Week 5 King Jesus
THE MAIN POINT
Jesus is the one spoken of in Genesis 3:15, and the Messiah prophesied by the Prophets. The King wanted by the Israelites. In his life, death, and resurrection, the gospel story of redemption changes the tide of sin and brokenness.
The call to every human is to be a disciple of Jesus, learning from him and staying close to him.
Matthew 1:1-17, Mark 16:15-18, John 15:20-22
The Gospel of Matthew gives the lineage of Jesus, showing his genealogy throughout Israel (Matthew 1:1–17). We see that Jesus is the Immanuel described in Isaiah 7:14. Jesus is the Messiah figure and is also God incarnate. John says that Jesus was at creation (John 1:1). By connecting Christ all the way back to Abraham, the genealogy at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel makes the case that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise of a Messiah, that he came even for those on the fringes (Rahab, Ruth, and Mary), and that he offers redemption for the sins of the past.
N. T. Wright said, “Here is this wonderful house which is the Christian faith … what’s the front door? Where do people come and go? And the answer is, it is Jesus himself. Take Jesus away and you’re left with a bunch of odd theories which may or may not make sense to people. But the figure of Jesus himself always has been central and utterly compelling.”
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- Jesus is the beginning and the end of the Christian faith. Jesus is the Messiah, Saviour, Lord and King. He holds many titles, yet calls us his friends (John 15:15). The Gospel (good news) is that Jesus through his life, death, resurrection and ascension has commissioned the New Covenant, where by humanity can once again walk in relationship with God experiencing his presence and goodness now and for eternity.
- God’s people were crying out for a King, a King who would rescue and restore them. Jesus is THAT King. Every King has a Kingdom and Jesus says, ” My kingdom is not of this world, if my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36). What does Jesus’ kingdom look like?
When Jesus called His first disciples He simply said, “Follow Me.” It’s interesting to note that the first directive that Jesus ever said to His disciple Peter, was “follow Me” (Matthew 4:19), and the last thing that Jesus said to Peter was also, “follow Me” (John 21:22). Although these two mandates seem identical in the English language, they are actually quite different. Jesus used two distinct phrases intentionally and Peter certainly understood the profound distinction between them. Jesus’ first command, “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19) was forceful and very persuasive. Peter, and the other fishermen, understood what He meant. Jesus was formally and powerfully directing Peter and the others to become His students.
Jesus last directive to Peter seemed like more of a request or a plea. He has just finished an important conversation with this blustery former fisherman where Jesus had asked Peter three times if he loved Him (John 21:15-19). That motivating, confrontational, and the personal conversation was coming to its conclusion when Peter turned around and saw the Apostle John following them (John 21:20). Perhaps John was eavesdropping on their discussion or perhaps he too wanted some alone time with Jesus, but for whatever reason Peter used this occasion to try to redirect Jesus’ pointed and convicting questions to someone else. Peter looked at John and then said to the Lord, “What about him?” It’s here where Jesus gives this last word of instruction to Peter. In today’s words, Jesus responded, “It doesn’t matter about anyone else, you follow Me.” This last command sounds like the first, but His tone and intent is much different. Here, with love, compassion, and purpose the Lord is saying, “Peter, you stay close to Me. Don’t worry about anyone else. I want you to stay close to Me.”
These two bookend commands clearly articulate the genius of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. His followers were expected to learn from Him. He wanted them to be students, to be eager pupils who desired to soak in everything He could possibly teach them. But He also wanted them to stay close to Him to learn by following His example. Christ wanted his disciples to be motivated by their love for Him, to follow His pattern and to model themselves after Him.
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- We must always look to Jesus as the central message in life and all of history.
- Jesus calls you to learn from him, stay close to him and be a part of his redemptive work in the world.
- It doesn’t matter what your friends believe or your family believes… Jesus says to you, “FOLLOW ME!”