2011 Easter Series
Who Is This?
I would like to take you back to the passage we looked at 2 weeks ago on Palm Sunday.
That event, of course was called “The Triumphal Entry” as Jesus came into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. As I read and studied that account two weeks ago, something jumped out at me.
You remember the people who had heard of and followed the ministry got word that Jesus was coming, and they went out to greet him. They waved Palm Branches and laid them down before him. They also laid their coats down as he entered on a donkey colt.
They shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
For the most part, Jesus had kept his ministry in Galilee, away from Jerusalem. But now it was time.
Jerusalem was a large city. 1st Century Jewish historian Josephus said the population was as much as 3 million by mid century. Roman historian Tacitus estimated it at only 600,000. Either way it was a large city full of people, most of whom had never seen Jesus nor perhaps heard of him either.
So, this large crowd of Worshippers drew the attention of the city and look at what it says in Matthew 21
READ Matthew 21:10-11
“When Jesus entered … the whole city was stirred and asked ‘Who is this?’”
Jesus showed up and the city was stirred …
YLT renders it “moved”
NLT – “an uproar”
ESV – “stirred up”
The word is “seio” (si-o) or(say-o) “shake, agitate, cause to tremble, quake, excite, anxiety”
That’s what happens when Jesus comes to town. He shakes us up, makes us a little disconcerted, unsure of what might happen next.
Jesus went to a village in Samaria – Sychar (soo-kar) Actually he stopped outside of town. He met a woman of bad reputation by the well. He showed her REAL love for the first time in her life.
He filled the longing in her soul. And she ran to town and brought the whole town out to meet Jesus. He ended up being asked to stay for several days with them.
In John 6, a great multitude of people followed Jesus and he fed them all with a little boys lunch.
They were so stirred that they walked all the way around Galilee to hear more the next day.
Sometimes it wasn’t so pleasant once they were so stirred.
Once they tried to throw him off a cliff in his home town of Nazareth.
But Jesus always stirred the water wherever he went.
Everywhere he went people wanted to know “Who Is This?”
I wonder why more people don’t ask today, “who is this Jesus?”.
How come the church, who is inhabited by his Spirit, doesn’t STIR the city like Jesus?
Oh I’m not talking about the nuts and self serving ones like the infamous Westboro Church in Kansas or the church in Florida that just wants headlines so it burns copies of the Koran.
Those churches certainly stir things but not for the name or cause of Jesus Christ.
You might ask, “well shouldn’t we just be quiet and go unnoticed?”
“Jesus stirred the world but is the church supposed to do that?”
Does the church shake the world? Well, whatever you do, don't read the book of Acts, it is full of stirring stories of the church in the world. Acts 17:6 described them as “these men who have turned the world upside down”
What happened to God’s people who were turning the world upside down?
Could it be that we have flipped upside down and become just like the world in which we live?
The world without Christ is itself upside down and so our job is to turn them right side up. They are flying upside down and don’t realize it. They think they are climbing a mountain when in fact they are climbing to the bottom of a well.
The world needs stirring
If we will start living like Jesus and perhaps someone near us would ask
“who is this?”
and we can say … “This is Jesus”
Can I stop for a minute here today?
Oh we can get into deep doctrine another day, but today I need to ask, “can we live and proclaim to an asking world ‘This Is Jesus’.”?
The world we live in is confused.
They have seen hate fueled lynching in some generations and said “THIS is Jesus.”
But THAT is not Jesus
They have seen religiously sanctioned child abuse and heard “THIS is Jesus”
But that’s NOT Jesus
They have seen genocide and heard “THIS is Jesus”
But That is not JESUS.
They have heard greedy preachers peddle the gospel begging for money in his name and say “This is JESUS” … but
THAT IS NOT JESUS!
We need to rise up instead and say
Have you ever been to a great concert, or a great game or had a great meal and it was like everything you’d ever had was just an imposter and you said “THIS is music” or “THAT was a game” … or “Now THIS is a meal” … what you are saying is “I finally have found the real thing … No more pretenders or imitations”
This world has their own image or opinion of who Jesus is.
Much of their opinion is our fault too.
They have their opinion of the church that bears his name. They think we that we are divided, self-centered, and self-serving. They think we aren’t interested in needs, justice, and service so they figure well then Jesus must not be either.
But it is time that we show them “THIS, is Jesus”
Ephesians 5:21-33 teaches us how to relate to each other.
Yes, wives are told to give submission and respect to their husbands as he is lead follower of Christ in the house.
And yes, husbands are told to love their wives sacrificially and selflessly.
But the instruction isn’t because God is a chauvinist. It is because, as we fill our roles in the house, we are showing the world that …
Husbands and Wives are showing …
THIS is Jesus
The Husband is to SHOW Christ sacrificially loving his bride, the church, by laying down his life. He loves her with complete selfless, unconditional love that says
“THIS is Jesus.”
Men can’t run around fathering children all over town, having no commitment to a wife, loving and leaving,
because that NOT Jesus.
No, men we are to dig in, love fully, keep our commitment, and raise up our children, so we can say,
THIS is Jesus
And Ladies, the reason you are called to give submission to your husband is to show the world the church of Jesus, his loved bride, surrendered to his loving leadership
Jesus told us to
THIS is Jesus
Right now Jesus is in the reconciliation business. He wants to make his enemies his friends and God’s adopted children.
Jesus said that we are to
THIS is Jesus
Notice that “the CITY” was stirred
That word is “polis” – the natives or the populace they were stirred and asked
“the crowds” – “ochlos” – crowd, casual collection of people, common people
In this case they were the common followers …
they answered “This is Jesus”
And when we, the casual, common follower of Christ, show the world THIS is Jesus, it rings true, and it takes Jesus out of the realm of fairy tales and myths and into REALITY
And show them “this IS Jesus”
Folks, Jesus is REAL and we need to show it and tell it until they believe
We the crowd of Christ need to rise up and proclaim who Jesus IS
Christianity isn’t just a frame of mind or a way of living
Christianity isn’t a religious exercise
Christianity isn’t a myth or a fairy tale
For one very important reason … JESUS CHRIST IS REAL in every sense of the word.
Without Jesus we can’t even define reality
When you take Jesus out of the story it changes everything and gives rise to all kinds of conclusions
“this is love, not that we loved God but that God loves us and sent his Son Jesus Christ” 1 John 4:10
“This is how we know what love is Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” I John 3:16
He IS truth – John 14:6
“To God belongs wisdom” Job 12:13
“all things were made by him and without him nothing was made that was made. In him was life and that life was the light of men” John 1:3-4
Until you know Jesus you simply stumble in the darkness
This IS Jesus
When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they had been looking for a Messiah, an Anointed One, for 4000 years, and
They were hoping he would be their deliverer from the bondage of foreign rule, and Jesus IS
They were hoping for a King, and
But unfortunately most of them missed it because he was headed to the cross and they didn’t understand that BEFORE
he could be deliverer and king, the Messiah must be
This is JESUS!
Jesus = Iesous (ee-ay-sooce) = Jehovah is Salvation; Jehovah my salvation; Jehovah Saves
They got confused because they wanted a King and Jesus was saying
“in due time, but right now, you need a Sacrifical Savior”
They wanted a Deliverer from Rome but Jesus said
“in due time … but right now you need deliverance from sins”
Jesus was in Capernaum and the town was stirred and everyone pressed in to the house to see Jesus.
Verse 2 says “he was speaking to them the word”.
So while he was preaching, four men, brought a friend to Jesus who was paralyzed.
They couldn’t get in so they went on the roof and lowered his bed through a hole they made in the roof, right there in the middle of his sermon.
There the man was, paralyzed, pitiful, helpless, and hopeless before Jesus.
Oh Jesus knew he couldn’t walk, but Jesus saw a deeper need in his man.
Yes he couldn’t walk, but if he COULD walk, he maybe he wouldn’t have come to Jesus that day.
Jesus looked at him and said “Son your sins are forgiven”
Maybe you are here today wishing Jesus would deliver you from finances, health, jail, relationships, a job, or whatever, but folks that stuff is secondary to the fact that we need Jesus to deliver us from sin and death
And when Jesus forgave him, the people couldn’t believe it. They wondered who He thought he was.
But don’t worry, Jesus proved his authority and power by healing the man …
“who does he think he is?” that is the point
This is JESUS
He IS the FORGIVER of SINS
He is the RESTORER of Souls
People we need to show the world that
This is our Hope
We may have earthly troubles but we have an eternal problem
We may have a physical sickness but we also have a spiritual sickness
Before Deliverer and King we need a Savior and Lord, Redeemer and Friend
This is JESUS
We call to you today and say
This is Rescue – Jesus
This is Hope – Jesus
This is Salvation – Jesus
The saddest part of this story is that most of those in the city who heard the truth that day “this is Jesus”, didn’t want to believe
They didn’t want to receive the Salvation offered
They wanted what they wanted more than what they needed
As you are here today, I am trying to get you to hear and see with your heart, soul, and mind that your greatest need is Jesus.
Open your heart to him.
The truth rings in your heart as true. That is God’s Spirit calling you to receive Jesus by faith today
Don’t just be stirred and not changed … Receive him today
Also, today a word to God’s people here, the Church,
On that day, when Jesus stirred the city … few believed
But then five days later Jesus died for their sins and six weeks later, when 3000 souls were saved, God again stirred the city.
How? He stirred the city with his people, his beloved bride telling his story proclaiming the good news.
In Song of Solomon 5:9 the friends of Solomon’s betrothed ask his love “How is your beloved better than the others?” … That is what the world is asking us … “How is Jesus better than every other one we could love and follow?"
Psalm 24:8 “who is this King of glory? The Lord Strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle”
Isaiah 63:1 “who is this coming from Edom from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? ‘It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.’”
They are asking,
We need to give them an answer
Rise up Church, Show them, Tell them and Keep on showing them and keep on telling that about your Beloved Savior
This Is Jesus!
King of Kings
Lord of Lords
Name above all Names
Prince of Peace
Rock of Ages
eXplanation of God
Yes of every promise
Zero to Zed
Alpha and Omega
Beginning and End
Past and Future
Promise and Provider
Sacrifice and Savior