We had three kids. They all were in the junior high band at different times over a seven year period of time so I got to go to seven straight years of Junior High Band concerts. Now, I enjoyed watching our kids develop musically, but I cannot say that it was a memorable music experience. Now fortunately they stuck to pieces that were at their level. But suppose they had attempted Beethoven - okay, imagine you don't know much about Beethoven, I tell you, "Beethoven was a musical genius. Now why don't you come to the Junior High Band concert with me, they're playing a Beethoven symphony. I know you're going to be impressed with Beethoven's ability." Okay it's after the concert and I go, "Oh, what did you think of Beethoven?" You go, "I am not impressed." And tell you, "I know there were a lot of squeaks and squawks and instruments missing but please, please don't judge Beethoven based on the way they play His music! He is a genius, they just don't play His music very well."
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Band And The Master."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Mark 1:16-17. There are two words here that instantly eliminate so much confusion and most of the reasons for not committing yourself to Jesus Christ. Here's what it says, "Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee and He saw Simon and His brother Andrew casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen. 'Come follow me,' Jesus said...At once they left their nets and followed Him." Not long after that it records in Mark 2:14 that He came up to Levi who was a tax collector and came to his tax collectors booth and said, "Follow me." Well, Jesus kept saying this to people, "Follow me." In other words He's saying, "I'm the issue." That's why one of Christianity's most brilliant minds, the Apostle Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "I was determined when I was among you to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." He said this is all about Jesus and Him dying on the cross for you.
You see so many peoples objections to Jesus are because of the way Christians have played His music. "Those people are hypocrites, those Christians." Is Jesus a hypocrite? "Well, the church is only after money." Is Jesus? He owned nothing. He's the only Savior available for every human being with sin that needs forgiving and paying for, and that's every human being. So the only reason for not being a follower of Jesus is something about Jesus. If you don't like the inconsistencies in Christianity, neither do I, neither does Jesus - but that's no reason to put off the Son of God.
Maybe you've been burned by Christianity, or Christians somewhere along the way, but it wasn't Jesus who did that. Don't reject the Savior because of something His imperfect followers have done. When you take your last breath and your heart beats for the last time it will be Jesus and you, face to face, and all that will matter then and for ever is how you responded to His life changing, life giving invitation - "follow Me." He created you. He opened the way to God by loving you enough to die in your place for your sin. He loves you very, very much and He's been waiting a long time for you.
How many more times will there be? I don't know. The only guaranteed one, is today. Yeh, the band is imperfect, but the Master, Jesus, is the One you can totally trust. Now, haven't you lived without Him long enough?