Sermon: “Disciples in Harm’s Way: Part V: Discovering Who We Are”
5th Sunday of Lent
Sermon: Part V: Discovering Who We Are: “Disciples in Harms Way”
Scripture: John 17: 1-25; John 20: 19-23
Prepared by Carl Schaefer
For Grace United Methodist Church
March 13, 2005
- Background: Jonah – anger; Elijah – fear; Jeremiah – depression, doubt; David –sin.
- Lent: Approach the cross we need to be honest with God as to who we are.
- Disciples are one of the most significant examples of a group of men trying to deal with who they were.
- band of men chosen by Jesus not for who they were, but for who they could become.
- He had taught them
- They had seen Jesus perform miracles
- He had shared the prophesy of His death
- They had heard him talk of the Kingdom of God
- Except for the gospel of John – they were not at the cross – we didn’t know by the biblical record where they went – John and Acts suggest a room in Jerusalem. The Book of John suggests that the John was there – Jesus own words to Mary “behold your son.”
- They were unified and bound by teaching, miracles, and leadership.
- And then Jesus was arrested, and things began to fall apart – the prophesy of the separation is coming.
- The turning point for Jesus was the transfiguration; he now turned to Jerusalem – his three years of ministry was over. The disciples did not understand this – they feared his return to Jerusalem – even one Judas likely saw him taking charge – he misunderstood.
- The Supper Meal – in the Upper Room – there was no turning back; the separation between the leader and the followers/learners had begun.
- And then Jesus trial began – and the fear began (Elijah ran) and Peter denied, not of fear of Jesus and afraid of the world, and then the anger began (Jonah cried out; related to the frustration of Jeremiah; and Judas betrayed him.
- Our human nature begins to break down – life happens and our weak sinful nature – separates us from the Center – Jesus.
- Can you blame the disciples – don’t you see us in this picture?
- when we were away from parents, we forgot what they had said to us/advised us
- when we were away from the Christian community, the world pressured us to deny Christ, or at least not consider him our priority
- get angry with God
- use his name in vain
- like the disciples, separation from God, we become fearful of the world makes us run from the cross – but our goal was to go to the cross
- Then Jesus was crucified – according to the Gospel of John, we speculate/believe the Apostle John was there with Mary:
- Judas hanged himself
- The others ran from the cross
- Whether we are like John and stay the course all the way to the cross, or more like the other 10, we must somehow put away our sin – David, anger – Jonah, fear – Elijah, and doubt and frustration – Elijah, and stand before the cross.