Sermon March 18, 2018 – Who Is This Man?

Mark 4:35-41

 Every Easter we focus on the cross where Jesus died, we need to be reminded and perhaps for the first time realize who it was that died on the cross 2000 years ago.

C.S. Lewis has made famous the trilemma that Jesus must either be a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord of all in his book “Mere Christianity”.  Ever since the time of Jesus, men have argued about who this man from Galilee really was.  During Jesus’ time on earth the religious leaders did not grasp the fact that the long-awaited Messiah had arrived.

The disciples had to answer that question themselves, even after seeing many miracles and the authority with which he taught, they took some time to realize that Jesus was no ordinary man. In Mark 4:35-42 we read the incredible account of Jesus calming the storm.

Jesus had just completed the preaching of the sermon on the mount. He was tired he tired physically and spiritually, he had been teaching and healing the sick. Jesus needed some time to recharge and get away, verse 36, tells us that Jesus left just as he was, he didn’t go back to the town to pack a bag, he just needed to get away, but we read that other boats followed them. This was a fishing community, so people followed in their boats, little did they know what they were about to witness. Soon after leaving Capernaum Jesus went to sleep on a cushion.  A storm turned the sea into a deadly nightmare for the sailors and the disciples thought they would surely all drown. The disciples woke Jesus and rebuked him for not caring. The original Greek says something like, “we know you care about us, but right now it seems as if you don’t.” Isn’t that so much like us, when we encounter the storms of life, we know in our hearts and believe by faith that Jesus does care, but in that moment, it seems like he is distant. But God is always near, and even in the fiercest storm, he is right there, and you are one miracle away from peace and calm.

Jesus stands ignoring the disciples and rebukes the wind and the waves. Jesus didn’t just perform a miracle, this was the creator speaking to his creation. Jesus speaks directly to the wind and the waves and there is instant calm. The Bible says in verse 39, there was a great calm.

Jesus rebukes the disciples and says, “Have you still no faith?” What he really was asking them was, “do you still not know who I am?” Obviously, they didn’t because verse 41 tells us that they were filled with great fear and asked each other, “who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The truth was beginning to become real to them, as the apostle Paul would later write in Colossians 1:15-17.

As the disciples looked back on this moment they might have realized that what took place on the sea of Galilee that night was written by king David prophetically over a thousand years before in Psalm 107:23-31.

Jesus was God: This short record for us that we have in the three synoptic Gospels, is incredibly powerful in revealing that Jesus was what he claimed to be. He was fully God and fully man. Jesus’ incarnation was not a loss of his divine attributes, but rather it was an addition of human attributes (Philippians 2:6-7). This does not indicate that Jesus emptied himself of his divine nature, but rather as Colossians 2:9 clarifies, Jesus was the fullness of the deity in bodily form. Rather Jesus subordinated himself to the Father and became a servant in his incarnation. By giving up his equality with God, he willingly poured his divine essence into human form and submitted himself as a servant for a season to reveal God to mankind and provide the means to salvation at the same time.

Jesus always was God and will always be God. He is uncreated, eternal God (John 1:1-2).

Jesus was Human: Mathew and Luke both record the genealogy of Jesus, even though we know he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he still had a long and somewhat controversial family tree. Also, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). This sounds obvious, but sometimes we forget that Jesus was a toddler, a young boy, a teenager and a young man before he began his ministry. Jesus also experienced the same physical discomforts that we experience, he was hungry (Matthew 4:2), Jesus was thirsty (John 19:28) and he grew tired (John 4:6). Jesus felt emotions, he wept at the death of Lazarus he had compassion on the crowds, and he expressed anger and disappointment. He experienced life as a human being just like you and me.

This same Jesus allowed himself to be killed on a cross and then on the third day he rose again triumphant over death. He ascended into heaven and forever lives at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. This same Jesus is coming back as a conquering warrior, what a terrifying day that will be (Revelation 19:11-16).

Jesus is Lord, but is he your Lord?

This is what it means to be a Christian. Not simply believing that Jesus was the son of God or believing that he died for your sins. You must allow Jesus Lordship of your life. When you submit to the Lordship of Jesus, only then will you experience freedom, Joy and true purpose in life. Is Jesus Lord of your life? Or is Jesus someone you confess, but, he is just one aspect of your busy schedule. Sometimes Jesus gets in the way of your plans, if he is not lord of your life, you probably are not saved.

Why Christmas Part 4 12/27/15

#whychristmas

Why Christmas Part 4 Title.2

Acts 1:1-11

So we come to the final questions for our series, and the first is, why must Jesus come again? Acts 1:1-11 is about the ascension of Jesus, it seems to be out of place for us to read at this time of the year.

When we look at the prophets that I mentioned in the first part of the series, I said that there were some prophecies about Jesus that are still to be fulfilled. For example Isaiah 9:6-7 is a scripture that we read every Christmas, but verse 7 is still not fully realized, we wait for the day when justice and righteousness will be established and continue forever.

This is not unusual in the writings of the Old Testament prophets. It is much like looking at a mountain range from great distance, this is how the prophets saw what God was giving them. All the mountains look the same distance away, but as you get closer you see that there are valleys and great distances between the mountains. The Old Testament prophets saw from a distance, but the disciples who walked with Jesus saw the first “mountain” being fulfilled in the presence of Jesus. They believed Jesus when he said that he must go and that he will return again one day. From their vantage point, they looked to another distant mountain, the great Day of the Lord, when Jesus would come as a warrior king, to judge the world and establish his rule and reign.

The first coming of Jesus was a mission of humility and sacrifice, he came to deal with the problem of sin and he came to conquer death. But the next time Jesus comes, he will come on a mission of triumph and justice.

When Jesus comes again, it will be with a loud trumpet blast and fantastic Glory, far different from his humble birth in a manger (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16). Jesus must come in order to receive his Bride the church, and to judge the World. Both the living and the dead, both believers and unbelievers, everyone will stand before the judgment throne. At this time, Jesus will separate his faithful children from those who refused to believe in him. One to eternal reward, the other to eternal punishment. At this time Jesus will establish the New Heaven and the New Earth, all things will be made new. God’s people will live together in perfect fellowship with one another and with our creator. No more sin, no more pain, no more tears. That is why Jesus has to come again, and we eagerly await that day.

We come to our next question, why do you and I need to believe in Jesus? As we look at the Bible’s account of the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, we see many facts, we see the account of Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds, the wise men, and even Herod. All of these people were real people, but only people who witnessed the greatest miracle of all time. The story of Jesus that we remember this week is not simply a story of a life two thousand years ago. The story of Jesus affects all of history and all of mankind. The disciples were given the privilege of seeing Jesus in person, they believed in him because they saw his miracles, and they witnessed his resurrection from the dead. But we have something even more wonderful than that, when Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised the Holy Spirit would come and live within us. The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity actually resides in all who believe in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, our counsellor, and our guide in life, we are not left as orphans, we have become Children of the living God. We must believe in Jesus, he is our only hope. When Jesus comes again, it will be too late to then decide to believe in Him.

But I want to challenge you today to consider that believing in Jesus is not enough. In James 2:19 we see that belief in God is not enough unless it is accompanied by a life of faith and action. Merely giving mental agreement to the virgin birth, accepting that Jesus is the Son of God even believing that he came to be a sacrifice for our sins is not enough. Someone who is truly saved is someone who takes the truth of the Gospel, believes it and then acts accordingly, the Gospel message must change our lives. So the third question is why do you need to make Jesus Christ Lord of your life?

In Acts 1:10-11, we see the disciples standing on the Mount of Olives gazing up at the sky. They were staring in a stunned silence, paralyzed in a mixture of confusion, wonder, fear and anxiety. Jesus has just left, what will they do now?

Then almost as if to wake them up, two angels appear in human form, and give them some comfort that Jesus is coming back again. But the truth is that they had a job to do, Jesus had just given them his final instructions (Acts 1:8), and there was work to be done. The disciples needed to be reminded that they were not called by Jesus to sit on top of the Mount of Olives, stargazing and waiting for his return. They were called to go and change the World with a message that was life changing and revolutionary.

And that is our calling too. We are not saved in order to sit back and continue life as normal. How can we continue as normal, when we have received the Holy Spirit? We have the presence of the Living God within us, we have been called with a purpose to give our lives to Christ as living sacrifices. That is what it means to be a Christian, the most incredible privilege and calling any human being can have, to be the representatives of the Living God. As we wait for Jesus to come again let us be about His business, let us be found faithful, doing what God has called us to do.