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Summary: In this message we will see that Jesus came to reveal to us the relationship-driven God. (I Am Jesus - 8)

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He Came To

Replace Rules With Relationship

I Am Jesus – part 8

It was the final week of Jesus’ earthly life;

• He had entered the city of Jerusalem to the shouts of thousands

• He had cleared out of the temple (the house of God) those who were there for selfish and self-serving reasons

• He had taught the people about entering the kingdom of God

• He had answered the Sadducees questions about the resurrection

AND – in Matthew chapter 22 beginning at verse 34 we read the following;

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42“What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. 43He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, 44“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 45If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2"The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the Scriptures. 3So practice and obey whatever they say to you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4They crush you with impossible religious demands and never lift a finger to help ease the burden.

Prayer

IN – the second chapter of his book, ‘A Glimpse of Jesus,” Brennan Manning asks this question;

Who is the Jesus of YOUR journey? How would YOU describe the Christ who is the still point of a turning world for so many people and who is an irrelevancy or embarrassment for countless others?

UNDERSTAND – the question that Jesus asked in Matthew 16 still echoes today 2,000 years later… LET’S – quickly look at that scene again…

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

UNDERSTAND – there has always been many different opinions as to who Jesus is. “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. BUT NOTICE – that Jesus says, what other people think is not really the point… INSTEAD – the point, what matters is what each of us think about Him individually…

“But what about you? Who do you say I am?” AND - UNDERSTAND - Jesus is not wanting you to quote the answers that others have given over the years. He does not want you to simply recite the answers given by;

• Warren or Lucado

• Graham or Swindoll

• Luther or Calvin

• Steve or Ryckie

• Ms Laurie or Jake

• Your mom or your dad

• AND LISTEN – Jesus doesn’t even want you to simply recite the answers given 2,000 years ago by (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John…)

UNDERSTAND – in a very real way, right now (February 27, 2005)… Jesus is looking each one of us in the eyes (AND YES - He knows that you have read books, heard sermons, gone to conferences and seminars… YES - He knows that you have listened to other people talk about Jesus)… BUT – right now he is looking at you… AND – He is saying; But what about you? Who do you say I am?”

SO - [Tim]; what’s your answer? COME ON – no one else can answer it for you. [Tim…] - who is Jesus to you? Who do you say that he is… {Tim}… - describe the Jesus that you have personally experienced and encountered. AGAIN – Manning in his book, ‘A Glimpse Of Jesus Writes;’

One way I have come to know Jesus is by empathetic identification with marginal characters in the Gospel narrative. My background as a sergeant in the Marine Corps lends to relatively easy rapport with the centurion whose story Matthew relates. Remember the day that Jesus healed the centurions servant? The military man falls down and says, “Sir, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof. Just given an order and my boy will get better.” But the most revealing line in the story, according to Matthew is that Jesus was astonished.” He spun around and cried out, “I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this.” At last Jesus is saying – finally someone who understands me and what I want to be for my people; a savior of boundless compassion, unbearable forgiveness, infinite patience, and healing love. NOW - will the rest of you let me be who I am and stop imposing your small silly and self-styled ideas of who you think I ought to be.”

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