Summary: The first in a series on the life of Jesus through the book of John. Many things influence our perception of Jesus. This sermon attempts to open our eyes to the real Jesus vs. the Jesus we may have perceived him to be.
Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up
The other day as I sat at my desk I was talking on the phone, communicating by Instant Messenger and answering email all at the same time. I also had the radio playing in the background. It was during this time that I glanced down at my Bible that was providentially opened to Psalm 46:10, a passage that conludes with "Be still and know that I am God."
I hung up the phone.
I closed out of Instant Messenger
I turned off the computer.
I shut down the radio.
And then I hung my head.
To know God we have to be still. That’s not an easy task in our society and I am as guilty as anyone. It’s hard to simply be still. and yet, if we are to know God we must take that time for reflextion and study and meditation.
Well our goal over the next 13 weeks is to know God better as we study the person of Jesus Christ. We are beginning a look at Jesus through the Gospel of John and hopefully we will see him as he is, and not just as we have perceived him to be in the past.
I want to start where it’s always good to start and that’s at the beginning. I want you to hear the words to John 1:1-18 and realize that John is referring to Jesus when he calls him the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word and that’s Jesus. And he will go on to say that the Word was made flesh. Jesus was born.
Read John 1:1-18
Now there is no greater topic that we could study then that of the person of Jesus Christ, and I mean that and I’ll give you two reasons why I believe that.
#1 – He divided History. Think about it. There is no individual in history that has had more of an impact than Jesus Christ. True greatness belongs only to him, and sometimes we forget that.
Sometimes we get carried away with applying the term great and we ascribe it to athletes or movies stars or possessions or food. He’s a great ball-player, she’s a great actress, that’s a great car, that’s a great meal. But the reality is that all of those things come and go and in a few years who remember them. Were they really that great?
Think about the people from Jesus’ time. Who remembers the greatest athlete in Rome? Or the biggest sex symbol of Galatia? Who remembers the Mayor of Thessalonica or the richest man in Jerusalem? Who was the teenage heartthrob in Nazareth. Who knows? And who cares? History validates the question of the greatness of Jesus. He alone is without peer.
Every day when open my appointment book or turn on my computer or peel off one of those desktop calendar pages, it flashes a date that, though I realize it or not, is a testimony to the greatness of Jesus, an acknowledgement to his birth.
And isn’t it amazing that everything that happens on this planet falls in one of two categories, it is either before Christ (BC) or After the death of Christ (Anno-Domini) AD. The separation of history validates his greatness.
Phillip Yancy, in his book "The Jesus I Never Knew" (a book that greatly influenced this sermon and it’s content) tells about the year 1969. The Apollo astronauts landed on the moon and Richard Nixon, swept up in the moment, proclaimed it “the greatest day since creation. And then Billy Graham was quick to remind him of the birth of Christ.
You see, there’s never been an individual that had the impact of Jesus Christ. We can even see his influence in the lives of unbelievers. A golfer misses a put or a carpenter hits his thumb with a hammer, what name comes out of his mouth. It’s not Abraham Lincoln or George Washington, it’s not Mohammed or Buddah, it’s Jesus Christ.
And what I’m trying to say is that you cannot get away from the man, that’s the impact that he had.
Even HG Wells said, “More then 1900 years later even a non-Christian like myself finds the picture centering around the life and character of this most significant man.”
That from a non-Christian. And so we will talk about Jesus because there’s been another person with the impact of this man. There’s never been another that split time in two.
And yet I said there were two reasons I wanted to talk about him. You see I want to talk about Jesus, not just because he divided history, but because he divided my life as well.
I date everything in my life much the way that time is dated, before Christ and after Christ. He was the dividing point of my life. My goals changed, my values changed, my hopes changed and certainly my eternal destination changed.