Summary: The determination of Jesus Christ to go to Jerusalem to die should inspire and encourage our faithfulness.
March 4, 2001
Central Church of Christ
Series: Faces Around the Cross
A MAN WHO WAS DETERMINED
1. Today we begin a new series of messages called "Faces Around the Cross". We want to see the humanity that surrounded the events that culminated in the cross of Christ. We will do this by looking at some of the people who were associated with that dark day in history. In looking at these individuals I hope that we will see ourselves there … for we were represented. There is no question but that we must begin with the most important face at the cross. Luke 9:51 introduces us to A MAN WHO WAS DETERMINED. Let the determination of Jesus inspire and
encourage your faithfulness.
2. Luke 9 reveals Jesus’ efforts to build the faith of his disciples. He empowers them out to drive out demons, cure the sick, and preach. He feeds 5,000 people with five loaves and two fishes – they gather the left overs! He is transfigured before Peter, James, and John – and speaks with Moses and Elijah! He heals the demoniac boy they were unable to. Why is it important for them to have strong faith? He told them that he would be betrayed, rejected, killed, and raised to life.
3. The disciples have a tough time with living faith! They confess that he is the "Christ of God". (18) Yet they still struggle… They cannot heal the demoniac boy.
They argue about who will be the greatesy. They confront a disciple they do not know. They ask permission to call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village! The chapter ends with some proclaiming that they want to follow Jesus, and he warns them that this will be difficult – and they will be required to see it through.
4. In all of this, you and I might have been tempted to give up – but not Jesus! Let the determination of Jesus inspire and encourage your faithfulness!
I. JESUS WAS A MAN WHO WAS DETERMINED
A. Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem, in spite of the circumstances! Luke 9 presents discouraging circumstances. The disiciples were failing their faith-tests The crowds were satisfied with bread when they should have wanted the bread of life. The announcement of his death was met with arguments about who gets what in the will.
We are often discouraged by circumstances. Sometimes they are of our own making! Sometimes they cannot be helped. We need to remember our mission, and never be turned back from it. God can work in the worst of circumstances to bring about His will.
Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem in spite of the circumstances. Let the determination of Jesus inspire and encourage your faithfulness!
B. Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem, in spite of opposition and bitterness from his enemies. The enemies of Jesus would do everything in their power to destroy him. They were the religious leaders of the day. They were ruthless and dangerous in attempting to accuse and entrap him. "The constant impression that he made upon those who knew him was that of a man of vast strength. … Even his enemies proclaim his strength by the intensity of their hatred of him." (Chappell)
It is easy to be turned from our own determination by the efforts of those who would hurt us. How many preachers abandon the pulpit due to the opposition of those who are being used by Satan to destroy the church! How many elders and deacons give up due to feeling alone and unsupported. How many Christians with bright ideas and hopeful hearts are extinguished by the critics who will do all they can to oppose them. Let the determination of Jesus inspire and encourage your faithfulness!
C. Jesus was a man who was determined – in spite of the Circumstances and in spite of his enemies. Which leads us to ask…
II. WHY WAS JESUS SO DETERMINED?
A. Because it was the will of God. Over and over again Jesus emphasized that his purpose was to do the will of the Father. Luke 10:22 "All things have been committed to me by my Father..." John 6:44-46 ""No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ’They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. …." Even when he was perplexed about the will of the Father … in the garden of Gethsemane … he still prayed for God’s will to be done. (Luke 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.") Jesus was determined because it was the will of God – and so must we be! Follow after God’s will for your life, be sure of it, and do not be discouraged in it. Even when it brought pain and dread, Jesus was faithful to God’s will. Let the determination of Jesus inspire and encourage your faithfulness!