Summary: The third message in a series looking at what keeps us from really dreaming great things for God.
“Burrs in Our Saddle”
Are You an Old Dog?
INTRODUCTION: It is amazing to me the lengths a horse will go to removing, or trying to remove a burr under its saddle. The burr, as small as it is, is a source of great discomfort. That burr causes major discomfort to the horse. Discomfort to the point of action.
Where are our comfort zones?
Interaction with people
What moves us out of our comfort zone? What is the burr that brings us to the point of action? Just like the horse, it is pain. When we are placed in a position where the pain and discomfort of moving is less than the pain and discomfort of staying, we will move!
I TWO ILLUSTRATIONS OF MOVING OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES
1 John 3:1-7 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." 3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." 4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!" 5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ’You must be born again.’
a Nicodemus comes at night
1) Protecting his comfort zone
(1) Responsible for the Religious Decisions
(1) Responsible for Civil Rule
b Challenged by Jesus
1) “Must be born again” – Start over Spiritually
a) Nicodemus needed to start over spiritually BECAUSE he did not understand WHO Jesus was
(1) “teacher come from God”
(1) Jesus was more than a “teacher come from God”, he was God!
2) Challenge to leave his comfort zone
2 John 7:45-53 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, "Why didn’t you bring him in?" 46"No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards declared. 47"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. 48"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them." 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51"Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?" 52They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." 53 Then each went to his own home.
a Nicodemus responds to what is being said, and questions the conclusions of the council
b Nicodemus is struggling with the value of his comfort zone and the claims of Christ
3 John 19:38-42 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
a Nicodemus comes to claim the body of Jesus
b VERY public
1) Had to ask permission
2) Availability of records
3) Roman and Council interest in the “friends of Jesus”
c Nicodemus is identified with Christ by his action
1) Nicodemus has moved from fear to action
2) Claimed the body
3) Provided the spices – about 75 pounds!
4) Provided the grave
5) Provided the grave clothes
6) Covered the cost
7) Done PUBLICLY
Ø NICODEMUS GOT HONEST CONCERNING THE TRUTH OF CHRIST
Ø NICODEMUS’S HONESTY WITH THE TRUTH OF CHRIST BECAME MORE IMPORTANT THAN HIS COMFORT ZONE
Ø WHEN JESUS BECOMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING WE COULD LOSE, WE MOVE
NOTICE: THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT THE ONES TO COME FOR THE BODY.
Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It’s a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." 28"Lord, if it’s you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."