Summary: Understanding who Jesus really is.
Tuesday – “Missing the Point”
3rd in a series on “Passion Week”
Adventures in missing the point! There’s a story by Dennis Tice that shows with certain originality how people can miss the point. It’s called: “Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?”
“Did Adam and Eve have navels or a blank spot where it should be?
Do other folks lie awake at night or is it only me?
"Thinkin’ about the question that plagues all mankind
Belly-button fuzz wuzza part of creation, how could I be so blind?
"I think I’ll start a church someday to preach this creed of mine
Cause Adam and Eve had navels and I’ll prove it at the end of time.
"Sure ‘God is love’ and ‘Jesus saves,’ but what about this truth?
I found the answer just last year in 1st John chapter 2
"Seek out the truth, the truth will set you free
Wait upon the Lord in all sincerity
And then you’ll reach the highest level of Christianity
When you become a Navelist, your eyes will finally see
"That Adam and Eve had navels, I’m telling you today
Yeah, I’m splittin’ hairs for Jesus and that makes it all okay
"And I’m going to take you deeper than your eyes can currently see
I’m splittin’ hairs for Jesus for more spirituality
"I shared this truth with all the land and navelism grew
A thousand members growing strong (cause I preach salvation too)
"But now the church is splittin’ over some technicality,
Did their buttons go in or pop out, how picky can they be?” (Max Lucado, And the Angels Were Silent, The Final Week of Jesus (Multnomah: Sisters, Oregon, 1992), 94-95).
Missing the point can lead to a vicious cycle of misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and vain pursuits. Denominations and various other church movements through the centuries have staked their claim on a sliver of truth in God’s word that sets them apart from the rest. The problem is, however, that the Christian faith isn’t merely about debating God’s foreknowledge of events yet to come, or whether you baptize by full emersion or sprinkling, or whether you believe in “once saved, always saved” or backsliding.
God’s people are to be a unified people. We are to be a people striving to live in community together under the jurisdiction of Christ. But this is where we miss the point! We fail to realize that what really matters is that we all agree that there is only one God of all creation who is eternally existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That Jesus Christ was God incarnate. That he suffered and died for all of humanity, taking the sin of the world upon himself, and that anyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
We fail to realize that what’s really important is that we all agree that Jesus rose from the grave on the third day after his death, and that before he ascended into heaven he commissioned all believers to go into the world and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey all the commands that he gave us. This is where we miss the point!
As we get into our discussion today, I want us to look at specific people or groups of people that missed the point completely about who Jesus was. In contrast to this, however, I also want us to look at one person who didn’t miss the point, but rather lavished Jesus with an anointing that verified his Messiahship.
One of the first groups of people to miss the point about Jesus was:
• The Pharisees:
Matthew 22:15-17 (NLT)
Then the Pharisees met together to think of a way to trap Jesus into saying something for which they could accuse him.  They decided to send some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to ask him this question: "Teacher, we know how honest you are. You teach about the way of God regardless of the consequences. You are impartial and don't play favorites.  Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to the Roman government or not?"
Jesus had just driven the merchants and the money changers out of the Temple and the religious leaders were incited with anger and frustration because of this. And they didn’t waste any time either. They began to plot and work on a serious plan to trap Jesus. They were trying to find anything to accuse him of for the purpose of taking him into custody. So they devised a plan to trick him based on his loyalties.
Taxes were a sensitive topic in Jesus day. (Not much changes with time does it?) The question that the Pharisees posed to Jesus was one that placed him between a rock and a hard place.