In part 4 of our March and April series, The Biography of Jesus, Pastor Jeff brings an encouraging word that’s packed full of foundational scriptures that support 11 reasons to follow Jesus. Beginning with some insightful perspective, Pastor Jeff reminds us that when we’re seeking answers in life, the way to connect with the author of life is to have a relationship with the Creator of life itself.
As sinners, it’s not church that we need to seek; it’s a relationship with God. In John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus reminds us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” He is all we need! As if that’s not reason enough to follow Jesus, Pastor Jeff details nearly a dozen additional reasons to pursue Him throughout his message, Jesus the Lion.
What reasons do you have personally for following Jesus?
Have you ever sought to discover your purpose outside of God?
How did a relationship with Jesus transform your understanding of your purpose?
At timestamp 3:03, Pastor Jeff details the lineage of Jesus and highlights why one of the many ways He’s known is as Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. In Luke chapter 12, we see Jesus as both the Lamb and the Lion. And we see the importance of this aspect of Jesus in Revelation chapter 5, while also receiving a picture of who Jesus is to us.
Revelation 5:5-12 (NKJV) 5But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” 6And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
8Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice:“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
We should worship the Lion and the Lamb with a passion and degree of those who worship like this in Heaven. In Jesus the Lion, Pastor Jeff gives us 11 reasons to do just that!
Before you gave your life to Jesus, what aspects were you looking for in a savior?
How does knowing more about Jesus the Lion help you understand more of Jesus’ character?
What does it mean to you that Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb?
Of course, there’s many, many more reasons to follow Jesus than these 11, but the reasons Pastor Jeff highlights in part 4 of the Biography of Jesus will change our hearts and challenge us to pursue Christ Jesus like never before! Foundational scriptures support each of these 11 reasons and portray the depth of their truth. Tune into The Lion of the Tribe of Judah to hear each of these verses unpacked and relayed to us in a practical, applicable way for our daily lives. Let’s dive in!
Did you know, when Jesus was 12, Mary and Joseph lost Him? It’s true! And after days of searching, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening and asking questions. We see the details of the story unfold in Luke chapter 2:
Luke 2:46-49, 51-52 (NKJV) 46Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”49And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
51Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
So many of us are asking, “What’s my purpose?” Not only did Jesus know His purpose, but He also knew how to grow in wisdom and stature while also remaining in favor with both God and man. What a great example to all of us! We should connect with people who are like-minded and those who aren’t; it’s a healthy way to live life!
In the New Testament, we see that Jesus was led by the spirit to go into the wilderness to fast for 40 days. As the end of the 40 days of eating no food, the devil came to tempt Him (as he does all of us!) But Jesus combatted him spiritually, simply by using the Word of God.
Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) 4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Luke 4:3-4 (NKJV) 3And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
Lots of people try to figure life out themselves. The truth is, it’s impossible! So what do we do?We pray. We build our life on our relationship with Jesus Christ who is alive , who sent the Spirit of God to come to this earth to dwell within those who believe in Him. We form a relationship with Him–a dialogue with God–where we come to him regularly and we speak to Him and He speaks to us. We do this by Jesus’ example.
Mark 1:35 (NKJV) 35Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Luke 6:12-13 (NKJV) 12Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
So many of us are dependent upon ourselves, rather than surrendering and acknowledging our dependence upon God. First, we have to believe that God has a will for our lives. Secondly, we have to seek that answer and discover His will for our lives. We have to seek God’s will for our lives, rather than asking God to bless what we want to do. Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to depend on God.
John 5:19 (NKJV) 19Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
John 5:30 (NKJV) 30I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Luke 22:42 (NKJV) 42saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
This is good news! We are regular people. We’re not perfect. We don’t have it figured out. We’ve all got scars and baggage. Yet still, Jesus wants to hang out with every single one of us! We are loved by Him, regardless of our regular-ness. No need to be fancy or elite or esteemed or perfect. God loves us, as is.
Mark 2:15-17 (NKJV) 15Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. 16And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 17When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Luke 15:1-2 (NKJV) 1Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus was born from humble beginnings and He never made it about himself. His ministry was about others; it was about service. What an amazing trait to have! We can all take a play out of Jesus’ book on this one. Jesus had the right to be served, and instead He served us with His life and death on the cross.
Matthew 20:25-28 (NKJV) 25But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Oftentimes, we want people to give up things for us, make sacrifices, and serve us in this world. That’s not what Jesus was or is about. He gave His life for us; He gave up Himself and everything He was for the sake of our lives, our redemption. On top of all that…He gave His life willingly. Praise the Lord!
John 10:11 (NKJV) 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
John 10:17-18 (NKJV) 17“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
John 15:13 (NKJV) 13Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Jesus was a man among men. When it comes to our battles with the enemy, the enemy is always outnumbered when we have Jesus on our side. Jesus is unconquerable, no matter how big the obstacle!
Matthew 26:47 (NKJV) 47And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
John 18:4-10 (NKJV) 4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” 10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
Matthew 26:52-53 (NKJV) 52But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
Luke 22:51 (NKJV) 51But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.
The things that test us don’t always test our neighbor, our parents, our friends; we’re all tempted by different things. Jesus was tempted by all the things. Jesus knew who He was and who He was with; God was with Him and He did not sin.
Hebrews 4:15 (NLT) 15This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
Even from the cross, in the midst of dying a sacrificial death, Jesus looked out for Mary. What a stand-up guy and Godly example for us to follow!
John 19:26-27 (NKJV) 26When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
As you’ll read in John 8, religious leaders brought an adulterous woman to Jesus for stoning. Instead of condemning her, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. When we connect with God, we, too, can live a life free of sin. Jesus came to this world to save it, not condemn it!
John 8:7 (NKJV) 7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
John 3:16-17 (NKJV) 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Which of these reasons for following Jesus resonates most for you?
What reasons do you follow Jesus that aren’t on this list?
Is there a scripture not mentioned that highlights why we should passionately pursue Jesus?
The #1 reason to pursue Jesus? He gave His life for us. He understands what we’ve gone through. He’s come to rescue us, to relate to us, and to have a relationship with us. We can depend on Him, we can trust Him, and we can be people of prayer who can talk to God and hear from God. We can be guided through the life God always intended for us to have in a relationship with Him. Praise the Lord!
Father, thank you for leading us and guiding us in the things you want us to learn from Jesus the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Please give us a passion and desire to worship you in the way that those in Heaven worship you in Revelation 5. Lord, we ask you to challenge and change us as we continue to pursue You and grow in our relationship with You. Thank you God for your Word and your love. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
PS - We’re still working through our 6-Week Bible Reading Plan that accompanies the Biography of Jesus series. Jump in and join us if you haven’t yet started! You can also catch up on all the messages throughout our spring series right here on the VFC YouTube channel.