Summary: Sermon about the real Jesus.
Abstract or Concrete?
Sunday Morning, 01-08-12
Text John 1:29-36
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Joh 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
Joh 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
Joh 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Joh 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Joh 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
How many of you like art? By that I mean paintings like “Whistler’s Mother” you know the one where a lady in a black dress is sitting in a chair with her feet on a little box, or maybe “American Gothic” those two somewhat stern folks, with one holding a pitchfork.(they are supposed to be father and daughter by the way)
You can view those kinds of paintings and know what the artist was trying to get across to you. What about “abstract” paintings? Do you like them? It is not always quite clear what the artist painted, or what he or she wants you to see in their paintings. Most have brilliant colors, some are dark and somber but all of them are not exact renditions of the subject...which makes them abstract.
The definition of “abstract” at least the one that fits what I’m talking about goes like this...
2. Separate, existing in the mind only; as an abstract subject; an abstract question: and hence difficult, abstruse.
Now I do not claim to be an artist, but I have painted an abstract painting for your enjoyment this morning.
This is what it looks like...
Can you tell what I had in mind when I painted this, what the subject was?
Probably not...if you can I am concerned for you.
I believe people today have an “abstract” view of Jesus. They really do not know who He is or what He truly is about. He exists in the mind only...He can’t help them in their day to day lives. Jesus is separate, difficult to know, to understand, to approach if He means anything at all.
People say that Jesus was a good teacher or that He lived a good life. They say He was a prophet, some say He is a fairy tale.
Now what is this?
Right, it is a cinder block, a concrete block. When you see it you don’t have to wonder what it is, you just know.
Just knowing, brings us to our text this morning...
What John saw and said there in verse 29 is concrete...there was no un-sureness, no abstract thought on John’s part!
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Behold...everyone look...open for all to see...the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. How hard is that to understand? John was as sure of his statement as I am sure this painting I did is just plain ugly...there is no mistaking it! Some things you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know.
Where the problem lies is not in the reality of the facts, it lies in the acceptance of those facts.
You see there are those who accept that Jesus was a good man, or a prophet, or lived a good life. But to accept Him as Savior of the world, as the ONE who takes away sin...why that means I’m a sinner and I need forgiveness!
That’s too much; I can’t do that because I can’t live the way I WANT TO!
There are those who will tell you there is no “historical” evidence for Jesus. There are those who reject the virgin birth, reject Jesus’ claim to be the Son of Man; will reject that Jesus said that He and the Father are one.
One thing is clear, just like this concrete block...Jesus is either a stumbling block or the cornerstone on which to build. Listen to one of the definitions of “concrete”...
2. In logic, applied to a subject; not abstract; as the whiteness of snow. Here whiteness is used as a concrete term, as it expresses the quality of snow.