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Summary: Are you Jeremiah? (Matthew 16:14) (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 1-8.

• I won’t embarrass you this morning;

• By asking when was the last time your read through the book of Jeremiah?

I GUESS THERE ARE THREE REASONS WHY WE DON’T READ IT:

(a). Daunting.

• The book is 52 chapters long (second only to Isaiah 66 chapters),

• In fact it is the longest book in the Bible, containing more words than any other book.

• For many people it is too long a book to tackle with any enthusiasm.

(b). Difficult.

• The book is neither chronological nor in topical order,

• And so it is hard to follow.

• The writings have been bunched together in what seems an arbitrary fashion.

• We might call it a collection of collections.

(c). Depressing.

• As you read Jeremiah’s book it all seems to be bad news,

• His message to Judah is mainly negative.

• There is good news in his prophecy

• But it is hidden among so much bad news that it is easily overlooked.

• And Jeremiah himself experiences major heartache;

• And is treated with incredible cruelty by the people, priests, prophets and kings.

Oddly enough:

• Although we don’t read his book too often;

• Jeremiah is a key figure in the Old Testament & is one of the best known of all the prophets.

• The people of Jesus’ day certainly knew about him,

• And saw qualities in him that were also in Jesus himself.

5 Similarities:

(1). Both were set apart for a mission before they were born.

Jeremiah (chapter 1 verse 5):

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”.

Ill:

• Even his name "Jeremiah" means;

• "Whom Jehovah appoints." or “God sends”.

When we read those words in verse 5:

• We are straight away drawn away from Jeremiah;

• And back to God himself, where we see the creator, one who has a master plan.

• God informs Jeremiah that he was handmade for his task.

• His life was not down to chance but to design.

Ill:

• Friends round on Wednesday they have four children;

• Between the first two and the second two there is a nine year gap

• The experts had told them during those nine years;

• That it was impossible for them to have any more children.

• Then one day to their and the ‘experts’ surprise;

• She discovered that she was pregnant!

• In every sense of the word that baby was an ‘unplanned pregnancy’.

• Yet no-one could ever accuse Jeremiah of being an ‘unplanned pregnancy’.

Notice: twice in this verse God says “Before”:

• The first time it is used to reassure Jeremiah.

• That he is known by and created by the eternal God.

• The second time it is used is to give him confidence regarding his ministry.

• In fact two distinct things are mentioned.

• He is ‘set apart’ (consecrated) and ‘appointed’

• Jeremiah is first related to the Lord and then to his world.

Jesus:

• Would use the exact same wording concerning his own ministry,

• Ill: John chapter 10 verse 36:

“What about the one whom the Father SET APART as his very own AND SENT into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ’I am God’s Son’?”

In John chapter 10:

• We are breaking into a very passionate and dangerous argument;

• Between Jesus and what verse 22 calls “the Jews”:

• They are out for his blood and about to stone him;

• In verse 32: Jesus says “I’ve done great miracles, for which one will you kill me for”.

• In verse 33 they make it clear that they are not about to kill him for something he did,

• But for something that he said.

• These Jews had understood clearly that Jesus was claiming to be God.

• And to them that was blasphemy (refused the evidence of their own eyes it could be true!)

Ill:

• We tried to get Kathy to eat some curry on Monday.

• But she just kept saying; “I don’t like curry”

• We would say; “Try a little bit, you might like it”.

• But she would not because her mind was already made up!

In a similar way:

• These Jews could not entertain the idea that Jesus was who he claimed to be,

• Their minds were already made up!

So in answering them Jesus said in verse 36:

“What about the one whom the Father SET APART as his very own AND SENT into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ’I am God’s Son’?”

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