Summary: Scripture says that Jesus is our "mediator." What is a mediator and what did Jesus do to fill that need in our lives?
OPEN: Humorist Dave Barry once wrote about gifts that were given to Jesus by the Wise Men. He suggested that if you carefully analyzed what the Bible tells us, you’d find there was an overlooked theological fact in the story. There is no mention of wrapping paper. Now why would the wisemen not use wrapping paper? First, they were wise. Secondly, they were men. When it comes to wrapping gifts, men seem to lack the necessary skills. You can always tell WHICH GIFTS (under the tree) were wrapped by men.
For example, these pictures show the kinds of gift-wrapping you’d expect from men: (we showed pictures of the following items gift-wrapped in such an obvious way, you knew exactly what the gift was: Golf bag; Chair; Pan; Drill; Iron; Guitar; Motorcycle).
Whoever did that gift-wrapping didn’t even attempt to disguise gift within. And yet, the 1st Christmas present was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. There’s something about Jesus as a baby lying in a feeding trough that seems to disguise the gifts that lay inside the manger.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at the gifts that were wrapped up in Jesus. And today we’re going to focus on a very intriguing gift the gift that Jesus was our mediator.
Our text today declares that: “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” I Timothy 2:5-6
A Mediator (pause) what exactly is a mediator? A mediator is a middle man. A mediator intervenes between two parties – either to resolve a conflict or to make sure that one party is able to obtain a product or service from someone else.
ILLUS: For example, someone (Sherm Nichols) once observed: “The carpet outlet store tells me to buy direct from them – they’ll eliminate the middleman and save me money. ‘Buy direct! Who needs a middle man?’ That’s fine if you’re buying carpet, or a car, or dog food… but what about our relationship with God? Do we need a go-between or not? Well, it turns out that we do. We Need a Mediator between ourselves and God.
The question, of course, is – WHY do we need Jesus? Why did we need Him as our “middle man”, our Mediator? Well, 2 reasons come to mind:
1st – with Jesus you’re going to get something you couldn’t get anyplace else. The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus “is the Mediator of New Covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15)
ILLUS: You see, back in the Old Testament, God made a promise of a New Covenant - a New Covenant that was going to be better than the Old Covenant that He’d made with Israel back in the days of Moses.
And in that New Covenant, God promised: “I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
Now I could preach a series of sermons just on that promise from God. But the point is, Jesus WAS the Middle Man, and He had come to make sure that we obtained that New agreement from God. Because without Jesus that agreement wouldn’t happen.
That New Covenant promised that we’d have a personal relationship with God. He would be our God, and we would be His people. And He would remember our sins NO MORE.
Now, there are people out there who’ll say that you don’t need Jesus to do that. “You can buy direct from us! You don’t need a middle man. You don’t need Jesus . All you need is… US.”
Now there’s a couple of problems with that - 1st you have to TAKE THEIR WORD for it. When they say you can “Buy Direct” from them (without Jesus) they’re asking you to TRUST THEM!!!
Now the difference between Jesus and the “buy direct from us” groups is that Jesus has credentials - and they don’t. For 2000 years, the Bible predicted that a Messiah would come, and there were 100s of prophecies about where He’d be born; what He’d teach; how He’d die; and how He’d raise from the dead (over 300 direct prophecies & 100s of indirect prophecies). And Jesus fulfilled ALL those prophecies! And, of course, He ALSO proved who He was by His miracles, His powerful teachings, and by rising from the dead.