“DO YOU REALLY KNOW JESUS?” By Pastor YAU
Text: John 7:21-24 Christmas,
1) Love is for losers: After Bill Crowder wrote his comments on words printed on a T-shirt, Love is for Losers, he was surprised by a message sent him from one of his readers. The reader said that her daughter and her daughter’s friends, all tennis players, wear T-shirts with that slogan. In tennis, a “love” score is a zero. If your score in a game is “love,” you lose. So, in tennis, “love is really for losers,” the reader concluded. That message helped Bill to realize that his first perception of the slogan is all but wrong.
2) We could be wrong. “This incident,” Bill confessed, “reminded me how easy it is to make wrong judgments based on incomplete, inaccurate information or even ignorance. Many times we jump to wrong conclusion and make poor judgments about something or someone. Actions like this not only expose our ignorance but also may cause great hurt to others.” 2,000 years ago, Jesus gave wise advice to his people not to make faulty judgment on him based on tilted or incorrect knowledge. Jesus warned, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous (just and correct) judgment.” (John 7:24)
WRONG PERCEPTIONS OF JESUS: Just to list a few.
1) He is a religious founder: Up to this day, all religions on earth have their founders, just different in time, place and doctrine. Many people place Jesus as the founder of Christianity which to many people, is just one of many religions. If anyone credited Jesus as the founder of Christianity, that is not his purpose. He was sent to earth to die for sinners, to be the Savior for souls. Anything other than that is not his role in the world.
2) He is a social reformer: Some people credit Jesus as a reformer in social matters like elevated the position of women, the poor, the underclass and justice for all. Some even credited him as a socialist in promoting caring for the poor from the rich, healing of the sick, caring for the little ones and the equality of status in the eyes of God. But Jesus declared that His kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36) Jesus was never interested in reforming this world into His kingdom although He was interested in love, fairness and justice in this world.
3) He is a moral example: Yes, the Bible declares that Jesus had not committed sin and no deceit was found in his mouth. (1 Peter 2:22) Although he had taught principles of moral behavior to the people, but Jesus was never just a moral teacher like other religious founders and their teaching. His message focused more on the sin of man and the need of forgiveness from God. He said, “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) To credit Him as a moralist is to demean his very special role as the sole Savior of the world. (John 3:16)
4) He is a miracle worker: Some people, including those who do not believe in him as Lord and Savior, do believe that Jesus can do miraculous acts. This is not a new perception about Jesus. In his earthly days, many wanted him to perform more miracles so they could believe him, but Jesus refused. (Matthew 12:38, 16:1)We believe in miracles and we believe that Jesus can do anything because he is God. But Jesus was not a wonder worker to meet emergency needs or to satisfy the curiosity of the people. Today, we still find people who would say: “if Jesus can do this or that miracle for me, then I will believe in him.”
REASONS FOR WRONG PERCEPTION:
1) When we begin as human: It is inevitable that we perceive, understand, analyze things and people from our human point of view because we are all human. No one has ever been able to do any of the above away from human perception unless he/she is given the spiritual capacity to see otherwise. We all are finite human beings and we can only work on our level. But if we use our human level to see God in Jesus, then we are out of place to truly know him or understand him on who he really is.
2) When we are ignorant: Many people have wrong perception of Jesus because they are ignorant of the nature of his life, the purpose of his life and the great contribution of his life to our world. God has revealed all these in His word, the Bible that all men may come to know Jesus the right way. Most people who hold wrong perception of Jesus because they don’t know the Bible. If these people can be humble and sincere to seek the truth, they certainly will know the truth and the truth will set them free from error. (John 8:32)We have read story after story that many who are sincere in seeking to know who Jesus really is by reading the Bible end up become believers.
3) When we see bad sample: So many people perceive Jesus from their contacts with Christians, especially from imperfect ones. Although it is mandatory that Christians should be the light of the world to shine the light of Jesus, but to perceive Jesus from his followers is far from accurate or complete. Even the best of all Christians are far from being the perfect reflection of their Master to give the world a clear and undistorted image of Him. Christians are all forgiven sinners, unlike the sinless Jesus, and no one may be a good sample to lead others to truly know him.
4) When we have wrong intent: There are still others who have wrong perception of Jesus because they take the wrong stand willfully just to discredit or smear the true identity and image of him. This people, like the atheists, have chosen their stand willfully contradictory to the truth in the Bible, refuse to see the truth and steadfastly holding their wrong perception to see otherwise. These people are hopeless, beyond teachable and are destined to eternal loss, “there consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:2) There is no hope for them to truly know Jesus.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY WHO JESUS IS?
1) Jesus is the Son of God: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believe in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) This is the foremost important identity of Jesus, the Son of the living God. Jesus is not just a human being, even though he was born as a human being, but he is the only Son of God. He sacrificed the dignity and glory of his god nature to be born as a man and a servant in order to bring eternal life to the world. (Phil. 2:6-8)
2) Jesus is Savior for sinners: “You are going to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Sin is one thing everyone is affected and it is one thing no one can do anything to undo the mark and the consequence. God sent Jesus to us to pay the price of our sins with his blood and life so our sins may be forgiven once and for all. Many years later, Paul confessed on his own sins in the coming of Jesus, “Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)
3) Jesus is the good shepherd: “Jesus said: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus was talking about his sacrificial death to save the sheep from eternal loss. He was also talking about the roll he has in our life like a shepherd leading, guiding, providing and protecting us from all kinds of harm. Anyone who worries about guidance, direction, protection and provision, Jesus is your best hope. Don’t leave home without him.
4) Jesus is the only way: “Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Jesus was talking about the way to eternal life. He is the only way, He tells us the truth and he is the only one to give us eternal life. While there are many religions and many founders of religions, no one has ever claimed he is the way, the truth and the life. Don’t waste time to study religion or religious beliefs. None of them can give you what Jesus can. Because: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts )
1) Correct knowledge is important: Your knowledge on Jesus is a very important issue of your life. It is important not just because it affects your view of Jesus, but affects your eternity because Jesus in the only way to salvation. Rejecting Jesus based on faulty perception is a huge loss to anyone. This is not just a matter of opinion, it is a matter of eternity.
2) Learn to know Jesus the right way: It is not difficult to know Jesus the right way. All you need to start is with a humble heart and sincere attitude. Any human pride or arrogance will only block you from the right direction. Come to Jesus, confess your sins and ask for his forgiveness. Knowing Jesus is the most important decision you will ever make. Be wise and do right.
3) Do the right thing at the best time. Today is Christmas Sunday. We celebrate His birth to this world 2000 years ago. If you can get to know Him the right way, accept Him as your Lord and Savior to lead your life, to forgive your sins and to give you the eternal life, then this is the most important day of your life forever. Do the best thing for your life on the best day of the year.