Summary: If we believe in the value of our world that bigger is better, our actions and decisions will be controlled by people rather than by God.
At The Festival
Oct 23, 2011 John 7:1-24
Our journey the last little while through the Gospel of John has had, at its core, a desire to discover the Biblical Jesus. To see Jesus as He really comes to us in Scripture, not just as we imagine Him or like Him to be. I came across this on a website I use sometimes for sermon prep, sermoncentral.com:
In a posting just this last June, Kevin DeYoung, in his Restless and Reformed blog, describes what people say about Jesus today.
There's Republican Jesus—who is against tax increases and activist judges, for family values and owning firearms.
There's Democrat Jesus—who is against Wall Street and Wal-Mart, for reducing our carbon footprint and printing money.
There's Therapist Jesus—who helps us cope with life’s problems, heals our past, tells us how valuable we are and not to be so hard on ourselves.
There's Starbucks Jesus—who drinks fair trade coffee, loves spiritual conversations, drives a hybrid, and goes to film festivals.
There's Open-minded Jesus—who loves everyone all the time no matter what (except for people who are not as open-minded as you).
There's Touchdown Jesus—who helps athletes run faster and jump higher than non-Christians and determines the outcomes of Super Bowls.
There's Martyr Jesus—a good man who died a cruel death so we can feel sorry for him.
There's Gentle Jesus—who was meek and mild, with high cheek bones, flowing hair, and walks around barefoot, wearing a sash (while looking very German).
There's Hippie Jesus—who teaches everyone to give peace a chance, imagines a world without religion, and helps us remember that all you need is love.
There's Yuppie Jesus—who encourages us to reach our full potential, reach for the stars, and buy a boat.
There's Spirituality Jesus—who hates religion, churches, pastors, priests, and doctrine, and would rather have people out in nature, finding the god within while listening to ambiguously spiritual music.
There's Platitude Jesus—good for Christmas specials, greeting cards, and bad sermons, inspiring people to believe in themselves.
There's Revolutionary Jesus—who teaches us to rebel against the status quo, stick it to the man, and blame things on the system.
There's Guru Jesus—a wise, inspirational teacher who believes in you and helps you find your center.
There's Boyfriend Jesus—who wraps his arms around us as we sing about his intoxicating love in our secret place.
There's Good Example Jesus—who shows you how to help people, change the planet, and become a better you.
And then, DeYoung says, there’s Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Not just another prophet. Not just another Rabbi. Not just another wonder-worker. He was the one they had been waiting for: the Son of David and Abraham’s chosen seed; the one to deliver us from captivity; the goal of the Mosaic law; Yahweh in the flesh; the one to establish God’s reign and rule; the one to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, freedom to the prisoners and proclaim Good News to the poor; the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world...
This Christ is not a reflection of the current mood or the projection of our own desires. He is our Lord and God. He is the Father’s Son, Savior of the world, and substitute for our sins – more loving, more holy, and more wonderfully terrifying than we ever thought possible.
(Kevin DeYoung, Who Do You Say That I Am? from his DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed blog, posted 6-10-09. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Take A Risk, 11/5/2009). Copied from sermon central.
Last week we looked at the story of Jesus healing a man in Jerusalem who had been sick for 38 years, but because He healed him on the Sabbath, Jesus landed Himself in a mess of trouble with the Jewish leaders by commanding this healed man to break the law (by carrying his mat on the Sabbath). That had been at a previous festival, and after the healing and some subsequent follow-up conversation, Jesus returns to Galilee. In Chapter 6, He feeds the 5000 and then proceeds to challenge the crowds about their true motives for following Him, which results in John’s report that many of his disciples turned away and deserted him (Jn 6:66). So a once-booming, popular ministry seems to be losing ground.
Time comes for the next major Jewish festival, and we pick up the story in John 7.
John 7:1-24 (NLT):
1 After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting his death. 2 But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters, 3 and Jesus’ brothers said to him, Leave here and go to Judea, where your followers can see your miracles! 4 You can’t become famous if you hide like this! If you can do such wonderful things, show yourself to the world! 5 For even his brothers didn’t believe in him.