Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Jesus Is Better- The Better Messenger".
Series: Jesus Is Better- The Better Messenger [#4]
BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE
As most of you know, I grew up here in Hobbs. In our backyard were several trees. There was an apricot tree, an apple tree, a plum tree, and a mulberry tree. Now the apricot tree and mulberry tree was big enough to climb and were both in strategic locations. The mulberry tree was by the house and was very useful for getting on the house to hide or get a good view of the neighborhood. The apricot tree, although it was shorter, was by the alley (actually a street) and was great for quick escapes or for our street wars. You know, throwing apricots at your friends and neighbors. I remember one particular summer day when there wasn’t much to do and my brother and I decided to create some excitement. We climbed to the middle of the apricot tree and as cars drove by we would throw apricots at the. Well, people would stop and look but could not figure out what was happening. As another car came by we threw some more apricots and my brother cried out, “I got him” and all of a sudden, we were pulled out of the tree and our dad said “You got him and I’ve got you”! We learned that day that we had barked up the wrong tree.
Hebrew 2:5-10 (NIV)
“It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”
I want us to look at 3 types of spiritual position mankind can place in reference to a tree.
1. The man behind the tree.
In Genesis we are told that Adam had 6 obligations:
To replenish the earth with children.
To use nature for his physical needs.
To have dominion over animal life.
To eat fruit and vegetables.
To labor for his sustenance.
To obey God by abstaining from eating the forbidden fruit.
Unfortunately, man did not obey God, and look where we find Adam and Eve. They were behind the tree hiding. Why? Sin causes us to want to hide from God and it breaks fellowship with God. Sin is embarrassing. We want to cover sin up or hide it. Because of sin, mankind’s status here on earth changed. Due to sin, mankind not only lost its dominion over creation, but would have to pay the wages of sin which is death. All of creation which had been good to man was now full of weeds and poisons. Sin is weeds and poison to our lives still today. Adam was the man behind the tree, are you also? What are you hiding from God? Don’t forget, God can see through whatever you are hiding behind.
Adam was the man behind the tree, now let’s look at…
2. The man up the tree.
When searching for something or someone, up in a tree is a good place to be. A man name Zaccheus climbed a tree in search of Jesus. Zaccheus needed hope and in that tree, that day, he found his eternal hope, Jesus Christ. Are you searching this morning? Look no further because Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. I heard a commercial that said, “Man can live without food for 40 days, without sleep for 12 days, without water for 6 days, and without oxygen for 5 minutes; but how long can man live without hope?”
Adam was behind the tree hiding, Zaccheus was up the tree searching, and now let’s look at…
3. The man on the tree.
Hebrews 2:9-10 (NIV)
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.”