Following Jesus

Teaching Series: Christmas 2011 and New Year 2012

At the click of a Twitter button you can follow almost anyone. At least you can be kept up to date with their news in no more than 140 characters. Other people we follow more intently. We go to their concerts. We read their books and blogs. We join their fan club or mailing list.
When Jesus asked those first disciples to “follow him” (Luke 5:27), what did he mean? As those who are his disciples today, what does it mean to follow him now?
For the first disciples, indeed for every first century Jew, the words ‘follow me’ were packed with meaning. Every Jewish boy grew up wanting to be a rabbi. The whole education system was geared to that end. You would be taught and trained right through childhood. This included memorizing the first five books of the Bible before going on to memorize the whole of the Old Testament! A rabbi would choose who followed him. They naturally chose only the best of the best. A rabbi was looking for someone who would learn all that the rabbi taught in order that he might be able to do all that the rabbi himself did. The disciple was to become everything that the rabbi was. That’s what it meant to follow: to become like your rabbi. Most dropped out of the grueling education process, or were never chosen. Typically they would then take up their father’s trade, maybe carpentry or fishing. The words ‘Follow me!” were reserved for the chosen few.
When Jesus called his first disciples to follow him they knew exactly what he meant. He was calling them to learn all that he taught in order that they might do all that he did and so become all that he was. He was calling them to become like him. That’s what it meant to follow. To become like Him. That’s the discipleship to which we too are called. 
Simon Harris
Senior Minister
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Follow Jesus to the Resurrection The Resurrection shows how Christ's sacrifice can bring brightness, even to our darkest times
(Reading: Luke 24:1-12)
Simon Harris 08 Apr 2012
Follow Jesus to the Cross An exploration of some deeper meanings of Holy Week
(Reading: Luke 23:32-49)
Simon Harris 02 Apr 2012
Follow Jesus like a child To reach God's kingdom we need to be like children: compassionate, humble, intimate, full of life, and determined
(Reading: Luke 18:1-34)
Simon Barrington 25 Mar 2012
Follow Jesus to discover God's heart What is God like? A compassionate father who watches, waits and welcomes.
(Reading: Luke 15:11-24)
Simon Harris 18 Mar 2012
Follow Jesus to a broken heart True repentance is a change of heart, not just a struggle to change or conceal behaviour
(Reading: Luke 11:29 -13:35)
Simon Harris 11 Mar 2012
Follow Jesus to a prayer-filled life The disciples asked Jesus to "teach us to pray" - and he did for us too. Prayer is vital, even though the powers of darkness gather to make it difficult.
(Reading: Luke 11:1-13)
Simon Harris 04 Mar 2012
Follow Jesus to a new mission Jesus called people to love God. Mission is not just about getting more bodies through the church door.
(Reading: Luke 8-10)
Claire Earl 26 Feb 2012
Follow Jesus to surprising people Jesus surprised religious people by blessing a centurion, a widow and a sinful woman
(Reading: Luke 7:1-17)
Simon Harris 19 Feb 2012
Follow Jesus to a radical lifestyle Jesus explains that the poor and the weeping experience the Kingdom of God
(Reading: Luke 6: 17-42)
Claire Earl 12 Feb 2012
Follow Jesus to a new kind of balance Jesus shared and taught with his disciple. To live like Jesus we need to balance our "in", "up" and "out"
(Reading: Luke 6:12-19 )
Julie Kite 05 Feb 2012
Follow Jesus to a new way of thinking Jesus argued with religious people, and broke or ignored rules they had added to God's word. What rules do you follow?
(Reading: Luke 5:33 - 6:11)
Simon Harris 29 Jan 2012
Follow Jesus to all the parties When Jesus called Levi to follow him he showed his disciples (and us) the importance of engaging with the unloved and marginalized
(Reading: Luke 5:27-32)
Simon Harris 22 Jan 2012
Follow Jesus with Everything A Rabbi in the time of Jesus was expected to take the best students as disciples. The disciples in turn were expected to abandon everything and follow the Rabbi everywhere
(Reading: Luke 5:1-11)
Simon Harris 15 Jan 2012
Follow Jesus into the Desert Jesus started his public ministry by seeking solitude, fasting and Spirit-guided reflection in the desert. There he dealt with the temptations of the Devil and emerged refreshed and prepared
(Reading: Luke 4:1-13)
Simon Harris 08 Jan 2012
Follow Jesus to Bethlehem The shepherds around Bethlehem were outsiders, but they were still invited to the birth of Christ
(Reading: Luke 2:8-20)
Simon Harris 18 Dec 2011
Follow the Prince of Peace Jesus brings peace to a messy world
(Reading: John 1:1-14)
Claire Earl 18 Dec 2011
Follow Jesus to the manger To follow Jesus we must accept and imitate Him and go, as we are and as a surprise
(Reading: Luke 2:1-7)
Claire Earl 11 Dec 2011
Follow Jesus from heaven Luke the historian gives a careful account of the life of Jesus
(Reading: Luke 1:1-15)
Simon Harris 04 Dec 2011

W/C Sunday…
Sunday Theme
Jan 1st
 Follow Jesus to the river (Luke 3)
Jan 8th
 Follow Jesus to the desert (Luke 4)
 Small Groups
Jan 15th
 Follow Jesus with everything (Luke 5:1-26)
 Church Meeting
Jan 22nd
 Follow Jesus to all the parties (Luke 5:27-32)
 Small Groups
Jan 29th
 Follow jesus to a new way of thinking (Luke 5:33 - 6:11)
 Small Group Extra
Feb 5th
 Follow Jesus to a new kind of balance (Luke 6:12-19)
 Prayer and Share
Feb 12th
 Follow Jesus to a new way of living (Luke 6:19-49)
 Small Groups
Feb 19th
 Follow Jesus to surprising people (Luke 7)
 Church Meeting
Feb 26th
 Follow Jesus to a new kind of mission (Luke 8 - 10)
 Small Groups
Mar 4th
 Follow Jesus to a prayer-filled life (Luke 11:1-28, Luke 18:1 - 14)
 Prayer and Share
Mar 11th
 Follow Jesus to a broken heart (Luke 11:29 - 13:35)
 Small Groups
Mar 18th
 Follow Jesus to discover God’s heart (Luke 14:1-19:26)
 Small Groups
Mar 25th
 Follow Jesus against religion (Luke 19:28-21:38)
 Church Meeting
Apr 1st
 Follow Jesus to the cross (Luke 21-23:56)
Apr 8th
 Follow Jesus out of the tomb (Luke 24)