Summary: Sermon emphasizes that the claims of Jesus are clear, but people feign ignorance because they want to be ignorant. Having identified Jesus as the Christ--Savior--the question of who we are is explored. Who are we without Christ? Who are we with Christ?
WHO IS CHRIST AND WHO ARE YOU?
Jesus is the Christ--the Savior of our souls. We are the saved ones--safe only with God. Several questions arise from this assertion. Why do people not accept Jesus for who he is? Who are we apart from God? Who are we with God? People do not know who Christ is because they do not want to know who he is. Imagine these two dialogues between a parent and child. In the first, a mother asks her child repeatedly to do the dishes. In the second, she mumbles that it is allowance time. In which dialogue will the mother get a quicker response? Without question, a whispered offer of money will reap more rapid results then the clearest, highest decibel pronouncement that chores are waiting to be done!
In today’s passage the religious leaders ask Jesus who he is. They have heard his teachings and his claims many times. However, they dislike Jesus because Jesus threatens their power and position. The masses are following Jesus instead of them. Additionally, the Romans will intervene and restrict the religious leaders if Jesus stirs up too much trouble. So, Jesus becomes like a frustrated parent who says to his child, "You heard what I said!" He tells them: “You have heard my teachings many times.” Implied is the question, "Don’t you understand me yet, silly?" Jesus continues, “You have seen my works--you know that what I do is from God.
In 2000 years the situation has not changed. People say to the Christian, "Who is this Jesus?" The message of Jesus threatens their power and position. If Jesus is the one way of salvation that means they have to live for him instead of for themselves. If they decide to follow Jesus they face rejection from people they care about. It is because people know about Jesus, yet refuse to consider him, that the Bible says those who reject the love of Jesus are without excuse. The book of Romans tells us that nature itself cries out that God exists. Also, most have heard the message of Jesus many times. Our hearts tell us He is Truth, but we resist the inner voice of God. We resist the Holy Spirit.
So, what will you do today? Will you ignore the claims of Jesus so you can preserve your own power and position? Will you surrender yourself over to Jesus, accept His love, and follow His way?
When facing the claims of Jesus, it helps to know who we are. Who are we with without God? The Bible says that apart from God our good works are mere filthy rags. We cannot please God without his power in our lives. Scripture dissipates all doubt in the matter of our ability to please the Almighty when it proclaims that no one is good without God. If we have no hope of pleasing God what can we do? Must we be satisfied to make the best of this life? It is not hard to see the vanity in such a proposal. Jesus once asked, “What good it is for a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul?” Perhaps the simplest and most logical conclusion is that since all creation is of God, without Him we are nothing!