Following Jesus for the Kingdom’s Sake

A sermon idea from Luke 9:51-62

The Eurythmics sang it in the ’80s…

“Everybody is looking for something.”

In the final couple of paragraphs of the ninth chapter of Luke’s gospel, we get the idea that everybody is looking for something from Jesus, but not everyone is looking for what is most important to the heart of Jesus himself – the good news about the kingdom of God.

  • The Samaritans were looking for a Christ who would be theirs alone and not belong to Jerusalem also.
  • James and John were looking for a Christ who, like Elijah, would call down fire to consume the competitors.
  • A stranger wanted to follow Jesus out of a sense of convenience, as long as it wasn’t too uncomfortable.
  • Another wanted to follow Jesus, but only if he could have financial prosperity along with doing so.
  • And one more wanted to attach to Jesus while maintaining all other earthly attachments, too.

Does any of this sound familiar? I believe we’ve all been guilty, at one time or another, of wanting a Christ of our own making, to satisfy our own purposes.

Many, today, want a Christ of political power to maintain an imagined moral utopia even if it means obtaining it by force.

Others want a Christ who brings with him success, riches, and the fulfillment of all of our dreams.

And certainly, others want a Christ who challenges none of our personal attachments.

But Jesus continually calls people to become his disciples who will concern themselves with one principle thing – the good news about the Kingdom of God.

Jesus came proclaiming the gospel – the good news – that the kingdom-rule of God who would renew and restore all that is broken, is near and is freely available to all who invite and welcome him.

But for so many of us, we’ve never learned to let go of control and of the conditions of our own love that make life feel safer.

And Jesus continually allows people to keep walking by, passing up this wonderful good news, as they search for something better. And he freely receives to himself any and all who are willing to seek and experience the kingdom rule of God in their own lives and bring God’s kingdom values to the world around them.

The big question is – are you willing to abandon what you believe life is all about to embrace and enjoy the wholeness and fullness of all that God wants to bring into the lives of those who follow him fully?

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