We all have relationships. Some of them are deep and abiding, some of them are shallow and passing, and others fall somewhere in between those two extremes. We have so many names for relationships that it can even be challenging to define the kind of relationship we have with someone. Is it a friendship or an acquaintance? Where do you cross the line between the two? Is someone a friend or a confidante? When does that line get crossed? What about the kinds of relationship that have deep trust and accountability but are not friendships as at all (like a mentor or a coach)? How do you know when someone crosses that deepest of lines and becomes the proverbial BFF (best friends forever for those reading this who do not keep up with modern short forms)?
This past Sunday in continuing our journey in answering the question: “Are you a follower of Jesus?”, we explored a key principle of following that makes all of the other principles of following possible. The principle is this: a fan knows ABOUT Jesus, a follower KNOWS Jesus. A follower has a relationship with Jesus to such an extent that the follower knows who Jesus is, recognizes his voice and appreciates his company.
Principles of following:
1) Jesus is the only one worth following. 2) Following is essential to believing, just as believing is essential to following. 3) following means being a doulos (slave) to Jesus. 4) following means expecting Jesus to interfere with your life.
Sermon Big Idea: A fan knows about Jesus. A follower knows (yada) Jesus.
- Yada: to know someone and be known about someone, it refers to a deep knowledge of someone
- This Hebrew word defines the kind of relationship God desires to have with us (Psalm 139 talks about this)
- It is because God wants this kind of intimate relationship with us that he sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins
- Yada talks about knowing someone because you have spent time with them and have experienced who they are
- Yada is something that grows (Ephesians 1:17 & 2 Peter 3:18)
- John 15:15 “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” We are Jesus friends, that is the relationship he defines for us
- Duality if our relationship with God: our position is that of beloved child & friend, but our posture is that of a humble slave (doulos)
- This principle is critical for all of the others to happen. You can’t get the place where you believe Jesus is the only one worth following if you don’t know him. In order to be willing to be his doulos (bondslave), you have to know him. In order to be willing to let Jesus interfere with your life, if you do not know him.
- Our relationship with Jesus is personal. We can’t compare our relationship with others (“Well, compared to person “G” my relationship with Jesus is good!”). Jesus rebukes Peter for this in John 21:20-23. We must be concerned with only our relationship with Jesus.
How close would you say that you are to Jesus right now? Are you “friendly” enough with him to share you deepest fears, dreams, concerns, secrets with him? Are you in more of a strained or even estranged relationship right now? Did you know that no matter where your relationship is with Jesus right now, he loves you, he died for you and he wants to “yada” (know) you more? Take time with Psalm 139 this week. Marvel at how much God already knows you, and how much he wants you to know him. Then spend time with Psalm 139:23-24, make those your prayer and see what God shows you.
Question for families with young children:
Take a moment to ask you child who their best friend is and why. Then ask them what it would be like if Jesus was as good a friend. Ask them how they would like to get to know Jesus more.