Summary: A look at some of the ways that we make up who Jesus is rather than digging into the Scripture to find out who He really is.
WHY DO I NEED TO READ THE BIBLE IF I'VE ALREADY ACCEPTED JESUS? You have not just been called to believe in Jesus, but to follow Jesus.
- Matthew 4:19; Matthew 8:22; Matthew 9:9; Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24; Matthew 19:21; Mark 1:17; Mark 2:14; Mark 8:34; Mark 10:21; Luke 5:27; Luke 9:23, 59, 61; Luke 18:22; John 1:43; John 8:12; John 10:27.
SO WHY IS THE BIBLE SO NECESSARY TO DO THAT? Because Jesus isn’t who you think He is.
- Two examples:
a. Matthew 11:2-3 – John the Baptist doubts.
- Here is John the Baptist, cousin of the Savior and forerunner of the Messiah, sending his disciples to ask Jesus: “Are the Messiah or not?” It’s a stunning moment. It speaks to how different Jesus was from what people expected the Messiah to be.
- Why did John doubt like that? Probably because he was sitting in prison when he expected Jesus to usher in a political kingdom that vanquished the Romans. Maybe when he was first arrested he thought, “Ok – now everything is coming to a head. We’re going to see everything break loose now.” Then he sat and sat and sat. And nothing happened. Finally, he reached a point of doubting whether Jesus was the Messiah or not.
- Of course, we know that Jesus had a much larger plan and vision in mind. But for John, Jesus wasn’t who he thought He was.
b. John 6:66, 68.
- After Jesus shares some hard teaching, we see the crowd wandering away shaking their heads. They’re walking away from Jesus! They were intrigued for a while by the miracles, but then they didn’t like what they heard.
- In what is not exactly a ringing endorsement, Jesus asks Peter if he’s going to leave to and he replies, “Who else has the words of eternal life?” Not “Of course not!” or “I don’t want to leave You!” but basically saying, “What choice to we have – you have the words we need.”
- They weren’t walking away, but there’s no doubt that Jesus wasn’t who they thought He was.
- If you’re basing your understanding of Jesus on what you know from movies or from popular understanding of Jesus, you really don’t understand Jesus very well.
- Now let me acknowledge up front that learning what Jesus is really like is not always an easy thing. He will challenge you. He will step on your toes. He will alter your worldview. He will bring your faults and failings into the light.
- It’s not an easy thing to get to know the real Jesus, but it is completely worth it. Knowing the real Jesus is to know the real truth. Knowing the real Jesus is to have insight into the true path to God. Knowing the real Jesus is to be able to transform our souls into something beautiful and honorable.
- But to get to know Jesus you have to dig into the Word, wanting to understand what He taught both in His speech and by His actions. You have to want to know Jesus – it’s not going to happen by accident.
- As you listen to people talk about Jesus, most try to find a way to make Jesus fit into the category that they’re already in.
- Amazingly, Jesus is claimed by Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Communists, Anarchists, Libertarians, Environmentalist – basically every stripe of the political spectrum.
- How does that happen? Like we’ve been talking about, we tend to look for ways that Jesus endorses what we’ve already decided that we believe. The parts where Jesus says things that don’t fit with our pre-existing beliefs we deliberately ignore. Therefore, we see liberals who quote “Judge not” while ignoring what the Bible says about homosexuality. We see conservatives who like what the Bible says about the need for personal morality while ignoring what it says about God’s compassion for the poor.
- The real Jesus doesn’t fit into our pre-existing categories. You’ve got to seek Him out and take Him in all His wild splendor.
FOUR EXAMPLES FROM JESUS' LIFE:
1. Most people think, “Jesus would never hurt someone’s feelings.”
- Go through the Matthew verses, especially chapter 23, and look at the words of face-to-face rebuke that Jesus spoke.
2. Most people think, “Jesus did not get angry.”
- Just go over the Mark verses.
- Jesus cleansed the temple.
- Among the actions He took:
a. Driving out those who were buying and selling.