This week we looked at Jesus through eyes we may never have seen Him through before. Pastor Matt Tague, who is a good friend of Pastor Miles, spoke this weekend at the Rock.
For some of us, we view our salvation as the most exciting aspect of our Christian life. However, this shouldn't be so. Our salvation is just the beginning of an exciting Christian life. It is easy to become comfortable with a satisfactory Christian life. What we need to understand is the nature of who we are as Christians to truly live beyond the satisfactory. Jesus did not just come to save us. He came to build His kingdom on earth, through those who follow Him.
However, misconceptions we have about who Jesus is and what He does may cloud our perspectives, therefore hindering our ability to live a true Christian life, the way Jesus called us to, and modeled for us in Scripture.
Who's the Man?
When you think about Jesus as He was when He lived on this earth, what comes to your mind? Do you think of a dude in a white robe with a red sash around Him, sitting on a grassy hill, with long brown hair, and a thick dark beard?
Forget the pictures. Often times the image we've created of Jesus in our heads is a false view of who Jesus really is.
Isaiah 53:2-3 paints a clear picture of Jesus as a man. He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
It's not a very pretty picture, but this is who Jesus was. He wasn't beautiful in appearance. He wasn't loved and praised by everyone. He was an ordinary man, nothing extraordinary for the time in which He lived.
He was born in a barn, and He had at least six brothers and sisters. Mark 6:3 states, Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us? Why is it important to know whether Jesus had brothers and sisters are not? These are reminders that Jesus was real person; sometimes we don't see Him as He really is.
Jesus was also a man who grew in wisdom with God and man. Luke 2:52 tells us just that. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Jesus took on humanity, but He never sinned.
What was His Message?
Jesus spoke about one thing more than He spoke about anything else. His main teaching was the kingdom of God. What exactly is the kingdom of God?
The kingdom of God isn't just heaven, but rather wherever God reigns. God's kingdom is at the Rock, His kingdom is in our hearts, His kingdom is what we should seek after.
His kingdom broke through to earth when Jesus came. The demons were afraid of Him because Jesus is the king of the kingdom. Matthew 12:28 states, but if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Mark 5:6-10 states, when he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
When Jesus came to earth the kingdom of God spread throughout the earth. As Christians we must carry on this ministry, spreading the kingdom of God throughout the earth.
His Ministry, Our Ministry
Jesus gave us the job of ambassadors. This means that we are to be messengers of the kingdom. Therefore, we need to be aware of and take advantage of the opportunities to share Christ with others.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 states, we are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
It is important because the army is coming. We can choose to bow to Christ in servitude now, or bow by force later. Philippians 2:10-11 tells us that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
C.S. Lewis said, "There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up." Jesus came announcing peace for a reason, and for a season. He wanted to bring people to Himself, and be reconciled with Him. Because when He comes again with the kingdom of God in His second coming, He will come in power, and every knee will bow, whether by choice, or by force.
Fight the Good Fight
The Rock Church is an outpost for the kingdom. As part of the Rock, our responsibility is to advance the Gospel in the city of San Diego and beyond.
However, this is about more than just the Rock Church. We as Christians are the army. We are the ambassadors for the kingdom of God. Jesus led the example, and until He returns again we must follow in that example, and fight the good fight for the kingdom of God, because the end result of this battle is found in Revelation 21. We will move from a kingdom of darkness in this life on earth, to a kingdom of light in eternal life with the Lord Jesus.
Revelation 21:1-5 states, then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."