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Sarah Prince Ocean View Methodist February 2, 2014 Do You KNOW Him?

This morning we are going to continue our discussion of being a fan or follower I can tell you one person I am a fan AND follower of, and that is my husband Casey Yesterday I was at a workshop with all these teachers and therapists and as we were getting to know one another they were asking me about the amazing Casey There are so many things I can say about him and ways I describe him to people Casey lived all his life in Raleigh, North Carolina and played soccer throughout his life even excelling to semi-pro. He then was a youth pastor but felt God calling him to leave it all to come to Africa and help boys grow and meet Jesus. So he started Ubuntu Football and their goal is to develop the next great leaders in Africa through the context of soccer. He lives here in Africa and devotes his life to it. I tell people that Casey is an incredible father and husband. I tell them that he has such a heart for his Ubuntu soccer boys and gives his life to them. I can tell people that he is hard working and very passionate. But all these words dont even really begin to describe Casey. I could even tell them the little things about him like that he does a dance when he tries on clothes he likes. I could tell them that he thinks he is a good singer but is a little off. I could tell them he has to eat ice cream every single night. But that would still not mean that I KNOW him. To know about someone is not to know them. You now know all these facts but very few of you really know him. I have a closeness and intimacy with Casey. He is my best friend and I know when he is excited or when he is overwhelmed. My love for him pushes me to go beyond knowing about him, however impressive that might be, to knowing HIM and loving Him. This same question can be posed to us when we examine our relationship with Jesus Christ. Are we a fan or follower of Jesus?

The question is Do you KNOW ABOUT JESUS or do you really KNOW JESUS? What Jesus is desiring is people that would go beyond knowing the facts about who He is, but really know him. There might be many things you know about Jesus. You may have grown up in this church. You may have always attended Sunday school. You may know every hymn and worship song. You may serve here all the time, you may call the Methodist Church your home, and you may have a Bible next to your bed at night. But none of those things mean you KNOW Jesus. This morning I really want to dive into scripture and see what Jesus desires of us, and our story today clearly contrasts the fan versus the follower. One knows much about Jesus and one really KNOW Jesus. READ LUKE 7:36-50 This passage of scripture makes something well up inside me It is a contrast of two people. They both know Jesus, they both are here to meet with Jesus, but they have very different motives. One thinks that Jesus is lucky to know them the other is overcome with gratitude to know him. Upon studying this passage I learned that the Pharisee probably wasnt a Christ follower, and had motives to get outside attention by having Christ there or just entertain his guests. He certainly didnt want to just host and honor Jesus, as we see by Jesus telling us that he didnt treat him with the respect you would treat a normal guest. The Pharisees were one of the Jewish religious groups of the time and they were the most outspoken group and followed the law to the extremes. Their name even means seperatists or separated ones. Jesus has a very strong opinion of the Pharisees and speaks about them often in scripture. Matthew 15:8 sees Jesus describing them this way: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. The woman wasnt just a normal woman; she was a known sinner. Most likely she was a prostitute, and the kind of woman that everyone knew and

everyone knew everything about. She actually committed such a scandalous act to even enter the Pharisees home but she was desperate to see Jesus. The guests at a home such as Simons would sit at low tables and their feet would be beside them as they ate. Often servants would come and wash the feet of the guests as they sat, so this story is not as strange as it sounds. The woman was so overcome by being in the presence of Jesus that she begins to cry at his feet and clean them with her hair. This type of oil was usually used to anoint the head, but her gesture says to Jesus my oil isnt even worthy to anoint your head, so I will go to your feet. The perfume would have cost a years worth of wages and would have taken probably all her life to earn. It would have been her most treasured item. Its interesting because Jesus is often criticized for hanging with sinners, but he too knew the heart of the Pharisee. They both were sinners, one just looked on the outside like he had it more together. So really Jesus was trying to serve and love them both in scandalous ways. One is totally unaware of their debt. One is overwhelmed by their debt. One is aware of their religion and how good they are. He is doing a favor for Jesus by having him around. The other is overcome with love for Jesus that they dont deserve and could never earn. And one is a fan while the other is a true follower You see we all have debt to Jesus, some of us just arent aware of it. When we hear the word debt, we first think of financial debt in our lives. I dont like financial debt and our family has lived most of our lives trying to stay out of debt and living very frugally. We give to God, we save and we only use what we have. But one year I became aware of what it felt like to have debt. It was at an inopportune time. We went on an anniversary trip to New York City. I think it was our first time there. We were ready to live it up and see everything we could. So the first day we went to take out cash for the day and realized we only had a few dollars in our account. We had bills that would be going through quickly and we knew that we would overdraft and be in debt in hours. And we had nothing for our fabulous New York trip. I felt guilty, I felt panicked, I felt stupid. When we know we have nothing, then it makes us realize we can do nothing on our own. We have to rely on someone else. In our case of New

York City, we stayed with a friend and he paid for us to go to a nice restaurant and bought us tickets to a Broadway show. We were so humbled and felt like royalty. When we realize that we have nothing spiritually alone, it also puts our hearts in the right place. Simon the Pharisee was religious. He was good. He was at church, he helped people, he was good to his family, he was religious. So he didnt realize the debt he had before God. But the woman knew she was nothing. She knew the love of God was a lavish gift she could never earn. So to be with Jesus was like being with royalty. And when SHE walked out of that home, you can bet she was a changed person from the inside out. Jesus wants us to really know Jesus, not just know facts about who he is. He wants us to come so close to him that we see all parts of who he is. And Jesus wants us to do the same. He wants us to let ourselves be open and KNOWN by Jesus. The Bible says in Genesis 4:1 that Adam KNEW Eve his wife. In Hebrew that word is yada and it is defined as to know completely or to be completely known It means every part of oneself is known by another. Totally laid bare. Giving all and telling all. To know everything. God is desiring for us to KNOW him not just know things about him, and he wants to KNOW US. He actually doesnt care what we look like on the outside, and he certainly doesnt care if other people think we are religious or good enough This week I was at a bible study with young mothers. Some of the mothers were really strong, follow Jesus daily, read their bibles to their kids and are doing a great job. Other mothers were confessing they are struggling with drug or alcohol, they get angry at their kids, they are far from God. But all the women cried before God and prayed heartfelt prayers. It was so beautiful and I think it probably was the best church service I had been to in a long time Church isnt the religious songs and acts we do. It is people pouring their hearts out to God Jesus wants us to truly KNOW Him and he wants to truly KNOW us.

So what can we learn from this sinful woman and how she laid her heart before God? 1. We need to know our debt This is a really hard one, because it can seem so heavy and intense. Jesus wants us to know what is says in Romans, that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God But God doesnt want us to know this because he is a mean bully and he wants us to be put in our place. He wants us to know that our place is NOTHING without Him so we can know we are EVERYTHING with him. But what we do instead is compare our debt to OTHERS We look around, well Im not as bad as them, and I dont gossip as bad as them, and I go to church more than them. Simon didnt know his debt because he was comparing himself to everyone else. So compared to everyone else he was a good guy. But when the prostitiute came in, she didnt care about anyone else. She was comparting herself to God. She saw Jesus and knew she was NOTHING without Him. And when we lay ourselves bare before Jesus then he can fully enter us Jesus tells her to go in peace. That is because she has opened herself up and laid out her sin. Her debt is on the floor and now His love fills her heart. Simon can never have peace while he compares and schemes and manipulates We have to stop pretending we dont have sin. We are far from perfect compared to Christ. So we must bring open up our hearts and see our debt. 2. We need to lay it before Jesus Second, we simply must lay ourselves bare before Jesus When I come to Jesus and say hey friend, how was your day? Mine was fine then there is no exchange. Jesus is not a neighbor you greet in the road and speak to about the weather Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End. HE is the creator come down in man so we can come to God. We must bring everything. There is no saving face. There is no hiding. WE bring our whole selves and lay it out

3. We need to worship Jesus from our guts And then we worship. When we come to him we lay ourselves down and we worship We look to Jesus, we worship Him, we study Him, we reflect on what He has done, we sing praises, we read scripture We visit with Him and take Him in Simon wasnt interacting with Jesus at all, while Mary was coming to know this Lord in a close and intimate way If you want to KNOW Jesus there is no more saving face. There is no room for pride or religion. You just have to see your heart for what it is and lay everything before Him That is what He has done for you. Jesus gave it all on the cross. He laid it all out for us, sacrificed everything so that we could be made whole with God Over and over again we look at that gift, and examine it, we sing about it, we pray about it, but we dont recive it as Mary did Its time to get up from the table of religion and pride, and kneel down at the feet of Jesus Confess, open yourself up, pour your guts out to Him and worship and see Him for who he is. He is here to meet you and he is here to know you Are you a FAN or FOLLOWER?