Text: Luke 5:27-28
Prop: a poster of Footprints.
Summary: Jesus calls us to follow him.
How many of you have ever played “Simon Says?” (Show of hands.) Let’s try it.([Test them to see if they follow directions.) Today I want to talk to you about what it means to follow Jesus.
One day Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi while he was working. Collecting taxes was not a fun job because nobody liked the person who made you pay taxes. Some tax collectors were crooked and took up more tax than they were supposed to take and they spent this extra money on themselves. Jesus didn’t look at Levi for the job he held, or what other people thought about him, he looked at his heart and told him Follow me.
What happened next is one of the most amazing things recorded in the Bible. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. The Bible says that Levi walked off the job, leaving the money behind. He completely left his old way of life and started to follow Jesus immediately. He didn’t want to continue living in sin, doing bad things. He decided right then and there to leave his old ways behind him and start a new life. When someone turns away from doing bad things, we call that repentance. When a person does what God says to do, we call that obedience. Levi did both.
Just as Levi followed Jesus, we are called to follow Jesus also. Jesus knows that we all have sinned and need to repent of our sins. He wants to give us a chance to turn away from doing bad things, and start doing good things. He has given us an example in the Bible of how to live as he lived, without ever doing anything wrong. Does that mean we will be perfect? No, it only means that is what we should try to do.
Just as it’s hard to play “Simon Says” and not make any mistakes, it’s hard to live a perfect life without making mistakes. God knows we will make mistakes, but he wants us to ask Jesus to forgive us when we sin and do bad things. Then we can be closer to God and be followers of Jesus.
©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.