Summary: Christ is imminently knowable, not just as he appeared in the flesh, but in his innermost character and as ultimate Truth.
Note 1: This sermon can be used as a companion sermon to "Knowing God," which is also posted on Sermon Central. They are not redundant, and may be used separately or presented on consecutive occasions.
Note 2: I have developed some simple PowerPoint slides that I used in presenting this sermon. If anyone is interested in them send your request to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Knowing God slides" and I will send the PowerPoint file along with the sermon notes in MS Word with prompts I used to remind to advance slides or activate animations.
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2 Cor 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him in this way no longer.
I believe the deepest, most penetrating revelation of the identity of Jesus and his relationship with his Father are in the account given by the apostle John. For example,
• 1:1 John’s gospel account begins by saying, “In the beginning was the word.” Reading on, we learn that the “word” was Christ.
• 4:26 Speaking with a woman of Samaria about the Messiah, he said “I that speak to you am he.” While we might wonder at his revealing it to a Samaritan woman, it is the key truth that all men and women everywhere are called upon to believe.
• 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
• 10:30 I and the Father are one.
• 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life (In chapters 14-17 we see directly and deeply into Jesus’ heart)
• 15:1 I am the true vine. V6 “anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up.”
• 18:57 (to Pilate) You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born…
In John’s account, he calls God his Father over 100 times.
Over half the book is given to the last days of Jesus.
A current of thought runs through the gospel – faith is necessary to recognizing Christ’s identity as truth, and that truth, when it is known, frees the believer from the most oppressive tyrant, sin.
John’s purpose in writing this account of Jesus’ life and work was to acquaint the reader with Jesus’ true identity – not just a baby, a boy, or a man but as the Christ, and to produce belief in him as the Son sent by God.
There is a difference between knowing about Christ, and knowing Christ.
John 20:31 These have been written, so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
To believe in Christ we must know him:
2 Tim 1:12 …I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
To know Christ, we must be acquainted with and seriously consider his claims about himself.
Jesus’ claims in John 8:
Although Jesus’ claims are scattered throughout John’s book and the other accounts, there is one concentrated collection in the 8th chapter. Whereas Jesus had discouraged any bold advertising of himself by people he healed in the early part of his ministry, now he confronts the scribes and Pharisees in a very public way with one jaw-dropping declaration after another—things the listeners considered arrogant and blasphemous.
These things were said in the treasury of the temple, which according to the Mishnah, was an area in the Court of Women, where 13 containers were located to receive offerings donated for various purposes. I want to look at some of them, although time will not allow us to examine them all.
John 8:12 I am the light of the world.
John 8:14 You do not know where I came from, or where I am going.
John 8:15 I am judging no one
John 8:16 My judgment is true, for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent me.
John 8:23 You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not (check wording)
John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.
John 8:26 The things I heard from him [God], these I speak to the world.
John 8:28 When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he.