Summary: We can understand God's nature by taking a look at the person of Jesus.
November 25, 2012
Text: John 8:48-59
Subject: The Eternal Nature of Christ
Title: Who Is Jesus – Part 1
Now that we have gotten past Thanksgiving it is time to start looking forward to our celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus. Everything is different this year – at least it is for me. For some reason it seems to be easier to be able to get into the holiday spirit. We are looking forward to these days leading up to Christmas. And that is different for me because it seems that we always get caught up in the busyness of the season more than we do the spirit of the season.
Today I wanted to begin a short series about the One who was born on Christmas morning. Since we have now passed Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas celebration isn’t it appropriate that we should take the time to look at the very nature of the One who was born on that first Christmas morning so many years ago?
Isaiah 9:6-7, 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Those verses tell us about the two different appearances of Christ on earth. The first when He came as a child to deliver us from our sin, and the second coming when He will establish Himself as king over all the earth during the Millennial Reign.
But the question is who is Jesus and what is it that makes Him different than everyone else?
Read John 8:48-59:
I believe this is God's Word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
And I appropriate it to my life today…
I want to look today at the very nature of God as revealed by His Son Jesus Christ…
I. By His nature Jesus is different than the world…
… We have to go back and look at the verses preceding these to find out why the Jews would say something like that about Jesus. 1) Verse 32, The truth will set you free… 2) In verse 33 the Jews claimed to be Abraham’s descendants and that they have never been slaves to anyone… 3) verse 35, Jesus explains that they are slaves to sin… 4) Verses 39-40They may be Abraham’s children by lineage, but not by faith… 5) verse 41, Their real father is not God like they claimed… That sets the stage for verse 48; 48The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” Let’s do a little logic to see why the Jews said that. They thought they belonged to God… They knew that Jesus was saying and teaching and doing everything that was different than what they said, taught and did…. So if they belonged to God and Jesus was the polar opposite to them, then Jesus must be demonic… Verses 49-50, 49“I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. How did they dishonor Jesus? By saying that He had a demon… He was so totally different than the religious Jews. They sought only to honor themselves by doing what they thought were good works that would please God. They were so caught up in what they could do for God that they forgot to ask what God wanted to do for them. Jesus has it right here. His one and only goal was to bring glory to the Father. Those who honor me I will honor… I have to say this… the world and even the church are full of people who are so bound by their traditions or are convinced that they are good enough to stand before God because of their good works and yet they do not know Jesus. In Matthew 15 Jesus addressed that very thing. 1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ What Jesus is saying is that what is in your heart is what will be manifest in your flesh. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks… So if you have Jesus in your hearts then what should be manifest in your natural man? Jesus! If you have the word of God hidden in your heart what should come out of your mouth? The Word! If the Holy Spirit of the living God is dwelling in you by faith and you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, then what should your life look like? A life of faith and power! 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The word “keep” in verse 51 is a key. It means, “to guard; to keep your eye on; or to fulfill a command…” So keeping God's Word in your heart is connected to doing His word as well. Faith without works is dead… Verse 51 has to be connected to verse 50, I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. It is the very nature of Jesus to direct praise and glory to the Father.