Summary: Learn more about the most influential man in history from the most infulential book in history
Based on a Sermon Preached by Adrian Warnock on 6th October 2002 at Jubilee Church
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
What is your name and what person in history other than Jesus do you most admire?
IS Jesus really the most influential man in history?
What kind of person do you imagine him to be?
Do you think of him more as man or God?
Why do you think the darkness hates him?
How has Jesus changed your life?
What do you understand by the fact that although we receive him, we are ‘born’ not by our own decision?
Jesus- so what?
One of the shocking things about the bible is it is still the most sold unread book in existence. UBS estimate they have distributed 9 billion Bibles since 1947! The Bible is the number one shoplifted book in America.
Guiness book of records states it is the best selling book of all time with the exception of uncopyrighted books like the bible. It is a book about the best- Amazons weekly sales were topped this week by a book on leadership. We look for the best, and we want to be led. We have a deep seated sense of longing for the meaning that being a follower gives. Where did we come from and where are we going to.
Jesus has in fact been the most influential figure amongst all mankind. There is no doubt about this. Every historian agrees. But how much attention do we give Jesus today? How often is he spoken about except as a curse? How often do we Christians even really consider him.
On my theology course we do practice sermons, I will never forget one of the students challenging a couple of others- why did you not even mention Jesus in your sermon.
This evening series is our chance to redress this balance.
Christianinty is not a philosophy of living
It is not a religion- I hate religion
It is not a moral code
It is not a set of doctrines
It is a relationship with a person.
One man more than any other it would seem in the New Testament understood Jesus the man, and wanted us to get to know him up close and personal. People often ask of a book, why did they write it? Johns answer is simple-
Now Jesus did many other signs………..but these are written so that you may x believe that Jesus is the Christ, y the Son of God, and that by believing z you may have life a in his name. (Jn 20:30-31 ).
Belief is actually trust. You cannot trust a vague concept. You cannot even trust an image in a stained glass window. Dare I say it you cant even really trust the public image of Jesus as seen in the other gospels- not that he is another man, but to really trust someone you have to KNOW him. No, here we have Jesus introduced by the man who rested his head on Jesus chest. This is the man, encounter him, meet him!! In John we get Jesus introduced ‘up close and personal’ He REVEALS the person and identity of Jesus in a way that DEMANDS a response.
What will you say to this man, how will you respond to him? Will you hate him or love him? Jesus, lived his life ultimately for an audience of one, but in so doing he demands a response from us.
You either decide to use his name as a swear word and kill him or whisper his name in devotion and lay down your life for him. Which will YOU choose?
As we go through this book we will feel Jesus leap of the page at us and demand our attention. We will experience his presence in this room I am sure and there will be times when we have to stop and worship. Many of us, even I trust myself will find our image of Jesus changes. Is he really who you think he is?
So lets begin, where John does with the BEGINNING
He does not start with Jesus beginning, for he has no beginning. Rather he asks the questions that burn on our hearts- Where do we come from? Where does our story start?
In the beginning….. Anyone who has ever picked up a bible and tried to read it through from the beginning will have recognized these words. Gen 1:1 ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth’. Beginings are crucial aren’t they. From the age old riddle ‘Which came first the Chicken or the egg’ there has resonated a deep question for us. Where do we come from? Where does this world come from? If you are not a thoroughbred atheist then you may have no problem with the concept of God being in the beginning, nor I guess with God being there BEFORE the beginning of the universe.