Summary: All too often people are judging Jesus by the cover and not the content. We make up that cover and so sometimes people get the wrong impression of who Jesus is.

A world waiting for Jesus

Isaiah 51:1-18Matthew 16:1-12

An honest man is being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turns yellow, just in front of him. He does the honest thing, and stops at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hits the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration as she misses her chance to get through the intersection with him.

As she is still in mid-rant, she hears a tap on her window and looks up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer orders her to exit her car with her hands up. He takes her to the police station where she is searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approaches the cell and opens the door. She is escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer is waiting with her personal effects. He says, Im very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the Choose Life license plate holder, and the What Would Jesus Do bumper sticker, the Follow Me to Sunday School bumper sticker, and the chrome plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.

Sometimes we come across to others as people who seem very different from what we claim to be. This happens when we fail to practice what we preach. It also happens when others make assumption about us without having all the facts.

The old adage - You should never judge a book by its cover - comes to mind when we consider Jesus during this time of Lent.

All too often people are judging Jesus by the cover and not the content. The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus time made this same mistake. People all over the world still repeat that same mistake today. Everyone it seems wants a sign.

In the book of Isaiah we see that the entire nation of Israel was waiting for the Messiah. Then in Matthew we see how they react when he arrives.

Jesus had evidenced that he was Gods son by countless miracles with hundreds and even thousands of witnesses present but still the religious leaders were reluctant to accept that Jesus was in fact the Messiah that they had long been waiting for.

John 21:25

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The Bible records 42 miracles that Jesus performed over his three year ministry. Some for individuals and some for crowds like feeding 5,000 people at once.

You would think that one miracle would be enough to convince anyone but Jesus went to the extreme to be sure that people got the message about who he claimed to be.

As Jesus taught and spoke more and more people began to follow him and the religious leaders of the day became concerned for their own station in life. The religious leaders of Jesus day had a good job they were well taken care of and were respected for their position in the religious community. Jesus shows up and now all the things that these religious leaders had taken for granted are being challenged by some carpenter from Galilee.

The people discovered that Jesus was very different from their religious leaders. Jesus did not treat non-Jews any different from Jews. Jesus treated women and men with equality. Jesus put the emphasis on the spirit of the law while still recognizing and respecting the letter of the law.

Jesus had embarrassed the religious leaders because Jesus was able to live a perfect life that the religious leaders could not. But still they would not concede that Jesus was the promised Messiah that they had been waiting for.

They wanted a sign a sign from heaven.

What were the signs that should have told them that the Messiah was in their midst?

One will prepare the way - John the Baptist

Isaiah 40:3, 3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.

Malachi 3:1 1 See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the LORD Almighty.

He would teach in parables –

Psalms 78:2 2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—

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