LOSE YOUR LIFE TO FIND IT
By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer email@example.com
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Mary had a Little Lamb – follow Jesus – talk about
Follow the Leader – play the game a bit
Obstacle Course – follow Jesus no matter what
Patterned after Jesus (punch holes in paper like Master)
Day after day I sat in my booth by the road
Business was good
– I could charge every one using the road however much I thought I could get
like filling out your 1040 for you & collecting!
Then taking it home & refiguring to send Rome
Some $ went to Rome, rest I could keep’
Easy way to get rich fast
Of course it wasn’t a popular life, esp not with Jews
rejected me, saw as a traitor
I was rich, secure
Often I thought of retirement and what I’d do
As I sat there THAT DAY I was thinking about my money
-meant less and less to me as time went on
-thought much $ would bring happiness and peace
more I got, less happy and peaceful I was!
Woman walking by called out “ROBBER, THIEF” to me
Tax collectors seen as traitors, worked for Rome
got used to those things, just ignored them
one of richest men in Capernaum
one of most hated men in Capernaum
Rabbis @ tax collectors
-couldn’t enter synagogue
-listed with pigs -not allowed to ever repent
Then I saw HIM coming down the road
regularly paid His taxes to me
heard of His: leaving carpenter shop in Naz
baptism by John
followers who gave up all for Him
teachings about forgiveness
miracles proving He was God
I avoided eye contact with Him – felt dirty and guilty
He was always nice to me
-in fact talked to me about a better life than I had
a few years earlier I would have laughed
he didn’t have any money, no home – nothing!
how could being a penniless travel be better?
Now I felt strangely drawn to Him
-even wondered what it would be like to give it
all up and follow Him !
-but never thought long – He’d not have ME!
Still I envied those who could be with Him
Help His cause best by staying away!
This time He stopped at my table and I was surprised
Knew He’d moved from Nazareth to Capernaum
something about being rejected there
-I knew what that was like!
but why come to my booth? He didn’t owe any taxes
“FOLLOW ME” He invited
I was stunned – He not only spoke to me
but He wanted me to travel with Him!
He wanted me to identify myself with Him
He was willing to identify Himself with me!
All of a sudden it seemed like a great idea
Why not? I thought – life is empty this way
there’s something about Him
-excellent reader of men
-top notch education
I realized I had really made the decision inside long ago
didn’t think it would ever be possible, though!
Closed my books, shut up the booth and left
followed Him from then on
sold booth, gave $ to Him and poor people
honest gain I used to support our travels
dishonest gain I returned as best I could
People SHOCKED -that He’s want me!
-That I’d want Him!
But it was the best move I’ve ever made!
-didn’t feel worthy of being called by Jesus
-never wrote much about self in his gospel
-not quoted saying things or taking lead
WELL AWARE OF OWN SIN AND GUILT
-not good Jew, didn’t obey law
-traitor to my people
-extortioner – get & hold post
-mafia connections to make money
-thief, dishonest gain
Jesus: “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”
Aren’t you glad Jesus came to call SINNERS?
TAX COLLECTORS FOLLOWED JESUS
ZACCHAEUS others (Mt 11:19; Lk 17:34; 13:1)
LEFT tax collecting for good forever
not something could go back to like fishing
Many today don’t want God running their lives
Wilbur Reese writes with biting sarcasm:
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth.
I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack.
I’d like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
How much of God do you want?
Jesus wants disciples and not admirers. An admirer is the cheap edition of a disciple.
TURN FROM ALL TO FOLLOW JESUS
fishing for men takes 100% COMMITMENT
First thing I did was invite my friends to meet Jesus
knew their lives empty, powerless too
wanted them to have what I found
WANT to have others find Jesus!
BANQUET to introduce friends to Jesus
-fishing for those closest to him
who were His friends?
Rejects: Pimps, Pushers, Prostitutes
Jesus: “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” Mt 11:19
NOT approving of their sin BUT reaching their person
AS ONE OF THE 12:
Accountant, whiz with Money
natural choice for group treasurer (not Judas)
left all that at salvation – not want to be back in it, tempted
fine writer – GOSPEL OF MATTHEW
no mention of himself (humble)
to Jews about Jesus = Messiah – scholarly work
preached in Judea 12 – 15 years
To ETHIOPIA & PERSIA
education allowed him to speak to kings
built on foundation started by magi who saw Jesus
KILLED IN EGYPT – head split open with an ax
FOLLOW JESUS ONLY – DISCIPLESHIP
Matthew gave up all else immediately
Obedience to Jesus total, 100%
didn’t try to use old system to impress, earn salvation
Turn from ‘religion’ (works of flesh to impress God)
Motive of love and commitment for all we do
Materialism is empty
DISCIPLESHIP A BLESSING, NOT BURDEN
Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matt 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
Come – Command
to Me – Jesus, not church, others, morality, etc.
Weary & burdened – by Pharasial system of the time
Weary – effect, continuous present
fruitless efforts to deal with sin/guilt on own
Burdened – cause, overloaded ox
and I will give you rest.
I – only Jesus can take our burdens, nothing else
rest – refresh, rest up, cease from labor
takes our burden so we don’t have to carry it
Matt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
Take my yoke upon you = as ‘take up your cross’
my yoke – taking His yoke removes our burden
doesn’t say He will take our burden
only says He will give us His yoke
learn from me – continuous present, disciple process
‘learn’ same root as ‘disciple’
=to acquire a custome/ habit through practice
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Gentle … humble … rest – what His yoke is like
‘don’t fear My yoke!’