We Need Jesus!

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We Need Jesus!

John 18:1-11

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - March 27, 2013

*Have you ever seen a brand-new baby walk out of the hospital by itself? Of course not, and you never will. Every baby needs the help, care and protection of its family. And even if you were the biggest, strongest, richest, smartest person in Louisiana, you would still need someone bigger to take care of you.

*You may have never thought about it, but none of us could make it a moment without the watch-care of Almighty God. We need Jesus Christ, and this Scripture helps us see why.

1. First: We need Jesus because no one knows like Jesus knows.

*Here Jesus was on the night before the cross. He gave vital words of instruction and comfort to His followers. Jesus also prayed to the Father for all believers. Then the Lord and His disciples headed out to the Garden of Gethsemane, but vs. 2-4 tell us that:

2. Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples.

3. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?''

*Verse 4 tells us something amazing that we must not miss: Jesus knew "all things that would come upon Him." There were no surprises. Jesus could see down the road of His life. And though He was about to take the sins of the whole world on His shoulders, Jesus could take it, so He didn't run away. Jesus went forward, straight into the jaws of danger and death. And He did it for us!

*I think it's good for us that we can't see all things. I don't think we could take it. But Jesus can see down the road of our lives, and He will help us along. He knows all things! How awesome and mighty He is!

*In Matthew 10:30, Jesus tells us that God even knows the exact number of hairs on our heads. Alma Guinness thought about this and wrote: "Scientists know the average number of hairs on the human scalp is between 100,000 and 150,000. (Of course, that's the average.) Each hair lives about 3 to 5 years and grows around one-half inch per month. On a daily basis, the average person loses 50 to 100 hairs.

*Almost 7 billion people inhabit earth, each having an average of 100,000 hairs, and everyone losing 50 to 100 of them a day. Yet, God always knows the exact number of hairs that are on your scalp. (1)

*What a picture of the Lord's all-knowing love! By the way: God also knows every beat of your heart, every thought in your mind and every tear you've ever cried. He knows you better than you know yourself. No one knows you like Jesus knows you.

*And we need Jesus, because no one knows us like Jesus knows us.

2. But we also need Jesus, because no one can do what Jesus can do.

*Our Lord has unlimited power! And we see just a little sample of His power in vs. 4-6:

4. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?''

5. They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth.'' Jesus said to them, "I am He.'' And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

6. Then when He said to them, "I am He,'' they drew back and fell to the ground.

*With just a word, Jesus miraculously sent them sprawling to the ground. This was a most amazing thing, especially when we understand the crowd in the Garden that night.

*William Barclay explained: "There is something astonishing about the force that came out to arrest Jesus. In vs. 3, John tells us that there were soldiers along with officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. The officers were from two branches of the Jewish police force. But a 'band of men' or 'detachment of troops' was also there. In the original language that meant a force of at least 200 men, and usually up to 1,000 soldiers. That's who came to arrest Jesus! What a testimony to the power of Jesus! When the authorities decided to arrest him, they sent a small army to do it." (2)

*But with a word, Jesus laid them all flat on the ground. Mighty, mighty God!

*Matthew Henry said that "with that simple saying, 'I am He,' Jesus showed plainly, what he could have done with them. When he struck them down, he could have struck them dead. When he spoke them to the ground, he could have spoken them to hell. . . Jesus also showed what he will do at last with all his hardhearted enemies who will not repent to give him glory. They shall flee, and they shall fall, before him. . ." (3)

*That night they did not stay down long where they fell, but by divine permission got up again. That mob of persecutors got up again, but only because Jesus let them get up. Jesus really does have all power. No one else can do what Jesus can do!

*Isaiah 40 in the New Living Translation speaks of Him and says:

12. Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed out the mountains and the hills?

13. Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to be his teacher or counselor?

14. Has the Lord ever needed anyone's advice? Does he need instruction about what is good or what is best?

15. No, for all the nations of the world are nothing in comparison with him. They are but a drop in the bucket, dust on the scales. He picks up the islands as though they had no weight at all.

25. "To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One.

26. Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away.

27. O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case?

28. Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

*No one can do what Jesus can do! And you can be sure that He is still at work in His world today. Listen to this testimony about how God works, sometimes in spite of the preachers who try to declare His Word. This testimony is from Pastor Jeff Simms:

"The first sermon I ever preached was in Yerington, Nevada in 1988. It stands as the worse sermon in recorded history. There were about 20 people present in that little desert church to hear me. I said everything I intended say in about 5 minutes. Then, I said it again and looked back down at my watch and only 5 more minutes had gone by. I went on for another minute or two and then went back to my seat and sat down feeling completely worn out tired. I felt like I had been wrestling with the devil himself.

*I remember the pastor coming up to me afterwards and saying, 'You said "uhh" 57 times.' I thought he was going to be mad at me for such a bad sermon. (I remember I didn't even use my own material that morning.)

*Then he told me about two teenage girls who were touched by the Holy Spirit. They were under so much conviction that they had left the room crying. I thought they were crying because my sermon was so bad.

*God had worked despite me. They were in foster care and were going back to their own parents the next day. They had been lied to by the devil but God's Word had spoken directly to their need. (4)

*That's just a tiny taste of the great power of our God! And we need Jesus, because no one can do what Jesus can do.

3. But we also need Jesus, because no one cares like Jesus cares.

*How do we know Jesus cares? We see it 4 ways in this Scripture passage.

[1] First, we see the Lord's care in His conversation.

*In vs. 4&7, Jesus asked that mob a simple question: "Who are you seeking?" Jesus could have squashed them like bugs, but He simply asked them a question. He often comes to us the same way, speaking with the quiet voice of His Holy Spirit, knocking on the door of our hearts, asking profound questions:

-"Who are you seeking?"

-"Where are you headed in life?"

-"Who do you think I am?"

-"Will you follow Me?"

-"Do you love Me?"

[2] How do we know Jesus cares? We see it in His conversation, and in His commitment.

*Jesus was absolutely committed to keep His word. So in vs. 7-9:

7. Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?'' And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth.''

8. Jesus answered, "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,''

9. that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.''

*Jesus had essentially told the Father, "I am not going to lose a single person that You have given to me." Jesus was bound and determined to keep His word. And He did keep His word! No power in the universe can stop Jesus from keeping His Word! And He will always keep His word to you.

*Jesus was committed to do keep His word. And He was committed to protect His people. That's why in vs. 8 He said: "I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way.''

*Jesus Christ is going to protect His people! Jesus protected His disciples that night, and He is protecting us today. If you know Him, if you have trusted Him, if you have received Him as Savior and Lord, the Good Shepherd is going to defend His sheep. Even through the darkest valley. Jesus will lead us safely home.

[3] How do we know Jesus cares? We see it in His commitment. And we see it in His compassion.

*Notice the Lord's compassion starting in vs. 10: "Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus."

*Try to imagine the pain and the trauma of that wound. I mean, it hurts to have your ear thumped real good. How much more excruciating to have your ear cut-off! Plus the horror of reaching up to find that your ear was gone!

*But Jesus Christ is filled with compassion, even for His enemies. Poor Malchus with the missing ear surely found out about the Lord's compassion. We know this because in vs. 11 Jesus told Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?''

*And Luke tells us that Jesus healed Malchus' ear. Luke 22:51 says that Jesus "touched his ear and healed him." Jesus simply touched that stub of an ear with no more effort than I'm touching mine, and it was completely healed! That was another wondrous display of Christ's power, but more than that, it was a display of His compassion.

*Jesus Christ is filled with compassion. He cared for His disciples that night. He cared for His enemies that night. But does Jesus care for me? The answer is yes! We see the Lord's care in His conversation, His commitment and His compassion.

[4] But best of all we see the Lord's care in the cross.

*The cross was the cup Jesus was talking about in vs. 11, when He asked, "Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?" The cross was the Lord's cup of suffering. And a key part of that suffering took place in this same garden starting a few hours before the Lord's arrest.

*The Holy Spirit led John to leave this part of the story out of his Gospel. But Matthew 26:36-44 tells us:

36. Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there.''

37. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.

38. Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.''

39. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.''

40. Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What, could you not watch with Me one hour?

41. Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.''

42. He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.''

43. And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.

44. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

*Luke 22:44 tells us that "being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

*The cross was the Lord's cup of suffering, the cup that was filled with the blackness of our sin. When He died on the cross, Jesus was willing to suffer all of the guilt and shame that belonged to us. So through the cross of Jesus Christ, God is willing to cover and forgive all of our sins.

*The cross was the Lord's cup of suffering, and the Lord's cup of sacrifice. Jesus was our substitute. He took our death, so that we could have His everlasting life, by trusting in Him.

*How do we know that Jesus cares for us? We see it best in the cross! And just a few hours before Jesus died on the cross for us, He described His loving care with these words: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

*Pastor William Stidger told the story of a man in his church who served in the Navy during World War II. One night, this man was running his troop transport across the Atlantic, when he noticed the white trail of a torpedo coming toward his ship. His ship was manned by hundreds of soldiers; the potential loss of life would have been devastating.

*Nearby, a smaller ship had also seen the torpedo coming. The captain of this smaller vessel guided his ship between the transport and the torpedo. The explosion destroyed the smaller ship, and all those onboard died.

*The veteran who told this story to his pastor ended it by saying, "Dr. Stidger, the skipper of that other ship was my best friend." Then he added, "You know, there is a verse in the Bible which has special meaning for me now. It is this: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'" (5)

*You will never have a better friend than Jesus Christ!

-No one knows you like Jesus knows you.

-No one can do what Jesus can do for you.

-And no one cares like Jesus cares for you.

*So trust in the Lord with all your heart! And keep trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Adapted from "ABC's of the Human Body," Alma Guinness, Editor, p.150; Houston Chronicle, 61401, p.2D (Found in "In Other Words" by Dr. Raymond McHenry, Fall, 2001 - 6130 Barrington ~ Beaumont, Texas 77706 (800) 553-4697

2. Adapted from the Barclay Study Bible by William Barclay - "THE ARREST IN THE GARDEN - John18:1-11"

3. Adapted from "Matthew Henry's Whole Commentary on the Bible" - John 18:1-12

4. illustration contributed by Jeff Simms

5. Wayne H. Keller, Emphasis, Nov. / Dec., 1998, pp. 41-42. Preaching - My Source: "Dynamic Preaching" May 6, 2002

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