Wednesday, September 07, 2016

This week's lesson (September 3-9): Jesus bade them, "Follow me."

Brothers, I could not address you ask spiritual but as worldly -- mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. . . . For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? 
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe -- as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. -- I Corinthians 3:1-7, NIV
Invite people to follow Jesus?

You're just asking for trouble.

Invite people to follow Jesus, after all, and they're likely to do just that -- to follow him, and not us.

Think what happened on Pentecost, for instance -- no sooner do the those Palestinian followers of Jesus reach out to Greek-speaking Jews, then the trouble begins.
  • Trouble over money.
  • Trouble over leadership.
  • And all kinds of trouble when those Greek-speaking Jews reach out to Greek-speaking Gentiles (cf. Acts 11:19ff).
Invite people to follow Jesus, in other words, and they'll change all kinds of things. Yes, they'll challenge the status quo. Insist on new methods. Reach out to all kinds of people we've never reached before.
And if they do that, then what will become of us?
No, much better to teach them that we follow Jesus.
And if they want to follow Jesus?
Then they need to follow us.

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