Bill's Blog for March 2016
Looking Like Jesus...
Went to see Risen Tuesday night. It is a rather interesting viewpoint of the Crucifixion/Resurrection. It is viewed from one of the Roman soldiers who was assigned to the crucifixion and the guarding of the tomb. I've heard several get a little upset because it wasn't 'Biblical' but I thought that part was okay. It took a made up story and placed it within the Biblical account of the historical crucifixion/resurrection.
I understand now that they have a new movie coming out that speculates about the early life of Jesus. I think they begin with His childhood and take Him through until he becomes an adult.
Tonight, I would like for us to talk about what the life of Jesus looked like. Some is spelled out, other parts are implied.
Not a lot is shared about Jesus' childhood so most of this would be implied, but let's talk about what you think the early years of Jesus' life would look like.
Really, the only Gospel that says much at all about Jesus' childhood is Luke. So turn with me to Luke Chapter 1.
· Vs 26 What must it have been like to have an angel come and announce you were going to have a baby…especially when you weren't even married yet and had never had sexual relations.
· What must it have been like to have Shepherds show up and say an Angel told them to come see the baby…then later on the Magi? (Matthew)
· 2:21 Eighth day He was taken to be circumcised. Parents were devout Jews who followed customs. They also named Him Jesus in obedience to what the Angel said.
· 2:41 They went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.
· 2:47 Jesus was in Temple talking to, asking questions of the teachers.
· 2:49 Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house…and He wasn't referring to Joseph's.
o These happened by the time He was 12.
o We really don't know much more until His baptism.
From His baptism (Cpt 4) we deduct other traits.
1. He was full of Holy Spirit, led by HS
4. "It is written…" He had to be a student of the Scriptures
15. He taught in the Synagogues
35. He drove out demons
40. He healed many…
6:6 Healed on Sabbath
7:11 Raised people from dead
7:37 Accepted sinful woman
8:4 Taught in parables where people could understand
8:21 Said fellow believers were His family
8:22 Calmed the storm
9:10 Feeds 5000
14:1 Ate with Pharisees
19:1 Ate with Tax Collectors
21:1 Looked on heart instead of money
22:39 Prays (Many accounts of this: In public, in private, early, late, all night…)
22:47 Didn't resist arrest/authorities
23: 26 Was obedient to Father all the way to death
Matthew doesn't say anything about Jesus' childhood but does a good job giving us a glimpse of His adulthood.
3:13 Jesus was baptized
4:17 Preached repentance
His Sermon on Mount lets us see many character traits of Jesus.
5:21 Murder/anger (Don’t settle for lesser…)
5:31 Divorce/remarriage is adultery
5:33 Let your word be oath
5:38 Turn other cheek, walk second mile, love enemies
6:1 Don't do good to be seen
6:5 When you pray
6:16 When you fast
6:19 Treasures in Heaven
6:25 Don't worry/seek God first
7:1 Don't judge
7:13 Enter narrow gate
7:24 Build on solid foundation
8:18 Hard teachings: let dead bury dead (John 6 says Drink blood/eat flesh)
14:22 Didn’t let physical limits bother Him (Walked on water, calmed storm.)
19:16 Told RYR He must be before possessions.
20:1 Workers in vineyard: His fairness isn't always understood by us.
20:29 Blind men receive sight: Rewarded persistence.
21:12 Angered by Temple not being 'house of prayer' (Holy)
22:34 Greatest command is Love God and when we do we will Love others
23:1 Condemned "Religious" who didn't know God.
24:1 Confidently shared signs of end times but admitted He had no idea when…He trusted God's words to Him but had no control over certain aspects. (As the man Jesus)
John takes a different approach to the life of Jesus.
1:1 Was in the beginning, with God, was God, created all.
2:1 Obeys mom, even when it 'wasn't time'.
4:1 Made time to witness to sinful foreigner (Woman at well.)
6:35 I Am Bread of Life
8:12 I am the Light of the world
8:23 I am from above
8:58 Before Abraham was I Am
10:7 I am the gate
10:11 I am the good Shepherd
10:36 I am God's Son
11:25 I am the Resurrection
14:6 I am way, truth, life
14:10 I am in the Father, Father is in Me
15:1 I am the Vine
Rev 1:8 Alpha/Omega…first/last
With all that in mind, I would like for us to take a few minutes and write what we consider to be some of the characteristics of Jesus' life on the board…
· He memorized Scripture
· He quoted Scripture
· He prayed
· He obeyed
· Was led by Spirit
***So how much does your life look like Jesus' life?
Why doesn't it look more like Him?
Do you find it hard to live like Jesus?
Think about His own disciples
· They argued over who was the greatest
· They lost their temper
· They didn't understand His teachings
· They scattered when things got tough
· They doubted
Notice something very important. All this happened before Acts 2.
What happened in Acts 2? Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts 2:1-4)
***Before Acts 2 they were trying to learn and mimic Jesus. Now He was living within them in the HS.
Jesus had told them to go to Jerusalem and wait for the HS. Check this out…
Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; (HS) but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Recounted in Acts 1 in today's SS Lesson)
You know the story. They were together at Pentecost and the HS fell on them in a mighty way.
Once HS lived within them they became NEW CREATIONS.
They no longer just tried to follow His teachings and mimic Him, He lived within them.
***As we talked about last week, there's a huge difference in eating from
· Tree of KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil where we live according to our own understanding.
· Tree of Life…the Word of God…He within us.
When we rely on our knowledge of Good and Evil we'll mess up.
When we eat from the Word of God, when He is within us, it's totally different.
***So why do we come up so short of looking like Jesus? Because we are trying to do it on our own, from our own knowledge.
***If He is living within us, if He is living through us, our actions will look very much like His?
How badly do we want to be able to say,
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"
How do I reach that point?
It's so much more than praying a prayer and getting baptized.
Even His closest disciples didn't get it for a long time.
Here's what He told them…
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
Matthew 7:21 Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter Kingdom of Heaven.
John 17:26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
Looking like Jesus requires a lot more than trying to mimic Him.
It begins with us understanding Jesus said we must "Die" to ourselves. We must not trust our knowledge of Good and Evil.
We must ingest the Word of God. Not just 'words' but the Word.
· When Jesus knocks at our hearts door we must open it. To keep the door closed keeps Him out.
· We must understand Jesus is Lord.
· When we open the door and invite Him in He must become our Lord. If not, we remain God, not Him.
We must truly desire Him to live within us.
· If we say we want Him in our lives and never really desire it (RYR, He knows our heart, etc.) He never becomes Lord.
· He can’t be our Savior unless we let Him be our Lord as well.
We must be careful what we put into our lives.
· Phil 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.
· Thy Word have I hid in my heart.
o Its obvious Jesus studied, memorized, placed the Word in His heart.
o He quoted it, He lived by it.
o The Word in our hearts changes who we are, not just what we do.
o 2 Corinthians 5:17 Anyone in Christ is a new creation
o Not just new habits but a new creation
My point tonight, our lives should look like Jesus'.
Being a Christian is giving my life to Him, taking up my cross daily, letting Him make me new and live in me…I no longer live.
***If Jesus is living in me I will look a lot like Him.
1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world.
How would they check to see if you are a true child of your parents?
DNA-Is Jesus' DNA within you? (Given to Him or mimicking?)
I would like to leave you tonight with this prayer Paul offered the Ephesians:
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Is Jesus in you?
I got baptized
Is He your Lord
I walked the aisle
Are you one
I prayed a prayer
Anyone in Christ is a new creation…they no longer live but Christ lives within them…their lives look a lot like Jesus.
Is it complete and automatic? Paul says we "are being saved".
But a live Jesus is living in will look a lot like Jesus.
Invitation: Are you mimicking or does Jesus live within you?