Summary: Followers of Jesus Christ must be more concerned with God’s “main things” than with side issues.
Who Is This Jesus?
17. He is our King of Righteousness
March 12/13, 2005
MAIN IDEA: Those who persecuted Jesus were more concerned with ritual cleanliness than with pleasing God with their actions.
It is easy for religious people to get fixated on certain smaller parts of God’s laws and lose track of the more important things.
Followers of Jesus Christ must be more concerned with God’s “main things” than with side issues.
Key verse: 28Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.
People who hear this message will be reminded/taught what God considers most important.
People will be challenged to examine their lives for places they may be disobeying in major areas of their life with Christ while keeping up religious appearances.
Is anybody here a procrastinator like me? I don’t do it all the time – but there are definitely times in my life when I will do almost ANYTHING to avoid doing something that really needs to be done.
For me I sometimes avoid doing the important work of prayer and Bible study and preparation to speak by doing such things as organizing my files or checking email over and over, or following rabbit trails on the internet. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has this problem!
Basically what is happening when we do this is that instead of focusing on what is really important – we turn our attention to other, less important matters or even trivial matters. The result is a loss of productivity in our lives.
But what about when we do this in our spiritual lives? What happens then?
As we move now to the end of the Gospel of John, we’re getting into that part which is most dear to us as disciples of Jesus Christ. This week and the next 3 weeks we’ll be hearing the story of that last night and agonizing day of Jesus’ life, and the amazing ending to the story that we celebrate on Easter.
As you listen to the scripture in John 18 now – I encourage you to listen as if you’re hearing the story for the first time. You’ve been following along as Jesus has done miracles and taught his disciples and shared the Passover meal – ending with a lengthy prayer for his disciples and all who would follow after them. Now we pick up the story…
1When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it.
2Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
4Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
5“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
11Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Jesus Taken to Annas
12Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter’s First Denial
15Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17“You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter.