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Identification

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Following Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:36
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To continue our study in Luke as we look at what does it take to follow Jesus? And how did those first Disciples of Jesus? How did they figure out how to do this? How did they work out this whole following Jesus thing and like Patrick we're going to see from our text today that the one thing that Jesus said is going to mark his people. The one thing that is going to be the core of their identity. We're going to see that we're going to understand that what it is is obedience to the word of God. That's what identifies a disciple of Jesus. How do you identify? Somebody that's part of your family. How do you identify some of this part of your Social Circle? Right? Like I told you my wife's maiden name is Donahue right? Her family identity has a little bit of Irish flavor to it this morning. They were all sending each other messages. Everybody was taking pictures of you know, they're green and and they've got the hats in the pin is not if you see my son he's got his great-grand father's Irish pin on today and see if you see him you might want to mention that to him and they're all dressed in green and they're sending pictures and that's part of their identity. Well, she's my wife's no longer a Donahue she had to take on this boring last name of Boone. And then we started having kids in Denver when you're just starting out as a young couple, right and you start have kids you start to think about this identity thing a little bit more and as as as we were married as we're going I was like, okay, we're not Donahue's but at the same time we weren't my parents either like this little group of baboons that we were forming was different and I'm like, what's our identity? What's how do we how do we distinguish ourselves? And so we had our first born May lie and mainly is probably about two she's getting the point where she can talk and and one day she she fell down and see she bought your knee or whatever and I don't remember what the injury was but me being the loving kind compassionate dad that I am God down looked at her and said Maley balloons are tough.

So I got my parenting skills could use a little work, but that became kind of a mantra for us it one of those little inside jokes and and mei-li one of their first four letter. First phrase was go Broncos her second multi word phrase. I said parenting need a little work her 2nd multi word phrase was she would be able to say on command and say Maley water balloons. Balloons are tough. Yes. That's what we are boobs are tough and that identity. Kind of started to take on a life of its own. And it became kind of part of the ethos of our family right when you when you identify something when you put a marker on it that starts to Define that group that starts to do make them distinguish. Not saying nobody else has tough not saying that we're all that tough, but it became part of who we were this phrase. Now the question becomes we're looking at the disciples. How do you identify a disciple? How do you identify somebody who is a part of Jesus's family? And it's not some little catch phrase like disciples are tough. It's entirely different as matter fact our text today. I want you to turn to Luke chapter 8 Luke chapter 8 and we're going to start in verse 19. Jesus is going to tell us this. Is she how you identify somebody who's a part of my family.

Luke chapter 8 starting at verse 19 then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd and he was told your mothers and your brothers are standing outside Desiring to see you. But he answered them my mother and my brothers. Are those who hear the word of God?

And do it.

Now before we get the wrong idea, Jesus is not disrespecting his mom here. He's he's he's not pretending like his brother's don't matter but he is challenging us with his understanding with his identification of his disciples. He said the people that are closest to me are not these relations of mine the people who are closest to me are the ones who hear the word of God and who Do it. This is a radical statement. And this is such a short little section of verses we could be really tempted to kind of skip right over the import of this but Jesus is culture was one in which family mattered a great deal. The people you were genetically related to where the people who determined what you did in life. They all that often determine what your career would be. It determines who you could marry and your primary Allegiance was to your family. And so when somebody when Jesus mother and his brother standing there, they can't get to him because of the crowd and somebody comes up to Jesus and they say Jesus your mom and your brothers are out here. The Assumption the cultural assumption is that Jesus would do whatever it took to part the crowd and let his family come to him. But Jesus isn't one to meet all of our cultural assumptions. Jesus is not in the business of Simply doing what we expect him to do is he know he takes this as a teaching point he says no, I'm going to talk about the identity of those who are closest to me the identity of those who are closest to me is they hear the word of God and they do it. Now I want to clear up a few potential misconceptions that people have about what it means to identify with Jesus. There are some who think that you're identified with Jesus based on your connections, but you are identified as part of Jesus family based on your connections nepotism. Is that a term that you guys are familiar with nepotism has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Just because you're connected to somebody who's connected to Jesus doesn't mean that you can be identified as a part of his family doesn't mean you can be identified as somebody who's close to him. I want to read you a list of names and I want you to guess in your mind or out loud. If you're feeling really Brave what these people have in common? Denzel Washington Katy Perry Alice Cooper Frederick Nietzsche

Are you guys were tracking right up until that Nietzsche thing weren't you there all famous, you know rock stars and stuff but need she kind of throws it off all four of those people have something very similar in common.

All four of those people had parents who were faithful Christians a father who was a pastor or a mother who is very involved in church. Every single one of them every single one of them. Have a connection to somebody who was invested in the ministry of Jesus.

Does that mean they're identified with Jesus? Know what do you know about Frederick Nietzsche? Frederick Nietzsche is famous for saying what?

Where did nitsches ideas are the idea that stand behind behind most of the atrocities of the 20th century Frederick Nietzsche has ideas about the Ubermensch directly influence the Nazi party of Frederick Nikki's declaration. God is dead has resonated throughout the halls of our institutions and throughout history Frederick Nietzsche rejected Christianity rejected the faith of his father. He says the only thing that matters is doing what you want to do and those who are capable of achieving what they want. It doesn't matter what it costs the people around them. They have the right to do that if they have the power to do that. That's Frederick Nietzsche. Katy Perry, what are you doing Katy Perry for saying?

You guys are such good Christians. You don't listen to that kind of music. Do you? I kissed a girl and I liked it that one took some hits her life philosophy is enjoy every moment regardless of the ethical or moral content of that moment if I can summarize it. You're not identified as part of Jesus's family based on who your parents were who your grandparents were who you're friends with who you're married to? Who you hang out with that does not identify you as part of Jesus's family. And so we need to clear up this misconception that oh, you know what my parents were great Christians. They were faithful they were they were in church every Sunday and I'm just going to kind of slide into the kingdom into identifying with Jesus because of who my family was there are no grandchildren in the Kingdom of Heaven is a phrase that you may or may not have heard. Every single person has to be a first-generation believer. There's no getting in on the coattails of your connections being related to somebody who knows Jesus doesn't get you in that isn't how this works. You're not identified based on your connections are not identified as part of Jesus family based on your experiences. Based on your experiences now this morning, it's always it's always fun. I love I love it when my wife is in the nursery because I can say whatever I want in here and she's no no, no kidding. I'm kidding. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Noah, I love it when she's in there because then the kids get to sit with me before they go to children's church and this morning as I was sitting there thinking about is like, oh this is this is so apt for who my kids are I have I have one who is clapping slightly offbeat Sorry Charlie who's clapping stopping or raising her hand singing the songs, even though she can't read. No, that's just who she is. She's like, hey, this is great. I love this worship. And then then you have my son and you can just tell he's sitting there. He's looking at the words. He's thinking about them not saying anything just thinking about them. and then you have my oldest daughter who already knows all the words to she's memorized them all and she's thought through them in about 5 milliseconds, and now she's bored and so she just standing there looking around like

you're not defined as part of Jesus family based on your experiences. my daughter who claps her hands and gets excited about the music is not necessarily closer to Jesus in my son who sit there thinking about the lyrics Sometimes we make this mistake how many of you have ever heard. I really felt the presence of God today. How many how many of you guys have ever heard somebody say, you know God spoke to me.

And how many of you know show of hands but how many of you ever heard that. That sounds really strange. I've never experienced that have no idea what you're talking about. How many of you have felt like less than perfect Christians because you don't know what that's about.

Too often. We have a tendency to say I'm identified with Jesus because I had an emotional response in a service. I heard a song and it made me feel a particular way. I had this experience when I was praying and I'm convinced that it was God and it just that means I'm identified with Jesus hears. The truth of the matter emotional experience is Austin times do come with worship. But some of you are not emotional people. and some of you don't need to feel like second-class Christians because you don't have this experience that other people around you seem to be having some of you

No, where in the Bible does it say you have to have a particular emotional experience you have to be able to speak in tongues you have to be able to do this that or the other to say that you're identified with Jesus know where in the Bible do those things happen and are some people more particularly affected in that way. Yes absolutely. Just got us and speak to us through our emotions. Absolutely. But if you're waiting for that to say, I'm identified with Jesus because I had this no you can have an emotional experiencing experience listening to Dust in the Wind. You can have an emotional experience listening to Enter Sandman by Metallica.

You can have an emotional experience anywhere based on anything doesn't mean you're identified with Jesus. Paul says what if I speak with the tongue of men and angels all of these experiences? Emotional Center that did well up in me and worship and I must be identified with Jesus. He says no without love you're so noisy symbol and a claiming on your experiences. Do not make you a disciple of Jesus. You aren't identified as part of Jesus family based on your religion. Based on your religion now. How many guys have heard the joke about the guy who dies and he goes to heaven in this isn't how Heaven work so that's why I want to clarify. This is a joke don't understand anything about the Heavenly realm based on this information that I'm giving probably heard the joke, the guy gets up to heaven and St. Peter meets him at the gate and so he's going to take him on a tour and and they walk in and they're walking into come to this building and he's like what's in there. Just opens the door and there's a bunch of people sitting there. Looking at the front not smiling while somebody up at the front drones on and on and on.

And Saint Peter just closes the door and the guy says those are the Presbyterians.

We let them have their own space up here in heaven, but it goes a little farther than I get to another building and open the door in. Inside people are just clapping and shouting and singing to the running down the aisles. There's flags are streamers. There's tambourines. Everything is just a list noise feeling out of this building in St. Peter closes the door in the cast of why was that all those of the Pentecostals? And then they come to another building and he's a wall cable. What's in a dark and want to see you know, and so Fierce is okay, but be quiet so he opens the door and there's some people singing and and there is there just you know, kinda kind of their you know, but they're they're singing. And then St. Peter closes the door and the guys like why do they have to be quiet? Like all those are the Baptist? They think they're the only ones here.

Again, that's not how Heaven works. That's all any of this works. But the idea is very pertinent. It is tempting for us to think religious affiliation is what gets you into heaven? If you're just part of the right denomination or if you're part of the right church, or if you're apart of the right Circle if your church has this or if your church has this or if it doesn't have this or doesn't have this then you get into heaven know you are not identified with Jesus. You're not part of his family based on your religion. The name on the sign does not matter at all.

Does not matter at all instead.

Instead something else is going on here. Nobody is going to get into heaven by saying. Hey, I was a member of Red Hills Southern Baptist Church. Hey, I get into heaven because I was Pentecostal. Hey, I get into heaven because I was Presbyterian. That's not how that works. We don't get into heaven based on a religious affiliation. We don't get into heaven either based on our own statement. We don't get into heaven just because we say we should get into heaven. We don't get into heaven. We're not part of Jesus's family just based on our own declaration. And this is an unfortunate side-effect of American Christianity that's come into play and and most of you if I were to say the word church history your eyes would glaze over and you'd fall asleep drooling on your neighbor's shoulders. I'm not going to say church history. If you look kind of a few years back in this country you have developed this this method of proclaiming the gospel and calling people to respond to it. It was solely devoted to getting people to walk down and I'll pray a prayer. And then this is what would happen. Somebody walk down and somebody say they say I feel like I need to get saved and somebody say well if you just pray this prayer then you're saved. And that person would pray that prayer and then they would open the Bible and say look you just prayed that prayer there for your safe forever. There's nothing that will ever take that away from you and many of you probably had that experience. I had that experience as an 8 year old. I'm here to tell you that simply saying I want to get saved and praying the prayer doesn't save you. Doesn't have to change a thing about you. And I know people who went to church one Sunday watch board prayed that prayer left that building never did anything else with the word of God with the people of God with the Call of Christ never ever interacted with it and are convinced. Did they're identified with Jesus because they said I want to identify with Jesus. Sometimes it's as simple as somebody standing up in a kid's meeting and say who wants to go to heaven when you die. Well, duh I do. But there's more to it than just a personal declaration. And this is kind of cuts Against the Grain and so some of your feeling uncomfortable right now. That's okay. You're an American you're an individual list you believe in the right of the individual to declare their truth, whatever that maybe that doesn't work that way. Doesn't work that way you are identified just based on your declaration if you walked into a place. So you walked into a place and the first person you met came up to you and said hi. Nice to meet you. I'm the king of Spain.

So that's weird and you turned around and you went and you met somebody else and they said hi. Nice to meet you. I'm George Washington. Where are you at?

You welcome to another person they say hey nice to meet you. I'm Jesus. Where you at? You're an insane asylum.

You're the place where people's minds have convinced themselves of a reality that is not true that by simple Act of personal declaration. They are now the king of Spain George Washington or Jesus. We don't take them at their word. Nobody boughs to the king of Spain. Nobody asked for George Washington's autograph. Nobody expects Jesus to provide lunch with just a couple Loaves and a few fish. Your context matters we are in a context where we can't just say, I'm a Christian you just say, I'm identified with Jesus never have to take my word for it. That's how that works. And it's so many people that's what they're hope is in. Yeah. Yeah. I prayed that prayer. I walk that aisle. I did that thing. I'll check the religious boxes. I've done all the right steps to how GraceWorks folks Grace is the act of God taking our hearts that want nothing but what we want Ripping them out of our chest figuratively speaking. Not literally. And putting in a heart that is willing to say whatever God wants. That's what I want. You're not identified based on the words that come out of your mouth on a heart and desires that have been transformed and changed as this passage says you are identified as part of Jesus family by your obedience to the word of God. You are known as somebody who is a disciple of Jesus by hearing and doing the word of God now, I want to get to keep this straight. You don't do the word of God in order to have that Heart Change God changes your heart your desires are fixed and then you do that work not to earn salvation. But to demonstrate it not to make God love you, but to respond to his love obedience marks disciples obedience is what shows us this person knows Jesus and it's Obedience of a particular flavor not obedience that is Seeking a crown for itself like that song that Richard played at the beginning from Keith Green. I love that song. I Love Keith Green. You should really read about his life to But that song right? I don't want to do this for a crown. I want to do this to give glory to God that's a part that's changed. And if you're doing good works to try to let everybody else say hey look at me.

There's a good chance. Your heart hasn't been changed your doing good works. If you're obeying God because you want God to be glorified.

You're a disciple of Jesus. You're not in it for yourself anymore. Is that about you anymore? It's about Christ about the kingdom. My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. I love how Luke. Subtly reinforces this point because the next verse 19 through 21. It's got like one store and then we change but Luke is a very purposeful Rider his introduction. He actually says look the point of me writing this gospel is so that so that you would have an orderly account right? He's taking very precise care in the way. He lays out his gospel. So the very next thing we read is interesting in verse 22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples and he said to them let us go across to the other side of the lake so they set out. after just having said those who are closest to me my family my disciples are those who hear the word of God and do it Luke then very pointedly shows Jesus telling his disciples to do something and says and they set out. Church here's my question. What is it that God has told you to do.

We talked about this a lot love God love others make disciples. That's what Jesus is asked you to do. That's the word of God.

You are Jesus disciples. You are identified as such your you Jesus disciples by grace through faith. You're identified as such when you hear the word of God and you. Do it. Do not let anything else be the thing that you think identifies you don't think that because of your family connections you're identified. As a disciple of Jesus don't say that because of your experience as you're identified as part of Jesus family don't think that because of your religion the doors you walk through on Sunday morning that you're identified with Jesus don't think that just because you declared it to be true that it is true. Recognize that those who identified as disciples are those who hear the word of God and do it. Would you pray with me?

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