Sermon Title:  Upside Down All Around

Summary:  Jesus begins his ministry with two kinds of affirmations.  First, God affirms that he
 is his beloved son, which declares that Jesus is the Messiah that God had promised to send in
 order to save us.  Second, the genealogy, which follows, affirms that Jesus, the Son of God,
 became the Son of Adam, a human.  As a result, we sons of Adam are able to become sons of God
 with the same Spirit that empowered Jesus at the beginning of his ministry.  With a clear sense
 of our identity in him, we are able to effectively live and ministry as children of God and not
 children of this world.

Know:  Jesus, the Son of God came as a human in order to provide the opportunity for us to accept
 adoption into God's family, which means we have a transformed identity

Feel:  Affinity with God and his people with a certain anxious hope for what is beyond this life
 and this world since we are not longer of this world.

Do:  Reflect on the words, descriptions, and metaphors in scripture that describe who as
 Christian is.  Identify ways this identity should affect your actions, affections, and
 attitudes.  Evaluate where you are strongest and where you are weakest in these descriptions and
 possible reasons why.

Plan:  Make a definite plan to remove or deal with obstacles that keep us from living out the
 identity God has given us and share it with someone in the group so you may encourage each other.

Text:  Luke 2:21-38

Scripture Reading:  Phil 3:20 - 4:1

1.  December January, what kind of weather you think of?
	a.  Well, "Down-Under" in Austrailia, this is the summer
	b.  Things are upside down Down Under
2.  We have just experienced an upside down season
	a.  People so strange, smile, happy, give gifts, good-will
	b.  All the decorations, glitter, lights, good will, smiles, get packed away
	c.  Things go back to "normal" and are right-side up again
	d.  Or, were things upside down, and right side up for a month?
3.  Who is this Jesus that turns things upside down?
4.  Text:  Luke 2:21-38

I.  He is the Son of God (v.21-22)
	A.  This a term rich with meaning
	B.  It signifies two things
		1.  Jesus is the King - allusion to Psalm 2, Messianic Psalm
			a.  v.6-7 - God's Son (Son of God a typical kingship title)
			b.  v.2 - The king is the Lord's Annointed ("Messiah")
				- anointing signifies sanctification, dedication
			c.  Jesus anointed with Holy Spirit - dedicated & empowered
		2.  Jesus unique relationship to the Father
			a.  You are my "beloved" Son
			b.  Jn 3:16 - "Only begotten" or "one and only"
	C.  "Son of God" was thought of different by 1st century Jews
		1.  "Son of God" and "Messiah" had military overtones
			a.  They were ready for "Spiritual Warfare"
				- To them, that would have meant fighting the nations
				- Purging the land of Gentiles and pagans
				- No more Greek influence or culture
			b.  A political Messiah to lead them
			c.  To deliver from bondage and bring freedom
			d.  If that is all that Jesus did, they would still be in bondage
		2. Jesus came to deliver from a darker oppression and bondage
			a.  Spiritual Warfare is not about fighting flesh and blood
			b.  It is about freedom from bondage to sin and the flesh
			c.  He didn't battle flesh and blood, but sin and death
		3.  Jesus fought the battle backwards
			a.  Turn the other cheek, self sacrifice, humility, submission
			b.  Love, joy and peace
			c.  Under his command, greatest are the least
			c.  Battle ended at the cross and tomb - but Jesus won!
		4.  Jesus turned Messianic imagery on its head
	D.  Jesus is the upside down Son of God
		1.  He was upside down all around
		2.  He said to love your enemies & pray for those who persecute
			a.  His enemies put him to death
			b.  On the cross, he is praying for his enemies
			c.  He turned the other cheek
		3.  He said to take up your cross and follow him
			-  He picked up his cross and went literally to death
		4.  Jesus was upside down not just on Sundays
			- He was upside down all around

II.  He is the Son of Adam (v.23-38)
	A.  Genealogies function to identify you, where you are from, who you are
		1.  Luke goes all the way back to Adam AND God
		2.  Jesus is connected to God as Son of God
		3.  Jesus is also connected to Adam
			a.  In becoming human, he becomes a Son of Adam
			b.  Adam in Hebrew means "man"
			c.  Jesus became Son of Man, but still was Son of God
			d.  Do not lose sight of either one
	B.  ILL:  Dr. Evan Kane performed historic surgery in 1921
		1.  First time used a local anesthetic in an appendectomy
			a.  Most doctors agreed in theory this would be better
			b.  None had ever tried it
			c.  Worried that it wear off to fast
		2.  Dr. Kane had searched and searched for volunteer
			a.  Finally found one
			b.  Surgery a success, patient only had minor discomfort
		3.  What was more unusual was the patient was Dr. Kane!
			a.  He performed the operation on himself!
			b.  The Doctor became the patient!
		4.  That is essentially what Jesus did
			a.  He was Son of God, and became Son of Adam
			b.  He turned himself upside down
	C.  Rom 5:14 - Adam was a "type" of Christ
		1.  (Rom 5:14) Through the first Adam
			a.  Sin came into the world, and death
			b.  Context also shows bondage, corruption, sin, death
		2.  (Rom 5:18-19) - Through the last Adam
			a.  Justification, life
			b.  Context shows he brings freedom and hope
			c.  1 Cor 15:22 - In Adam all die, in Christ all be made alive
	D.  Jesus, the Son of God, became the Son of Adam so that 
	       we Sons of Adam might become sons of God
		1.  He turned self upside down to turn us right side up
		2.  We are now children of God - That is our identity

III.  Jesus began his ministry with a clear sense of identity
	A.  Began with God's affirmation of Jesus identity
		1.  God and only God defined who Jesus was
		2.  Spirit came and God said "YOU" are my beloved Son
	B.  Jesus was tempted to let something other than God define him
		1.  His family & friends - genealogy goes back to God
			a.  Family thought he was mad, leaving home & teaching
			b.  Hometown saw him as "little Jesus" son of Joseph
			c.  If let them define him, he would have stayed in Nazareth
			d.  Might have nice life in small town, married, children, etc.
		2.  His occupation
			a.  If so, he would have said, "I am a carpenter"
			b.  Life would have revolved around buildings
			c.  Could have built a fortune 500 company
		3.  Prevailing expectations of the Jews
			a.  Tried to make him a king by force
			b.  Peter tried to save him from being arrested
			c.  If he had let them, would have been a political leader
			d.  Could have been a great leader, many reforms
		4.  His enemies
			a.  They tried to stop him, persecuted him
			b.  Jesus could have thought something was wrong
			c.  Could have backed off, and become great scholar
			d.  Could be world renowned, greater than Gamaliel
	C.  Instead, Jesus continued to be the Son of God in the Son of Man
	D.  God's definition of Jesus identity kept him focused

IV.  We need to begin every day with God's identification
	A.  Rom 8:16 - Holy Spirit testifies we are children of God
		1.  God is telling you "you are my beloved child"
		2.  Say it - "I am God's beloved child."
		3.  As HIS children, you are no longer of this world
		4.  Phil 3:2 - Set your mind on the things above
			- Your thoughts, goals, affections, actions, center on him
	B.  If someone asks - What do you do?
		1.  Not - I'm a carpenter, Jesus didn't say that
		2.  Instead, "I am God's beloved child, and I live for him"
		3.  This should define how you study, work, play, relationships.
		4.  This is part of what it means to be transformed
	C.  Some say hard to tell Christian from non-Christian
		1.  Should expect that around the holidays
			a.  The world becomes upside down
			b.  Why?  Most just go with the flow
			c.  They let their surrounding define them
		2.  IN January, world goes back to "normal"
			a.  Those who let surroundings define them return to 
			b.  It all gets packed away until next year
			c.  It was only veneer, surface paint
		3.  Should not be that way with us
			a.  Our faith is who we are at all times
			b.  Not something we do at holidays
			c.  Not something we do on Sundays
	D.  We are to be upside down all around
		1.  Problem when body goes to church, but heart is of the world
			a.  Church attendance does not make you child of God
			b.  Blessed are the "pure in heart" they shall see God
				- Means no double-mindedness
				- Means undivided love to God
				- Means loving and knowing God is my passion
		2.  Child of God is who you are, not what you do for holidays
			- at job, on field, at celebrations, taking a test, playing in the 
			  band, talking to stranger,

1.  Are you a beloved child of God (invitation)
	a.  That will put you upside-down in comparison to the world
	b.  In God's eyes, world is upside down,  his children are right side up
2.  What defines you?
	a.  Job, children, family, sports, friends, school, nationality, grades
	b.  Do you feel the pressure of letting things of the world define you?
	c.  Listen to what God is saying to you - You are HIS beloved child!

Questions for Small Group Discussion