“Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?” John 1:38
Why do you come to the dwelling place the Lord Jesus ? Sadly for many people it is to meet new friends, to make business contacts, to enjoy the music, to have a connection with the community, to have an outlet where one can do good, to pacify a spouse, and the list goes on. At the bottom of the list – to learn more about God and His plan for their lives or (and this is only slightly higher on the list) to worship God.
1. DO YOU COME TO JESUS FOR PURELY SELFISH PURPOSES ?
IN FACT, THAT IS THE REASON MOST PEOPLE COME TO HIM. TO FIND A SOLUTION TO THEIR GUILT. TO GAIN POWER OVER THEIR WEAKNESSES, TO GET INTO HEAVEN, TO GIVE THEIR LIVES A PURPOSE. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH COMING TO HIM FOR THE FIRST TIME SELFISHLY.
A. BUT, THEN WE BECOME NEW CREATURES, AND GOD’S PURPOSE REPLACES OUR OWN.
And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? JOHN 6:25-28
B. PUTTING OURSELVES AND OUR OWN INTERESTS ABOVE CHRIST USUALLY LEADS US TO SPIRITUAL DEFEAT.
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. MATTHEW 26:58
2. SEEKING JESUS DOESN’T ALWAYS GIVE PEOPLE THE PURPOSES THEY EXPECTED.
MOST OF THE TIME, WE RECEIVE THINGS WE DIDN’T EXPECT. PETER DIDN’T GROW
UP WANTING TO BE A FISHER OF MEN.
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. MATTHEW 4:19
A. HE DIDN’T GIVE THE PROMISE TO MATERIAL SECURITY AND COMFORT.
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. MATTHEW 8:18-20
B. HE GAVE A PURPOSE OF PLEASING GOD BY OBEDIENCE.
And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee? 1 KINGS 19:20
C. HE DEMANDED THAT HIS PURPOSES SHOULD OUTWEIGH ANY OTHER BONDS AND COMMITMENTS. AFTER ALL, HE IS GOD IN FLESH. BY DOING THAT HE WILL STRENGTHEN THE MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND FRIENDSHIP.
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. LUKE 9:57-62
3. WE CANNOT MAKE UP OUR OWN WAY OF FOLLOWING JESUS.
A. GOD WILL REVEAL THROUGH HIS WORD AND APPLY BY HIS SPIRIT THE WAYS HE WANTS US TO GO.
Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. JOHN 13:37
- PETER WANTED TO FOLLOW JESUS IN THE WAY THAT SEEMED LOGICAL AND
REASONABLE TO HIM. BUT, PETER DID NOT KNOW ALL THE JESUS DID. NEITHER DO WE.
B. WE HAVE TO DENY WHAT WE WANT — OR WHAT OTHERS SAY WE SHOULD HAVE. WE MUST TAKE THE PROBLEMS WE HAVE (THE CROSS), AND CARRY IT. DON’T WAIT FOR THE LORD TO REMOVE IT FIRST.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. MATTHEW 16:24
C. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO FOLLOW GOD. BY KNOWING JESUS CHRIST PERSONALLY, RECEIVING HIM BY FAITH, AND FOLLOWING HIM.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. JOHN 14:6