Summary: In this sermon you will examine Jesus’ impact upon a person’s life.
Some time ago a lady went into an ice cream shop in Beverly Hills, Ca. to buy an ice cream cone. She was shocked when Paul Newman walked in and stood right behind her. Although rattled, she was determined to maintain her composure. She paid for her ice cream cone, then confidently walked out. Outside, she realized she didn’t have her cone. Not wanting to look foolish, she waited a few minutes before reentering the store. When she didn’t find her ice cream cone at the counter, she paused to contemplate where it could be. A soft tap on the shoulder interrupted her thoughts. She turned to find herself face to face with Paul Newman. He politely suggested that if she was looking for her ice cream cone, she might look in her purse. (Illustration 1094 in Something to Think About. Raymond McHenry) When Paul Newman showed up he had an amazing impact on that lady. Famous people tend to have an impact on us.
What about Jesus, the divine Son of God? When Jesus shows up he will have an impact on our lives.
Consider the impact of Jesus on history. Someone has pointed out: “Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3, yet the influence of Christ’s 3 year ministry is greater than the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all time. Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him. Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection of melody in the music they composed in His praise. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by Jesus Christ.” (Henry G. Bosch. Illustration 2679 in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. Paul Lee Tan)
Jesus has influenced our world and He wants to influence our lives. What happens when Jesus shows up in your life? For a text I want to read John 20:19-23. “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
When Jesus showed up everything was different. What was the difference? Before explaining the difference let me mention three simple rules.
(1)Jesus shows up when things seem hopeless. Remember the old saying “It is always darkest just before the dawn.”
(2)Jesus shows up because he understands the struggles we are facing.
(3)Jesus shows up because he cares.
Illustration: Across the street from the bombed out Federal Building in Oklahoma City, where 168 people died needlessly and senselessly, there stands a memorial. At the heart of that memorial is a nine foot statue of Jesus. But this statue is not one of a stony Jesus with arms stretched wide, like you may have seen in the Ozarks or in Brazil. No, this is a nine foot statue of Jesus with his face in his hands, turned slightly away from where the acts of terror took place, and the plaque reads, “And Jesus wept.”
(Contributed to Sermon Central by Dean Kennedy)
At times things may seem hopeless. However, Jesus understands and cares about us. He will make a difference when he shows up. What difference will He make when he shows up?
1. When Jesus shows up he will bring you Peace. Twice in our text (verses 19 & 21), Jesus promises His disciples “peace.” Peace is not something that comes from positive thinking. Peace is not something that comes from a pill. Peace cannot be bought at Walmart.
• Peace is a gift from God. Jesus said “My peace I give to you.” There was an occasion when Jesus disciples were on the sea of Galilee and a storm arose. Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat. The disciples cried out to Jesus “do you not care that we are perishing?” In the midst of the storm Jesus showed up. Jesus spoke to that storm as if it were a puppy. He said “Peace, be still!” He brought peace into that situation.