Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Without the Hand of God in our lives, we cannot believe God, will hate His Messenger, and will be gullible to any and every opinion.

• Who can ever forget Winston Churchill’s immortal words: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills."

• It sounds exactly like our family vacation.

• Family life is difficult for all of us.

• One problem in families is being misunderstood.

• It seems that a family member can be the most critical.

• Many wise observations have been made about criticism.

• “Nothing can be stated so perfectly as not to be misunderstood.” - Philip Melanchthon

• “Let the man who says it cannot be done not disturb the man doing it.” - Chinese proverb

• “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” - Elbert Hubbard.

• “For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.” - Harrison’s Postulate

• “He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.” – Abraham Lincoln

• Little is known about Jesus’ family life as a child.

• We know he had younger brothers and sisters.

• We don’t know about his school, friends, and relationship with siblings.

• We know he was perfect, and that itself had to be difficult on his family.

• Let’s look at the first five verses.

• (READ 1-5) (Prayer).

• When the Jews sought to kill Jesus, he chose to linger away from Jerusalem a while.

• Feast of Tabernacles was a reminder of Israel in wilderness, dwelled in tents, transient, and having no crops.

• God said, someday you will live in homes and have crops.

• The Feast was a reminder of God’s promises, a favorite celebration, where the families forsake their homes and lived in booths built by leaning branches.

• It was something children anticipated and stories were told for entertainment.

• Jerusalem was expected a typical large crowd.

• Jesus brothers said, “If ever you are going to show your stuff, this would be the time.”

• Then the sad note, they didn’t believe He had the stuff.

• When we are faced with Jesus, much like his family was, we are faced with difficulty.

• A dilemma is a choice between two options.

• A trilemma is a choice between three options.

• Jesus was either a 1) liar, 2) lunatic, or 3) Lord.

• John McDowell writes in More Than A Carpenter (25): “To say what Jesus said and to claim what he claimed about himself, one couldn’t conclude he was just a good moral man or prophet. That alternative isn’t open to an individual, and Jesus never intended it to be.”

• McDowell is borrowing from C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (40-41): “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him, ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

• Lewis is referring to the claims of Jesus:

• • That he and the Father are one.

• • That whoever has seen Jesus has seen God.

• • That God the Father sent him to do his will.

• • That he is the Savior of the World,

• • The one source of eternal life and spiritual nourishment,

• • The only way to God,

• • The supreme judge of mankind,

• • The light of the world,

• • The resurrection and the life,

• • The messiah, and

• • The unique Son of God.

• • Jesus says he has power to raise the dead and to heal the sick. And he claims authority over the Sabbath, authority to answer prayer, and authority to forgive sins.

• Illustration, If Brother Bill punched you, could I say to Brother Bill, “You are forgiven”?

• Or would that be your right?

• But Jesus said, “whoever I forgive, the Father forgives.”

• Others were saying Jesus was a blasphemer. His brothers were saying he was out of his mind.

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