Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Do You Really Know Jesus? #1: Finding Christ

Do You Really Know Jesus? #1: Finding Christ

Text: John 1:32-41

Video Link
Power Point Link
Audio Link

Introduction:  Joke, An antique dealers association was have a convention in a large city.  For lunch one day several of the dealers decided to see the sites and perhaps pick up a few antiques from the locals who probably wouldn't know their value.

As the group walked by a pet shop one of the men look in the window at a kitten for sale.  To his amazement, the cat was drinking out of a antique ceramic bowl from the Ming dynasty it was worth more than the entire Pet store.  Hoping no one else noticed the bowl.  He determined to return that night and purchase the cat and the bowl.  Finally after hours that seemed like days the convention was over for the evening and the dealer hurried back to the store. 

            "Excuse me but how much is that cat in the window?" 

            "That poor little thing is just a stray.  I'll let you have it for $5."  The dealer couldn't believe his luck. 

            "Would you mind throwing in that old bowl the cat was drink from?  I don't have anything to feed the little creature with?"

            "Oh no, sir.  I couldn't sell that bowl."

            "Why not?"

            "Why, that's my lucky bowl.  Just this week I've sold 20 cats and every one of them was drinking out of that bowl.

            This morning I want to tell you about the discovery of a lifetime.  In fact it took over 4 centuries of searching before this treasure was found.  This discovery happened to a group of men thousands of years ago but you may make the same discover they did still today.

I.  Acquainted with Christ John 1:35-37

John 1:35-37  Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

John and Andrew are introduced to Jesus.

John the Baptist says, "Behold, the Lamb of God." Stop and consider the incredibleness of that statement. John was the first prophet from God in over 400 years. He stands as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies of the forerunner who would precede the Christ, the Messiah. Huge crowds went miles out into the wilderness to hear John the Baptizer preach, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” To the Jews all of the prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zechariah, Micah and Malachi were now come true. It would be as if we could stand and listen as a preacher pointed out with absolute accuracy that the Book of Revelation was being fulfilled. Now as John sees Jesus, he turns to his own disciples and says, “Look, there is the Messiah, the promised one of God, the chosen one of God, who will take away the sin of the world.”

John and Andrew responded to who John pointed out, by leaving their old master, their old teacher John and following a new master, Jesus the Messiah. When John the Baptist had called out “Behold, the lamb of God,” everything changed for them and for the world.

Let Me Acquaint You With Christ          

When Jesus came into this world everything changed. So momentous was his birth that our calendars were changed to mark that day as a new day, everything before his birth was BC, before Christ and everything after his death was AD, anno domini, which means in the year of our Lord.

His Birth

The birth of Jesus was prophesied in over 300 places in the OT.  Ranging from 4000 years to 400 years before he was born.  The prophecies told how he would be born, where he would be born and even when he was to be revealed as the Messiah accurate down to the exact week.

How Isaiah 9:6-14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin
 shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Where Micah 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

When Daniel 9:25  Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

His Life

He lived as a man on earth for 33 years yet He did not sin, not once, not ever.  
Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Jesus was a man who lived for only 33 years, preached for only 3 1/2 years.  He never wrote a book, never traveled more than 100 miles from his home, never governed a nation, nor built a monument, never led an army, yet his life changed the world and is still changing the world 2000 years after His death.

"This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all the philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times." - Historian Phillip Schaff 

His Death

John said, "Behold the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world."  Jesus was prophesied, looked for and born into this world to die for a the single greatest purpose of all eternity. He was to be God’s sacrifice for our sin and bring forgiveness that sin might be taken away.

In the Old Testament when you sinned you took a lamb form your flock and brought it to the priest.  You placed your hands upon that innocent lamb and then took a knife and slit its throat.  The priest would catch the blood and the animal would then be burnt upon an altar.  That lamb was a symbol which looked to the future "Lamb of God" which would be a sacrifice for all of mankind's sin.  This was why John the Baptist looked at Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb.”

Jesus was arrested late one night in the garden of Gethsemane, just as He had finished praying, Taken, accused, condemned in an illegal trial. He was mocked, beaten and spat upon. The next morning he was turned over to the Roman authorities as a traitor and usurper of the Roman empire. By them He was scourged, beaten with a whip constructed of nine strands and interwoven with bits of broken pottery and stones. Then a crown of long dark thorns was placed upon his head and He was mocked and beaten with a rod. Finally led away to be crucified, nailed to a cross and there he offered himself to God for the sins of the world.

All this he suffered and took upon himself because he was The Lamb of God, our sacrifice our substitute. He suffered and died that you and I would not have to undergo the judgment, nor pay the price for our sin.

For three days he lay in the grave.  Three days his disciples wept and grieved for the master and friend they had found three years ago when John had pointed him out. Three years and three days must have seemed like three decades, but then on that third day, the earth quaked, the stone rolled away, angels descended and Jesus came rose from the dead.  He defeated sin, death and hell.  He arose and 40 days later he ascended back up to heaven where he waits to one day return to this earth as Master and Lord.

Is he your Master and Lord today? Have you like the disciple in John chapter 1 followed after Jesus and found a new master?

Transition: Now all of this is a history that most of you could tell.  In our society and country it is common to know about Jesus, to be acquainted with his story, but it is not enough just to know about Jesus. Knowing about him will not make Him your new master.  Nor was it was enough for John's disciples.  Look what happens next.

II.  Associating with Christ Jn 1:38-39

John 1:38-39  Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?  He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

John and Andrew Seek Jesus.

Jesus sees them following him and he turns and asks, "What do you seek?” What do you want? What are you searching for?

They could have said, we seek you, or we seek the Messiah or we seek knowledge, but instead they answer, "Master, Where do you live?"
John had already told them about Jesus. They had the prophecies of the Old Testament that predicted his life and birth, but that was not what they wanted, that was not what they needed. They wanted to be with Jesus.  For only in dwelling with him could they really know Him and only when they knew him this way could they find what they are searching for.
Only when we live with Christ will we find what we are really searching for.

Who Do You Seek?

            What are you truly seeking? What is it that will answer the question, still the fears and give strength for the future? What do you really need? Or more to the point who will answer those questions.

Fleeting Value

For some they think that their hopes and dreams will be fulfilled in a 9-5, good paying steady, job.  Others believe that alcohol, or drugs will bring them closer to what they seek. Others look for value in entertainment or the cars they drive or the money in their bank accounts. In reality or perhaps in our maturity we will always come to the same truth that Jesus taught in ….

Luke 12:16-21 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Eternal Value

No, what we need is something that has lasting value, even eternal value. How many of us need the chance to start life new.  Or to obtain real freedom from guilt and shame. Or to deal with the emptiness at the center of your soul that tells you something is missing.

Don’t we all need real peace, real happiness, real joy, placed so deeply into our life that nothing can take it away? And what of immortality?  What about heaven and glory and living with those you love and who love Christ forever?

Jesus says to us, just like he did to the John and Andrew that day "Come and See."

Come and see, the end of your quest is in finding and knowing Jesus Christ. 

Listen to what Jesus himself said in Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
It is the most open and sincere invitation every offered and it is Jesus himself who invites us. Jesus who invites you. Come and see.

Transition: For Andrew and John that day this meant going home with Jesus. But what does it meant to us now that Jesus is not physically here?

III.  Accepting Christ Jn 1:40-41

John 1:40-41  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

Andrew tells Simon, "We have found Christ."

The word Christ is the Greek word Cristos, it is the equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, both have the meaning of the anointed of God, the chosen one of God. This is the messiah which had been waited for, prayed for and searched for by the Israelite people for 4000 years.

And now Andrew walks up to his brother Simon and simply says, "We have found Him!"  The Messiah would be the deliverer, the Saviour of Israel, their king, their high priest, their prophet.  He was the fulfillment of all the dreams and hopes of millions of people for 4 centuries and now He was here!

Andrew believed it, because he had been with Jesus.  Believed it so much he went and found his brother Simon so that he could come to Jesus, know him as Master and  believe also. 

B.  Have You Found Christ?

Will you follow the same path of John, Andrew and Simon Peter? This morning we have walked along with them as they was introduced to Jesus, by John the Baptist and then went with their new master.  In the sense of a story, we were right there alongside them doing those things with them.  But now we come to a place where we cannot follow them with only our minds and imagination.  I can be aquatinted with Jesus and even associated with Jesus by hearing and reading about the disciples, but they went much further because they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  We can't do that just by reading what someone else has done.  I must do it myself.

I face a decision, what will I do about Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Saviour, Jesus as the lamb of God sent to die for my sin?  There are four things you must realize before you can make that decision.

1. First you must realize that you need a savior. 

You need a savior because you are apart from God.  Romans 3:23 Says, "All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God."  God is perfectly holy and absolutely righteous but my lies, my anger, my sinful habits prove that I cannot be with God.

2. Secondly, you need to know that you cannot save or  change yourself.   

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

3. Thirdly,  you must know who Jesus is.

He is the Son of God sent to earth to be the lamb of God. He is fully God equal with the Father but took on flesh in order to live on earth and show us God’s love. He died upon the cross, He was buried in the tomb and he arose to prove He has power over sin and death and hell.
4th Fourth, you must believe in, not just about Jesus. You must trust Him and put your faith in Him as your only hope of eternity and salvation.

You, sitting right where you are must accept Him, not just as a person of history, but as a Savior and as a friend who died in your place.  How do you do that?  Here's what the Bible say, “Romans 10: 9 -13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Have you done that?  Can you look back in your life to a time when you asked God to save you through his Son Jesus Christ?  Doesn't that make sense?  Doesn't that seem like the right thing to do?   
Can’t you hear Jesus saying, “Come and see?” Can’t you hear His invitation “Come Unto Me?”
I know that some cannot accept salvation in this way, as a free gift from God through his son Jesus Christ.  They think they must earn it my being good, or going to church or being baptized. Let me tell you a story I read years ago as a 10 year old boy spending the summer with my Granddad and Grandma George. I was getting ready to go outside and play when I saw a paper and there was a article entitled….

The Missionary and the Pearl Diver.

There was a missionary on some islands in the Pacific.  He worked among the people there for many years and saw many accept Jesus as savior.  Yet there was one old man, who had been a pearl diver his long life, who could never believe that he couldn’t earn his salvation.  The missionary and the pearl diver became great friends over the years.  Many times, the missionary would talk and read scripture to his friend but still the old man could not understand.

Instead of believing in the gift of Jesus, the old man would say, "Someday soon when my life is nearly over I will go on my pilgrimage.  There I will crawl on my hands and knees up a long path to the shrine of my god. This, my friend, will God see and reward my devotion to Him."

"Old friend, the missionary would tell him, "That trip will kill you.  That path is almost a mile long, up a hill, and over sharp stones.  You will mutilate your knees and die from infection or else at your age make yourself a cripple."

"Yes, you see. Surely God will love me for such a sacrifice.” The old man smiled.
The years past and one day the pearl diver came to the missionary's home.  He was dressed for a trip and held a small velvet bag in his hand.

"Missionary, I have come to say good-bye.  I go to make my pilgrimage before I grow any older."

"My friend, if you go I do not think you will return.  You will die and I will never see you again."  But nothing the missionary could say would change the old man's mind.

"I must give you something before I leave, the old diver said.  "It is my most precious possession and I have no family left.  You have been a good friend to me and I would like you to keep it if I do not come back."  The pearl diver opened the bag and poured out the largest most beautiful pearl the missionary had ever seen in all his years on the island.  It would be worth a small fortune.

"This pearl, said the old man, "is precious to me not because it is so large but because it came from my son.  You see, my son was the best diver among all the divers in our island.  He could go deeper and stay under longer than any of us.  One day when we had worked long and were very tired.  My son dived to a place where none had ever dived before.  He found the largest oyster he had ever seen and struggled to bring it up.  His air was running out but finally he picked up the oyster and placed it in his bag.  But before he could reach the surface his air ran out and he drowned.  I pulled his body from the waters and found the oyster, inside was this pearl and I have never sold it or parted with it until now."

The missionary looked at the pearl in the old man's hand and at the tears filling his eyes.  It broke his heart that he could not make the man understand.  Suddenly, he said, "My friend, this pearl is too valuable to just give away, let me pay you for it.  Give you some money to help you on your journey."
The old man was shocked, and it showed on his face.  "You do not think that I could sell this to anyone."

"I know I can't pay full price but at least let me give you what I have."

"You hurt me, my friend.  This pearl was bought with the life of my only son.  There is no money that could ever pay for that.  You will accept it as my gift or I will not give it to you."

The missionary looked deeply into the eyes of the pearl diver. "My friend don't you understand?  This is what God must feel when you try to earn your salvation.  Salvation cost God his only son on the cross, it cannot be purchased for it is priceless.  It can only be accepted as a gift or it will not be offered at all."

The old man's look of shock and anger changed to understanding and his tears of sad memories to those of repentance.  "I do, missionary I do. I accept this gift from one father to another.  I accept the gift of God’s own son."


What do you seek this morning? The question Jesus asked John and Andrew that morning is the question He is asking us today. His invitation, Come and see, is the same. He still opens his arms and says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest.”

All that is missing in your life can be found with Jesus.  Your search for meaning, for purpose, for peace ends when you find Jesus.  And He is here, now waiting for you to come. 

1 comment: