Summary: Many times we major on the minors, God wants us to get our focus on the big picture for the glory of His Kingdom!
Focusing on the Big Picture
6/24/2007 A.M. Service
New Bethel Baptist Church
Intro: It is so easy to develop tunnel vision, to miss the big picture entirely, and to begin to major on the minors. In our self centered society, it is so easy for all attention to focus inward and for us to become self absorbed.
Where I work, there is an associate that everyday has an idea of what “we” should be doing that day. The only problem is that his suggestions always revolve around what would benefit him the most. I always tell him that I appreciate his guidance, but I remind him that there are a lot of tasks going on in our department and not all of them center around him.
Text: We see a lot of ourselves in the disciples sometimes, in the things that they focused on.
Acts 1:6-8 “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Here the Disciples ask an important question, but at an inappropriate time. They ask Jesus, “wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” No doubt we can see the focus of their heart, after years of Roman oppression they were longing for the Messiah to come and set them free. Remember when Jesus came into Jerusalem on that first day of the Passion week, how that the crowd cheered for him and hailed him? They were looking for a conquering deliverer not a suffering servant that we see pictured in Isaiah 53. Even at the time of Christ’ ascension the Disciples were not focusing on the big picture. Jesus had to remind them of the task at hand, the task to evangelize a world dying and headed for a devil’s hell!
Now back to our text Matthew 24:1-2 “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Again look at the focus of the Disciples. They brought Jesus, the creator of the universe, the One who controlled the winds and seas. The One who had called forth Lazarus from the grave and the dead came forth. The One who had turned the water into wine, cast out demons, healed the blind, lame, and sick. They brought the Messiah to show Him a Temple man had built! So what was Jesus’ response? He simply said, “See ye not all these things?” And the answer for them was as it is for us most of the time, a resounding no! No, we don’t see the big picture! We focus on our own petty concerns, our own trivialities, our own struggles, when there is something much greater, something more excellent that we should be focusing on. Look with me if you would at this passage this morning and pray that God would help us as we study the Olivet Discourse to “Focus on the big picture.”
Notice with me first of all:
I. The Disciples limited view – Matthew 24:1-2
A. The Disciples were inspired by the beauty of the Temple Vrs. 1 The Temple was 500 yards long by 400 yards wide. Herod’s rebuilding work began in 19 B.C. and was finally completed in 65 A.D. No doubt if we viewed this building, we would be awestruck much like they were. But Jesus had seen this all before, His face was fixed on Calvary. He had a task before Him as do we.
B. Jesus instructed them to take a closer look – Vrs 2 “See ye not all these things?” We think we have a pretty good grasp on things, then all of a sudden things get out of our control. The doctor comes in with a bad diagnosis. The job we thought was secure is gone. The child we had prayed for and who has been so healthy is sick and they say nothing can be done. Our life can change in a split second, things we perceived as rock solid can be torn down stone by stone, then what? Just remember what God’s Word says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Not only do we see their limited view in this passage, but notice next with me.