God who became one of us (Gospels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MOTIVATE

–          As a child I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons. I think the 1980’s were the golden age of cartoon television. There were super-heroes like:

  • Batman who fought crime with his savvy detective skills
  • Superman who could fly and had amazing abilities
  • Spiderman could climb walls and swing across structures
  • The Incredible Hulk had superhuman power
  • Wolverine could rapidly heal from injury
  • Iceman created ice to freeze his pathways or his enemies
  • The Flash had super fast speed

One of the features of these shows was that an emergency or crisis would arise that required super-human solution. And at just the right moment in time – a super-hero would show up.

 

All of these super-heroes or problem saviors are based on the true and greatest Super-Hero. The Bible says humanity has an emergency, a critical crisis of life or death. It requires a super-human solution. And “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

 

EXAMINE

This message will explore the Bible books of the Gospels to see God who became one of us [for all of us] The emphasis of the Gospels are Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. Even more, this message will view these incidences through the lenses of their prophetic promise of God in centuries past to God’s people.

 

Isaiah not only promises of redemption but a Redeemer

  • HE CAME

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

 

Matthew written to Jewish audience

1:18-23            Genealogy back to Abraham, fulfillment in Matthew 1:23

 

2:6 fulfills Micah 5:2 prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem

 

Mark written with Apostle Peter’s input for non-Jewish audience

1:1-3 fulfills Isaiah 40:3 of a messenger preparing the way of the Lord

 

Luke written to Gentile Christians

2: 11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

 

John written to Jew & Gentile toward end of 1st C

1:11-18 “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

 

ð      God is faithful to keep His promises…

ð      History is marked by Jesus’ coming, looking backward and forward. Who is Jesus? What will you do with Him? You cannot ignore Him – either believe or reject; no middle ground.

ð      Note: Incarnation is not result of God’s intimacy with Mary (Mormon teaching); but that of God in Jesus (2nd Person of Trinity) leaving Heaven and entering supernaturally into virgin womb to become human. Jesus is God and not just a man born as another god.

  • Jesus is not subtracting deity but adding humanity (Php 2:6)

ð      As Jesus came to us, so we must go to others. This is what it means to live missionally and sent out as one of Jesus’ disciples (Jn 20:21-22).

 

  • HE LIVED

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise in stead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified”

Fulfillment in Luke 4:18-21; Matthew 11:4-5

Jesus did many miracles and signs. He did these not merely to 1) show off power or 2) draw a following but to 3) reveal His nature as the divine Son of God and His character

See

John 2:23 “many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.”

John 6:14, 26-29 “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’… Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.’”

Also “I am” the Bread of Life (6:35); Light of World (8:12); I Am (8:58); The Door (10:7); Good Shepherd (10:11); Resurrection and Life (11:25); The Way, Truth and Life (14:6); The Vine (15:1)

ð      Jesus’ life was sinless and righteous in your place and able to identify with you in temptation (Heb 4:13)

ð      Today the Church (believers) are living signs/displays to reveal and reflect the nature & character of Christ to the world.

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world…In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.”

1 Peter 2:5, 9-12 “your yourselves are like living stones…to proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light…”

 

  • HE DIED

Isaiah 53” Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

 

Fulfillment

53:2      He was born inBethlehem, of humble circumstances (cf. Micah 5:2)

53:3      He was rejected by own (cf. John 1:12)

53:4      He was healer of our sicknesses (cf. Matthew 8:17)

53:5      He was wounded for sin (cf. Romans 4:25; 1Peter 2:24)

53:6      He took on sin (cf. 2Corinthians 5:21)

53:7      He was innocent and silent (cf. Matthew 26:63, 27:12-14)

53:8      He was wrongly accused and imprisoned (cf. Luke 23; 1Peter 2:22)

53:9      He was buried among wealthy (cf. Matthew 27:57-60)

53:10    He was the Lamb of God sacrificed for God’s purpose (cf. John 1:29; Acts 2:23-24)

53:11    He satisfied God’s wrath and justified sinners (Romans 3:24-26; 1John 2:2)

53:12    He was murdered among thieves (cf. Luke 23:33)

He took on sin and mediates between God and man (cf. 2Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:24-25)

ð      Jesus’ death shows the seriousness of sin in God’s eyes. He sent His only Son, to be the spotless Lamb and propitiation for sin.

ð      Jesus’ death is our death; repentance of sin and conforming to Christ’s likeness is our calling

Romans 6:10-11 “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

 

  • HE ROSE

Isaiah 53:10-12;

55:3 “Incline your ear to me and come to me. Hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you”

55:11 “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth, it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

 

Fulfillment

Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:22-36

 

Other prophecies

–          There are numerous prophecies in the OT concerning the Christ – Jesus. These are specific and not just vague coincidences, like

–          Place of birth inBethlehem(Micah 5:2)

–          Betrayed by close friend and for 30 pieces of silver which would be used to purchase a potter’s field (Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:13)

–          Executioners would gamble for his clothes (Psalm 22:18)

–          He would be given vinegar and gall at his death (Psalm 69:21)

–          How he would die, crucified with hands & feet pierced (Ps 22:16) and among criminals (Isa 53:12)[1]

–          Bring atonement for sin in 33 AD (Daniel 9:24-26)

–          He would live forever (Psalm 16:10; 110:1)

 

ð      Jesus’ resurrection means we have eternal hope; we too will live forever.

1 Cor 15: 55 “’Death is swallowed up in victory’ O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?… but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1Thess 4:13 “we do not grieve as others who have no hope”

 

ð      Jesus’ resurrection means we submit and worship His Lordship

Php 2:9-11 “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

APPLY/THINK

ð      HE CAME, HE LIVED, HE DIED, HE ROSE… SO WHAT?[2]

ð      Jesus & Children:

▪          Children were not valued, given away, sacrificed, etc.

▪          Jesus valued by becoming one, by healing them, teaching, praying for, and reminding us we must become like them to enter the kingdom of heaven…

▪          Early Christianity and today we value children through caring, teaching, adopting, foster, etc.

ð      Jesus & Women

▪          Women regarded as property or second class

▪          Jesus valued by befriending them, involving them in ministry, resurrection appearances to them

▪          Early Christianity grew so rapidly because of its appeal and elevation of womanhood

ð      Jesus & Slavery

▪          Slaves were common; ½ + of population Roman Empire & Athens

▪          Jesus became a servant, identified himself as one… later Paul did same…

▪          Paul taught free slaves (Onesimus w/Philemon); later William Wilberforce abolitionist; Abe Lincoln

ð      Jesus & Education

▪          Illiteracy was common except for elite class

▪          Jesus taught everyone;

▪          Christianity has spread language translation, publishing, universities, etc.

–          By turn of 20th C; non<>< nations (India/China) literacy rate range 0-20%; Catholic nations 40-60%; Protestant nations 94-99%

–          Writers: Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, John Donne, Dostoevsky, Bunyan, Milton, Dickens, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and onward

ð      Jesus & Compassion

–          Medicine: Jesus was known as “Great Physician”; Luke was dr; Council of Nicea ad325 declared hospitals be established; today hospitals often have religious background; SBCDR

–          Jesus gave mercy and cared for outcaste, down & out, poor

–          Early Christians known for love among least of these

–          Today multiple relief organizations extend from Christians

 

 

Jesus’ legacy is limitless.[3]

He is the greatest person and phenomenon ever to cross any geographic place.

He is the highest personality in philosophy.

He is the centerpiece of civilization.

He is the loftiest idea in literature.

He is the Truth of all theology.

He is the key to knowledge.

He is the wellspring of all wisdom.

He is the pathway to peace.

He is the door to deliverance.

He is the roadway to righteousness, the highway to holiness, and the gateway to glory.

 

He is available for the tempted and tested.

He supplies strength to the unstable.

He sympathizes and saves.

He guards and guides.

He defends the feeble; He delivers the captives; He forgives the failing.

 

His life is matchless.

His goodness is limitless.

His mercy is everlasting.

His love never changes.

His Word is enough.

His grace is sufficient.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

 

He is the all in all, from beginning to end.

He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords

He is enduringly strong, entirely sincere and eternally steadfast.

His reign is righteous.

 

He is unparalleled, unprecedented and uncontainable.

He is incomparable, immeasurable, indescribable, invincible and He is irresistible.

You can’t get Him out of your mind, away from your thoughts or out of your world.

 

Jesus has encouraged, empowered, helped, healed, freed, forgiven, rested, restored, loved, lifted up, saved and completely transformed human history.

 

HE CAME, HE LIVED, HE DIED AND HE ROSE.

 

What will you do with Him?

 


[1] Note: crucifixion wasn’t invented until 200 years later, 500B.C.

[2] The following taken from Mark Driscoll in Vintage Jesus, “What difference has Jesus made in History?”, pp.202-211

[3] Adapted from a sermon by S.M. Lockridge, “That’s My King”; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._M._Lockridge and http://vimeo.com/1371841

 

 

 

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