Emory Baptist Church
Know Jesus, Know God; No Jesus, No God!

Know Jesus, Know God; No Jesus, No God!

July 18, 2022
  • Here at Emory Baptist Church, we study books of the Bible on Sunday mornings verse by verse and chapter by chapter. We do that because we believe the Bible is the very word of God and has the power to change lives.
  • Right now, we are studying the Gospel of John. It is one of four gospels that tell the story of the life of Jesus.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke generally record the life of Jesus in chronological order.
  • However, John’s Gospel is different in that it was written to prove to the readers that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world. On multiple occasions, it fills in the gaps of the other gospels with unique material.
  • This morning, the text is going to present to us three questions that we will answer together: where was Jesus from, how did Jesus operate, and where was Jesus going?

 

 

  1. Where was Jesus from, John 7:25-29?

25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27 However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”  28 Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”

 

Jesus was in Jerusalem at this time, and some of the local residents had heard rumors that the Jewish Religious Leaders were going to try and kill and Jesus because the people were beginning to follow Him more than them.

 

However, according to verse 26, the Jewish Religious Leaders were not carrying out their plans yet.  Perhaps they had changed their mind deciding to believe that Jesus was the Christ, Savior of the world.

 

Verse 27 says the local residents knew where Jesus was from.  However, they knew physical origin not His spiritual origin.  They knew He was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth.

 

In verse 28, we know here Jesus respond. He cried out with passion and conviction.  You know Me on a physical level and where I am from physically.  However, you don’t know where I am really from, and you don’t know who sent Me. 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Jesus is from heaven and sent by God the Father.  He is God’s only Son, and God sent Him to earth to be God the Father’s representative being God Himself. 

 

 

  1. How did Jesus operate, John 7:30-31?

 30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31 And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

 

According to verse 30, the Jewish Religious Leaders finally decide to put their plan of taking Jesus into place.  However, something very interesting happened according to the end of verse 30.

 

They were not able to because God it was not God’s time yet.  In other words, Jesus operated on God’s timetable.  His enter life was according to God’s perfect timetable.

 

Furthermore, Jesus not only operated on God’s timetable, He operated according to God’s purpose.  God’s purpose for Jesus was to provide salvation for anyone who puts their faith and trust in Christ.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, God created you to having a personal relationship with Him.  However, our sin has broken that fellowship and separates us from God, but because Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, He offers salvation, fellowship with God, forgiveness of sin, heaven and eternal life to any who will believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

 

 

  1. Where was Jesus going, John 7:32-36?

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. 33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34 You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”  35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

 

In verse 32-33, Jesus says that He is going somewhere.  He is going back to the God the Father in heaven.  However, they couldn’t go where Jesus was going because they didn’t know God. 

 

Jesus did go back to heaven after He died on the cross and after He came back to life from the dead.  He went back to heaven with God the Father after He accomplished God’s purpose for Him and that job was done.

 

 

Conclusion

If you saw this morning’s bulletin, my sermon title reflected the message of this text from John 7.  If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, you also know God because not only is Jesus God’s Son, Jesus is also God too.

 

However, if you say to Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life, you are saying no to God, and if you can’t know God the Father in heaven any other way than by knowing God the Son, Jesus Christ. 

 

This morning, if you don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior, I invite you to be saved.  First, admit that you are a sinner.  Second, believe that Jesus died on the cross and for your sins.  Third, call on Him to save you.

 

Preteen Camp 2022: Elijah Meets Ahab!
Was Jesus Demon-Possessed?

Was Jesus Demon-Possessed?

July 5, 2022

If you were here last Sunday, Jesus was sarcastically encouraged by His brothers to go into Jerusalem to do some signs to show all the people that He really was the Savior of the world.  Also, it is probably sometime in October, and the Feats of the Tabernacles or Booths was taking place with thousands of orthodox Jews in Jerusalem. 

 

I also mentioned to you last week the well-known theory of the British, Christian author CS Lewis.  In “Mere Christianity,” he reminded us that when it comes to what a person does with Jesus, there are only three options.  You must conclude that He was a liar, a lunatic, or Lord.

 

Most honest observers conclude that Jesus wasn’t a liar.  That is not characteristic a great moral teacher like all world religions teach. 

 

Today, we look at that second option.  Was Jesus a lunatic?  Many of these first-century Jews drew this conclusion as noted in John 7:20, “You have a demon.”

 

However, were they correct?  Did Jesus have a demon?  In today’s text, we will answer that question.

 

 

Exposition of John 7:14-15

14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

 

Again, verse 14 reminds us that Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles.  He had also gone into the temple to teach, and the Jews were amazed at His teaching. 

 

They wondered how in the world He could teach with such authority having never been educated.  He knew God’s word backward and forward.

 

 

  1. Jesus was God-sent, John 7:16-17.

16 Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

 

In verse 16, Jesus answered their question by essentially saying that He was God-sent.  Consequently, what He was teaching was from God.  It was God’s teaching. 

 

We can know this is true because Jesus didn’t seek to do His will or seek His own glory.  He sought God’s will and sought God’s glory.

 

Let me ask you this morning.  In the way your make decisions, can others recognize that you have screened your options according to God’s word? 

 

Think back to last week.  Whose timetable is more important in your life?  Is it yours or God’s? 

 

When you are making decisions, do you go to God’s word?  For example, when it comes to your relationships, whether they are marital, dating, personal, or business, are you unequally yoked with an unbeliever?

 

God’s word is abundantly clear.  Believers are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers?  See 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

 

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them.  I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”  17 Therefore, “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”  18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”

 

Adults and students, your best friends ought not be lost people.  Adults, your primary business partners ought not be lost people.  Students, your boyfriend or girlfriend ought not be a lost person.

 

If you are unequally yoked, you are not screening your decisions according to God’s word, and while we want to be evangelistic in our relationships, more often than not, if we are unequally yoked, lost people usually bring us down in our behavior rather than bringing them up.

 

Jesus was God-sent, and all of His decisions were screened according to what God wants and according to God’s word.

 

 

  1. Jesus was God-spoken, John 7:18.

18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.

 

Not only was Jesus God-sent, He was also God-spoke.  I mean all that He said was from God. 

 

Jesus didn’t speak His own words.  He spoke the very words of God. 

 

How do we know what the words of God are?  We have them right here.

 

Does that mean that is all that God spoke?  It doesn’t necessarily, but this is all that God thought we needed. 

 

Some argue that we cannot keep boxed up through His word.  I have news for you.  The Bible is the word that God created for Himself, and again, it is all that we need.

 

Are you speaking God’s word?  Are you speaking God’s word to your spouse?  Are you speaking God’s word at your job?  Are you speaking God’s word this summer at the lake and the ballfield and on the golf course?  See Psalm 19:14.

 

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

Ephesians 4:29, 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

 

Luke 6:45, 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

 

Jesus was God-sent, and He was God-spoken.

 

 

  1. Jesus was God-sanctified, John 7:19-24.

19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”  20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”  21 Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

 

In verse 19, Jesus accused the Jews of being out to kill Him, and they were.  However, they denied it, and tried to make Him out to look like a crazy man as they said, “You have a demon!”

 

In verse 21, Jesus pointed back to the straw that broke the camel’s back for them and what they thought about Jesus when He healed the lame man in John 5. 

 

Do you remember that?  In John 5, Jesus healed the paralytic who could never make his way into the pool of water outside of the Sheep’s Gate.  He had been lame for 38 years, and Jesus healed him.  However, it was on the Sabbath, and they Jews went ballistic.

 

Why?  Jesus challenged how they were sanctified.  They were guilty of legalism.  They had raised their traditions and their preferences to the level of authority that should only be true of God’s word. 

 

When the Bible talks about legalism, there are two types.  There is legalism as it relates to salvation.  We have that today when we say that something else is necessary to be saved in addition to faith and repentance. 

 

These Jews said that circumcision was necessary for salvation and not just faith and repentance.  Today, there are some churches that say that baptism is necessary for salvation.  That is legalism.

 

In this text, we see the legalism that is related to sanctification.  These Jews said with their actions that observing the Sabbath was necessary to be sanctified or more like Jesus.

 

In days gone by, many of you were taught that the way a woman dresses makes her more sanctified.  Therefore, women were taught not to wear pants to church or not to wear make-up.  Men were taught they couldn’t have facial hair if they wanted to be sanctified.

 

Today, we say that a Christian can’t have piercings or be tattooed or never drink alcohol.  If they do, they aren’t sanctified and living like Jesus.

 

Let me be clear, I don’t wear piercings and I don’t have any tattoos and I don’t drink alcohol ever.  However, if I say that God’s word forbids such, I am being legalistic.  These are my preferences, and they are informed by God’s word, but those actions aren’t forbidden in God’s word. 

 

Jesus was God-sent, His words were God-spoken, and He taught that only what is explicit in God’s word sanctifies. 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

So now we come back to our original question?  Was Jesus Demon-Possessed?  Was He a lunatic?

 

He was not demon-possessed.  He was not a lunatic, and He was not a liar.

 

Therefore, if He was not a liar and He was not a lunatic, then He must be Lord.  Is He Lord of your life?

 

If He is not, will you receive Him today as Lord and Savior?  If He is Lord of your life, make sure that you are screen your decisions according to God’s word and speaking God’s word and letting God’s word sanctify you rather than traditions and personal preferences.

 

Whose Timetable is More Important?

Whose Timetable is More Important?

June 26, 2022

We have finished chapter 6 and Jesus’ bread of life discourse and are now moving to chapter 7.  Remember that John is not writing a comprehensive account of Jesus’ life but rather filling in the gaps from the synoptic gospels. 

 

Verse 1 of chapter 7 begins, “After these things.”  There is probably a six month period of time between chapters 6 and seven.  We know this because at the beginning of chapter 6, it was time for the Passover which was in April.  See John 6:4.

 

4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near.

 

According to John 7:2, it is now time for the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, which takes place in October.  What did this feast celebrate?

 

The Feast of Tabernacles took place in the fall and was a time of thanksgiving for the harvest. It was a happy time, and a time of celebration. 

 

As for demonstration, and for one week, devout Jews would live outdoors in tabernacles or booths made of tree branches.  Their actions remembered God’s provision in the desert during their forefather’s wanderings.  See Leviticus 23:39-43.

 

39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a Sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a Sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”

 

From this morning’s text, I want to ask you the question, “Whose Timetable is More Important?”  Our society and culture operates on time.  Our work day is timed.  Our school day is timed.  Our lives are timed, but whose timetable is more important, yours or God’s? 

 

When it comes to taking a job or changing jobs, whose timetable is more important?  When it comes to making a significant purchase, whose timetable is more important?  When it comes to beginning relationships or ending relationships, whose timetable is more important?  Are you going to live your life according to your time or God’s timing? 

 

However, before we answer that question, I want you to see three different groups of people and how they related to Jesus: His foes, His family, and some other folks.

 

 

  1. His Foes wanted to Murder Him, John 7:1.

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.

 

So, now we are in October, and Jesus had been ministering in Galilee healing the sick, exorcising demons, preaching the gospel, and discipling the Twelve.  He remained in Galilee because the Jewish religious leaders or His foes were opposed to Him, and they were ready to murder Him. 

 

He exposed their hypocritical and self-centered religious traditions, and they saw Him gaining influence quickly among the people.   They wanted to kill Him soon.

 

By the way, this right here is exactly why Jesus said what He did in Matthew 5:21-22.

 

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

 

Because these Jews let their anger go unchecked, it had progressed to a desire for murder.  Brothers and sisters, God’s plan for you is to kill your sin not curb your sin.  If you don’t kill your sin, it will end up killing you.

 

 

  1. His Family Misunderstood Him, John 7:2-9.

2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.  6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. 

 

As I mentioned previously, verse 2 tells us that the Feast of Tabernacles was near.  Elsewhere, this is called the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Shelters, and it was celebrated in Jerusalem. 

 

Again, it was a time of thanksgiving and remembering how the Lord provided for the nation of Israel during their wanderings in the wilderness in the Old Testament.  As a sign, devout Jews made a booth out of tree branches and lived in it for seven days while celebrating this feast.

 

In verse 3, we see the introduction of Jesus’ brothers.  These were actually half brothers from Joseph and Mary.  See Matthew 13:55.

 

55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?

 

They wanted Jesus to go on to Jerusalem as many people would be there for the Feast of Tabernacles, and He could do some signs and demonstrate that He truly was the Messiah.  They thought Jesus wanted fame and notoriety and to gain a following. 

 

However, they misunderstood Jesus.  Jesus had a different agenda.  He didn’t come to entertain.   He came to be executed and to give His life as a ransom for many.

 

Verse 5 says at this time, they didn’t believe in Him.  How does your family treat you and your commitment to Christ?

 

Like these brothers here in verses 3-4, some family will be sarcastic.  They will mock you and your decision to follow the Lord.

 

Beginning in verse 6, some family will be totally secular and antagonistic.  Jesus said that He and His brothers didn’t share the same timetable, and they didn’t share the same world-view. 

 

If you are a follower of Christ, your worldview is spiritual.  If you aren’t, your worldview is secular, and the world loves you. 

 

In verse 8, Jesus told them to go ahead of Him, and perhaps He would come later.  Verse 9 says He remained in Galilee for a while. 

 

Jesus also had a different timetable.  Notice verse 6.  He said His time had not come because He was living according to His timetable but God’s timetable.  How are you living this morning?  Are you trying to live your life and accomplish your agenda on your timetable?  Have you ever considered God’s timetable for your life?  Jesus commented that his brothers could come and go as they please because they weren’t operating on His timetable.

 

Jesus also had a different standard.  He said the world cannot hate His brothers because His brothers were of the world.  They would not hate their own.  However, Jesus had demonstrated to the world that the problem with the world is the world, and people didn’t like that.  The same is true today.  Do you know what the problem with the world is?  It is me and you.  It is us.  Do you know that the problem with the church is?  It is church members.  Jesus’ standard was perfection, and ours is less.  As a result of having a different agenda, a different timetable, and a different standard, Jesus’ family misunderstood Him.

 

In verse 8, He tells them to go to the feast themselves.  Again, He is on God’s timetable, and it wasn’t time yet.  Therefore, He stayed in Galilee a little while longer as His brothers traveled.  He then went Himself secretly so as not to draw attention as the Jews, His foes were looking out for Him.

 

 

  • Some Folks sent Mixed Signals about Him, John 7:10-13.

10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

 

Verse 10 says that Jesus’ brothers did go up to Jerusalem, and He went eventually, but not at the same time and not with them.  He even went covertly because He knew there were those after Him.

 

When talking about Jesus in verses 11-13, there wasn’t a firm consensus.  Some thought Jesus was good.  Others said He was a liar so these folks as a whole were sending mixed signals. 

 

By the way, life’s ultimate question is what do you do with Jesus?  CS Lewis said He is either a liar or a lunatic or your Lord.  So, which is for you?  Will you continue to reject Him or will you receive Him today?

 

 

Conclusion

Back to our original question.  Whose timetable is more important?  Notice verse 6.  Jesus said His time had not come because He wasn’t living according to His timetable but God’s timetable. 

In verse 8, Jesus said something similar.  He told His brothers to go to the feast themselves.  However, He wasn’t going then or with them.  Why?  He was on God’s timetable, and it wasn’t time yet. 

 

How are you living this morning?  Are you trying to live your life and accomplish your agenda on your timetable?  Have you ever considered God’s timetable for your life? 

 

If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, would you also surrender to His timetable?  His timing for your life and your job and your money and your relationships is far better than your time. 

 

If you don’t believe, try Him, and let me know how it works out.  I am confident that you won’t be disappointed.

 

Impossible Isn’t in God’s Dictionary!

Impossible Isn’t in God’s Dictionary!

May 23, 2022

Have you ever faced a situation that seemed impossible?  Probably all of us have.

 

It may have been at work or at home or at school or with your family or with your children or with your finances or at your church?  However, when God steps in, the impossible becomes possible because “impossible” isn’t in God’s dictionary. 

 

In John 6, the disciples faced an impossible situation.  God gave them a test of their faithfulness, and when Jesus stepped in, the impossible became possible.

 

 

 

  1. A Serious Problem, John 6:1-6

1 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.  4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

 

In verse 1, “after these things” certainly applies to Jesus defeating a disease, declaring Himself to God, and defending His own authority.  However, we know from comparing the four Gospels that John doesn’t necessarily write according to exact chronology. 

 

His desire often was to fill in the gaps left by the other Gospels.  Today’s story may have been six months after the end of chapter five.

 

However, we know this story at the beginning of John 6 is of the utmost importance.  Why?  Besides the resurrection of Christ, it is the only miracle included in all four Gospels.

 

Jesus and His disciples had left Jerusalem again and headed north back to Galilee, and they went to eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.  Following them was a large crowd according to verse 2.  However, they are following Jesus because they saw Him do some amazing miracles including healing the sick, and they wanted to see more.  At the end of John 4, He healed the nobleman’s son.  At the beginning of chapter 5, He healed the paralytic that had been that way for 38 years. 

 

However, Jesus was trying to find some peace and quiet for Him and His disciples up on a mountainside.

 

Verse four tells us that it was close to spring time as the Passover was near.  Jesus then looked up and saw the large crowd drawing closer, and He had an idea of how to grow His disciples’ faith.

 

He asked Philip where they were to could buy bread to feed all these people.  It was very logical for Jesus to ask Philip as he was from Bethsaida and would have known the area. 

 

In verse six, we see explicitly that Jesus wanted to test him.  By the way, the testing of Phillip’s faith was never to harm him but to grow him.  The same is true for you and me this morning.  Regularly, God will test our faith.  His desire is that we pass the test and grow our faith. However, because we are sinners, failure is always possible. 

 

 

  1. A Human Solution, John 6:7-9

7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”  8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

 

However, Philip saw this as an impossible situation seeing the crowd of anywhere from 10,000-20,000 people.  He reported that it would cost two hundred denarii, which was approximately eight months’ wages, and thus, there was no way to logically feed these people.

 

By the way, I understand Philip.  He was bean counter.  I am a bean counter.  Perhaps you are a bean counter.  On paper, this was an impossible situation. 

 

In verse 8, it seems that Andrew was doing his best to help the situation.  He brought a little boy to who had some food. 

 

This boy was probably a teenager who had five loaves of bread and two fish.  Keep in mind that we aren’t talking about 2-pound crappie or 3-pound catfish.  We are talking about 5 biscuits and 2 sardines. 

 

Verse 9 seems to put Andrew in the same boat as Philip.  There just wasn’t any way this situation was going to work out.  

 

 

  • Divine Intervention, John 6:10-15

10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

 

In verse 10, Jesus was about to teach His disciples how quickly things could change when He gets involved.  Again, the men numbered 5,000.  Therefore, the total could have been between 10,000 and 20,000.

 

After the crowd was seated and in verse 11, He took the boy’s food, and He thanked God for it and began to distribute it, and here is where the miracle occurred.  He passed out the bread and fish to all the people, and they got as much as they wanted.  No one was in need or went without. 

 

He then told His disciples to gather up the leftovers, and they gathered up twelve full baskets.  Twelve is significant in that there was one for each disciple.  Surely, Jesus wanted each of the twelve to understand what just happened.

 

In verse 14, when the people saw that a miracle had occurred, they recognized Jesus for who He truly was, a man of God.  However, this story ends in verse 15 with Jesus leaving the scene as the crowd wanted to force Him to be their leader, and yet, that was not according to His Father’s plan. 

 

 

Application and Conclusion

Allow me to recap, and then apply.  First, God tests our faith in Him.

 

Second, we often and sometimes only see life’s situation from a human perspective.  We don’t consider Jesus enough.

 

Third, when Jesus gets involved, the impossible becomes possible because impossible isn’t in His dictionary.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

 

For our graduates, going to college or paying for college may seem impossible.  Jesus might be testing your faith.  If you will involve Him, your impossible can become possible.

 

For EBC, building a $5 million FLC is impossible for a church our size.  However, Jesus maybe testing your faith, my faith, our faith. 

 

Let me remind you.  If we make sure Jesus is involved, the impossible is possible because impossible isn’t in His dictionary.  See Psalm 37:5 and Proverbs 16:3.

 

Has Anyone Ever Questioned Your Authority?

Has Anyone Ever Questioned Your Authority?

May 15, 2022

Has anyone ever questioned your authority?  What about as a spouse?  What about as a parent?  What about as an employer?  What as a co-worker?  What about as a teacher or a coach?  Have I ever had someone question my authority as a pastor?

 

Of course, the answer to this question in all of the scenarios is yes.  The good news is that we are in good company.  At the end of John 5, we’re going to see that the Jews were questioning Jesus’ authority, and as we have defended ourselves and our position and our authority, Jesus is going to do the same.

 

In John 5:1-15, Jesus healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years.  Instead of celebrating, many questioned Jesus’ authority to do this. 

 

Jesus then began in verse 24 defending Himself by claiming that He was God.  He then continued by claiming that He was the giver of life.

 

In today’s text, Jesus is going to defend Himself by reminding the Jews and us of that testified to witnessed to His authority.  He is going to point to God the Father, John the Baptist, His own works or signs, the Holy Scriptures, and the prophet Moses.  All pointed to Him and His authority.

 

Keep in mind that He couldn’t just say, “I have authority” because being a good Jews, He knew what the Old Testament required.  See Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15.

 

6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

 

15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

 

Jesus acknowledged His understanding and submission to the Old Testament Law in 5:31.

 

  1. The Testimony of God the Father, John 5:32, 37-38

32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true…37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

 

In verse 32, He speaks of another who truthfully and accurately testifies of Him.  Jesus is actually talking about God the Father.  We know that by the use of the word “another.”  Jesus is speaking of “another” of the same kind meaning deity or divinity.  God the Father testifies about His Son and testifies truthfully. 

 

Verses 37-38 further expand the Father’s testimony, but these Jews had never heard His voice or seen His form like their ancestors.  As a result, they did not have His word abiding in them, and they didn’t believe Him even though He was telling the truth.

 

You may be wondering when the Father testified about Jesus.  Certainly, the entire Old Testament points to Christ, but we explicitly see the Father testifying about the Son at His baptism.  See Matthew 3:13-17.

 

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”  15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.  16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 

We also see God the Father testifying about His Son at the Transfiguration.  See Matthew 17:1-5.

 

1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

 

God the Father testified about the authority of Jesus.

 

 

  1. The Testimony of John the Baptist, John 5:33-35

33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

 

Second, Jesus presents the testimony of John the Baptist, the forerunner to Christ.  These Jews were so interested and curious about John the Baptist, they sent a delegation to question him back John 1:19, but they didn’t believe him as he testified about the truth of Jesus. 

 

19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

 

Verse 34 says that Jesus didn’t need John’s testimony, but His critics would have been wise to heed John’s testimony as John said what he said concerning their salvation.  See John 1:29-34.

 

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”  32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

 

These Jews did receive and respect John’s witness for a while. However, they did not accept it ultimately.

 

By the way, notice the past tense in verse 35.  He was the burning and shining lamp.  John the Baptist was either in prison or could even have been dead already, but he testified about the authority of Jesus.

 

 

  • The Testimony of Miraculous Signs, John 5:36

36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

 

The third evidence that Jesus gives regarding Himself is the miraculous signs or works that He has performed.  Verse 36 says that these works testify to the authenticity of Christ. 

 

Up to this point, John has recorded Jesus turning water into wine: John 2:11. 

 

He healed royal official’s son: John 4:54. 

 

 

Most recently, in 5:1-15, He healed this crippled man who had been lame for 38 years.  These signs or works testified to the watching world that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah, and they testify to His authority.

 

 

  1. The Testimony of the Scriptures, John 5:39-44

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.  41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?

 

In our next six verses, beginning in verse 39, Jesus acknowledged that His critics were faithful students of the Scriptures.  However, they have the forest because of the trees.  They were so preoccupied with the details of Scripture that they have missed the big picture of Scripture, and that is the fulfillment of Jesus as the Promised Messiah. 

 

As a result, they were missing out on eternal life because they thought the Scriptures gave eternal life rather than Jesus.  This is remarkable.  The focus of divine revelation is God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and these folks missed it.

 

They had received others who were false prophets, but because they were unwilling according to verse 40 and prideful according to verse 44, they did not receive the one and only true God.  It simply escaped them even being right under their noses.

 

 

  1. The Testimony of Moses, John 5:45-47

45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

 

Finally, in these final three verses, Jesus gave His fifth piece of evidence that testifies about Himself, and that is the testimony of Moses.  Moses is second only to the promised Messiah as far as rank and authority in Judaism. 

 

However, Moses testified about Jesus in His writings, and yet, these Jews didn’t believe Him and are now not believing Jesus.  See Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

 

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’  17 “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

 

 

Applications and Conclusions

For the saved person, does Jesus have authority in your life?  Is He the authority in your marriage and with your children and with your money and at your Job and in your classroom?  If not, would you surrender to Him today?

 

So how does all of this apply to me this morning?  For the lost person, would you believe today after hearing these evidences?  Would you believe today while you still have a chance because there will come a day when your chances will be gone.  See Luke 16:19-31.

 

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’  27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

 

Jesus is the Giver of Life!

Jesus is the Giver of Life!

May 9, 2022

We began John 5 two Sundays ago, and our focus has been the Lord Jesus.  In John 5:1-15, we saw the Jesus was Lord and Master over time.  He physically healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years.  He also can save a person regardless of how long he or she has been lost, and He can reconcile individuals regardless of how long they have been divided.  Jesus is Lord and Master over time.

 

Last week, we saw that Jesus was united with God.  In other words, Jesus declared that He was God, and that reality has consequences.  They share the same work and knowledge and power and authority and honor.  Consequently, the Jews wanted Jesus dead.

 

Today, our text tells us that Jesus is the giver of life.  He is the giver of spiritual life, and that life is everlasting and exclusive to faith in Christ and evidenced by good works. 

 

Before we look at our text in John 5, I need to remind you why this spiritual life that Jesus gives is important and necessary.  It is because apart from spiritual life with Christ, we are dead.

 

All humans start out spiritually dead.  See Psalm 51:5.

 

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.

 

All humans start out completely spiritually dead.  See Ephesians 2:1-3.

 

2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

 

All humans start out completely spiritually dead, and therefore are separated from God.  See Romans 3:23.

 

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

 

Therefore, we are in need of spiritual life.

 

 

  1. The spiritual life that Jesus gives is everlasting, 5:24.

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

 

Verse 24 begins with “most assuredly.”  Literally, Jesus said, “Amen, amen!”  We might say, “Listen up!” 

 

Jesus said that he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 

 

Who sent Jesus?  It was God the Father, and the life God the Father and God the Son give is everlasting life, and if you believe, you miss judgment or death and pass into life.

 

It is interesting to know that this word “everlasting” is used often in John’s gospel in talking about the spiritual life that Jesus gives.  You can find it in John 3:16, 3:36, 4:14, 5:24, 6:27, 6:40, 6:47, and 12:50.

 

Additionally, it is found in Acts 13:46, Romans 6:22, Galatians 6:8, and 1 Timothy 1:16.  What will this eternal life be like?  See Revelation 21:4.

 

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

 

However, just like there is such a thing as everlasting life, there is also everlasting death.  See Matthew 18:8, 25:41, 25:46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, and Jude 1:6.

 

Furthermore, Jesus speaks vividly of this everlasting death in Luke 16:22-31.

 

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.  22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’  27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

 

 

  1. The spiritual life that Jesus gives is exclusive to Him, 5:25-27.

25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

 

Notice in today’s text that Jesus the speaks of hearing His word in verse 24 and then again in verse 25.  Those that hear the voice of the Son of God will live.  In verse 26, the Father has granted the Son to have life in Himself.  Verse 28 speaks again of those that hear the Son’s voice, and the Son has been given authority to judge.

 

This word for judge means to divide or sift or separate, and Jesus’ judgement is right.  Why?  It is right because it comes from the Father. 

 

Some in our world today want to make us believe that spiritual life can come through morality or genealogy or generosity or ingenuity.  However, the Bible is clear.  See John 3:16, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, and Romans 5:1.

 

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

 

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

  • The spiritual life that Jesus gives is evidenced by good works, 5:28-30.

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

 

In verse 28, Jesus begins looking to the future for a judgment to come, and that judgment will involve resurrections so now we are not only talking about spiritual life but also physical life.

 

When we think about the future resurrections, I believe the Bible is clear.  Without getting too complicated this morning and off in a rabbit hole, I believe that all Believers will be resurrected before Jesus’ 1000-year earthly reign, and the I believe that all non-Believers will be resurrected after Jesus’ 1000-year earthly reign.

 

Am I being very general this morning?  Yes, I am because the point of what Jesus is saying in verse 29 is that there will be two resurrections.  They will be distinguished by the lives of those resurrected. 

 

Those who have the spiritual life that Jesus gives to those that believe will live lives of good works, and they will part of the resurrection of life.  However, this resurrection is not because of their works but because of their faith in Christ.

 

On the other hand, those who have not believed in Jesus will have led lives doing evil, and they will experience the resurrection of condemnation. 

 

As to this idea of our works evidencing our faith, Jesus spoke about such in John 15.

 

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

 

Invitation

I want to close this morning with an invitation for this spiritual life that is everlasting and exclusive with Jesus and evidenced by good works.  Look at 5:25.

 

25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

 

The time is now for you to hear the Son of God and live.  Don’t put it off until later.  This text is full of the present tense, and don’t think that Jesus’ invitation can’t reach you.  See Romans 8:1.

 

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

 

Has It Been Too Long for God to Act?

Has It Been Too Long for God to Act?

April 24, 2022

The last time we were in John’s gospel was two weeks ago, and we were at the end of chapter 5.  Jesus demonstrated that He was Lord over distance by healing the nobleman’s son that He couldn’t see and couldn’t touch but physically healed. 

 

If you remember, the book of John is built around seven (7) signs that Jesus performed so that peopled would believe in Him as the Promised Messiah.  Healing the nobleman’s son was the second sign.  Again, it showed us that Jesus was Lord and Master over distance.

 

Do you remember the first sign?  Jesus’ first sign in John’s gospel was turning the water to wine at the wedding in Cana.  That is found in John 2.  What did that sign show us?  It showed us that Jesus can bring something from our nothing.

 

Today, we are back in Jerusalem for the third sign.  Keep this question in mind, “Has it been too long for God to act?”

 

 

  1. An Unusual Situation, John 5:1-4

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

 

The very first words of chapter 5 serve as a time marker and seem to refer to the events of chapter 4.  However, in reality, they let us know that John’s gospel is not necessarily laid out chronologically as the other gospels are.

 

However, we know that Jesus was now on His way back to Jerusalem.  John also mentions that there was a feast going on at the time.  However, he doesn’t specifically identify it.  That lets us know that this story is not tied to the specific feast, but it certainly could have been the Passover.

 

Notice verse 2.  Jesus could have entered the actual city in a myriad of different ways but intentionally chose to go by this pool near the Sheep Gate.  What was a sheep gate?  It was the gate where the sheep came in before they were sacrificed. 

 

At this gate was a pool.  It was called Bethesda, which meant house of mercy.  That was an appropriate name as there were many sick who had gathered there hopefully to be healed. 

 

Verse 3 says the sick were there.  The blind were there.  The lame were there.  The paralyzed were there all waiting for the waters to be moved or stirred.

 

It seems that local superstition credited an angel of the Lord with stirring the waters, and whoever was in the water first after the stirring was healed from whatever disease.  We don’t know if this is true, but it appears to be local belief. 

 

In reality, this was probably and intermittent spring.  Every so often, the waters were stirred, and legend attributed it to angels that provided healing through the waters. 

 

By the way, if you claim that you want to a little Christ or that you want to be more like Jesus, take note of this story.  As I said previously, Jesus could have entered Jerusalem in any way He desired, and He desired to enter where the sick were, and I can assure you, they were not pleasant to see.

 

Secondly, you will see in just a minute that He spoke to a sick man personally and compassionately.  He didn’t preach to him.  He didn’t correct his wrong theology.  He asked him if he wanted to be made well.

 

Thirdly, He offered specific help for this specific man.  He met the most pressing need that this man had.

 

Jesus was compassionate and helped those in need.  This was an unusual situation.

 

 

  1. An Unceasing Sickness, John 5:5-9

5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”  8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” 9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  And that day was the Sabbath.

 

Here at Bethesda was a certain man with an infirmity who had been sick for thirty-eight years.  I can’t even imagine that.  I have read that the average life-span for first century males in the Roman Empire was less than 40 years.  In other words, this man had probably been sick his entire life. 

 

We aren’t told about his sickness other than he couldn’t walk or at least couldn’t walk very fast.  Otherwise, we don’t know any more specifics.

 

In verse 6, Jesus saw this man and knew of his condition, and He inquired as to his desire for healing.  We don’t know if Jesus knew of him out of His omniscience or He overheard some people talking about him.  Regardless, He make sure that this man recognized his own need. 

 

In verse 7, this man expressed his dire situation.  Whenever the waters were stirred, he had no one to help him get in the water.  Therefore, his sickness and condition was unceasing for thirty-eight years.

 

Then out of no where, Jesus gave him three commands in verse 8: rise, take up your bed, and walk. 

 

Can you imagine what that man began to feel as immediately his body was healed?  He obeyed and did exactly what Jesus told him to do.  He had been completely healed. 

 

Verse 9 ends with a small fact that had massive ramifications.  Jesus healed this man on Saturday, the Sabbath.  As you are about to see, that was a problem.

 

 

  • An Unreasonable Standard, John 5:10-15

10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”  11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’”  12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”  15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

 

Don’t you know that the news of this man being healed spread like wild fire?  After all, he had been sick for thirty-eight years.

 

I speculate that he was well-known simply because of how long he had been sick.  Consequently, I also speculate that his healing was well-known too.

 

In verse 10, the Jews began to question this man about carrying his bed or matt.  Isn’t it interesting that they didn’t question his healing? 

 

They wanted to know why he was breaking tradition.  That’s right.  He wasn’t breaking the OT Law.  He was breaking oral tradition.

 

By the way, this is what is known as legalism.  When you or I add elevate our personal preferences or personal applications of God’s Word to the same level and authority as God’s Word, we are guilty of legalism.  That is what was happening here. 

 

In verse 13, they wanted to know who this healer was.  However, the man didn’t know because Jesus didn’t tell him, and Jesus slipped away into the crowd. 

 

These Jews had unreasonable standards of behavior.  He wasn’t carrying his bed in an effort to work.   He was carrying his pallet out of necessity because he had been healed.

 

In 5:14-15, we find Jesus and the healed man in the temple.  Why was the healed man there?  We aren’t told. 

 

However, we do get a small glimpse into the possible reason for his sickness.  Jesus appears to tell him to stopping sinning so that nothing worse would happen to him. 

 

By the way, was Jesus linking this man’s sin to his sickness?  Is it possible that our sin causes sickness?  Well, it is possible.  See 1 Corinthians 11:29-30. 

 

29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

 

However, it is not an absolute.  See John 9:1-4. 

 

1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

 

Also, because this man’s physical healing is a picture of spiritual healing, the Saved shouldn’t be continuing to live in sin.  For those who are saved this morning, stop sinning. 

 

Then finally, if this man doesn’t stop sinning, hell is going to be a worse state than his inability to walk.  He wasn’t able to walk for 38 years.  He would be in hell for eternity. 

 

In 5:15, the man goes away and tells the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

 

 

Application and Conclusion

When we think about the main idea of this text and the meaning of this third sign, I want to be clear.  Jesus is Lord over time.  That is the main idea of this text.  There are certainly many truths this story teaches and addresses, but the main idea is singular.

 

First, and obviously, Jesus is Lord over time, and God can heal you physically today regardless of how long you have been sick.  My encouragement to you is ask or pray.

 

Second, this story symbolizes more than physical healing.  It points to spiritually healing as well.  Jesus is Lord over time, and God can heal you spiritually today regardless of how long you have been lost.  My encouragement to you is to believe.  Believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior after you recognize your need to be saved.

 

Finally, and perhaps more appropriately for many in the room, Jesus is Lord over time, and God can heal you emotionally today regardless of how long you have been hurt.  My encouragement to you is to forgive.

 

Regardless of whether you are sick, lost, or hurt, Jesus is Lord over time, and it hasn’t been too long for God to act.  Today, He can heal.  Today, He can save.  Today, He can restore.

Easter 101

Easter 101

April 19, 2022

If you have your Bibles or your smart device this morning, I invite you to turn to Luke 24.  Unlike Jesus’ birth, all four gospels give an account of His resurrection, and while I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, we are giving our attention this morning to Dr. Luke’s account.

 

In this last chapter of Luke’s gospel, it focuses exclusively on Resurrection Day.  However, it can be easily divided into three scenes that are noted by three different times during that day: the morning, the afternoon, and the evening. 

 

 

  1. The Miracle in the Morning, Luke 24:1-12

1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”  8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

 

Verse 1 clarifies that we are talking about Sunday morning.  Jesus was crucified on Friday and laid in Joseph’s tomb that same day.  He was there in the grave Friday night, Saturday, and until early Sunday morning.

 

A group of women made their way to the tomb early in Sunday morning to anoint His body with spices to combat the odor that they expected to find because they thought He was still dead.  According to verse 10, these women included Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James.  This would have been Jesus’ aunt.

 

They were also accompanied by other women.  However, they are left unnamed. 

 

When they arrived, the stone had been rolled away.    Matthew’s gospel tells us that there had been a localized earthquake that had dislodged the stone, and an angel rolled it away.  However, keep in mind that Jesus was already resurrected meaning that the stone was not rolled away to let Jesus out but to allow the witness to come inside and see. 

 

Verse 3 tells us what they found.  Jesus was not there even though they were fully expecting to find Him there. 

 

Verse 4 introduces two angels.  Of course they were majestic in appearance, and the women responded accordingly in verse 5.

 

The angels then asked the women why they were looking for the living among the dead.  They also reminded them of what Jesus had prophesied, and they made this historical declaration, “He is not here, but is risen!”

 

Jesus had told them this was going to happen.  However, they couldn’t wrap their minds around what they had a hard time believing. 

 

By the way, did Jesus tell them this in advance. Yes, He did on multiple occasions.

 

Luke 9:21-22, 21 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”

 

Luke 9:43-44, 43 But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.”

 

Luke 11:29-30, 29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.

 

Luke 18:31-33, 31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be delivered to the Gentiles and will be mocked and insulted and spit upon. 33 They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

 

The women then left the tomb and returned to tell the men what they found.  As you know, they didn’t believe them, and Peter had to see for himself as described in verse 12. 

 

All three of our scenes this morning offer an invitation for you.  You may be here, and you’re doubting the supernatural of the resurrection.  I invite you this morning to believe that Jesus was literally resurrected from the grave never to die again.

 

In these twelve verses alone, we have multiple proofs.  The first is obviously the empty tomb.  The second is Sunday worship.  The third is fulfilled prophecy.  The fourth is female testimony.  The fifth is changed lives.  This Peter, who had denied Christ previously, preached in Acts, and thousands were saved by repenting and believing in Jesus. 

 

 

  1. The Appearances in the Afternoon, Luke 24:13-29

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.  17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”  18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”  19 And He said to them, “What things?”  So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”  25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.  28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. 

 

Beginning in verse 13, we see what is often called the road to Emmaus and the first of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances on Sunday afternoon.  Verses 13-18 speak of these two eye-witnesses, and one of them was named Cleopas.  Perhaps it was he and his wife. 

 

However, initially, they didn’t recognize Jesus because God didn’t allow it.  That is what verse 16 says. 

 

Jesus asked them why they were sad.  Obviously, they were still under the impression that Jesus was dead.  They had heard the report of the women and even saw the empty tomb, but they hadn’t seen Jesus alive. 

 

While still not recognizing them, Cleopas asked how Jesus had not heard of His awful death.  Evidently, it was common knowledge in Jerusalem since it happened. 

 

Verse 21 tells us that these earliest disciples were hoping Jesus would empower an immediate and earthly kingdom.  Even after Jesus explains how the Old Testament had prophesied all that had happened, they still didn’t recognize Him.

 

However, they wanted to hear more and kept Jesus from moving on.  Verse 29 says that Jesus stayed with them for a while.

 

The afternoon appearances invite you to experience the resurrected Christ.  Don’t just believe that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.  Put your faith and trust in Him as Lord and Savior of your life. 

 

All of God’s word is true.  The resurrection confirms this truth, and I invite you to be saved this morning by admitting that you are sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and call on Him to save you. 

 

 

  1. Encouragement in the Evening, Luke 24:30-53

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.  32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.  36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”  40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.  44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.  46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

 

It is now evening, and Jesus sat down with this group of disciples and shared a meal with them.  Evidently, this triggered memories of Thursday night or even of Him feeding the thousands.  Verse 31 said they knew Him, but He then vanished. 

 

In a mysterious way, Jesus resurrected body could be seen and heard, and He could eat.  However, He could also defy time and space limitations and move at will. 

 

Because of what they had seen and heard, they had to tell others.  Therefore, they went back to Jerusalem from Emmaus and told the other disciples that they had witnessed the resurrected Christ. 

 

In verse 36, Jesus then joined them in Jerusalem.  In order to calm them and prove that it was really Him, because they were scared, Jesus offered for them to touch Him and feel Him.  He then asked them for some food, and He ate fish in their presence. 

 

Beginning in verse 44, Jesus encouraged them in the evening with these three truths.  First, the Bible is true, and you can trust it.  All of what is happening has been prophesied and is being fulfilled.

 

Second, the gospel is sufficient, and the gospel is clear.  Jesus died because we are sinners, but He was raised and offers eternal life to all who believe.  That is our message.

 

Third, the Church is Plan A to evangelize the world.  In verse 48, we are witness to these things, and this is the message to share with the world.  Furthermore, you will have the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, to empower you for the task. 

 

This encouragement in the evening gives our last invitation to do our job, to fulfill our responsibility.  The isn’t a better way to evangelize the world.  There isn’t another way.  Brothers and sisters, we are God’s predestined way.  Now, let us be found faithful.

 

 

Conclusion

Sunday and chapter 24 and Luke’s gospel end with Jesus ascending and His followers worshipping and praising God.  May we be found faithful in doing the same. 

The Double Transfer
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