Summary: A short message on our need for Christ designed to follow the cantata, “Hark! The Angels Sing” by Dennis & Nan Allen (Brentwood Music).
December 22, 2002
37they found Him, and said* to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”
Mark 1.37b (NASB)
A message to follow the cantata, “Hark! The Angels Sing”(1)
Once again we heard the Gospel story.
We have seen and heard it presented how…
the angels delivered their carol,
of a babe in a cradle;
he would grow up for the cross,
win the crown,
and is coming again.
It is a marvelous story we want to hear over and again. We echo the songwriter’s thought, I love to tell the story, for those who know it best, seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. (2)
What makes the story so marvelous that we never get tired of hearing and thinking about it?
THE ANGELS’ CONFESSION
The story is full of joy, wonder and light as the angels descend on the Judean hillside to make the announcement to humble shepherds. A few weeks ago in a sermon I mused on how I wanted one of those “gazillion-watt” flashlights for the dark, spider places of my life. Wednesday night my dreams came true. I received a joyful gift…a million candle power spotlight for my very own!
But, even the brightest spotlight cannot compare with all the heavenly host come down, straight from the throne of God to announce the greatest news for man since the dawn of our sins – A Savior is born! The big fisherman Peter would later call it joy unspeakable, and full of glory! (3)
Jesus’ mother and father must certainly have been confused at times; raising a son like Jesus could not have been a boring experience. They first took Jesus to Jerusalem as a boy (4), and he stayed behind when they left. When they finally realized he was not in camp, they retraced their steps and caught up with him at the temple. The elders were sitting with their chins scraping the ground in amazement. Jesus was teaching the teachers, the religious elite of Israel. They’d never heard such wisdom, especially from a boy. Mary and Joseph were also amazed, worried and confused. Jesus seemed to treat it lightly; “Don’t you know I have to be about my Father’s business?”
We would be tempted to say that Jesus confused them. However, it is more accurate to say they were confused. It is also more in line with Scripture; For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Trace the life of Jesus backward from the temple incident about 10 years. See Jesus as a two-year-old, toddling around the carpenter’s shop. Watch as he nears the bench where Joseph is putting together a chair -- one of eight for a large order from a rich merchant. Inquisitively, Jesus begins to pick up one of Joseph’s sharp woodcarving knives. Jesus, son, No! Don’t touch those...they will hurt you. Can you see the face of Jesus as he looks at his father, looks back at the knife, smiles ever so demonically and sticks his tongue at Joseph? Can you see the Christ child stomping his feet and saying NO! Of course you cannot.
Even though Jesus was a two-year-old at one point, he never acted like one. Certainly he had to learn language and to like green beans; he had diaper issues too. Jesus did not however, have sin or seed of rebellion.
Therein is the root of the confusion for Mary, Joseph, and the rest of us humans; Mary and Joseph, like you and me, expect two-year-olds and twelve-year-olds (and fifty-year-olds) to be rebellious, selfish and self-absorbed. Jesus never did that. The confusion was (and is) ours. We expect things to go wrong, to see hatred, envy, planes fly into Trade Centers and Pentagons. That is the nature of a fallen world. When we see Jesus -- love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness -- it confuses us. That is why Paul urged us to think on things above (Philippians 4:8).
As a believer, you attempt to follow Christ and be His disciple. Remember, the world will not understand. They will be as confused as Mary and Joseph and the temple elders. But the confusion is theirs -- be about your Father’s business anyway!
When the boy grew up things began to happen. The entire world wanted to come near this miracle worker. They were all (as our text declares) seeking him. The word is æçôÝù in Greek. Now, the word itself can be used in the good or bad sense.(5)
Some followed Jesus to serve Him; some to kill Him. There is, incidentally, no middle ground here. All people are seeking, looking for that something in life that gives their life meaning.
Why is that? Two reasons,