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Who Is Jesus Palm Sunday

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Who Is Jesus?

 

Today, we commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  It is a moment in history where Jesus shows to the world the power he does have as God.  But who is Jesus?  What do these three million Jews see in Jesus that would make them proclaim him king?  Let’s examine seven miracles that Jesus did according to the Gospel of John. And how these miracles show who Jesus is.

        The first miracle mentioned in the Gospel of John can be found in John 2:7-11.  Here we find Jesus at the wedding in Cana “Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”

Jesus not only turned water into wine.  He turned water into “good wine”  It wasn’t diluted, it wasn’t generic.  This was the good stuff.  You see Jesus is the master of quality in answer to man’s discouragement.  And we do get discouraged.  We do have those times when our plans fail.  For example, how many people here had their plans altered this winter because of the weather?  I know I did.  Now how many people felt at least a little bit discouraged  by these change in plans?  We all do.  But, though we may be discouraged there is Jesus who knows no defeat, no failure, and no discouragement.

        In John 4:46-50 we read of the next miracle: “So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.”

Jesus healed this nobleman’s son from a distance.  Could Jesus have gone with the nobleman to his house?  Of course he could.  It was about seventeen miles away as the crow flies.  So figure a two days journey at a comfortable pace.  But Jesus chose not to.  Instead Jesus revealed to us and the nobleman that he is the master of distance in answer to man’s doubt.  After all, it never entered into the nobleman’s mind to ask Jesus to heal his son from where he stood.  This nobleman had put limitations on what Jesus could do and asked Jesus to come to his house to heal his son.  Jesus knew of the nobleman’s doubt and sent him home with the promise that his son lives.  The nobleman obeyed but did not believe wholeheartedly in the healing of his son.  We know this because in verses 51 thru 53 we read : “And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.”  He never believed until he got confirmation that his son lived.  We would rather believe the testimony of a servant and doubt the authority of the master.

        The third miracle mentioned in the Gospel of John is found in John 5:1-9: “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”  This man had been paralyzed for 38 years, trying for a long time to be the first to get into this pool so that he might be healed.  Jesus came along and asked the man if he wished to be healed.  Instead of asking for help the man begins a list of excuses why he can’t get to his healing.  His excuses place a dependency on everything but God.  I think that this man has suffered for so long that he really didn’t believe in the hope of healing.  After all it’s been 38 years, he’s probably seen many physicians, and healers, why should he expect anything?  Because Jesus is the master of time and dependability in answer to man’s disability.  As far as Jesus is concerned there is nothing that is beyond his ability to cure.  No matter how long an ailment takes us down, Jesus still has power over it.  Time has no meaning to Jesus.

        In the forth miracle we read “When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”  With five barley loaves and two little fishes, Jesus feeds five thousand men plus women and children whose numbers we are not told.  Why did Jesus do this?  He could have simply told the people to go into town and get food but he didn’t.  Instead, Jesus provided for the needs of the people.  These people had been following Jesus around listening to him talk all day.  They were tired and hungry.  Jesus provided not just a piece of bread and fish for everyone, but a feast.  He met their needs and satisfied their desires.  Everyone, ate until they were full and there were leftovers to boot.  Jesus is the master of quantity in answer to man’s desires.  Jesus can sustain us with what we need but he can go further and provide what we desire.  Mankind’s greatest desire is probably to eat.  When we are faced with the impossibility of eating such as these 5000 were, Jesus still satisfies our desires with overflowing baskets.

        The fifth miracle recorded in the Gospel of John takes place shortly after Jesus feeding the five thousand and is perhaps one of the most well known miracles in the Bible.  It takes place in John 6:16-21: “And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.”  These disciples went on a ten mile journey across the Sea of Galilee.  The winds came down and the sea began to roll.  This little fishing boat began to get tossed to and fro.  The disciples probably started to row frantically.  They were about 3 ½ miles out.  They were too far into their journey to turn back and too far away from their destination to make it ashore safely.  When across the violent sea they see Jesus walking towards them.  When the disciples acknowledge that it’s Jesus, then there is peace.  The storm is over and the boat is at it’s destination.  It is here that we learn that Jesus is the master of nature in answer to man’s despair.  Out in that sea, everything seemed hopeless.  The disciples, some who were experienced fisherman, expected to die on that sea that day.  Because of the situation they were in, they knew that they were in over their heads.  We have the same situations in our lives where we get in over our heads and despair.  But notice this, the disciples were in deep over their heads, but for Jesus walking on the sea, these troubles were under his feet.  It was nothing for Jesus to calm the storm.  Not only did he calm the storm but he relieved the disciples stress by bringing them to their destination.  He brought them from the point of almost drowning to safety at the shore.

        Jesus’ sixth miracle recorded in John occurs in John 9:1-7.  “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”  Jesus healed a man who’s life has been spent in total darkness.  To this man, Jesus is not only his light, but the source of his light.  Jesus is the master of misfortune in answer to man’s darkness.  There all sorts of senses that we can loose.  We can loose the ability to speak, to hear, to smell, to feel, to taste, but perhaps the most misfortunate loss, is the loss of sight.  It is as if our connection to the here and now is lost because of the wall of darkness which surrounds the blind.  It envelops them from any happening.  Now when Jesus steps into the picture, the darkness is pulled back and the blind man will find himself standing in the light that is Jesus.

The final miracle from the Gospel of John is found in John 11:39-44: “Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”  This is perhaps the greatest miracle that Jesus does for another.  Lazarus had been dead for four days.  There was no mistaking his condition.  He was dead.  Even the women realized that because of the odor of the corpse.  Lazarus’s appointed time had come and he died.  His dying had a purpose—to glorify God.  Then Jesus comes on the scene and commands his friend to arise.  And from the grips of death does Lazarus come forth.  Jesus is the master of fate in answer to man’s death.  There was nothing that Mary, Martha, or the other mourners there could do to restore Lazarus.  It was only by the call of Jesus that Lazarus, even in death would obey.

        Jesus enters into Jerusalem for the last time.  He rides on a borrowed donkey that had never been broken in.  The people wave palm branches and shout “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord”.  Why did these people do this?  It is because of Jesus’ ministry that they could proclaim this.  In his miracles we can see just who he is.  This is one of those times where actions speak louder than words.  First at the wedding in Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine, we learned that Jesus is the master of quality in answer to man’s discouragement. 

Secondly when Jesus heals the nobleman’s son we learn that Jesus is the master of distance in answer to man’s doubt. 

Thirdly when Jesus heals the paralyzed man we learn that Jesus is the master of time in answer to man’s disability. 

The forth miracle, when Jesus feeds the 5000 with five loaves and two fishes, we learn that Jesus is the master of quantity in answer to man’s desires. 

In the fifth miracle we find Jesus walking on the sea, calming the storm, and bringing a ship to harbor.  Here Jesus is seen as the master of nature in answer to man’s despair. 

In the sixth miracle Jesus gives sight to a blind man.  Here we learn that Jesus is the master of misfortune in answer to man’s darkness. 

And finally in the seventh miracle, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.  Here we learn that Jesus is the master of fate, in answer to man’s death.

There are two key words here: master and answer.  Jesus through his miracles shows us that he is the master of everything that man needs an answer too.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem not to establish his worldly kingdom but to show that he had the power to do so.  He demonstrated so much power on that first Palm Sunday that even the officials were to dumbfounded and scared to make a move against someone making no speeches, having no army; but merely riding on a donkey into town.

Instead Jesus’ entrance marked the beginning of a series of events that firmly established his heavenly kingdom in our hearts.  Jesus brought us our salvation.  Without salvation there would be no Christian church.  We would not be assembled here today because we would still be living a sin cursed life with no hope of freedom.  What is salvation?

        Salvation is the process where we go from a sinner who is enslaved to a life of disobedience to God and is damned to an afterlife in hell; to a child of God with all the rights and priveledges of royalty.  Where we can find righteousness and a life free from the bondages of sin.  Our salvation determines where we go when we die.  If we are saved then it’s to heaven we go.  If we are not saved then we’re hellbound.

If you’re not sure about your salvation then here are some things you should know.

P    You must realize that you are a sinner:

                “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)”

                “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

P    You must realize that because of your sin you are a servant of sin

                “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Romans 6:16-18)

P    You must realize that there is a payment demanded for our sin

                Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)

                For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

P    You must realize that there is nothing we can do on our own that will save us from our sin.

                Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8)

                For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

P    You must now realize that Jesus paid the debt.

                But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

                Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

                For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:17-18)

P    Now knowing this you must realize that by believing this and asking Christ to forgive you of you sin, you can be sure of heaven.

                That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:9-13)

We have learned two very important things today.  First we learned who Jesus is through his miracles in the Gospel of John.  Second we learned who we are through God’s eyes.  Are we yet a sinner that has no contact with God?  Do you want to fix that.  Do you want to give up that old way of sin, that disobedient way of life?  Do you feel that your life has become empty, lacking the joy and peace that comes with knowing Jesus on a personal level?  Then here’s your opportunity.  If I could have every head bowed, and every eye closed  as we begin to pray.

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