Summary: Pentecost 13 (C) - God’s word of truth divides. We see this truth in Jesus’ life. We may also see this truth divides in our lives.
GOD’S TRUTH DIVIDES (Outline)
August 30, 2009 --
PENTECOST 13 --
INTRO: Good and evil, light and darkness are opposites. They have nothing in common with each other. God’s word judges and divides in much the same simple manner. One time Jesus’ enemies accused him of using the power of Satan to perform miracles. This was not the truth. A house divided against itself cannot stand. "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters"(MATTHEW 12:30). People are either for God or against God, there is no middle ground. We consider:
GOD’S TRUTH DIVIDES.
I. We see this in Jesus’ life.
II. We may see this in our life.
I. WE SEE GOD’S TRUTH DIVIDES IN JESUS’ LIFE
A. Jesus’ life was fast approaching a crucial crossroads, his cruel crucifixion. Jesus knew this future.
1. Jesus is the only person born with the purpose of dieing. This death was a pain-filled torture.
2. Before dieing Jesus would be betrayed, rejected, unjustly convicted, beaten, and exhausted.
B. Every day Jesus was very, very aware of the future that his Father had chosen for him.
1. No wonder verse 50. Jesus would be baptized with a baptism of terrible suffering.
2. “Distressed” is the same word in Philippians 1:23 for “torn”: between heaven and earth.
a. Humanly Jesus was not excited about dieing. b. Divinely Jesus was eager to die for all sin.
3. John had already baptized Jesus. Jesus coming baptism was to partake of the cup of suffering.
C. Why would Jesus suffer and die by crucifixion? Did he ever think, say, or do anything evil? NO!
1. Jesus simply taught God’s truth and lived by God’s truth. God’s truth divided.
2. Jesus was the Bread of life – the people grumbled. Jesus was God’s Son – blasphemy.
D. God’s truth divides. The truth of God’s word eventually even divided Jesus from his earthly life. God’s truth still divides today. There are some who find it difficult to understand the scriptural teaching of Jesus’ sacrifice. Some feel that a loving, heavenly Father would not demand the life of his Son to be given up in such a horrendous manner. God’s truth is divine truth. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Yes, Scripture does teach “blood theology”. "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our con-sciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"(HEBREWS 9:14).
E. Jesus suffered and died for God’s truth. He lived a perfect live. We ought not to think our lives are exempt from suffering. Evil people consider Christians to be a “soft-touch”. All too often there are those who will always take advantage of the generosity and kindness of the believer. We are not happy at all when someone takes advantage of our faithful acts of love for God that we show to those in need. Many, many took advantage of Jesus. Can we expect anything different? "But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps" (1 PETER 2:20b, 21). Help others. Be kind and generous. If people take advantage of you because of your love for God --- that is not bad.
F. Jesus said he was distressed about his approaching suffering and death. This is the same word as torn. This same word is also used in Corinthians, “compels”. Jesus was torn knowing his death would bring great suffering. He was also torn wanting to carry out his love in obeying his Father’s will. Jesus showed the depth of his love to all mankind, by his death. How and why would Jesus do this? Jesus was com-pelled. He could not help but do what God required. Now Paul uses this same idea concerning Jesus’ mission and our Christian life. "For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2 CORINTHIANS 4:14,15). We love because God first loved us. We live for others Justas Jesus lived, died, and rose again out of love for all the lost.
GOD’S TRUTH DIVIDES.
We see Jesus’ life and death divided him from everything that was worldly.
II. WE MAY SEE GOD’S TRUTH DIVIDE IN OUR LIFE.
A. Jesus was distressed, torn, and compelled to face his suffering and death soon to come.
1. Verse 49. Fire could mean the fire on Judgment Day or the fire of Jesus’ present judgment.