Summary: How We See Jesus, How We See Other People

I AM - I AM from Above

May 27, 2018

John 8:12-23 (p. 746)


[For the 15 years I ministered in Louisville I had the privilege of being on WJIE the Christian radio station 3 times a day doing a “Ministry Minute.” 60 seconds of encouragement, scripture, or just a story to help folks. I wanted you to know this backdrop for an encounter I had with a check out girl at Walmart one day.

I was paying for a book and used my debit card and when she saw my name she said, “Rick Burdette.” Are you Rick Burdette I hear every day on Christian radio?

And I said, “yup.” She said, “I love your ministry minutes.” And then she looked at me and said, “Gosh…you don’t look anything like I pictured you!”

And I said, “I know…the voice doesn’t match this Brad Pitt exterior…I get that all the time.” And we both cracked up laughing.]

It’s human nature to make some snap judgments about people when they use words like “Neked, battry, and y’all.” You assume the guy standing in front of you in the T-shirt and jeans is someone other than the guy in the suit.

But appearances can indeed be deceiving.

Jesus was about 30 years old when he began His public ministry…He was born in Bethlehem, the city of David, but grew up in a town called Nazareth…a village that was considered so poor and worthless that when Phillip said to Nathaniel he was from here…Nathaniel remarks “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

His earthly parents were Joseph a carpenter, and Mary…who’d been pregnant with Him before their marriage. They were poor…we know that during their time to give a sacrifice they gave 2 small doves, the smallest sacrifice possible…not because they were stingy…but because they were poor.

Jesus is the oldest…but He had brothers and sisters…at least 4.

By all appearances there sure wasn’t anything special about this man…with a Nazarene dialect…The people who came out to hear Him teach…knew where He was from. They knew His parents and His background. He’s a blue collar, poor son of a carpenter from a backwoods town. He was average…a dime a dozen…He wasn’t even good looking.

Let me show you a picture…It’s the picture of Jesus you grew up with in your head, or one like it.


Jesus looks like a movie star in this picture…Beautiful hair, strong features…a cross between Charlton Heston and Johnny Depp…A picture like this one hung over my mom’s bed the whole time I was growing up…It’s just easier to worship someone who looks like that.

Here’s the problem…Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”

If you believe scripture…and I do…Jesus might have looked a lot more like this.


Listen, I have no idea what Jesus physically looked like, but I do know that our human nature wants to make Him physically beautiful because physically beautiful people are better…right?

The people of Israel, especially it’s religious leaders, had a picture in the heads of what the coming Messiah would look like…and it sure wasn’t a “poor carpenter’s son from Nazareth.” They had judged Jesus with an earthly measuring stick. It’s why He tells them and us… “I AM FROM ABOVE.” There are some important questions to answer this morning…first of which…


Are we looking for someone to rescue us from all our difficulties? Are we keeping our eyes out for someone who will turn our enemies into grease spots (lightening sound!) Someone who will meet all my needs and make me powerful and popular?

How about a Messiah that only loves certain people…and will make everything better for you?

It would be easy to recognize a Savior like that when He shows up. After all, it’s just what you and I imagined He’d be like.

Folks, it’s not just the Pharisees of old that are looking for a Savior like that…it’s many in the church today…when Jesus addresses those who arrogantly assume they’ve got the Messiah all figured out, here’s what He says. (Read our text)

JOHN 8:12-23 (p. 746)

There are 4 different questions we must answer if we are to really see Jesus as the Messiah…the Savior…FROM ABOVE.


As this chapter begins, Jesus is teaching in the temple courts, crowds have gathered around Him and in the middle of His teaching, he is interrupted by the religious leaders who bring in a woman caught in adultery. They make her stand before the crowd and inform Jesus that the “Law” commands that she be stoned to death…They want to trap Jesus so they ask, “But what do you say we should do with such a woman?”

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