Summary: Jesus must be accepted or rejected, there is no middle ground!
JESUS: BELIEVE HIM OR NOT?
AUGUST 5, 2001
INTRODUCTION: A fool is not necessarily stupid he just doesn’t recognize the obvious.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal they lay down for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”
Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”
Holmes asked, “What does that tell you?”
Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is omnipotent and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
“What does it tell you?”
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “Watson, you meathead. Someone has stolen our tent.”
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day speaks to the issue of belief versus unbelief. It speaks of those who will oppose the gospel of Jesus, or specifically, Jesus, Himself. It also speaks of those who will embrace Jesus. The bottom line understanding here is that there are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe and those who don’t believe. To what category do you belong?
THESIS SENTENCE: Jesus must be accepted or rejected, there is no middle ground!
I. JESUS ON THE EVIDENCE
A. If it is so, make it clear (vs. 24)
1. How many times in your life have you not understood something and longed for some one to make it a little plainer?
2. The evidence was everywhere, but these skeptics needed some “Hard Proof!”
B. It is so, open your eyes!
1. Jesus has just worked all manner of miracles!
AN ASIDE: what is up with miracles in the Bible and why don’t we see a call from the scriptures for us to work miracles today? When Jesus ended His ministry on Earth, where had the miracles gotten Him? How do we respond to Miracles?
2. “I DID TELL YOU!” VERSE 25
ILLUSTRATION: In a Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comic strip Charlie Brown was playing catch with Lucy to prepare their old hapless losing team for the new baseball season. Charlie Brown proceeded to throw a high ball across the field to her. Lucy was ready for the ball to fly into her mitt. She lifted her head up to the sky, her hands were ready to field the ball, but not only did she not catch the ball, it hit her on the head instead. Then she suffered the indignity of Charlie Brown yelling at her: "Lucy, you’re the worst player in the history of the game!"
Of course, Lucy would not accept that from Charlie Brown, or anyone else for that matter. She shouted defiantly to Charlie Brown across the filed: "You can’t prove that! You should never say things that you can’t prove!"
That did not stop Charlie Brown from barking at her. Charlie Brown corrected himself and hollered back: "In all probability, you are the worst player in the history of the game!" Finally, Lucy whispered quietly and meekly, but triumphantly: "I can accept that."
II. JESUS ON THE OPPOSITION
A. Believe it or Not?
1. Jesus had spoken plainly!
2. In chapter 9, verses 24 through 34, the Pharisees where even lectured about this very issue by a man healed of blindness.
3. Verses 32 and 33 of this chapter are the real kicker, “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.
4. Don’t believe me, believe what you eyes tell you, miracles (verses 37-38)!”
B. Unbelief separates the sheep from the goats
1. “I did tell you, but you did not believe (verse 25)!”
2. “You do not believe because you are not my sheep (verse 26).”
3. FINALLY, JESUS REPLIES TO THE JEWS, “I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE (verse 30)!”
4. “Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him (verse 31).”
5. The whole argument gets wild here! Jesus asks the Jews, “For which of these (miracles) do you stone me (verse 32)?”
6. Verse 39 says, “Again they tried to seize him…”
An Aside here: What happens when you do the will of God? What is Satan’s greatest Goal? Will there always be nay sayers? Will there always be opposition to Jesus? WHY?
7. The Jews reply to the claims of Jesus, “Blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God (verse 33).”
ILLUSTRATION: Boudreaux was out fishin’ when he came back in with a boat load of fish. The game warden was watchin’ and came and said, "Boudreaux, how you caught all dem fish?" And Boudreaux say, "Com’ see."