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As For You, Follow Me!

by Rev. Kirby Williams

The preeminence of following Jesus in life and in death.

Text: John 21:20-22
Date: 10/18/2020, the Combined service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 198

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After Jesus restores and commissions Peter to be the under-shepherd of His flock (the church), and after He foretells the grizzly way Peter will die-- Peter exhibits his tendency to be easily distracted by asking what will happen to John. Jesus rebukes him for losing focus and emphatically repeats His command for Peter to follow Him. Last week we analyzed this text from the perspective of spiritual distractions. This week we will revisit the same passage, but from the perspective of "following". After we flesh-out what it means to "follow Jesus", we will establish why there is nothing more important in life or in death, for the believer or the unbeliever, than to heed Jesus' emphatic command: "As for you, follow Me!"

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 21:20-22.
A. Context, John 20:31.
B. Teaching Peter to follow Jesus.
1. Peter's distraction,
a. Distracted by the beloved disciple, vs. 20.
i. Establishing the scene.
ii. John's odd self-description.
• Insight into Peter's personality.
• John's intimacy with Peter.
• John's intimacy with Jesus.
b. Peter's question, vs. 21.
c. Jesus' rebuke, vs. 22a.
2. The emphatic command to follow, vs. 22b.
a. A very personal command.
b. The extent of the command.
i. Following Jesus "out of".
• Of his life in Galilee, John 21:15.
• Of his tendency to distraction.
• Not a casual relationship, Matt. 6:33.
ii. Following Jesus "into".
• In life, Matt. 28:19.
• In death, John 21:19, Matt. 7:13-14.
III. Application
A. Focusing on following Jesus.
1. Follow Jesus into salvation.
a. Deciding what is really important, Matt. 16:26.
b. Misconceptions about God.
c. The "bad news" of the Gospel.
d. The good news of the Gospel.
2. Follow Jesus in radical discipleship.
a. Follow Jesus out of worldliness.
i. Fleeing from distractions, 1Tim. 6:11.
ii. Recognizing the work of the enemy.
b. Follow Jesus into righteousness.
i. General instructions, 1Tim. 6:11, Phil. 4:8.
ii. Christ is our "impossible" model.
iii. The means of grace.
• Focus on the Word.
• Focus on true worship.
• The power of prayer.
• The joy of giving.
• Grace through the sacraments.
c. Something worth fighting for, 1Tim. 6:12.
3. Follow Him into eternity, 1Cor. 2:9.
B. The reciprocal nature of "following Jesus".
IV. Conclusion

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