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Summary: An Introduction to the year long series, "Jesus Said."

The Life and Words of Christ

Introduction to the series, “Jesus Said”

Michael Wiley

January 04, 2009

Introduction:

Start of a new series that will last most of 2009—“Jesus Said”

We spent 2007 in the book of Genesis, most 0f 2008 in the book of Exodus, now we break from the Old Testament to study from the new.

There are different approaches I could have taken, like one of the books (letters), Since I really wanted to study the gospel story, and each gospel writer said it a bit differently, I decided to simply look at what Jesus said, as recoded by all of them.

So, Jan ---

Feb ---

March ---

Transition:

Author Steven Scott said, “If Jesus is who He claimed to be, then everything He said must be fully, absolutely true!”

I think it was Josh McDowell who first said, “Jesus is either Lord, a Liar, or a Lunatic.”-- expand

Why Study Jesus’ words?

The fact that we even have them says something.

Born in an obscure village in the middle of nowhere, to peasants. He followed in his step-father’s footsteps and was a carpenter until about the age of 30. His personal ministry only lasted 3 years. He was convicted on a trumped up charged by a man who believed he was innocent. He was then crucified on a cross between two convicted felons with only three of His friends present. His own disciples were in hiding.

As far as we know, He wrote nothing down, except one time in the sand, and we don’t know what He wrote.

We received His words from His followers, whom were scattered during His death, but changed their tune after he walked from His grave.

John ends his account of Jesus life by saying, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25 NIV).”

Why Study Jesus’ words?

In them, we find the man Jesus. Christianity is more than simply following words of a great teacher. Christianity is about experiencing that teacher in a very real and meaningful way. As we study His words over this coming year, my prayer is that we will all find Jesus in a real and meaningful way, deeper, and more real than ever before

Why Study Jesus’ words?

His words bring Freedom

Jesus said Himself, in John 8:31-32 NIV, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Jesus is separating the crowed here. He is not pitting believers against non-believers, He’s separating people who say they are a Christ follower, but do not prove it by action with those who’s life, shows, they are a Christian. We can’t really say it nicely or politically correct. “If your life doesn’t show you are a Christian, You’re not a Christian!”

Jesus is also pointing out that His teaching is Truth

Don’t forget, “If Jesus is who He claimed to be, then everything He said must be fully, absolutely true!”

Knowing the truth will set you free. “The truth will set you free” is a pretty popular quotes in society.

Jesus is not saying any truth will set you free, although some truthful things may bring us a bit of liberation. He’s is saying, “My truth will set you free from the power of sin and death.

Why Study Jesus’ words?

His words help us weather the storms of life

There is a great story in the book of Mathew that all church going kids learn early on.

Matt 7:24-29

Note in the story, both men hear the same words. Both have the same opportunity to build their house on a firm foundation.

But only one did, referred to here at the wise man. His house (not unlike the foolish man’s house in appearance) was built on the teachings of Christ.

It withstood the storms of life.

The foolish man built his house on his own wisdom or the world’s philosophers, and in times of storm his house crumbled to the ground.

24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

Conclusion:

Why Study Jesus’ words?

Napoleon Bonaparte, the emperor of France and one of the greatest military geniuses who ever lived, was discussing world affairs with his advisers and the name Jesus came up. Here is what he said,

I know men; and I tell you that Jesus is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist…Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between me and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by himself. His ideas and sentiments, the truth which he announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things…The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine…One can absolutely find nowhere, but in Him alone, the imitation or the example of His life…I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ…Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature, offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or explain it. Here everything is extraordinary. NOTE HERE

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