Title: Would you Recognize Jesus?
Focus: You must accept Jesus the Messiah, which involves truthful, honest devotional to him from the heart, not just the lips. With this devotion, we can escape the coming judgement and live with God eternally
Function: To motivate the hearers to truly know the Lord by living as he would live because only in living as he lived can we even begin to know and understand him.
Text: Mark 12:35 - 13:2
Intro: 1. If Jesus were here, would you recognize him? 2. Article in Popular Mechanics magazine reconstruct a more accurate likeness of Jesus a. Misses the point - Focus on wrong thing b. Jesus’ greatness had nothing to do with his appearance c. 2 Cor 4:18 - We not look at things seen, but unseen d. 2 Cor 5:16 - We do no know him according to the flesh 3. Don’t have to know what he looked like to know him a. Last week - Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus, John 17 b. Knowing God means loving him and loving others 4. This morning’s lesson will continue the theme of knowing God I. Not knowing him according to the flesh is superior (Mk 12:35-37) A. We would love to know him according to the flesh 1. But that was a weak, incomplete Jesus 2. Vulnerable, flesh, bled, lowered self 3. But he was exalted, he is Lord, strong deliverer 4. To even begin to understand, have to think outside the box B. Scribes problem was they didn’t think outside the box 1. They knew Messiah would be a son of David 2. Jesus quotes 110th Psalm, which is Messianic a. Messiah will defeat enemy b. The Messiah will rule from Zion 3. But in Psalm 110, David calls the Messiah “Lord” a. Didn’t say, “Yahweh said to my great.....grandson” b. He must be greater than David 4. But the scribes could not, or would not accept this C. Problem: Created Messiah in their own image 1. Like the Jesus Seminar - Created Jesus in their own image a. He is a peasant who started peaceful revelution b. Or an apocalyptic preacher who challenged the system c. They say Jesus of the Bible created by disciples d. Couldn’t accept Jesus of the Bible 2. Nothing new under the sun a. Scribes not accept the Messiah as he was b. Folks today accept an incomplete, amended, false Jesus D. Why did they have a problem with Jesus as he was? 1. Couldn’t deal with the word “Lord” 2. Everyone wants Jesus the Messiah/Savior, but not Lord 3. Bible emphasizes the Lordship of Christ a. Acts 2:34 - God made him both Lord and Christ b. Rom 10:9 - Confess Jesus as Lord, believe raised, saved 4. Question is - Will you accept the Lordship of Christ? HOW? II. Text demonstrates how not to accept (v. 38-40) A. Jesus uses scribes as object lesson B. He talks about their type of “devotion” 1. Concerned with appearances a. Long robes / 3 pc suits / academic garb b. Really into titles - “Morning Rabbi (Dr. Ben Gamaliel)” c. Always had to ride shotgun, first in line at potlucks d. People get hung up on appearances, like magazine art. 2. Does God tell us how to look and how to dress? Yes! a. (1 Pet 3:3-4) - “Adornment” is not external b. (Col 3:12-14) - Put on new self, kindness, humility, love c. When put on Sunday best, may look good to men - But God not looking at clothes, but heart - He seeing if you clothed in good works and love d. God could care less how you look or dress 3. So, how did the scribes “really” look? a. Jesus said they devoured widows houses b. They were grotesquely ugly c. They thought status come at expense of others d. Status comes at the expense of self! 4. But, they prayed long prayers! Doesn’t that mean something? C. ILL: Larry asked Pansy on a date 1. No one asked Pansy, she not dating type, she shocked. 2. After serenades, flowers, gifts, he wore her down, she said yes 3. After date, she found out it was a bet. 4. Didn’t all the serenades, sweet talk, flowers count? D. Jesus finds devotion for show repugnant 1. Skin deep devotion to God is detestable to him 2. True devotion and submission comes from your heart 3. So how do we submit to the Lord? III. Jesus points out an example of true devotion (v.41-44) A. Probably no one noticed her 1. She was outshined by rich with their large donations 2. Rich got the attention of the onlookers 3. But it was this poor woman who got the Lord’s attention B. Why did she get his attention? 1. Don’t misunderstand - Not saying rich were bad here a. No indication in text that they were insincere b. However, they did not give as much c. Not looking at outside, but the heart 2. Text is still talking about true devotion a. People were noticing “appearances” (large donations) b. Jesus noticed the heart (smaller/larger donation) 3. Widow in stark contrast to the scribes who love appearances C. ILL: Used to have a 68 Camaro 1. Beautiful finish with white stripe around front (327) a. Looked great in driveway, parking lot, or Dog-n-Suds b. But if you behind it, can’t see it for the smoke c. Couldn’t depend on it 2. Also had a 74 Gremlin a. Loud, rust colored (literally), primer door, etc. b. Every teens dream car (not) c. But always started, always dependable 3. Which would you rather have in below-zero weather? 4. What truly matters is what is on the inside D. When the Lord comes to the car lot 1. Not choose car for looks, but what is under the hood 2. Maybe we look good on the outside, but need overhaul 3. Christian life not a car show a. What good is it if push car to church, then to driveway? b. But it looks good! That doesn’t do anyone any good 4. Not car show, but race, or work detail (pick up truck) IV. Jesus came to the car lot, and was not pleased (Mt 13:1-2) A. Some didn’t even start up, but they looked good! 1. Mt 23 - Calls them whitewashed tombs 2. Mt 23 - Calls them cups that clean on outside, dirty on inside B. He was sorely disapppointed with what he found at the temple 1. They didn’t know God, and didn’t accept his Messiah 2. They to busy trying to impress people to notice God 3. Mt 7:21-23 - Many did things to look good on the outside a. Prophesy, cast out demons, and do miracles in his name b. That can make you look good to people c. But people will not be your judge d. There was absence of love and ministry to others 4. Mt 25:31 - On other hand, sheep get to enter in a. Why the sheep enter in b. They fed, visited, clothed, and ministered to others C. But Jesus did not find sheep, but goats at the temple 1. Supposed to be meeting place of God and his people 2. Jesus went there, they didn’t even recognize him 3. This showed that they didn’t know him 4. So the Lord “leaves” and the temple will be destroyed D. BUT, they knew their scripture very, very well 1. Difference between knowing rules and knowing God 2. How do you get from knowing about God, to knowing God? 3. That a hard question Concl: 1. 2 Things to get beyond knowing about him and knowing him 2. First, read the Bible, ALL of it a. I began to know God more deeply when ready Old Testament b. Read ALL of O.T., not just about Nadab and Abihu or Uzzah 3. Second, live as Jesus lived a. ILL: What if you historian, do biography of Will Rogers - Will know about him? - What if you want to know him, understand him? - Do something radical - Start dressing, eating, living, and doing the things that he would do, talking like him - Obsession - Try to be just like him, then you will know him b. ILL: Like a man who wanted to research what it like to be Black - 30 yrs ago, knew ABOUT it, but didn’t KNOW it - So he colored his skin, shaved head, and lived it - Wrote a book, “Black, Like Me.” c. This partially what incarnation all about - Could know God in a way previously not possible - Our Lord became a man, and revealed God’s nature (Heb 1) - Jn 8:19 - Jesus says if you know me, you know the Father d. So can’t know God unless know Jesus - Can’t know Jesus unless you live as he lived - If you don’t live as he lived, you will only know ABOUT him 4. If you know him, you will be recognizable a. Why? Jesus living in you b. Otherwise, Jesus might say, “I never knew you.” 5. Would you recognize Jesus? a. If you know him, recognition will not be a problem b. If not, then its time for an overhaul c. Knowing him not happen overnight d. Start living as he lived - Radical devotion to God - Radical love for others