Summary: The testimony about Jesus is trustworthy and reliable.
I John 1.1-4
C: Eyewitness testimony
Th: I Love It When a Plan Comes Together
Pr: THE TESTIMONY ABOUT JESUS IS RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY.
CV: “We will clearly communicate the transforming truth of the Bible.”
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Trust the reliable eyewitness testimony.
• Embrace the scandal of the incarnation.
• Join the community and experience joy.
RMBC 30 November 08 AM
Do any of you remember the TV series the A-Team?
It aired during the mid-1980s.
The setting for the A-Team is that they were a group of ex-United States Army Special Forces, working as soldiers of fortune while being on the run from the military for a "crime they didn’t commit".
Despite being thought of as mercenaries by the other characters, the A-Team always acted on the side of the good guys and helped the oppressed.
When an episode was coming to a close, and the A-Team was about to accomplish their goal, you would inevitably hear from Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Well, that is our theme for our messages this Christmas season…
Theme: I love it when a plan comes together.
I must admit – I am fascinated on how the story of Christmas comes together.
I am fascinated on how credible it is, because it is a crazy, impossible story.
Over the next weeks, we are going to discuss this plan.
Today, we are going to understand the historicity of Jesus.
Next week, we are going to see that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The following week, we will see that Jesus is deity, God with us.
I love it when a plan comes together.
Again, today I want us to understand that Jesus was not a figment of the imagination.
He is an historical figure.
Real people saw Jesus.
It is evident, because…
We have the testimony of eyewitnesses (I John 1.1-4).
Here is how it is described…
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Who is speaking?
This is one of the twelve.
It is John, the son of Zebedee, the brother of James.
Together, James and John are known as “the Sons of Thunder.”
They did not get the name because they were quiet.
They were strong, vivacious fishermen that spoke what was on their mind.
Along with Peter, James and John formed Jesus’ inner circle.
This is the author.
And note what this author says…
John heard Jesus.
John was there to hear all of Jesus’ marvelous teachings.
John heard Jesus speak and explain the parables…the Good Samaritan…the Prodigal Son…the Sower…
John heard Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount.
John heard Jesus’ claim to deity.
He heard Jesus say…
“Before Abraham was, I AM”
“I AM the way and the truth and the life”
“I AM the good shepherd”
“I AM the light of the World”
“I AM the resurrection and the life.”
John heard Jesus…and…
John saw Jesus.
Imagine all that John saw.
The feeding of the 5000.
The healings of the paralyzed, the sick, the leprous, the demon possessed.
He saw Peter trying to walk to Jesus on the water.
He saw Jesus raise a boy from the dead and give him back to his mother.
He saw Jesus talk to a Samaritan woman, an unheard of practice at the time.
He saw Jesus forgive a woman caught in adultery.
He saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb.
John saw Jesus…and…
John gazed upon Jesus.
John also saw things that made him stop and pause.
They made him think – really think.
He stopped and stared when he saw Jesus transfigured.
He said nothing when Jesus stood there with Moses and Elijah.
He stopped and stared when Jesus was crucified.
He was the only disciple at the foot of the cross, standing with Mary the mother of Jesus.
And he stopped and stared when he saw Jesus ascend into heaven and be hidden by the clouds.
John gazed upon Jesus…and…
John had felt Jesus.
Using his own hands, John had personally touched Jesus.