Summary: Many people see Jesus and want to be like Him, but simply refuse the surrender and sacrifice neccessary to be Christlike in their lives!
Date Written: March 27, 2010
Date Preached: March 28, 2010
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Approaching the Resurrection
Sermon Title: The Rejection of Messiah
Sermon Text: John 12:20-36 [ESV]
Walter Jerry Payton is considered by most people to be either THE best or one of the best RB in the history of the NFL. When most RBs careers last only 3-5 years, Walter’s career spanned a tremendous 13 years.
A 1st rd pick (No. 4 overall) by Chicago Bears in 1975 NFL draft. He led the NFL with a 31.7-yard kickoff return average in his rookie season. In his 3rd year he established the single-game rushing record of 275 yds.
In 1976 AND 1977 he was named the Player of the Year in his conference by THE SPORTING NEWS, and in 1977 the NFL voted him their MVP.
In his 9th season Walter set the NFL Career rushing mark. Ironically enough for us here this morning, Walter accomplished this feat in cold, snowy Chicago in Nov 1984 against our beloved Saints. The next season Walter helped Bears win the Super Bowl and in ‘87 he retired the most prolific RB in the history of the NFL.
Nicknamed ‘sweetness’ by his teammates for his easy going disposition, Walter was a labeled a ‘superman’ by his fans. When looking a his career and accomplishments you might think that Walter was an imposing physical presence and that he was a superior athlete to others in the NFL, but to jump to that conclusion about Walter is wrong.
Walter was 5’11” and barely topped 200 lbs. He was a small man in a very LARGE man’s world of pro football, but Walter played BIG! The main reason that Walter could play and accomplish what he did was that Walter was in the best shape a man could be in… ALL THE TIME!
Walter’s offseason workouts were legendary! He dedicated himself to working harder than anyone else. He was once joined by a teammate for his offseason work out and the teammate did not last a week with him.
Many people looked at Walter and saw a superman… they saw someone they wanted to be like! But what many people never fully understood was that it was NOT Walter’s talent that made him the star he became… although he had talent, it was his work ethic that made him great!
Walter would not be ‘outworked’ by anyone! And those who thought he just showed up and played… they did not know what he sacrificed to be that great! Many teammates stumbled and fell away when subjected to his grueling offseason workout regiment!
People saw Walter’s successes and many wanted to be just like him… but what MANY did NOT see was his year round workouts! Many people, if given the chance would NOT last and would reject him and his workouts!
Now when we look at our passage this morning in John 12 we find the very same thing happening to Jesus! In this passage Jesus the superstar, Jesus is the teacher on the rise, HE is the One with all the crowds flocking to Him to hear His message and to have Him heal them!
In our passage this morning we find that Jesus is so popular that many people wanted to meet Him and follow Him… they wanted to be like Him…
As we look at our passage this morning I want us to begin in v.20 where we can find Gentiles seeking to meet Jesus and get to know Him presumably to become one of His followers! They are taken to Jesus…
However we see in this passage that Jesus revealed to these people what it meant to follow Him… what it meant to be like Him… what it meant to be His disciple, and after Jesus had said these things, we find that many of these men rejected Jesus because what He required was just too much for them!
They were drawn to His success, as many of us are drawn to people who are successful!
We love the popularity and drawing power of success (Jn 12:20-22)
There are so many men and women in this world who are successful and people look up to them and want to either be LIKE them or live a life like they are living.
Many of these successful people are RICH or TALENTED or have a beauty about them that makes them stand out from the rest of the world.
Bill Gates is a great example of a man who had been financially successful in life. For years he has been the richest man in America and one of the richest men in the world!
For years his company, MicroSoft has reigned at the top of the computer world! Many people look to Bill Gates and say to themselves… wow he is lucky… wow I wish I had his life, or I wish I had his success!