Summary: Bridges bring us together. Walls seperate us.
TEXT: John 4:1-14
1. Bridges really fascinate me.
2. How many of you have ever crossed the Mackinac Bridge?
3. List of famous bridges and theirlengths.
4. Bridges bring people and things together.
5. Whoever designed them was a great benefactor to man.
6. First one was probably a tree.
7. Remember the suspension bridges of your youth.
8. They became a place to meet, mingle and talk.
9. The Famous Brooklyn bridge joined two great cities into one.
10. Imagine what would happen if all of the bridges everywhere collapsed.
I. Bridges are symbols.
A. Most of us are lonely but we are afraid to let people into our lives.
B. We really do need each other like the earth needs the falling rain.
C. Man is a social being, isolated by sin.
D. We should thank God for the many bridge builders. Even more so those who build spiritual bridges.
II. Walls are symbols too.
A. Consider what the Berlin wall did to a people.
B. When the Berlin wall finally came down many families hardly knew each other any more.
C. Selfishness --I’m concerned only about myself
1. The rich fool--notice the pronouns.(Luke 12:16-21).
2. Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19ff).
D. Faithlessness--don’t trust self and others.
1. Story of the Farmer and the boy he thought had stolen his money.
2. The Prophet at the fork in the road.
E. Fear often builds walls.
1. One talent servant--
Matthew 24:25-28 "See, I have told you beforehand. 26 "Therefore if they say to you, ’Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ’Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
F. The choice is yours
1. We can build bridges.
2. We can build walls.
III. Christ is our example of a bridge builder.
A. He spent his life building bridges and knocking down walls.
C. He broke down walls erected by self righteousness of the pharisees and scribes.
Luke 15:1-2 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
Luke 19:5-7 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."
1. Selected Matthew a publican.
D. He broke down the wall between the Jews and the Gentiles
Ephesians 2:13-17 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.
E. He built bridges into the lives of individuals--Mary, martha, Lazarus, Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea.
F. He never built a wall around himself.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
G. He is the greatest, highest, and strongest bridge ever built--over the river of sin.
H. Like Jacob’s ladder that reached form Heaven to Earth. Christ is the mediator that reaches from God to Man.
1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."
I. It is built of the cross, his body, and his blood.
J. It spans the chasm between time and eternity--sinful man and heaven.
K. Satan thought he could make the cross a wall.
L. God turned Satan’s wall into a bridge