Sermon:  What to Expect

Summary:  We should not be surprised when those closest to us oppose us due
to our faith because we are following Jesus who was also opposed.  As Jesus
was under a “microscope” we may also be under a microscope.  We should not
let this keep us from serving God with all our heart and speaking the truth.

Function:  To motivate the hearers to stay faithful in spite of challenges to their

Text:  John 7:1-31

Scripture Reading:  John 15:18-19

1.  Wedding
	a.  Groom tells minister to modify vows - skip cleave only unto her stuff
	b.  Slipped the minister a $50
	c.  Vows came - Minister said
		- Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife
		- Worship her feet, breakfast in bed, rub her feet, be at beckon call
		- Man gulped, and weakly said I do
	d.  Later growled to minister, “I thought we had a deal”
		- She made a better offer, said the minister
2.  People come to marriage with expectations
	a.  When they not the same expectations, will have trouble
	b.  Same as when we become a Christian
3.  Will look at things to expect when we become a Christian
4.  John 7:1-31

I.  Opposition
	A.  Not just a disagreement, but severe opposition
		1.  v.11-12 - There was grumbling about him
		2.  v.19 - Why are you seeking to kill me?
			- 5:18 - Jews tried to kill him, made self equal to God
	B.  Why such a violent reaction to Jesus?
		1.  He was the “lamb of God”, meek, mild, loves children
		2.  (2 Cor 2:14-16) - Christ had a distinct aroma
			a.  Differing reactions to aroma
			b.  ILL:  Do you like pickled herring?
				- Some can’t even stand smell of it
				- Some love it
			c.  There varying reactions to Gospel
				- Some accept joyfully
				- Others hate it
			d.  Many in world find Jesus offensive
		3.  Do you realize just how offensive Jesus was?
			a.  7:7 - Jesus said it like it was
			b.  7:28 - Jesus knew God, they didn’t
			c.  Jesus not have high regard fo rabbinic tradition
				- Healed on the Sabbath
				- Not fast, threshed grain on sabbath
			d.  Told the Jewish leaders they didn’t know God, and he did
		4.  Result:  They persecuted him
	C.  ILL:  Study with Jeannie
		1.  Studied 1 Jn 1; Rom 3; - All have sinned
			a.  Are you saying I am a sinner?
			b.  Found it highly offensive
			c.  She preferred new age religion
		2.  Knew an 18 year old girl disowned by family for converting
		3.  Freinds will give you hard time when stand for Christ?
			a.  What?  DO you think you are to good for us now?
			b.  May call you God boy, Bible thumper
		4.  ILL:  Hen house, a chicken different gets hen pecked
			a.  May even kill the different chicken
			b.  We are “different” and will get hen pecked
	D.  (1 Pet 4:12-16)
		1.  Not a strange thing - Jesus suffered
			a.  Some thing doing something wrong if persecuted
			b.  May be sign of doing something right
		2.  Rejoice - You are sharing in what he suffered
			a.  If love someone, want to share in their experience
			b.  It shows we in fellowship with him
		3.  But, suffering should not be for doing wrong
			a.  If it because I am hateful, spiteful, then wrong
			b.  Not an excuse to be mean
		4.  If persecuted for godliness, shows spirit of God rests on you

II.  Scrutiny and Controversy
	A.  Was Jesus a controversial figure?
		1.  Even family members recognized this
		2.  Thought Jesus should get more PR
			a.  This was probably said sarcastically
			b. They didn’t believe him either
	B.  What was so controversial about Jesus that caused scrutiny?
		1.  His claims
			a.  Said MY father, not OUR father
			b.  Claimed to be equal with God
		2.  His view toward rabinnic tradition
			a.  Not studied under rabbinic school or teacher
			b.  Yet made authoritative interpretations
			c.  Sometimes simply dispensed with tradition
		3.  His teachings extreme and radical
			a. Who is my family?  Not parents, but believers
			b. Love father or mother more than me, not worthy
			c. Take up cross
				- Today it would be, take up needle, electric chair
		3.  Result - Flurry of questions
			a.  People put him under a miscroscope
			b.  Questioned his credentials, upbringing, family, etc.
			c.  Disagreements and arguments about him
			d.  Reason - NOt everyone using reighteous judgement
		4.  We shouldn’t be surprised if this happens to us
	C.  ILL:  Dr Chin, child psychiatrist, evaluation on one of our children
		1.  Pegged us as radical fundamentalist
			a.  Questioned child, he spoke of the “armor of God”
			b.  Spiritual warfare, Hell also topics with child
			c.  Reported us for corporal punishment
			d.  Others in our church also reported for it
		2.  Jesus is very radical, he not of this world
			a.  Pluck out an eye, cut of hand, living sacrifice
			b.  The word, “disciple” is more extreme than “pupil”
			c.  That is what Bible calls followers of Christ
		3.  In study once, a man not like the word, “slave”
			a.  Many translators translate “servant”
			b.  Why?  “Slave” is too offensive
			c.  Yet that is the correct word
		4.  We are to be slaves of Christ
	D.  Anything that radical will come with controversy
		1.  They early church was radical - and gospel spread
			- They were passionate about their faith
		2.  Yes, our faith is radical, and it is TRUE
		3.  Don’t be surprised when you are put under miscroscope
		4.  People don’t like radicals

III.  To be faithful
	A.  Don’t give up when difficulty comes
		1.  Expect the difficulty
		2.  Expect to find opposition
		3.  Expect controversy and scrutiny
		4.  But don’t stop being faithful
	B.  Instead, consider Jesus, the model
		1.  Faithful in spite of family difficulties
			a.  His family did not believe him
			b.  Jesus could have said, - but they are still my family
			c.  Instead, he acknowledge believers as real family
			d.  That is a challenging statement
		2.  Faithful in spite of persecution from authorities
			a.  Authorities after him to kill him
			b.  That didn’t stop him
		3.  Faithful in spite of financial challenges
			a.  Foxes had holes, birds their nests, but he had none
			b.  For us, the challenges is opposite
			c.  We don’t have hole or nest, but a house, car, etc.
		4.  (Heb 12:1-3) - Consider him
			a.  We have been doing just that
			b.  What helped him to be faithful?
	C.  ILL:  What helped Jesus to be faithful - FOCUS
		1.  Focus is powerful
			a.  Turns scattered light into a lazer, cut steel
			b.  Turned buckshot into high power bullet
			c.  Turns blobs on paper into words that can teach
			d.  Tuned Daniel Larusso into the Karate Kid
		2.  Focus turns scatterbrained sinner into a warrior
		3.  Jesus said the way is narrow that leads to life
			a.  Have to be focused to stay on the road
			b.  If not focused, will wind up in the ditch
	D.  Fix our eyes on Jesus
		1.  If vision of Jesus is blurry, refocus (repentance)
		2.  Read, meditate, act as Jesus does
		3.  That is how you will know him better

1.  This a sermon about counting the cost
	a.  Don’t build tower, until count cost
	b.  This usually said to say, how much you have to give up if follow Christ
	c.  That is backwards.  How much you give up if NOT follow Christ
2.  Invitation - Do you believe?
	a.  Time to surrender your life to him
	b.  He has a mansion waiting
	c.  No matter what you lose in this life, he will make it right
3.  If already done that,
	a.  Stay focused, don’t lose it
	b.  Do a focus check
		- Self inventory
		- What do I invest my life in?
		- Do I invest it to honor God, or myself?
4.  But I have to give up so much for God
	a.  Don’t be surpised if lose freinds, job, even family
	b.  (Luk 18:28-29) - Jesus will make it up to us
	c.  So stay faithful, stay focused