Summary: This message is the fourth in the "I AM" series that focuses on knowing Jesus. It looks at Jesus’ statement, "I am the Good Shepherd" and at the core of our faith - Jesus’ work of salvation.

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“I AM: The Jesus We Think We Know”

Part 4 – Jesus to the Rescue

NewSong Church – 08/12/07

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Video Clip - “Jesus Condemns You”

[full clip]

The Jesus We Think We Know

This morning we continue our series, “I AM: The Jesus We Think We Know.” We can find many misconceptions about Jesus concerning his identity, and this video illustrates a very common perception of Jesus. Many people believe that Jesus came to earth with one goal in mind: to tell me how much of a loser I am.

If you have ever read Douglas Adams’ “Hitch hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” you may recall a character named Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged, an immortal being driven by one goal: to insult everybody in the Universe, alphabetically. In the story, the main character, Arthur Dent, has been stranded in the prehistoric earth era when a spaceship appears, lands and a tall figure strolls out, looks at Arthur and says, “You’re a jerk, Arthur Dent. A complete kneebiter.”

Jesus Condemns You

This is often the idea that some have created about Jesus. They don’t see Jesus, the Son of God who came to earth because of love. They don’t see Jesus, the miracle-worker, healing the sick and ministering to people in need. They don’t know Jesus, the Savior of the World who died for the sin of all humanity in order to make us right with and acceptable to God. They aren’t aware of the Jesus who works within us and is returning for us.

But they have heard of the Jesus who condemns them. They know all about the Jesus who looks at them and says, “You’re not good enough.” They have experienced rejection from the Jesus who is too busy, too important, too holy.

For many people, their understanding of Jesus is that he came from God or somewhere in order to tell us how much wrong we’re doing, to highlight the failures and flaws in our lives, and to guilt-trip us into doing something good, usually for a church.

Perhaps you’ve even experienced these feelings? Maybe the last time you failed in something, came up short in some area of your personal life – you know, those areas where we find ourselves involved in something that we know we shouldn’t be involved in, and we get caught up, and afterwards we sit there feeling angry with ourselves, or disappointed, or guilty… and what is our view of Jesus at that moment? Do we think of Jesus beside us, hand on our shoulder saying, “it’s gonna be ok, I understand”? Or do we have the more common view – that Jesus is looking down from heaven, going “Tsk, tsk, tsk,” or shaking his head in righteous disappointment, or just sitting there watching and muttering, “I’m gonna get you for that. You are gonna pay, big time.”

People have a messed up view of Jesus.

This view, this “Jesus Condemns You” mentality is not even close to the truth about Jesus Christ. In fact, we have Jesus’ own words, found in John 3:16-17 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. I have come not to judge the world, but to save it.”

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