here are my sermon notes from this past sunday if anyone is interested. the two books that supported me the most in this sermon are by don everts: Jesus with Dirty Feet and God in the Flesh. you can listen to the podcast here. enjoy. ~aroll
Remember Jesus by alex roller
I am going to do everything I can to make this message as apolitical as I can. And I am going to tell this opening story with as much grace and compassion as I can muster. So, with those disclaimers, here we go…
Adams Ave. Story
- young woman
- heard about us from someone who attends MG
- seemed very planned
- round and round disagreeing
- “I appreciate that you’ve done research and studied, but I want to take Scripture in context.”
o Uh…that’s what I was doing…the ORIGINAL context
- “Well, I have to go with what I have been taught and what the Holy Spirit has confirmed in my heart”
o Uh…that’s what I am doing too…listening to the Spirit.
- “scripture says the church should be unified”
- Around what? - truth…what is truth?
- Rolls eyes…Jesus is the truth
- I said exactly…and that’s what I want to talk about today…Jesus.
I know it may seem rather simplistic. In the last couple of days when I have been asked what I was preaching on this morning, I would almost feel lame in saying, “Jesus.”
God Reveals Himself in Jesus
• This Book, the Bible, is the story of God and His people.
• God has a long history of revealing Himself to His people.
Walked with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Burning bush, pillar of fire, still small voice…a donkey (Numbers 22).
But God’s people didn’t always, and still continue not to, get it nor pay attention.
• From the time of the last prophet of the Old Testament – the Italian prophet Malachi – until the time of Jesus, God was silent for around 400 years.
• And then something happened. God grew tired of the meaningless sacrifices and the separation between Him and His
• John 1
Jesus was fully God and fully human…but being fully God He is a perfect revelation of God.
Logos – all logic, reson, reality – everything that has ever been true, real and resonated with the universe.
Sarx – literally flesh or skin
God in the flesh…
God wasn’t in the Holy of Holies anymore…He came out!!
Out of The Message – “God moved into the neighborhood.”
Pulled back the curtain.
He was no longer hidden from the world
Immanuel – God with us…
Passage from Jesus With Dirty Feet (p.32-35)
Through the life, words, and actions of Jesus we see the heart of God:
Compassion, Grace, Love, Community, Instruction, Life, Sacrifice
The disciples got an incredible understanding of who God is in the 3 years they spent with Jesus 24/7.
• The disciples who were rejected from being rabbis because they weren’t good enough got a better understanding of God than the rabbis themselves.
• There was still mystery…certainly things that they didn’t understand about what Jesus said or did sometimes, but they saw the heart of God.
When It Comes Down To It…
• The reality is that God is all there is to know. It sounds simplistic and churchy, but it’s true.
• God created everything and is therefore the true source of all we need to know.
• There are a lot of things about life, the world, other people, science that are definitely important and good to know…we would be in a world of hurt if we didn’t know some of those things.
o But when it comes down to it, God is what we need to know.
o As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2: “I’ve resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
• In the midst of knowing God, though, there will always be a tension of mystery and revelation.
• Regardless we look to what we do have and know, and that is the life and person of Jesus, the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) who was the fullness of God (Colossians 1:19).
• There are a lot of questions that we have, other issues about Scripture and life that the church has made important, has argued about, has even killed over in the course of history.
• Let’s go back to the early church, though.
o Focused so much on Jesus
o Gospels were written to tell the story of Jesus…the details of how He lived, who He touched, hung out with, healed, talked to, didn’t talk to.
o The teachers of the Law wanted to focus on the list of things to do and not do, but Jesus lived a bigger picture of that…a picture that we are called to follow as “Christ-ones” or “Christians” as it became.
o The church was about telling the story of Jesus…every detail, every person’s story, every miracle.
o “That’s church. Transmitting from person to person the truth about Jesus.” – Don Everts from God in the Flesh, p.17
• Jesus lived a life of grace…
o He went to the outcasts and sinners
o He defied the religious leaders of his day
o It was about grace and love
o Matthew 22:34-40
• “love God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
• This is the basis of it all…everything about the life of Jesus and His ministry
• All the other things that we may have confused don’t really matter.
• Are there things in scripture that we need to know? Yes
• Are there things that are right and wrong for our lives? Yes
o We are called to be followers of JESUS…
• Not the idol of Scripture, but the LIVING WORD.
• Not the idol of Paul’s letters, but the One Paul pointed to.
• Not a set of moralistic rules, but the One who fulfilled the Law.
Live the Person of Jesus
- So as we follow the person of Jesus, we are called to live our lives modeled after Jesus, transmitting the truth about Jesus from person to person.
- St. Francis: “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”
o Sometimes what we’re doing in life speaks so loudly people can’t hear what we’re actually saying with our words.
o Colossians 3:12-14, 17
• Every part of our lives should and can reflect and reveal the reality of God.
• It’s our attitudes, how we treat people, how we think.
- But it’s bigger than our attitudes.
- Sometimes love requires action.
- We are called to reveal the love and the compassion of God to all people.
- Following World War II some German students volunteered to help rebuild a cathedral in England, one that had been badly damaged by the Luftwaffe bombings. As the work progressed, they weren't sure how to best restore a large statue of Jesus with has arms outstretched and bearing the familiar inscription, "Come unto Me." They were able to repair all the damage to the statue except for Christ's hands which had been completely destroyed. Should they even attempt to rebuild these? Finally, the workers reached a decision that still stands today. They decided to leave the hands off and changed the inscription to read: "Christ has no hands but ours."
- It breaks down to those cheesy little bracelets that were everywhere about 10 years ago: WWJD.
- Jimmy t-shirts – the reality is more like: HCIDWJWDIIDKWJD
- We have let our picture of Jesus become blurred.
o Gnostics – separation of physical (bad) & spiritual (good)…led to them believing and teaching that Jesus wasn’t human.
o In recent years in order to make the idea of Jesus more palatable, we have focused on Jesus as human, a great teacher.
o They may have been well-meaning, but it has eroded our picture of Jesus.
o Even those of us who have spent most of our lives in the church can become “home blind” to the person of Jesus and the stories we’ve always known.
- Paul writing to Timothy…leader of the church, one day a Bishop, reminded him of what was important.
o 2 Timothy 2:8-9
o Remember Jesus…this is my gospel
o Resolve to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
- God in the Flesh p.22-23