Following Christ – Gospel in Life

Following Christ

Tim Keller |  September 8, 1991

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  • Discipleship and Spiritual Growth
  • Worship
  • Understanding the Gospel
John 12:1-8, 24-26
RS 11-41

John 12:1–8, 23–26

The story of Mary putting perfume on Jesus’ feet shows us what being a Christian is all about: loving Jesus with everything we’ve got. Jesus taught some pretty radical things like the idea that to really live, you have to be willing to give up your life. It sounds a bit like being caught in a water whirlpool, but actually, it’s the way to real joy, freedom, and so much more.

1. Following Jesus means letting go of your ego

Mary’s unusual act of putting perfume on Jesus’ feet and letting her hair down showed that she wasn’t worried about what others thought and she saw just how special Jesus was. This shows us that to follow Jesus we need to let go of our pride which often gets in the way. Being a true follower of Jesus means giving up our sense of entitlement to happiness and realizing that we owe everything to God, not the other way around. This leads to a deep understanding of who we are as humans.

2. Following Jesus means understanding his sacrifice

Why we follow Jesus is as important as how we follow him. You might follow Jesus because of nostalgia, a sense of obligation, or feeling guilty, but that’s not real Christianity. Real Christianity comes from a deep appreciation that Jesus died for us. Knowing that Jesus owes us nothing but gave us everything is a powerful thing that can change us from the inside out.

3. Following Jesus means giving him all you have

The story of the woman who used expensive perfume to anoint Jesus shows us what extravagant love looks like. Some people, like Judas, thought it was too much, but when you think about what Jesus gave up for us, it makes sense. True followers of Jesus are okay with giving up everything, even their relationships, comfort, security, and money, because they love Jesus. The beauty of Jesus changes how we think about value and security, and makes us brave, principled people who love deeply.

4. Following Jesus means giving all you are

God wants all of us, not just our stuff. Just like a shepherd uses medicine to keep his sheep safe, sometimes God lets us go through hard times for our own good. Real obedience to God, even when it doesn’t make sense, helps us find out who we really are and lets us experience the honor of being in a relationship with Him.



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