Summary: This sermon looks at what can Jesus offer us since He is God and has existed from all of eternity.
Who Is This One Called Jesus
One of the ways that we prepare eulogies is to make an appointment with the family and try to get as many of them present as possible. We then begin to ask them questions about the deceased. We ask things such as give “me a one word description of the person,” “share a special moment that you had with the person”, “what meant a lot to the person”, and “what would the person want to be known for.” We do this for two reasons. The first is that it gives us a more accurate picture of the person and provides us with information for the eulogy, and the second is that it usually brings a time of remembering good moments together for the family. They feel more uplifted with each other. Our goal is to help others at the funeral to get to know, who this person really was.
Whenever ther is a tragedy that is committed by a person or a hero that emerges out of a scene, the news media spends a lot of time trying to find people who knew the person so that they can help us understand just who this person was. All of a sudden you can become important simply because you sat next to somebody in chemistry class 5 years ago. People want to know what you knew about this person so as to give them some kind of an insight as to what was going on in the person’s past or background that made the person take the action that was taken.
How many of you have been in a situation in which you wondered what did the people think of me when I did or was doing such and such. I had one of more humbling moments in my ministry in which I had been asked to do the funeral for an uncle of two little kids ages 5 and 6, a boy and a girl, who were attending our church from VBS. As I was speaking, I wanted the message to be personal so I kept saying things like, we are going to miss John, and we can remember when John did such and such, and John was funny when he did such and such.
All of a sudden one of the two kids, the little boy Andre, stood up and yelled out to me, “His name was Charles.” He was followed by a round of , yes his name was Charles by several adults. I could only imagine what they were thinking about me at that point, but I immediately apologized to the family, and said Charles from there on out. I had gotten one of the main basics wrong, his name, and it prevented people from hearing what I had to say about him.
Did you know that Jesus was also concerned about what people were saying about him. Jesus also was concerned about what people were saying about him. So he asked Peter one day, “Peter, what’s the word on the street. Who do people say that I am. Peter said, “some are saying you are John The Baptist,” “some say you are Elijah,” and still others are saying you are one of the prophets. Then Jesus hits Peter with the question that all of us must ask for ourselves and that is “But who do you say that I am.” What we believe about Jesus makes a tremendous difference in the way we view life, see life, live life and offer life to others.
The theme for this conference is getting back to the basics. When we look at Christianity, nothing is more basic than Christ. Everything rises and falls on who was Jesus and what do we believe about Jesus. Many segments of Christianity today are in confusion over what we believe is true about Jesus. Who is this one we call Jesus? If we could all agree on who Jesus was and is, the other things would begin to line up.
Our thematic verse comes out of the gospel of John. There are four gospel, and the gospel of John is the one that is written by someone who knew Jesus up close and personal. John is referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Matthew’s gospel comes to us through the eyes of a devoted disciple of Jesus. Mark and Luke are very dedicated, but their message comes from the perspective of the eyewitness testimonies of others.
But when you read the gospel of John, you are seeing through the eyes of one who was in the inner circle. You may recall there were twelve disciples, but three of them made up the inner ring. Those three were Peter James and John. John had some direct insight into Jesus that the other 3 gospel writers did not have because they did not share the same kind of relationship with Jesus.