Sermon/Study Guide: The Jesus I Follow

Author: Steve Hixon

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I was born in 1953. That makes me a bona-fide Baby-Boomer and therefore my adolescence was a time in which iconoclasts were highly valued. Elvis and the Beatles
Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut--make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law--cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.
“If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.”

Matthew 10:34-39,
The Message

were breaking the rules of popular music; Rowan & Martin were breaking the rules of prime-time TV; Timothy Leary was the Pied Piper for thousands of college students, with his mantra of “turn-on, tune-in, drop-out”.

Jesus was not highly valued by pop culture throughout that time, but near the end of the 60ís and in the early 70ís there was a quiet but widespread spiritual revival in the United States. Perhaps the revolutionary decade prepared the hearts of many who, disillusioned with sex, drugs and rock-n-roll, suddenly turned-on to the Greatest revolutionary of all time: Jesus Christ. Many of my friends, myself included, discovered afresh the call of Jesus to leave behind the status quo and join Him in a new life of anti-materialism, risky love and high adventure. Stately churches with white-washed steeples and dusty hymnals suddenly found themselves confronted with hundreds of interested newcomers—barefoot, long-haired, free-thinkers who wanted Christianityís Jesus but not its traditions. How would the inevitable cultural collision end?

Read the following passages and describe how they reflect Jesusí revolutionary impact on His culture:

Matthew 21:12, 13

John 3:3-8

John 8:42-47

John 18:33-38

“Many will call me an adventurer - and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his skin to prove his platitudes.”

“Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.”

- Ernesto Che Guevara

“Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy.”

Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.”

- Mao Tse-Tung

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

- Lenin

“The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.”

“Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

- Karl Marx

READ all of Matthew chapter 10.

Verse 1. What is the setting; what is going on?

Verses 2-4. Who is Jesus talking to?

Verses 5-16. What instructions does Jesus give these men?

Verses 17-33. What kind of reactions does Jesus tell them to expect, and how should they respond?

Verses 34-39. What does Jesus means by “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”? How does that fit with the angels announcement in Luke 2: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

How does 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 relate to verses 40-42?


1. When you became a Christian, or soon after, did you really “count the cost” of following Jesus? Did you anticipate any difficulties that might come into your life as a result of being associated with Jesus? How have you suffered as a result of being a Christian?

2. Right now if your life, do you find yourself on the cutting edge of spiritual growth, or have you lapsed into a warm, comfortable, protected kind of Christian experience?

3. Do you still believe that God can use you to change the world?

Copyright © 2002 Steve Hixon - All Rights Reserved.