Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jesus Loves Everyone
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Jesus Loves Everyone

Intro.: My first church was in a rural area of Wisconsin.

In a rural, quite religious farm community, there was a disastrous drought and the crops were dying. In desperation, the local preacher announced that the whole community would assemble at the edge of one of the fields and pray for rain. A large crowd gathered, and the preacher climbed on a bale of hay and surveyed the flock. He said, “Brothers and sisters, you have come here to pray for rain.” “Amen!” responded the crowd. “Well,” said the preacher, “do you have sufficient faith?” “Amen! Amen!” shouted the crowd. “All right, all right,” said the preacher, “but I have one question to ask you.” The crowd stood silent, puzzled, expectant. “Brothers and sisters,” shouted the preacher, “where are your umbrellas?”1

Read: John 19:25-27


Trans: The number of women at the cross is not known.

  1. Jesus loved His mother-the person who knew him the longest and the one who knew him the best

    1. When we look at the people around the cross that day, it is only natural that it starts with Jesus' family

    2. All four of the Gospels mention the presence of Jesus' mother

    3. There are two ways to measure our faith in God – the one is measure how long we have walked with Him. This is not the same as saying how long we have been going to church. There are lots of people who attend church regularly, but have not yet trusted Jesus.

(Ill.) The best example of this is Jesus' crucifixion – there was a crowed there, they were there to see this sensational man put to death. But most of them had not put their faith in Jesus. They were there for the excitement, they were there because of the notoriety of this man. Not because they believed.

(Ill.) In a similar way, going to a library is no guarantee that I am a reader. Even checking out books, does not make me a reader – it may make me look like a reader, it may make other people think I am a reader. In fact, there would be no way for you to know that I am a reader unless you followed me around and watched the amount of time I actually read. Never forget, however, I may be in that library because I am a reader, but being in the library does not make a reader.

    1. But Mary not only knew Jesus the longest, she also knew Him the best. She had been there when he was born. She had seen the shepherds, heard how the angels came to them. She had met the wise men with their gifts and how they had followed that star. She had seen Jesus response, when at 12 he stayed in the temple to discuss God with the spiritual leaders of His time. She had seen him grow in "wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." She knew Jesus better than anybody at the cross that day, and she still followed him

    2. This is the true measure of a disciple – how well do we know Jesus?

(Appl.) How well do you know Jesus?

  1. Jesus loved his mother's sister – the mother of James and John

    1. Mary's sister was Salome – she was also the wife of Zebedee

    2. But scripture tells us that the sons of Zebedee were James and John – There is the very real possibility that James and John were Jesus' cousins!

    3. But there is something else of interest in Salome. Her name is from the Hebrew word "Shalom" which means peace.

    4. I expect that there was very little peace on the hill called Gogatha that day. Three convicts being crucified, soldiers, the conversation, the pain – nope there would not be much pain that day.

    5. But Salome is there – with Mary, the mother of Jesus, with Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. They are not running, they are not hiding. They are at the foot of the cross listening to their Lord.

    6. What a contrast to some the disciples – Peter was trying to avoid being identified with Jesus; and other than John, we have no idea where the other disciples are during these hours.

    7. As Salome came to know Jesus, she found enough peace in her life that she could find her self at His crucifixion.

(Ill.) A rabbi and a soap maker went for a walk together. The soap maker said, “What good is religion? Look at all the trouble and misery of the world! Still there, even after years—thousands of years—of teaching about goodness and truth and peace. Still there, after all the prayers and sermons and teachings. If religion is good and true, why should this be?” The rabbi said nothing. They continued walking until he noticed a child playing in the gutter. Then the rabbi said, “Look at that child. You say that soap makes people clean, but see the dirt on that youngster. Of what good is soap? With all the soap in the world, over all these years, the child is still filthy. I wonder how effective soap is, after all!” The soap maker protested. “But, Rabbi, soap cannot do any good unless it is used!” “Exactly,” replied the Rabbi. “Exactly!”

    1. I don't know what is rattling your life right now, but Jesus can give you peace in the middle of it.

  1. Jesus loved Mary, the wife of Clopas – a relative unknown

    1. Some people are known because of who they are – the mother of Jesus is one such person. Others are known because of who they know – Salome is a good example here.

    2. But there are some people who are just unknowns – the third woman is one such person. We know her name – Mary. And we know her husband's name, Clopas. But there is not much more known about Mary or her husband.

    3. A lot of us are unknowns – we live our lives never experiencing the so-called 15 minutes of fame.

    4. But here is the amazing part – Jesus even loves the unknown.

(Ill.) You know what, I got to this part of my sermon and I wanted a wonderful illustration to illustrate the point. But you know what I did find was a lot of wonderful illustrations labeled credited to "author unknown." There were people who had great insight, but whose identity had been lost.

    1. We may know nothing about Mary, but Jesus does. We may know nothing about Clopas, but he and his wife have a place in God's kingdom.

  1. Jesus loved Mary Magdalene – a disciple, like us

    1. Mary Magdalene is the only other of these women mentioned in all four gospels.

    2. In some ways it is easier for me to relate to Mary Magdalene than to any of the other women mentioned by John. Part of that is because, of what I know of her, she is more like me than any of the others. The others are most likely related to Jesus in some way – Mary Magdalene is following Jesus because of what He changed her heart. Here was a broken person, scripture tells us the Jesus case seven demons out of her, who was so loved by Jesus, that she followed Him even to the cross.

    3. Jesus reached out to this broken woman. He did not let her reputation get in the way, he did not worry about his own reputation. And because of that, Mary Magdalene experienced the grace of God.

(Ill.) One of the key players in the movie Amazing Grace is John Newton. Two or three years before the death of this eminent servant of Christ, an aged friend and brother in the ministry called on him at breakfast. Family prayer followed, and the portion of Scripture for the day was read to him. In it occurred the verse, “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10). After the reading of this text, he uttered this affective soliloquy: “I am not what I ought to be—ah! how imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon, shall I put off mortality, and, with mortality, all sin and imperfection. Yet though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say I am not what I once was—a slave to sin and Satan; I can heartily join with the apostle and acknowledge, ‘By the grace of God, I am what I am.’“2

    1. And so could Mary Magdalene and so can we.



1Streiker, L. D. (2000). Nelson's big book of laughter : Thousands of smiles from A to Z (electronic ed.) (370). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2AMG Bible Illustrations. 2000 (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; Bible Illustrations Series. Chattanooga: AMG Publishers.

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