Summary: Why Jesus? What makes Jesus unique is not only important to what we believe but it is at the heart of who we are as Christians. This sermon looks at the uniqueness of Jesus through four names associated with Jesus, names that Jesus either used of himself
Who was Jesus video?
Title Slide On the one hand we are part of a culture which has discredited Jesus and who he was. On the other hand, we live in a culture which has distorted and watered down the teachings of Jesus. We have been told that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. But the suicide bombers in Iraq and Israel are about as sincere as you can get. You see, sincerity doesn’t equate with truth in one’s beliefs and spiritual journey. So this question today Why Jesus? What makes Jesus unique is not only important to what we believe but it is at the heart of who we are as Christians. Today, we’re going to look at the uniqueness of Jesus through four names associated with Jesus, names that Jesus either used of himself or that the Gospels used of Jesus.
First Slide Point 1 The first is the son of God. Colossians 1:15,19. “The son is the image of the invisible God (in other words, Jesus is the picture or photograph of the God whom no one has seen). For God was pleased to have all of his fullness in him.” Have you ever noticed that there are some people you can look at and just tell who their parents are? You can look at a child and say with assurance, I know who your father is or I know who your mother is? Children carry the genetic code of their parents. You know the old saying, A chip off the old block. This is what the Bible means when it says that Jesus is the exact replication of God’s being. Slide: Jesus is the exact replication The disciples knew they had never seen or been around someone like Jesus before. So much so that when they looked at Jesus they knew they were seeing God. To know him is to know God. To experience him is to experience God. To believe in him is to believe in God. So seeing Jesus as the son of God allows us to see God in a way that nothing else can.
Slide Picture of God as Judge. When you have an encounter with Jesus Christ, it revolutionizes your picture of God. Before Jesus, the Jews understood God as someone who was far off, all powerful and judge over the world. Slide: He is our Father, we are his children. But then Jesus came along and called God ‘Abba’ which means father or more appropriately, daddy. In fact, calling God Father was one of the things that got Jesus in trouble with the religious authorities of his day. It was one of the reasons they wanted to crucify Jesus because they said, How can you as a human being dare to talk to God in such intimate terms? They couldn’t believe that Jesus would address God who was all powerful, holy and judge over all. But Jesus said, No, call him father or daddy. This is the type of relationship that God wants to have with you. You can think of God as only judge but when you see God as Father or daddy, it radically changes your outlook and understanding of God.
Slide: Picture of Jesus and the adulterous women. John 8:1-11 Do you remember the story of the adulterous woman and she has been caught in act and brought in the middle of town to be stoned to death for committing such a horrendous crime against God. With stones in their hands and ready to throw, Jesus comes to her and says, “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.” This is the image of God Jesus painted for us in his words and actions, not a God who condemns but one who redeems and restores and heals.
Slide: I am the way….. When Jesus says, “I am the way , the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me.” The problem has been that the institutional church has used this as a gate or door to an exclusive club of believers. This is what Jesus meant by “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Giovanna and I have been married for 14 years and we dated 5 years prior to that though she says it was much longer than that. See what she has to put up with? But for her or anyone to spend almost 20 years with me, I know she loves me. But if I don’t trust her love, then who loses out? Me. I’m never going to enjoy the fullness of her love or the depth of intimacy with another person unless I fully trust her love. And that is exactly what Jesus is saying to us. Unless you come to me, you will never know God as daddy and instead always know him as judge. You will never know the liberating love of a father. Jesus shows us that a relationship with God is not something formal and distant but rather something close and intimate. An encounter with Jesus revolutionizes your thinking of God and your experience of Him. So Jesus as son of God gives us a picture of God like we have through none other.