Infection Lesson #1: Infected

Posted: January 15, 2015 by keystoneyouth in Uncategorized
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Infection

Lesson #1: Infected

Attention Funnel: Show Kid President Video and Influence Video

Introduction:

  • Visual Illustration: Wrap your hand? Put a Mask on?
  • Infection can be a bad or a good thing
  • Infection often thought of as bad:
    • Pussing, yellow, spreading
    • Types: Infected cut, ear infection, bacterial infection
  • Infection can be good too:
    • Somebody who has an infectious smile, who is able to infect us with passion, joy,
  • This is similar to the influence that people have over one another.
  • People can be influenced in bad ways: to carry out awful crimes, to become greedy and selfish, to be mean and unjust, to pursue things that will leave us empty and unsatisfied, etc.
  • People can also be influenced in good ways. They can be influenced to work harder at school by a good teacher, they can be influenced to serve at a local homeless shelter, they can be influenced to change by giving up a bad habit (smoking) or picking up a good habit (running).
  • We all influence other people and we are all influenced by other people.
  • Not everyone is a Leader – not everyone can naturally direct other people or set vision or get other people to follow them, but everyone does have influence. We influence, friends, family (brothers and sisters), the people we work for, or have working for us. We all influence other people, and we all are influenced by other people.
  • Clarification: I am going to use the terms leader and follower throughout this series – as I use these terms you should be thinking – influence with these two terms – As you lead you influence – as you follow you are influenced.
  • This is how God has made it from the start. God created man and woman, and as early as the first sin in the garden, we see influence having a roll. Adam failing to step up and seek to influence his wife – Eve is influenced by the serpent, and Eve in turn influences Adam. We see this Joseph as he influences his slavemaster, jailer, Pharoah, and eventually all of Egypt. We see this with Moses, and Joshua after him. All the way through the Bible we see men and women influencing and being influenced.
  • God has given his followers a mission – it’s a mission that is constant throughout the entire Bible – be a blessing to other nations and peoples – and how we currently do that is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. All Christians have a role in this mission.
  • Christians: This series is meant to help us understand how we can better influence people towards Jesus Christ. It is also meant to help us evaluate who are some of the main people that are influencing us.
  • Non-Christians: If you say, I’m not a Christian, or I’m not sure if I am a Christian, I hope you can still feel welcome sitting and listening. I hope you can still gain from the principles we talk about (which I think you can). And I hope that you can see a little more clearly what it means to follow Jesus and what it looks like for Christians to point other people towards him.
  • The first lesson in this series is called “Infected”

Big Idea: A Leader is first a follower.

  • (Every Leader has already been infected by other people. Every person who influences others has been influenced by others)

This seems like a very obvious and basic principle. And it is. It’s important to recognize this and to understand that being a good leader – or being someone who influences other people well – means looking at who are we following. Who is having an influence on our lives and infecting them in some way.

Bible Passage: Luke 6:39-49

Main Points

Not everyone is worth following.

We are shaped by who we follow.

We cannot lead where we haven’t already followed.

Jesus is speaking in what we call his Sermon on the plain. Jesus has just been talking about judging people with grace and not with unfair severity. He then goes on to give several wisdom parables or proverbs. The first he gives is about a blind man leading a blind man and from this we get our first point.

Not everyone is worth following (Luke 6:39).

  • This is fairly obvious – throughout history there have been many leaders (very skilled leaders sometimes) who people have followed that the should not have – the obvious one being Hitler, but there are many more – Jim Jones comes to mind along with Joseph Smith.
  • Blind Man
    • Jesus uses a humorous parable to demonstrate that not everyone is worth following.
    • He asks, “Can a blind man lead a blind man?” It’s a rhetorical question. The answer is “OF COURSE NOT”
    • Just imagine that your blind and someone offers to guide you across the street. And you happen to ask, “Is it safe both ways?” and they reply, “I don’t know, I’m blind.” Would you say, “Oh, okay, well lead away.” No, you’d be like “Bro, why did you offer to lead me when your blind?”
    • Jesus is making a point through on obvious story. He asks another rhetorical question, “Won’t both of them fall into a pit, or run into a wall, or get hit by a car, or simply walk in circles?” YES.
    • Jesus might just as well have said, is one who is lost in a desert direct someone else to the nearest source of water? Won’t they both wander around the desert until they die of thirst?
    • In the same way, if we are lost in a desert and find someone else there and they offer to lead us, we should probably ask a couple questions first – “How’d you get here?” “Do you know where water is?” “Do you know how to get out of here?”
    • This is obvious and demands very little common sense, but do we do the same thing with the people that we follow?
    • See Jesus point in this parable is also, can a spiritually blind person lead another spiritually blind person? NO.
    • Do we evaluate those who we follow by first of all asking, “Do they know Christ? Do they have spiritual sight?” Or do we just blindly follow other people.
  • One of the questions we should ask ourselves is “Who am I following?” “Who has influence over me and my life?” and then, “Is he or she worth following?”
    • I realize that many people influence us, and we probably can’t even know who all has or is influenced us. But we can ask, “Who are some of the biggest influences on my life currently?” And, “Are they people that should have a large influence over me?”
  • How do we know if a person is worth following?
    • I think there are two ways:
    • The first is to ask, “What are they living for?”
    • The second is to evaluate – what are the results of their way of life. This is part of Jesus’ teaching on the tree and the fruit (43-45).
    • What is inside of a person – the core of who they are – will come out in their lives.
    • This is how Jesus tells us to evaluate whether we are truly followers of him or not, what fruit do we produce – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control or greed, envy, selfishness, anger, jealousy, etc.
    • But it is also how we can evaluate the people we are following and determine if they are worth following.
      • Someone who gets angry very easily very often may not be someone we want to follow.
      • Someone who seems to always be turning over friends (prone to division) may not be someone we should be following.
      • Someone who is marked by joy may be someone you want to follow.
      • Someone who is faithful and loyal may be someone you want to follow.

We are shaped by who we follow (Luke 6:40)

  • Jesus tells his disciples that every disciple will become like his teacher.
  • Whatever the teacher emphasizes, the disciple will also emphasize. Whatever the teacher sees as unimportant, the disciple will also see has unimportant. Whatever the teacher warns against, so also the disciple will warn against.
  • We could say the same thing and substitute leader for teacher and follower for disciple. This was Jesus’ command when he called the disciples: “Follow me”
  • This was the common call of the Rabbi in the day – he would call a disciple to follow him – to learn how he thinks, how he processes, how he teaches, to learn what he knows, in order to become like him one day as a Rabbi.
  • This was Jesus call to the original disciples, and every disciple afterwards – “Follow me – learn from me, learn how I think, learn what I know, become like me”
  • Whoever your teachers are, whoever you are following, whoever are some of the biggest influences in your life – you will become like them.
  • If you watch Family Guy religiously – you will be shaped by what Seth McFarlane believes of the world.
    • I’m not saying never watch Family Guy or never watch or read anything by a non-Christian. Nor am I saying that we should never follow people who are Christians, however we should be aware that what is of greatest value to them and what drives them will probably be different then for us – we should evaluate them through this lens.
  • If you read every one of John Piper’s books, you will be shaped by what he values and what he teaches – you will become like him in some ways.
  • If you listen to my teaching week in and week out – you will be shaped by what I think and believe (hopefully I’m doing a good job of pointing you to a the Bible and faithfully telling you what is says).
  • Those who we follow will in turn effect how we influence other people:
    • Example: If we are trying to influence other people to become great computer programmers, then following Bill Gates would be a pretty good idea.  Read biographies about him, read what he has written, learn how he programmed computers.
    • Example: If we are trying to influence others to become great actors, then we may want to follow Brad Pitt.  Watch his movies, read what he’s had to say about acting, learn how he became a great actor.
    • Example: Martin Luther King Jr. was influenced by Mahatma Ghandi’s success with non-violent activism.
    • If we are trying to influence others to obey and love God, then who should would be following? How about the man who obeys and loves God perfectly: Jesus. See this is part of the gospel, not only that Jesus is God, but also that he comes as a man to obey and love God perfectly where no other man or woman is able too.
    • We must follow those who we want to be like and who we in turn want those who follow us to be like.

We cannot lead where we haven’t already followed (Luke 6:42).

  • Jesus offers a third parable/wisdom saying – he says “How can someone who has a log in their eye say to a friend or brother, let me take the speck out of your own eye? That person would be a hypocrite (an actor, a fake) because he has not taken the log out of his eye and he pretends to know how to take a speck out of another person’s eye.”
  • I love this – Jesus uses visual exaggeration to make a point.
  • Imagine someone with a two-by-four sticking out of their eye telling someone with a piece of sawdust in their eye how to remove it. It’s an absurd picture!
    • Imagine someone who has a reputation of lying, telling you how to tell truth even when its hard. Whatever he tells you would fall on deaf ears.
  • The person with the log in the eyes can’t show or tell someone how to remove something from their eyes until they have done it themselves.
  • Principle: A leader should not expect to lead someone where they haven’t already followed.
    • Imagine someone trying to lead you up Mount Everest who has never attempted to climb it before and has never climbed any other mountain over 14,000 ft. You would be wise to find a different guide.
    • Or imagine someone offering to lead you through the Cherry Crest Maze who has no map and has not been through the maze before. You would rightfully question the person at every turn.
  • Those who want to influence other people for God’s glory – who want to point other people to Christ and to his greatness – who want to see other people become followers of Christ – must first be followers of Christ themselves.
  • They must first be people who have realized they are sinners who need Christ to save them.
  • They must first be people who hear the words of Christ and obey them. (Luke 6:46-49).
  • How can we tell who we are following?
    • Whose words do we listen too and obey? Or whose words do we listen too that shape how we thing, talk, and act?
    • We can and should be influenced by those who are not Christians – but we must evaluate should we do what they say, should we think how they think and should we be motivated by what motivates them.
    • Jesus says that not everyone who calls him Lord, Lord is actually a disciple or follower of his – only the one who hears what Jesus says and obeys.
    • We are not saved by what we “do” but by faith – but faith is marked and shown by obedience to Christ.

So What???

Evaluate the people that are influencing you the most.

Follow people who you want to be like.

Don’t attempt to lead people where you haven’t already followed.

Questions:

Who are 3 of the biggest influences in your life?

What are those 3 people living for?  What are the results of their life?

How can you tell who you are following?

How would you like to influence other people?

 

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