stand around and have a devotional that you look down on the Sea of Galilee looks like a little small body of water not take time to explain it. There are times when a Western when sweep through those mountains and the goalies in the mountains and valleys that are there. Will send the wind with incredible velocity and will get the surface of that sea, which isn't really that deep. If you been in bodies of water.

When the wind rises and and the currents increase. You know you know what a real storm is is like and one man read: it savage violence that women see like that. I have and I tell you when I read suddenly, a fierce storm. Verse 24. By the way that the Greek's size must make us seismologists get our word seismograph from the word for earthquake mega means just what it does in Arlington there was a sizable like an earthquake that hit that body of water. Now, thanks to Mark and Luke.

We know it's not. So this is on top of the storm.

It's at night and it's in the fishing yes that big ceiling bow all those same and they are seasoned sailors. They realize this is some comes socially careful before we criticize them for being afraid.

You and I would Chuck Swindoll provides a fresh look at this dramatic scene and how it applies to our lives today.

Job title to study how not to follow Jesus and if you like to learn more about Chuck's one dollar this ministry. Be sure to visit us online. You'll find In addition, we are inviting you to add Swindoll's living inside commentary on Matthew dear personal collection. Chuck's commentary on Matthew comes into hardbound volumes in the written in a style that's easy to understand and the format is simple to navigate Chuck's practical insight conversational style and humor bring a warmth and accessibility rarely found in commentaries to purchase wind's living inside commentary on Matthew go to or if you prefer you can call us listening in the US dial 1-800-772-8888 insight for living ministries is a nonprofit organization made possible not by the purchase of commentaries through the voluntary donations of grateful supporters and we're grateful for the loyal friend to come alongside us, with their generous donation. Especially during this complicated season. The pandemic is collided with a variety of cultural issues pressing our friends and families into unfamiliar territory. There's never been a season quite like we are intent on providing daily doses of biblical encouragement to anyone who is willing to listen to help us continue send a donation right now by Collings listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8880 or give online insight for filing as we enter into the weekend. Remember, you're invited to join us online Sunday morning worship service stone briar Community Church find all the instructions for screaming the live worship service ride the dramatic moment when Jesus right here on insight for living. The preceding message not to follow Jesus was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R.

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