Robert Morris — Become a Follower
Okay, so we're in the third week of a series called "Created to Be". So we're going to talk about become a follower. But remember we started with believe. Before we get to Mark 9, and I want to show you a scripture that has believe and become in the scripture. Because we talk about that we believed to receive eternal life, and we continued to believe to receive abundant life. I told you that in the first week.
So let me show you just a couple of scriptures here. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in His name". So when you believe, you become a child of God. But I want you to notice that we want to continue to become. We want to become a follower. Here's a scripture that talks about when we follow. Mark 1:17, "Then Jesus said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.'" You might not have even ever noticed the word become was in that verse. I will make you become something. What I'm gonna make you become is a person who's concerned about other people. That's in other words, say fishers of men. So, we're going to become more like that.
Last week, we talked about we're born rejected, we're born again accepted. Okay, so here's point one. We are born self-centered. This is our old nature. This is our fallen nature. So we're all basically self-centered, right? Alright. So Mark 9, this turns it into one of the most humorous conversations in the Bible, alright. Mark 9:33, "Then he came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, 'What was it,'" he's talking to the 12 disciples, "what was it you disputed," not talked about, "'you disputed amongst yourselves on the road?' but they kept silent for on the road, they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest".
This is the first Pastor's conference recorded in the Bible right here. "And he sat down, called the twelve and said to them, 'If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.'" So he knew what they were talking about. Okay. So, think about this. I don't know if you've ever thought about. There's so many things that happen to me that are funny, but we just read the Bible and we don't think about it. Real life, okay, so they are disputing who's going to be the greatest. And they get to where they're going, and Jesus says, "Guys, gather up, I'm going to ask you something. What were y'all talking about on the road over here, when we're on our way? What were ya'll talking about"?
Now what do you think they did? "Uh, you know, I can't even remember, Lord. John said we were having nice weather. I remember that. John, didn't you say something about the weather"? "Yeah, yeah, yeah". "And Mark said it's been hot lately, yeah. We were just talking about the weather". And Jesus said, "Okay, well let me tell you something about the weather. Whoever among you desires to be great needs to be a servant". So he just nails them right here. So that's us. That's the way we grow.
Think about this. It's called, it would be called, in my word for this is me-ism. We're eating up with it. Me-ism. In marriage counseling, you hear me-ism a lot. He doesn't listen to me. I need to get someone who will listen to me. Now, she doesn't think she's saying me-ism. But I'm hearing me ism. And then he'll say the same thing. She doesn't meet my needs. I need to meet someone who will give me what I want and meet my needs. It's me-ism. It's in the church me-ism. I don't like the music. It's not my style. Well who said the music needs to be your style? And who said your style is the best style?
I was having dinner with a family about ten years ago in the church, and we're talking about the church. And they were talking about we like everything about the church. We like everything about the church. And the father said, I said, "Well, how are you fitting in the church"? He said, "I like it". And I noticed something. And I said, "But you don't like everything"? And the kids, he had two teenagers, a boy and a girl, and they went, "hmm". And they had agreed not to talk about this with me. So I said, the kid, I said, "Oh, let's talk about this a minute". And the kids, I said, "You kids tell me".
They said, "Well there's one thing about the church that dad doesn't like". And so I said, "I can tell you what it is". Just like that. And it just popped in my head. I said, "I can tell you what it is". So he said, "Really"? He said, "Okay, what's the one thing about the church that I don't like"? I said, "The first song". And you know, young teenagers, "Oh he got you dad, he got you". He said, "How do you know that"? I said, "Because I don't like it". He said, "You don't like it"? I said, "No". I said, "And we're about the same age".
So I said, "But I'm going to tell you something and it will forever change your view. I said, "I want to help you on the first song, okay"? And I turn to the two teenagers, and I said, "Do y'all like the first song"? And they said, "We love the first song". And I turned to the father and said, "That's why we do the first song. Because there's a whole bunch of churches that have never changed their style of music. And nothing wrong, but if I keep the music like it was 30 years ago, we're going to lose the next generation. So there's a reason," I said, I told this guy, "There's a reason we do everything we do in a service. Everything". Did you know about three months later, he caught me in the hallway, he said, "You know, I like that first song, you know". But that's the way we are. I don't like this. I don't like this. It's me-ism.
Okay. Let me take, I wanna take me-ism a little father. We were in Mark 9, look at Mark 10. And we ended with verse 35, maybe you can remember this, I don't know if you're good with numbers. But Mark 10:35. Now watch this, because it's funnier thank you think. Think about what these two disciples said to Jesus, alright, watch it carefully. Mark 10:35, "Then James and John the sons of Zebedee came to him saying," watch what they said, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask". Who wouldn't? Sovereign Lord of the Universe, Ruler of All, I want you to be my servant. I want you to do whatever I ask.
By the way, this is a brand of Christianity that's preached today. That whatever you ask, He'll do. You've got to take that one. There is a verse that says that, but you got to take it in context of the Bible. And it says when we pray according to His will. And another verse says, "You have not because you ask not. And when you do ask, you ask for yourself. You ask selfishly". We want you to do for us whatever we ask. What an incredible statement. It is amazing that Jesus didn't just pft and just flick people. He's so sweet. Look at verse 36. "And he said to them, 'What do you want me to do for you?' They said to him, 'Grant us that we may sit one on your right hand and the other on your left in your glory.'"
Lord, we understand that you're number one. We understand that, because you're walking on the water, and raising the dead, and things we can't do. So, okay, so we got it. You're number one. But we want to be number two. We want to be next to you. we want to be right under you and over everybody else. Did you know that, of course, he goes into sacrifice, and he goes into, "Can you drink the cup I'm going to drink? Can you do that"? And he kind of, okay, but do you know that then they sent their mother to ask the same question? They sent their mom. The sons of thunder. "Mommy, will you go talk to Jesus for us"?
Okay. Here's the problem. "Will you grant that one of us can sit at your right, and one on your left"? Let me just remind you of something Jesus said in Matthew 25. He said, "When you come into your kingdom, where one can sit on your right and one," he said, "When the Son of Man comes into his kingdom," this is what Jesus said, "he's going to put sheep on his right and goats on his left. He's going to say to those on his right, "Come, enter into the everlasting kingdom prepared by my Father". He's going to say to those on his left, "Depart from me into everlasting fire". And then this woman comes and says, "Lord, will you grant when you come into your kingdom that one of my sons can sit on your right," are y'all following me, "and one can sit on your left"?
Would you like to see what he told her? Look at this, Matthew 20:22: "Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you ask.'" You don't even understand. You just asked me for one of your sons to go to hell. That's what she just asked. I wonder how many times we're praying and it's me ism-that's affecting our prayers, and Jesus is thinking, "You do not know what you ask". You don't know. "Lord, would you just let me rule"? That's what we ask. "Would you just let me rule one time, Lord, before I die? Would you just let me be in charge? Would you just let me rule over the jerks in my office, just one time Lord, please? Would you just let me be in charge? Will you let me be the boss"? It's me-ism.
My daughter Lane when she was three years old, I used to travel a lot and speak. And so I'm traveling and speaking, and Debbie told her, I'm out of town, so Debbie told her to do something. She was three years old. She said, "I don't have to". And Debbie said, "Why don't you have to"? She said, "Because you're not the boss". She said, "Dad's the boss, and when dad's out of town, I'm the boss". So I said to Debbie, "What did you do"? She said, "I took her to another room and explained the way of the Lord more perfectly to her".
Okay, so we're born self-centered. Here's number two. We are born again Christ-centered. You say, you mean just like that? Yeah now, I'm not saying we're, remember there's a process. But yeah, just like that. You're born rejected. You're born again accepted. That was last week. You're born self-centered. You're born again Christ-centered. You say, "Ah, I don't know about that". Listen, you can't get saved if you don't take you off the throne and put Christ on the throne. That's how you get saved. Now you don't, you're not perfect in your performance, and you never will be, but you got to put Christ on the throne.
So, remember we just read Mark 10:35, where the sons of Zebedee and 36-37, "We want you to do for us whatever we ask". One on the right, one on the left. Alright. Look down. Mark 10, stay at Mark 10, look at verse 41. "And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased," I love the way the Bible rephrases some things, "greatly displeased with James and John". You know why they were greatly displeased, weren't you? Cause they didn't think of it first. "But Jesus called them to himself and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercised authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to become great among you, shall be your servant, and whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.'"
It's all through the gospels. The disciples thought that he was coming to set up a new kingdom on earth. And he was coming to set up a new kingdom in their hearts, and then on earth. He was coming to set up a kin — They thought He was going to help them overthrow the Roman government, and they were going to then be in power. And they were going to have people fanning them and feeding them grapes, you know. And even when Jesus started saying to them, "No, it's not the way it's going to be. The Son of Man's going to be delivered to the chief priests, and scribes, and going to be tortured and crucified, and rise again on the third day". You remember what they did? "Not so, Lord. No, that's not going to happen. That's not the way we planned this thing. We, you're going to take over, and we're going to get to rule finally, right under you".
That's the old nature. I wrote this statement, and I decided to put it where you could see it. So look at this. "A growing, maturing Christian will become less and less self-centered and more and more Christ-centered". Do you agree with that? "A growing, maturing Christian will become less and less self-centered and more and more Christ-centered". See it's a process of becoming a follower. Yes, you're following, but becoming a follower. Continuing to follow Him. Becoming a follower of His.
I want you to notice how Paul understood this. And we talk about being and doing. Watch this verse. You may have never put it in these terms. Romans 1:1, "Paul, a bond servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle". Here's what he does. He says, "You want to know what I am? I'm a bond servant". That's a slave that's chosen to remain a slave after the seven year period. "I'm a bond servant. I'm a slave that's chosen to remain a slave to Jesus. But I'm called to be an apostle. So, see, I'm an apostle, I have that position, but my function is serving". That's the way it is, no matter what your calling is, no matter what your gifts are. That's what you do. But what you are is a servant of Jesus.
We have so many servants around here. We have deacons. We have people in the worship team, we have pastors, we have children's ministers, we have parking lot attendants. We have all these wonderful people. But they all do the same thing. They all serve. They all serve. I serve. I serve you. That's what I'm supposed to do. So, we're born self-centered. We're born again Christ-centered. Here's point number three. We become like Jesus. We become like Jesus.
John 3:30, John the Baptist here says, "He," speaking of Jesus, "must become greater and greater; and I must become less and less". Now, let me explain that a little bit. Well, God can't become greater, 'cause He's already the greatest. What he meant is, He must become greater and greater in me. And I must become less and less, so that people see Jesus and not me. That's what he's saying. Now, John 13, he's washing the disciple's feet. He's just washed their feet, watch him, he says in verse 12, "So when he had washed their feet, taken his garments, and sat down again, he said to them, 'Do you know what I've done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet," now I'm going to change some words here in a minute, just so you'll catch it, 'You also ought to wash my feet.'" That's not what he said. He said, "you ought to wash each other's feet".
See, he said, if I washed your feet, he could have said, you ought to wash my feet. If I serve you, you ought to serve me. He didn't. He said, if I serve you, you ought to serve one another. Here's the reason I'm saying this. We want to become like Jesus. We're born self-centered, we're born again Christ-centered. Let me say it another way when I say become like Jesus. We need to become others-centered. That's becoming like Jesus. See, people say this, they say, "Well I serve God". Okay. That means you serve others. That's what Jesus said. You saw it.
Listen, and he washed their feet. We don't catch that in our culture's society. No paved roads at that time. It'd be like if our parking lot at our campuses weren't paved, and when it didn't rain, it would be real dusty and real dirty. You probably walked across maybe a construction site like that before. You get dirt all over your shoes and dust all over. Or, if it had rained, it would be real muddy. So you'd get mud all over your shoes.
So, in Israel, when they came in a room, they had a little foyer where you took your shoes off. And when you took your shoes off, you stood there and greeted the guest, but I mean, the host, but before you went into the house, a lowly servant, it was the lowest job in the house for servants would come and wash your feet. And then you'd go in. And then while you were meeting with your host, or eating dinner or something, then the servant would clean your shoes. That's the worst job the servant could have. It is the lowest job in Jewish culture. So they go to eat, and Jesus said, "I want it to just be you 12". And Leonardo de Vinci, 'cause he's going to do a painting. No I'm kidding. "So just you 12, alright, and me, that's it". So they get in there, and the foot washer's not even allowed to enter the room. No one else is in the room.
Here's something I want you to notice. Not one of the disciples thought about washing Jesus' feet. So he gets up before the meal, before he does communion with them, or what we would call communion, before that and goes around and washes their feet. And he says to them, "I washed your feet. You know what this means? Do you know what this means? Not that you should serve me. You should wash one another's feet". Isn't that phenomenal? See, that's why I could have said we become others-centered, and I agree with that. But we need to become like Jesus. We want to be like Jesus. That's what we're following. Jesus.
I heard a pastor share this one time. He shared that, he said his son was, you know, a young boy. I don't know, age five, six, seven, eight years old, but he didn't say the age. But they came home from church, and they were getting ready to eat. And the son came up to him, and looked very serious. And he said, "Son, are you okay"? He said, "I want to ask you something, daddy". He said, "Okay". The little boy said, "Daddy, are you Jesus"? He said, "Why would you ask me that? Why are you asking me"? He said, "Well, in class today, they told us that Jesus always loves us, and Jesus always takes care of us. So I just got to thinking about you. And I was just wondering are you Jesus"?
So he took his son up in his lap, and he said, "Son, I'm not Jesus. I want to be like Jesus, but I'm not Jesus". And then he said, I just said this to him, he said, "I hope after you've grown up in my home, that you ask me that question again". So years later, his son was getting married. He and his son were in a side room waiting for the processional to come in. And then after the mothers were seated, then the minister, he was doing the ceremony. And the groom come out. And then the bridesmaids come down the bride, you know.
And so, they're in the back room. The father's got the door, and he's peeking like this. And he realized, "Okay, it's time for us to go out". So he said, "Okay, it's time for us to go out". And then his son reached up and put his hand on the door. And the dad turned around, and the son looked at him, and he said, "Daddy? Are you Jesus"? We want to become like Jesus. We want to become a follower of Jesus. So the world can see Jesus.
So one of the things we were created to be is we were created to become a follower. A follower of Jesus. To be like Jesus. The Bible says they were first called Christians, which means Christ-like at Antioch. The world looked at them and said, "They look like Christ". That's our goal. I've been in this series now, this is the third message. I've got one more. And actually my son is going to preach this last one. But I want you to know that you were created, if you haven't heard the other ones, you can get the whole series, you were created to believe in Jesus, to belong to family, to become a follower, and then this next time, to build God's kingdom. I'm so glad that you have a hunger for God's word and that you watch.