Our Savior Is Supreme!
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - November 16, 2016
(Revised August 20, 2019)
*Tonight in John 7:14-24 we will focus on the supremacy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And our Savior Is Supreme! This sure truth shows up all over the New Testament. We can see it in Scriptures like John 5:24-27, where Jesus said:
24. "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
25. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
26. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
27. and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man."
*Our Savior is Supreme! Colossians 1:15-20 says this about Jesus:
15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
18. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
20. and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
*In 1 Timothy 6:13-16, Paul wrote these words to Timothy:
13. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
14. that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing,
15. which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,
16. who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.
*Then in Revelation 19:11-16, the Apostle John gave this testimony about Jesus:
11. Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
12. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
13. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
14. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
15. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
*Our Savior is Supreme! And there are many other examples in Scripture. Actually, there are many more examples than I ever realized before, because the main original word for "Lord" in the New Testament means "the one who is supreme in authority." This word is found almost 750 times in the New Testament, and the vast majority of those times it's referring directly to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
*Every time someone called Jesus "Lord" in the New Testament, they were saying, "Jesus, You are supreme!" And we may not realize it, but every time we call Jesus "Lord" we are saying, "Jesus you are supreme!"
*Our Savior is supreme! And this Scripture helps us see why.
1. FIRST, HE HAS UNLIMITED UNDERSTANDING.
*By every measure, from every angle, Jesus Christ has wisdom and understanding that far surpasses our own. He is infinite in His wisdom and knowledge. We can see this truth in vs. 14-17:
14. Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught.
15. And the Jews marveled, saying, "How does this Man know letters, having never studied?''
16. Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
17. If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
*Remember that Jesus was now at the annual Feast of the Tabernacles, and we will go into detail about this feast when we get to "the last day, that great day of the feast" in John 7:37. The Apostle John went into great detail about the events connected to this Feast of the Tabernacles. John Phillips tells us that this part of John's Gospel stretches from John 7:1 all the way to John 10:21. (1)
*But here in vs. 15, the Pharisees couldn't stand it that Jesus knew more than they did! They couldn't stand it, and they couldn't understand it, because Jesus had never been to their higher schools of learning.
*But Jesus knew the Word of God, because He wrote it! It was His Holy Spirit Who moved the prophets of old to write what they did. And notice that everything the Lord taught ultimately came from His Heavenly Father. That's why in vs. 16, Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me."
*You see, there is a paradox between the Lord's humanity and divinity. When Christ humbled Himself to be born as a little baby, He had to learn the same kind of things we learned. Jesus had to be potty trained. He had to learn how to walk and talk and read. He was fully man. But at the same time, Jesus was fully God, as He always has been and always will be.
*Yes, Jesus became a man, but He never stopped being God! So when it came to the things of God, the Lord always had unlimited understanding! Jesus never had to learn the things of God, because He always knew them to the fullest. That's why Jesus knew so much as a 12-year-old when He went to the Temple with His parents.
*Luke 2:40-50 tells the story:
40. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
41. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
42. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
43. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it;
44. but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances.
45. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
46. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
47. AND ALL WHO HEARD HIM WERE ASTONISHED AT HIS UNDERSTANDING AND ANSWERS.
48. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.''
49. And He said to them, "Why is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?''
50. But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
*Psalm 22 was written a thousand years before Jesus was born, and it prophesied in detail about the cross. But this Psalm also prophetically takes us back to the time when Jesus was a baby.
*And in Psalm 22:9-10, we hear these words the Lord spoke to His Heavenly Father:
9. But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust when I was on My mother's breasts.
10. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God.
*No other baby could have ever said that! But Jesus could, because He was always God, even when He became a man. Jesus has always known the Heavenly Father. And their relationship is so close that every doctrine the Lord taught came straight from the Heavenly Father.
*Jesus has always known the Heavenly Father. And until the Lord's death on the cross, there was never a moment's separation between the two. But that was for our sake.
*Those Jewish rulers knew a lot about God's Word from an intellectual point of view. But even if they had known the Scripture upside down and backwards, they still wouldn't have known the Father personally. But Jesus did!
*So vs. 28-29, say:
28. Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, "You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.
29. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.''
*We may know a lot about somebody, but knowing them personally makes all the difference in the world! And Jesus had been up in Heaven with our Heavenly Father for all eternity. He knew the Father.
*Thank God He didn't keep the knowledge to Himself! So again in vs. 17, Jesus said, "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."
*Compared to Jesus Christ, our knowledge of the Father is not a drop of water in all the oceans of the universe. But thank God the Lord was willing to share His unlimited understanding!
2. JESUS IS SUPREME BECAUSE HE HAS UNLIMITED UNDERSTANDING, ALSO BECAUSE HE HAS THE HUMBLEST HEART.
*No one could begin to come close to the humility we find in Jesus Christ. We can see this truth in vs 18, where Jesus said: "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him."
*Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana. And John 2:11 says: "This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him."
*Jesus Christ the Son of God was full of the Father's glory, and Jesus manifested His glory. But the Lord did not come down to earth to pat Himself on the back. He never needed nor sought the applause of men.
*When it came to glory, the Lord's only ambition on earth was to give glory to His Heavenly Father. And it was because He has the greatest humility the world will ever see.
*Think, for example, of the humility of the Lord's birth that first Christmas. Luke 2:7 tells us that Mary "brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
*I can't imagine that Joseph was happy about taking his very pregnant wife to Bethlehem. That baby was due any minute, not a time when you want to be too far from home, much less make an 80-mile journey by donkey and on foot. There were no SUVs, no Holiday Inn Expresses, no Cracker Barrels, no Wal-Marts. And then, when they got there: No room in the inn.
*Have you ever gotten away from home, and not been able to find a place to stay? I've driven around a couple of times until 2 o'clock in the morning looking for a room. -- Not a pleasant experience.
*One time, Zig Ziglar's brother asked for a room, and the manager told him that they were all booked up. Zig's brother said, "Now be honest with me. If the President of the United States walked through that door just now and requested a room, -- would you have a place for him to stay?"
*The manager replied: "Well, if the President needed a room, we'd find one for him." And Zig's brother said, "That's great. I know for a fact that he's not coming, so I'll take his room." (2)
*Church: Jesus Christ could have had the best room in the world for His birth. Even that would have been a shack compared to the glories of Heaven. But Jesus humbled Himself to be born in a dirty stable. He even humbled Himself to die on the cross for our sins.
*The Apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:5-8:
5. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6. who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7. but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
*Jesus humbled Himself to be born in a stable and die on the cross for our sins. So the wonder of God's glory and the wonder of God's humility come together in the God-Man Jesus Christ!
*I like the way Brian Bill put it:
"He was just like us, -- and yet He was nothing like us.
He walked among us, -- yet He came from Heaven above.
He grew up in Nazareth, -- and yet He was the eternal Word of God."
*We know this because John 1:1-4 says this about Jesus:
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2. He was in the beginning with God.
3. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
"He is our greatest friend, -- and yet He is our Lord and Savior.
Little children love him, -- and yet He baffles the greatest minds.
He was called 'son of Mary,' -- and yet He is the 'Son of God.'" (3)
3. JESUS IS SUPREME BECAUSE HE HAS THE HUMBLEST HEART. ALSO BECAUSE HE HAS THE HIGHEST HOLINESS.
*Verses 18-20 remind us of this great truth, and here Jesus said:
18. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
19. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?''
20. The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?''
*Jesus Christ is spotless from sin. Verse 18 tells us that there is no unrighteousness in Him. Think about that! Never sinning even one time during your whole life either in thought or word or deed.
*I can't say I've ever gone a day without sinning, especially because our sins include the good things we should have done but didn't. Only Jesus could say this about Himself: There is "no unrighteousness in Him."
*He is spotless, but we are sinful, because we were all born with a sinful nature. And all of us are in vs. 19, where Jesus said, "None of you keeps the law."
*Brett Blair told the story of a little boy named Billy who went to visit his grandmother in California one summer. Billy almost wore her out! Grandma was accustomed to peace and quiet, but Billy was into everything. He nearly turned the house upside down every day.
*Then, late one night a small earthquake hit. The house started shaking. Grandma woke-up and called out to check on Billy: "Billy? Billy?" -- Billy yelled back, "I DIDN'T DO IT, GRANDMA!" But lots of times we did do it. Lots of times we are guilty. But Jesus Christ never is. (4)
*And the end of vs. 19 reminds us how bad it can be: Men can even have murder in their hearts. The unbelieving Jewish rulers did have murder in their hearts, so Jesus asked them, "Why do you seek to kill Me?''
*Verse 20 then shows us that people can be so spiritually blind they could call the Holy Son of God a devil: "The people answered and said, 'You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?'''
*Well, thank God we can have a holy life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Verse 17 confirms it, and there again, Jesus said, "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority."
*Christians: By the grace of God, we can have a holy life. And Romans 6:23 promises it as a gift from the Lord: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." We can have a holy life. And we should have a life that is more like Jesus every day. But at our best we don't come close to Jesus!
4. JESUS IS SUPREME BECAUSE HE HAS THE HIGHEST HOLINESS, AND BECAUSE HE IS THE HEAVENLY HEALER.
*Verse 21 reminds us that our Lord is the ultimate healer: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'I did one work, and you all marvel.'"
*The Lord was pointing back to the great miracle He performed in John 5. There Jesus healed a man who had been terribly sick for 38 years. That man didn't even have the strength to crawl to the bathing pool nearby. But in John 5:6-9:
6. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?''
7. The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.''
8. Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk.''
9. And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
*Then the Jewish rulers found out that it was Jesus who had miraculously healed the man. And John 5:16-18 says:
16. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
17. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.''
18. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
*Those rulers cared more about their manmade traditions than they cared about that pitiful, sick man. And in vs. 22-24, Jesus showed how far off-track they were. There the Lord said:
22. "Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.
23. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
24. Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.''
*When it came to the man who laid on a sickbed for 38 years, those hard-hearted Jews couldn't have cared less. But Jesus cared! Jesus cared enough to heal him physically. And we have seen many people healed over the years. In fact, every moment of health we have ever had in life was a gift from God.
*Jesus is the ultimate physical healer. But infinitely more important is the everlasting spiritual healing Jesus gives. And the Lord gives this healing to everyone who will put their trust in Him.
*But our healing came at the highest cost: The death of the Lord on the cross for our sins. So 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that our risen Savior "Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed."
*Jesus Christ is the greatest healer of all! And He always does the right thing at the right time. He is supreme in everything! So put your trust in our crucified and risen Savior. And come what may, keep trusting in Jesus!
*Let's worship the Lord as we go back to God in prayer.
(1) EXPLORING THE GOSPELS: JOHN by John Phillips, Kregal Publications, Grand Rapids - "His Deity in Focus" - John 10:22-42)
(2) SermonCentral sermon "A Savior Has Been Born!" by Melvin Newland - Luke 2:1-20
(3) SermonCentral sermon "The Birth" by Brian Bill - Isaiah 7:14
(4) Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com, April 2001 - Source: Sermonillustrations.com