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The Real Thing - HS Home Group

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Jesus shows us how to be authentic.

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(NLT) — 1 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. 3 He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’ ” 4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
KEY- There was something clearly authentic taking place here.
KEY- John was preaching in the desert 1,200 feet below sea level and the people who were coming to him lived 3,500 feet above sea level.
For those of you who can do math that means that daily there were people climbing 4,700 feet just hear what was going on.
9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” 12 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him. 14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. 15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”
If you are like me you read this and you are thinking a lot is happening very fast.
KEY- We believe that the gospel of Mark is the first of the gospels to be written. Being that it is the first John Mark does not focus on a ton of detail like you see in the other gospels that reference the same story. You also do not see quite as much detail because Mark’s pattern of writing is so focused on getting to the Cross.
But yet through such a rushed account you still see such an authentic Jesus being portrayed.
16 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 17 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 18 And they left their nets at once and followed him. 19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
KEY- Think about how real Jesus must have been for people to just simply get up and leave everything to follow Jesus.
21 Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law. 23 Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. 26 At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him. 27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
MAIN POINT- It is important that we are authentic so that we can truly be the person God has called us to be.
POINT- Jesus was clearly the most authentic person ever!
POINT- Imitation is cheap the real thing is costly.
QUESTION- Why is authenticity so important?
POINT- Imitation is cheap the real thing is costly.
QUESTION- Is it always better to be authentic?
ACTIVITY- Have students rate the following scenarios as completely fake being a 1 and completely authentic being a 5.
Cheating on a test.
Apologizing because you were told too.
Apologizing because you think it will make everything better.
Praying when you are in a struggle.
When you give someone the “guilt trip” or the “I’m about to cry look” in order to get something.
When you don’t feel like worshiping, but you do it anyway.
When you put makeup on.
QUESTION- Why is it so hard to be authentic at times?
CHALLENGE- Are you a demonstration of what you believe?
POINT- Imitation is an attempt to cover up what you are ashamed of.
POINT- When an authentic message is combined with authentic hunger you will see authentic change happen.

Application

There are 4 areas of authenticity I want to address tonight.

1. Authentic Lifestyle

(NLT) — 4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
QUESTION- Why the desert?
Think about this for a moment… The people were not satisfied with a recap of his message, in fact they didn’t even come out for the message they came out for this one reason!!
They said, “I just have to see this man named John.”
Is here really what people says he is…
CHALLENGE- Will your life be what God has ordained it to be?
(NLT) — 3 Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! 4 Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. 5 Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!”
KEY POINT- When your lifestyle is in line with God’s plan, there will be an authenticity to your purpose that people will just have to see to believe.

2. Authentic Love

(NLT) — 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
QUESTION- Why would Jesus need to be baptized???
(NLT) — 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.
KEY POINT- The ability to love without getting anything in return is a very pure real authentic form of love.
QUESTION- How can you show that you have a real authentic love?

3. Authentic Purpose

(NLT) — 19 A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets. 20 He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
ILLUSTRATION- Viatnom Gorge woods friend.

4. Authentic Power

(NLT) — 27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!” 28 The news about Jesus spread quickly throughout the entire region of Galilee.
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