Summary: Trinity Sunday. Several quotes from Philip Yancy's book. "The Jesus I Never Knew"
In Jesus Holy Name June 16, 2019
Text John 8:12-13a Redeemer Trinity Sunday
“The Claim of Jesus… ‘I Am!’”
“Things aren’t always what they seem”. Even Jesus isn’t always what He seems. Ask the average Joe or Jane to describe the Savior and they will come up with a most interesting list. They will tell you He was good, kind, gentle, caring, compassionate, forgiving.
In truth, you and I are not what our “public image” projects. Our insides don’t often match up with our outsides.
We diet. We exercise. We wear makeup, color our nails, brush our teeth, fix our hair. All to help our outsides look good, but no diet has been developed which can shape us up on the inside. We may work hard to live in the right
neighborhoods, drive the right cars, dine at the right restaurants, sent our children
to the right schools, and have the right people invite us to the right social events, but there is no amount of work which can make the real “us” really right before God.
During these past few Sunday’s our messages have centered on the words or miracles of Jesus from the Gospel of John. There are constant challenges by the Pharisees who were disappointed that Jesus did not fit in their theological box.
His first miracle was perhaps the strangest of all. At that the age of 30 or so he showed up at a wedding that ran out of wine. In the village life of Galilee a wedding brought celebration to a new level. It lasted a week. The bride and bridegroom made a gala procession through the streets. Think of the scenes you see of weddings in the Italian villages. Dancing. Platters of Food. Jugs of Wine. Music & laughter. Then John tells us there was a moment of social crisis and the whole wedding nearly ground to a halt. The wine ran out.
“The Jesus I Never Knew” Philip Yancy p. 167
Jesus turns the water in jars meant for purification into wine.
The miracle of changing water into wine was a one-time event. Each Gospel records the healing of many sick people. What began as a tragic tale of a man born blind ends in his healing and the Pharisees are blind to “who” is in their midst.
A paralyzed man was forgiven his sins and healed of his disease. Jesus was censured as a heretic because the man was healed on the Sabbath. This opposed a grave threat to official doctrine. Jesus has stepped outside the correct theological box. The Pharisees could not disprove the miracles but they remained blind to the reality that God was walking the streets of their holy city.
We know that Jesus was a great story teller. He said he was like the gate for sheep. He was like a shepherd who would lead his flock to pasture, and if one was lost he would seek it out and carry it home on his shoulders. The Pharisees knew he was quoting the words from Ezekiel 34. God promised that if the ordained religious shepherds ever failed to take care of God’s children of Israel…then He himself would come.
After feeding the 5000 by the Sea of Galilee Jesus told the disciple to cross the lake. He went up on the mountain side to pray. A frightening storm blew down across the lake. The disciples were rowing all the way. Late at night Jesus joined them by walking on the water. It was in that moment the disciples realize that they were in the presence of God. (Matthew)
The next day the people wanted more food…They wanted one more miracle. They wanted to make Jesus their king. That would fit their theological box. In the end Jesus was not their kind of Messiah. He would not provide bread and circuses on demand. Ibid. p. 177
The miracles attracted crowds and applause, but rarely encouraged repentance and faith.
In the winter during the feast of Hanukkah the Jewish religious officials asked Jesus: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah tell us plainly.” Jesus said: “I did tell you. I showed many miracles that could have only been accomplished by God Himself. You have chosen not to believe, because you are not my sheep. My sheep know my voice… and I give them eternal life. My heavenly Father, Your heavenly Father and I are one.
“Whoa” …they said. They began to pick up stones to stone Jesus. He said: “I have shown you many great miracles…for which ones are you stoning me?” They said: “We are not stoning you for any of these…but for blasphemy, because you a mere man claim to be God.”
It wasn’t long, just a few short months and we find Jesus raising Lazarus from being 4 days dead. That was the last straw. Jesus had to be stopped.