Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jesus, the 3rd Savior

Sermon on Sunday, January 2nd.

Title- Authority: Jesus among other Saviors

Key passage- John 2:13-22

Supporting passage- 1 Corinthians 15:1-8,12-20,58

Jesus!- What is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection?


Hook- A snapshot of our Culture: Starbucks Spirituality (pluralism, syncretism in the USA)

Book- John 2:13-22

Look -What is the significance of His resurrection? Why does it matter? Why is it awesome?!



Book (Slide 2)

Temple Rampage #1- John 2:13–22 (NAS)

Wedding Feast in Cana > Capernaum w/ mom, brothers, disciples > Passover in Jerusalem

13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

(+1100 ft. in elevation in the central mountains)

14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.

(ἱερῷ - temple)

15 And He made a scourge of cords (whip-of rope probably), and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”

What was Jesus freaking out about?

(Matt. 21:13- 2nd clearing, Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

-He was zealous/angry that His Father’s House had gone from a place of prayer and worship to a common marketplace and an opportunity to make money.

- The sales would have been distracting to worship, not allowing the Gentiles to worship in quiet.

- According to Leviticus, you were supposed to bring a sheep, oxen out of your own herd (sacrifice). You were allowed to buy doves, which is why we see Jesus stopping to talk to those selling the doves.

The whole thing had become a mess!

Can you imagine the mess that Jesus made, during a very busy time?!)

17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” (PS. 69:9) 18 The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?”

basically- who do you think you are? What are your credentials? Who are you to say and do these things? What gives you the right to do this? Who has given you the authority?

Bring it home-

1. 2 Other Saviors- (expand service 2) Did you know that there had been 2 known, at least with any type of decent following, “Saviors” that had preceded Jesus, and plenty of different groups claiming to speak for God?

Here is some info. on them:

esus, the 3rd Savior

1. Athronges (likely derived from ethrog, "citron") (diadem dude) was a leader of the Jews during the insurrection under Herod Archelaus. A shepherd, in common with his four brothers after proclaiming himself a messiah, Athronges led the rebellion against Archelaus and the Romans. After a protracted struggle Athronges and his brothers were defeated.

2. Simon of Peraea or Simon son of Joseph was a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans in 4 BC.[1] He has been identified as the messiah of Gabriel's Revelation. He is mentioned by Flavius Josephus [2]

Gabriel's Revelation is a three-foot-tall stone tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew text written in ink, containing a collection of short prophecies written in the first person and dated to the late first century BCE.[3][4] One of the stories allegedly tells of a man who was killed by the Romans and resurrected in three days. It is a tablet described as a "Dead Sea scroll in stone".[3][5] Attributed to Simon of Peraea.

According to Josephus (a “Jewish” Historian of Palastine):

-a slave of king Herod, but in other respects a comely person, of a

- tall and robust body; he was one that was much superior to others of his order

-put a diadem on his head, while a certain number of the people stood by him, and by them he was declared to be a king, and he thought himself more worthy of that dignity than any one else."

-"He burnt down the royal palace at Jericho, and plundered what was left in it. He also set fire to many other of the king's houses in several places of the country, utterly destroyed them, and permitted those that were with him to take what was left in them for a prey. He would have done greater things, but care was taken to repress him immediately.

[The commander of Herod's infantry] Gratus joined himself to some Roman soldiers, took the forces he had with him, and met Simon. And after a great and a long fight, the Pereans were destroyed. Although Simon had saved himself by flying away through a certain valley, Gratus overtook him, and cut off his head."

In light of this, I think they were asking Jesus a very logical, normal question. They should ask Him this question.

Authority Questions- In our culture today, this same question still comes up, but differently.

I#1- Prank at Moody a) toilets (PP), b) mandatory floor meeting- beauty is in the authority

I#2- For example- The police. I am getting to the age now where a lot of police officers are younger than I am. If I were to get pulled over, I could say… but they have the badge, they have the car, they have the authority.

Today, in Western culture, people ask, “Who are you to say that you are right, that Jesus is the only way, that not everyone is going to Heaven? Who are you to say that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, THE life? What makes the Bible or Jesus any better than Mohammad or other religious leaders?” They are asking a normal, good question of authority. A question we should ask as well. What would your response be to these questions?

Here is how Jesus responded to this great question-

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Temple (ναὸν- dwelling place, temple. Different word than the typical word for temple-ierw.

Used in 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19 in reference to the body of believers being Temples of God)

20 The Jews (not understanding what Jesus was saying) then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” (and it was still being built- was finished in 63AD)

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

What was Jesus saying here? (slide 3)

The proof of Jesus’ authority, the exclamation point to His message & actions is that God rose Him from the dead. His resurrection is the capstone.

Most other prophets, and all other “saviors” are dead and their bodies decayed. (mention what happened to the other dudes)

However, Jesus has risen bodily from the dead! And fulfilled Messianic prophecy (Psalm 16:10- “For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.”)

Look & Took (slide 4)

Why does it matter? What is the significance of His resurrection? What difference will this make in my day to day life? Why is it awesome?!

9 Exclamation Points

1. Resurrection =! -Not only did Jesus do miracle after miracle, but Jesus’ resurrection is the grand proof of His authority. He has the right to tear up the temple. He has the right to set things in order. God has given Him the right and supports all Jesus taught and did. Jesus has been given all authority & He has called us to make followers of all nations.

1 Cor. 15:1-8

2. We are standing in the truth. - We can stand firm and confident in our position in Christ.

3. Assurance of salvation. We can be confident that He has saved us. And that we have begun eternally living!

(slide 5)

1 Cor. 15:12-20

4. We have unthwartable credibility - Our faith has credibility that is unthwartable, we carry in us the Word of Life.

5. We can have hope in death- We and our loved ones, who are in Christ, will live, even though they die. Those, in Christ, will not perish. Our loved ones, in Christ, will not perish.

6. (v. 17) We are holy. We are in deed declared righteous and holy before God through faith in Jesus. It is really true.

7. (v. 20) Our faith is worth it. It is worth the discipline, worth the obedience, worth the persecution, worth the odd looks from family or co-workers, worth sacrificing for.

1 Corinthians 15:58

8. We can live an unwasted life. We can confidently give ourselves fully to His Cause. We can stand firm in our faith, and join the team, to be fellow laborers in Christ; advancing His kingdom and His purposes.

9. When challenged, we can Relax. We can answer people’s questions of authority with full-confidence and love.

a) We live in a pluralistic/syncretistic culture, with many gods, many versions of what is true. When someone asks, “Who are we to tell someone they need to accept Jesus?” We are sharing what the resurrected one has said. We are speaking on Jesus, the RESURRECTED Savior’s behalf.

b) When people ask, “Who are you to say that your god is the true god and someone else’s is false?” Jesus rose from the dead.

c) Who are you to say what is right or wrong? Jesus rose from the dead.

d) Why should I attend church and get involved with a community of believers? Because Jesus said to, and He rose from the dead.

e) Why give of my resources (money, time, energy) to support the local Church and missionaries? Because Jesus rose & He has called us to join His Cause

f) Why should I bother reading The Book and pray? Because Jesus, the author of the Bible rose from the dead, and wants us to know and follow Him, and teach others also.

g) Why should I go out and share my faith with others? So that they may meet the one, Jesus, who rose from the dead, and have life for themselves.

h) Why should I abide in Christ, stay close to Him through obedience to what He has called me to? Because He rose from the dead.

Look at these 9- What more do we need that Jesus hasn’t already given us, who trust in Him?

You want authority?

Jesus’ resurrection showed His authority because God rose Him from the dead, approving His message. Other saviors, other religions will come and go. But Jesus lives forever, and has been given all authority. And that is why Christians can walk in hope during the years of trial, hardship, storms, and persecution.

Take some time to thank God for the authority He has given Jesus. And that we can be a part of what He is doing here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paul's frustration as an apostle for Jesus

The assumption in culture today is that if I am happy than God is happy with me. If I am frustrated or thwarted than God is not happy with me.

Let's look at how Paul lived as an apostle for Jesus.
First, Paul was loved, chosen, and called by Jesus as an apostle-one sent out to tell people the Good News of forgivenss through Jesus. Paul ran his 'race' well, and God is pleased with him.

2. When Paul encountered Jesus he completely lost his vision. After receiving Jesus something amazing happened to Paul, he DIDN'T receive his sight least right away, but had to walk around blind until his friend Ananias was used of God to heal Paul (Acts 9).
3. Paul continually faced frustration & contention from the Judaisers. If it were me, I would pray that God would either bring them to Christ or get rid of them. But these Judaisers were allowed to bother Paul & hurt the young church throughout his ministry.
4. Paul was given some kind of 'thorn in the flesh'. He prayed three times that God would get rid of it. God told him no, he was stuck with it. 2 Corinthians 12:7 teaches that Paul was GIVEN this thorn to keep him from bragging/arrogance.
5. Paul was put in jail several times, when he could have been out sharing the Good News. This, at a surface level seems like a waste of time, energy, and resources. Why did God allow this?
6. Paul was beaten for Christ, his ship sunk, he was bitten by a venomous snake, he went hungry, was left for dead. Why would God allow this to happen to Paul? (2 Cor. 11:23-35; Acts 27)
7. He had arguments, heated arguments with other apostles (good men), such as Barnabas. He was abandoned by Christian friends (Acts 15:39; 2 Timothy 4).
8. He was forbidden from going to Rome, even though he tried and tried to go there. His reasons for going were noble, but God did not open the door for him (Romans 1:13; 15:22-24).

So what was his response? Did he become jaded, pessimistic, feel hurt by God, believe that God didn't really care about him?

Philippians 4:9–13 (NAS)

9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Paul understood that God was sovereign, and he came to a point where he was at peace and in submission to God's sovereignty, and care for Paul. Paul was engaged in the calling that Jesus gave him. He new that Jesus would enable him to do whatever Jesus wanted him to do. He rested in the love that he had in Christ. Therefore, problems, thorns, hindrances, sin, lost their power to put a damper on Paul's attitude and perspective. God has given you adequate help, in Christ, to have this same attitude and perspective. The choice is ours what angle we will live from, what attitude/perspective we will allow to color our world.

In addition, I don't see Paul being a jaded or hopeless person. He was content, in peace with his position/lot. He was joyful to serve his Lord, in spite of the difficulty that it brought. Eventually, God even allowed Paul to be martyred (probably beheaded in Rome, under Nero) as the grand exit to his race of life. What a way to go!

I think it was safe to say that God loved Paul & was pleased with him. However, if you looked at his life from an animistic angle, you may think that God hated him. Good thing God is not an animistic type of God! Jesus is our propitiation, through which we can have peace with God & have a sonship/daughtership with him. May we be encouraged by this.