Summary: This sermon is part of a series that looks at how Jesus prepared his church for his ascension. Most of the text will focus on the early days prior to and directly after the ascenion.
Series How Jesus Grew the Kingdom of God
Title: The People Factor
Text: John 20:17-18; 21:15-20
Introduce the Series: In the next six weeks we are going to at the days between the resurrection and. the ascension to heaven. It is during this time that Jesus lays the ground work for his church to go forward while he is physically absence. This series I am calling “Faith Factor” will explore the factors that caused the early church to grow and expand and continue to move forward even today.
----Today we will look at the People Factor----Jesus used people to reach other people. He chose people that possessed certain traits to take the Gospel to the world.
Jesus had already launched his Church by the use of people. He handpicked, trained and equipped his disciples. He sent them out into the world to spread the message of the Gospel. The great Commission—Go, preach, baptize, and teach
Let’s look at Jesus’ interaction with two of his disciples to see what he was/is looking for in those who lead his church.
Mary Magdalene and Peter—Both had a past (Jesus does not care about their past only their future) _both seem to let their emotions get the best of them at times.
Jesus called both men and women to serve and follow, Jews and Gentiles
Jesus meets Mary in the Garden and he tells her not to cling or hold me him because he has not ascended to heaven, but instead go and tell the other disciples.
I. JESUS DOES NOT WANT US TO CLING/HOLD TO HIM IN THE WRONG WAY
Many suggestions throughout history.
A. That he was now the High Priest and to touch him would be to defile him. (pollute him)-- Why did he say do not touch me and shortly after this invite Thomas to touch him?
B. Some believe he had to make a quick trip to heaven since he had just returned from preaching to the people trapped in Hell. He had to first present Himself to the Father. However God is everywhere –and Jesus is God
C. I believe along with many others that Jesus did not want her to cling to him or hold him because he had a job/work for her to do. While she is emotional and wants to hug him, he needs her to go and tell the others. I am returning to my Father and your Father my God and your God!
1.TO NOT CLING TO HIM AS A JEANIE IN A BOTTLE!
Recognize his divine mission: a Mission from God—AND THAT MISSION IS BIGGER THAN MY LIFE! While Jesus is concerned about our lives—our life is not the compass that he decides by! He is the CHRIST, THE MESSIAH, THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! Jesus does not have to give us everything we wants. JESUS WANTS PEOPLE who can recognize his divine position and mission!
2. DO NOT CLING TO HIM AS THOUGH HE IS OURS ALONE-- LET’S NOT BECOME SELFISH AND POSSESSIVE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS!
Jesus does love you, Jesus did die for you, but also for the world! To all who will believe!
Let’s not take the Personal pronouns, Possessive determiners, Possessive pronouns out of context:
My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
These words were spoken by a young actress who had recently accepted Jesus after meeting a disabled girl.
My Jesus, My Savior,
Lord, there is none like You;
All of my days
I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.
KEEP IN MIND ALSO, THAT JESUS IS NOT A ROMANTIC SAVIOR!
He had a wife ---it was the church, but he was not MARRIED TO MARY MAGDALENE –CONTRAY TO THE DAVINCI CODE, ETC. NOT BECAUSE IT WAS A SIN, BUT BECAUSE IT WAS NOT PART OF HIS MISSION AND PURPOSE!
Jesus did not choose people who wanted to keep him to themselves, nor was he looking Jesus is not your date!
ILL: A lady shared this about her mom’s friend-- once told me about a girl she knew in college who would pluck petals off a flower, slowly reciting, "He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me." On the occasion that she would end with "he loves me" she would exclaim for the entire dorm to hear, "He loves me! Jesus loves me!"
I once had a girl tell me she could not hang out on a Friday night because she had a "date" with God. Not only is it an incomplete picture of who our Christ is, it also sends the message that the girls (and women) who are truly devoted to Jesus equate contentment in him with a romantic relationship with him. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2012/june/why-jesus-isnt-your-boyfriend-critique-of-dating-god.html)