Don’t just take our word for it . . . take His! We would encourage you to spend time examining the following Scriptures that shaped this sermon: 1 Sam 3:1-20, John 1:43-51.
What is the meaning of Christianity? What is the purpose of the life of faith? Why do we go to church? Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics. Jesus speaks two words that reorient us to the to the end goal of the Christian life – “Follow Me.” To receive and respond to these words is to begin a life of discipleship. German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer provides a helpful description of discipleship. It is a “determined quest for him who is the sole object of it all, for Jesus Christ himself.”(Cost of Discipleship, “Introduction”). From the call of Nathaniel in John 1, we see three different responses that a follower of Jesus might experience at various points in their faith journey:
- Initial Skepticism – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth.” Skepticism, doubts, and questions are normal. They need not keep us from investigating Jesus a bit more. “Come and see.”
- Personal Encounter – “I saw you under the fig tree.” Sometimes God shows up in our circumstances in a real and personal way. This can open our eyes to the power and presence of Jesus and help propel us forward in discipleship.
- Invitation to Greater Things – “You will see greater things than these.” Jesus has seen Nathaniel. Now he wants Nathaniel to see him and how he reveals God’s glory. Discipleship is about seeing and knowing more and more of Jesus.
- Whether presently or in the past, what are some doubts or questions that troubled you about the Christian faith? Have you found satisfying answers?
- Describe a “come and see” approach to engaging skeptics or nonbelieving friends or family?
- Have you had a “fig tree” experience with God? How did that impact your personal discipleship?
- Do you want more in 2024? What might “greater things” look like in your life?
Do you have a question about today’s sermon? Email Randy Forrester (RForrester@StAndrews.Church).
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