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Who or What Matters To You

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Who or What matters To You?

Bargains or Values

Mark 1:14-20

This morning I would like for you to give me a list of benefits that come from following Jesus.  What does Jesus do for us as a result of following him?

When Jesus got ready to go out and invite people to follow him, he found 4 men who had already become acquainted with him and his ministry.  In this passage we are going to look at this morning as Jesus called them to follow him he was very clear right up front as to what his agenda for them was.

He said to them, I want you to follow me and when you follow me I’m going to turn you into something you’re not already.  What Jesus told them he was going to make them probably confused them more than anything else.  In fact he promised to make them something that they really weren’t interested in becoming.  What we’re going to find out is that Jesus’ agenda for them, is the same agenda for us today.  And just like it was for those first 4 guys it will be a little confusing, and actually a little intimidating for us as well.

But make no mistake about it, Jesus has a message for us today…I want you to follow me, and when you follow me I’m going to make you something you’re not already.

Mark 1:14-20

Jesus came into the area preaching a message and his message is found in Vs. 15

Now that’s the message that Jesus has been preaching everywhere he goes and Peter, Andrew, James and John have been hearing this message every time they have been with Jesus.

Jesus makes a Promise to the Disciples (Vs. 16-18)

·       Jesus saw them casting their net… for all those who are slow… fishermen…

·       Follow me and I will make you…more disciplined, more spiritual, more honest,  more holy, a better person, while none of those things are bad….he says I want to make you fishers of – men. 

·       I’m going to make you care more about people than anything else in life.

·       I know you’re not signing up for this, I know you have no understanding of what I am telling you, or for that matter any interest in this at the outset, but I’m going to make you something you are currently not.

Notice who is doing the making

·       I’m going to make you -Not you’re going to make yourself

·       It’s not going to happen overnight – I’m going to have to transform you.

·       In Luke 5 “you’re going to catch men.”I’m sure they must have thought…what?

·       Like scale them, put them on ice, sell them for $6/pound.  Huh, what’s that all about?

They accepted his offer

·       At once they left their nets and followed him.  Did they understand what they were about to engage in and what it was going to mean to follow Jesus…not one bit

·       But they followed Jesus to become fishers of men.

Jesus fulfilled his Promise

·       Nearly 3 years later, we find that these 4 men had learned to fish for men.

·       They became men God used to relay his message to people of different cultures and generations.

·       They came to understand that it wasn’t enough to just follow Jesus – following Jesus meant to fish – caring about people

·       Those they shared the good news with and taught how to follow Jesus, shared it with other generations, who shared it with other generations,

·       That we are to follow Jesus and that following Jesus means to fish for men – and to care about people.

·       Here we are half-way around the world 2000 years later not because people followed Jesus – but because a group of people understood that to follow Jesus is to fish and followers fish & care about people. 

·       Jesus accomplished in their life exactly what he promised them, “I’m going to make you something you aren’t.  I’m going to make you a fisher of men.

Jesus makes the same promise to every follower

·       He turned tax collectors into fishers of men.

·       He turned prostitutes into fishers of men

·       He turned religious leaders into fishers of men

·       He turned a demoniac into a fisher of men

·       He turned a blind man into a fisher of men

·       He turned a woman with a loose history with men into a fisher of men

·       All through the New Testament we find there is a correlation between being a follower of Jesus and being a fisher of men & caring about people.

·       Guess what- Jesus intends for you and me if we follow him to become fishers of men, because followers don’t just follow – they fish – and care about people.

Fishing Brings purpose and value to our lives

When we became a Christian, none of us signed up for fishing lessons did we? 

Nobody in this room said, I want to become a follower so I can become a fisher of men.

We become Followers of Jesus for Selfish Motives

·       I became a Christian for the same reason you did –heaven is good and hell is bad -If I believed I didn’t have to go there – so that’s kind of a no brainer, isn’t it?

·       We all became Christians for purely selfish motives

·       For some of us things weren’t going so well in life – we had some major problems

·       For others there was emptiness and a void in our life in the good times of life. You knew you needed something and you became a Christian because you needed God to fix something or mend something.

We tend to emphasize Temporary Values

·       It’s not long after we start hanging out with Jesus that we discover if he can save us – he can do other things in our life too.

·       So we pray…for the most part…it’s about give me or bless me, or protect me, provide for me.  Help me with this thing and help that thing to work out.

·       Give me a better job, fix my relationships.

·       God is patient and he even answers the prayers we pray that have merit to them.

·       We come to church and we brag on how good God is and how he met this and that need and all the wonderful things he has done for us.

·       And let’s be honest – following Jesus has all kinds of advantages.

·       But that is not what following Jesus is all about – it goes beyond where we spend eternity and what God does in our life.

We’re not alone!  We started following Jesus because of what he did for us or to us.

·       They followed Jesus because he filled their boats with fish

·       That’s ok, in fact, I’m sure Jesus even acknowledged that they were off to a good start

Life is about more than the Temporary

·       Jesus gave them fair warning, you follow me long enough and I’m going to lead you beyond the “what have I done for you lately.”

·       I’m going to lead you to become something you’re not because followers are fishers of men and they care about people.

·       Followers fish and if you follow me long enough I’m going to take all the mundane things that happen between birth and death, and I’m going to use it to bring eternal value to your life and to the lives of others.

·       Because this life isn’t just about provide, protect, and get me through all the tough spots in life.

·       All the temporary stuff has eternal value only if you allow me to make you a fisher of men & care about the spiritual condition of people.

·       Think about it all the things we usually pray for are about the things that happen between life and death: marriage, children, finances…the things we have so much passion about and pray for constantly, is all about what happens between birth and death…none of it has any eternal value on it’s own.

And don’t misunderstand this point at all – Jesus is very concerned about all of those things.  But here’s the promise.

God can take all that stuff and give it eternal value if we allow him to make us a fisher of men because:

·       God can take all that stuff and shape it in such a way that we are perfectly positioned to impact another person and their faith in Christ because of what has happened in our life.

·       Jesus is saying I will bring eternal value to all of that stuff in order to make a difference in someone else’s life for all eternity when you allow me to make you a fisher of men.

In order to be a fisher of men we have to care about the spiritual condition of people.

On 8 separate occasions in Jesus Ministry the gospel writers specifically mention that Jesus felt compassion on the crowds.

The disciples followed Jesus but not because they valued people.  They didn’t really care one way or the other. However, Jesus cared about people and because people mattered to Jesus, they would matter to the disciples.  The same is true for us…because Jesus cares about the spiritual condition of people we should care.


Valuing People Is Difficult

They struggled in learning this value.

They valued agenda’s more than people

·       The woman with the issue of blood. Mk 5:31

·       The disciples said, come on Jesus do you see this big crowd and how shoved together we all are and you want to know who it was that touched you.  Let’s keep going…we have something big to do.

They valued Convenience over people (Mrk 6:34)

·       A large crowd follows the disciples and they are supposed to be on a retreat, they are tired and have been out doing ministry and they want to be left alone. 

·       Jesus has compassion on them and begins teaching them. 

·       Ok Lord, enough is enough….you did good now lets get rid of these people so we can get down to the important stuff. 

·       Jesus then turns to his disciples Ok, now it’s your turn to minister…what can you give them. 

·       We don’t have anything to give them…I mean I guess we could go out and blow the budget on bread but I don’t think that’s going to do the job.  

·       Jesus had to tell them….no no no, you guys have a short memory, remember when we were out on the lake and I gathered all the fish in one spot for you to catch. 

·       When you fish…you don’t scatter the fish…you reel them in.

They Valued Pride over people Matthew 15:23

·       There was the Syrophoenician woman crying out to Jesus because her daughter was demon possessed. 

·       And the disciples came to Jesus and said…Hey let’s loose this lady…she keeps yelling at us, it’s embarrassing..she’s messing with our street cred.

·       Then Jesus eventually testified to how great her faith was and her daughter was healed.

They Valued significance over people

·       There was one time when there were a bunch of children around Jesus and they came in and pushed away all the kids. 

·       And Jesus is going…oh brother…thanks guys you just got rid of my illustration. 

·       I was about to illustrate what faith looks like and that’s why I had all the kids here…you just ran off my object lesson.  Oh ok Jesus…alright bring the kids back.

·       These guys were terrible at it in the beginning. 

·       They didn’t know what they were doing…they thought they did. 

·       Jesus kept  having to go over the lesson again.

·       These guys struggled to get it…But by the end they begin to get it and they become not just followers of Jesus but fishers of men.

Are you willing to value people that seem insignificant, who are irritating, who pose an inconvenience, who are interruptions?

Are you more concerned about your agenda, your convenience, your reputation, or your self-importance than you are about people?

Jesus has called us to follow him – and followers’ fish. 

Do you value people enough to fish?

Are you willing to let God take the mundane in your life and turn it into fish bait?

Here’s some potential next steps for you to take this week:

Memorize Mark 1:17

Make a list of 3 people in your life that God wants you to fish for?

Pray each day that at some point this week God will use you in a person’s life to bring them one step closer to Jesus.

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