Summary: This sermon is a wrap up of my series "Devoted To Jesus." Much of the sermon is an adaption of Chapter 14 from Philip Yancy’s book, "The Jesus I Never Knew." The sermon is about 5 impressions of Jesus
A. I hope you’ve had a great Christmas and holiday week.
1. We are really enjoying having our girls home from college, and seeing so many others who are visiting during the holidays.
B. With all the difficulties that come with traveling these days, I thought you might get a kick out of this story.
1. A family was flying to visit relatives during the Christmas holiday.
2. They arrived at O’hare airport for their trip.
3. As you may know, O’hare airport is long known for it’s winter-weather flight delays and cancellations, long security-check lines, and lost luggage.
4. As the family was checking in their luggage, they noticed mistletoe hanging over the weigh-in scale.
5. The young son asked his dad, “Why is that mistletoe hanging up there?”
6. Without missing a beat, the father replied, “Well, my guess is so you can kiss your luggage goodbye.”
7. I hope and pray that everyone’s travels are safe and without incident on their return trips.
C. Today, as we worship on the last Sunday of 2007, we are finishing up our series called “Devoted To Jesus.”
1. About four months ago we started this series with the hope that we would be able to take another look at Jesus, and in doing so we would come away with a clearer understanding of Jesus, which would result in a greater appreciation for and devotion to our Lord and Savior.
2. I hope and pray that that is exactly what has happened as we have taken another look at the pre-existence of Jesus, the Jewishness of Jesus, the birth of Jesus and His quiet years.
3. We have looked at His baptism, His temptation, and the Dream team He assembled.
4. We have looked at His relationship with Sinners, His power, and His teaching.
5. And we have investigated His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and second coming.
D. So how do we wrap up such a study?
1. I think we start by admitting that the study of Jesus has no end.
2. Jesus is impossible to categorize; He cannot be boxed in.
3. Jesus is radically unlike anyone else who has ever lived.
4. One person described the difference between Jesus and everyone else in this way, “It is the difference between the one who is an example of living and the one who is the life itself.” (Charles Williams).
5. What I would like to offer you today is a series of impressions of Jesus.
6. These impressions in no way form a whole picture of Jesus, but these are facets of Jesus that we should be trying to understand and appreciate.
I. Jesus is the God Man.
A. Sometimes I think that it would have been easier if God had just given us a set of ideas to either accept or reject.
1. But that’s not what God gave us, He gave us Himself in the form of a person.
2. Jesus pointed to Himself and said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (Jn. 14:6)
B. The duel nature of Jesus is part of the mystery of Jesus.
1. How did this Galilean Jew with a family and a hometown come to be worshiped as God?
2. Jesus never trivialized or waffled about His identity. He knew who He was!
3. He accepted Peter’s prostrate worship.
4. To the lame man and an adulterous woman and to many others, He said authoritatively, “I forgive your sins.”
C. Jesus’ audacious claims about himself pose what may be the central question of all history, the dividing point between Christianity and other religions.
1. Although Muslims and many Jews respect Jesus as a great teacher and prophet, no Muslim can imagine Mohammed claiming to be Allah any more than a Jew can imagine Moses claiming to be Yahweh.
2. That’s what makes Jesus and His claims so different from any other religious leader before or after Him.
3. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher, He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
D. And so, Jesus’ entire life stands or falls on His claim to be God.
1. I cannot trust His promised forgiveness unless He has the authority to back up such an offer.
2. I cannot trust His words about the other side, “I go to prepare a place for you…,” unless I believe what He said about coming from the Father and returning to the Father.