Sunday, March 19, 2006

Jesus-King of Kings!

Intro.: As Americans we don't have a good feel for living in a monarchy.

  1. The King receives that title by right of birth – or kidnapping or murder.

  2. It is not something you can earn. It is not something you can buy. You cannot be elected to the position of King.

  3. And we don't have a king in our country.

  4. And yet we understand that Jesus is a King.

  5. I would like to look to at three roles that the King played in previous generations and that may help us to understand the roles Jesus plays in our life.


Trans: The word King is one of the most common words in the OT.

  1. The Hebrew word is Melek occurs almost 2700 times

  2. The Greek word, Basileus, occurs 125 times in the New Testament

  3. This does not include other related words – but when we put it all together, we understand that the concept of a KING is am important theme throughout the scriptures.

  4. It is a theme illustrated by believers, non-believers, and by God himself.

T.S. Lets look at three pictures of the KING that will help us to understand Jesus as the King

  1. The King is unique in his own right

    1. English royalty are unique. They have land, they have servants. When they do something or something happens to them, they are all over the news. Nothing like that happens to me. Like most of you, I have to do most of it myself.

    2. Royalty has an amazing place in the minds of people. In Canada, the King and/or Queen of England are still recognized as being their formal head of state. The same is true in Australia and throughout most of the former United Kingdom.

    3. Of course, if I were to say “we here in the United States could care less what happens to English royalty” you would all know that it is not true. The American press is still discussing the repercussions of the death of Princess Diana.

(Ill.) Perhaps the most famous king in England is King James I. This is the king who commissioned the writing of the King James Bible. But his life certainly did not seem to warrant that kind of memorial. Here was a man who was habitually drunk and was rumored to addicted to other drugs and behaviors as well. He married off his children – only to forward the power of England. He was said to have drained the royal treasury to satisfy his thirst for wine and women. His behavior was obnoxious.

Not only was his behavior obnoxious, so was his appearance was also very un-king like. J. R. Green writes that his head was big, he slobbered while he ate, his clothing was so ostentatious to be offensive. Rickety legs, google eyes made him stand out even more. He had no personal dignity. Those who knew him said that he was pandantric. I did not know what that meant either. It meant that he was continually bragging about what he know – whether he knew it or not. Further, he was described as a coward. As you can tell, he was not a well-liked king. But such was the life of a king.i

    1. John, in the book of revelations, calls Jesus, the “King of Kings”

    2. The history of divine kingship has its roots in the life of Moses, where it is declared, “The Lord will reign for ever and ever.” (Ex 15:18)

    3. David reminds us that royalty will be an everlasting right to the descendants of David. (2 Samuel 7:11-16)

    4. It is in the book of Revelations that we find Jesus is called the “King of Kings”.

    5. In Jesus we find one who has authority over the world's governments. Whether it be President Bush, Pres. Hamid Karzai from Afghanistan, Emperor Akihito of Japan, or the heads of any of the other 130 countries. 1

    6. Whether they acknowledge it or not, Jesus is their King. He is the King of Kings.

  1. The King is responsible for all the land

    1. In medieval times the King was at the top of a geographical pyramid. And he owned all of the land.

    2. But it would be impossible for him to care for all that land. So that is where Counts and Countesses, Lords and Ladies came from. The land would be divided between the other members of the royalty. And then subdivided again.

    3. Each subdivision was the responsibility of all those who to whom it had assigned – starting with the King on down to Lord's or Counts and so forth down to the lowly cerf who was responsible for directly working the land.

    4. But it is the one above the kings who was ultimately responsible for the land.

(Ill.) I think John Wesley understood this. It is well-known that John Wesley had a greater impact on his generation than any other man of his time. But he changed England in other ways as well. As John Wesley rode up and down through the English countryside during the last half of the eighteenth century, his soul was touched by the poverty, the drabness, and the ugliness of the village life. One day he hit upon the scheme of distributing flower seeds to the housewives, and offering prizes for the most beautiful gardens, with the result that today the English countryside has the reputation of being the most colorful in the world. One man had changed the complexion of the rural districts of an entire nation.ii

    1. God created it. Jesus was there. We need to care for what God created. Wesley did – we must also do so.

  1. The King is responsible for all of His people

    1. A nation's king was not only responsible for the land, he was also responsible for the people that resided on that land.

    2. The castle was the King's home, but it was also a place of refuge for the community – when trouble hit the community, they could lock themselves in the castle till it passed.

    3. It also was the place where the towns people could find nourishment and community – it was the site for the weekly market, it was often the location of the local chapel.

    4. You see, the King provided for his people what God provides for His people.

(Appl.) I don't know what you need. When it really comes down to it, I don't know what I need. I know what I want, but not what I need. You see, the only one who knows what I really need is God. The only person who knows who what we need is God. Amazingly, he is also the one person in a position to give what we need. After all, he is the KING.

Conclusion: Jesus is King

  1. He stands above everyone – Presidents, kings, Lords, and even, you and me

  2. He created this planet upon which we live – and as King is responsible for it. As our Lord's servants, so are we.

  3. He is responsible for us – and as such, he give us what we need, not necessarily what we want.


iTan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

iiTan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Jesus and the Children

Intro.: Newspaper columnist Abigail Van Buren has composed a “Parent’s Prayer” in which she stresses the practical side of raising children. Says “Dear Abby”:

              “Oh, heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Forbid that I should ever laugh at their mistakes, or resort to shame or ridicule when they displease me. May I never punish them for my own selfish satisfaction or to show my power.

“Let me not tempt my child to lie or steal. And guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.

“Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.

“May I ever be mindful that my children are children and I should not expect of them the judgment of adults.

“Let me not rob them of the opportunity to wait on themselves and to make decisions.

“Bless me with the bigness to grant them all their reasonable requests, and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm.

“Make me fair and just and kind. And fit me, Oh Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children. Amen.”

I spent much of this week thinking about Jesus' connection with children. In the next few minutes, I want to spend some time looking at three very different connections Jesus had with children. Let's begin with prayer.i


  1. Jesus begins his life as a child Matthew 1:18

    1. Even though Jesus was God, he began life just like every one of us – his mother gave birth.

    2. I felt very fortunate – I was able to be present for the birth of each of my children.

    3. But somehow, Wesley's is the one that stands out

      1. Seven months before he was born, we thought Sandra was having a miscarriage

      2. The night he was born, the nurses told us that they thought Sandra had lost the child

      3. Two hours before he was born, the nurses told us it would not happen soon

      4. And then they panicked. They pushed buttons, alarms went off, and staff went running.

      5. It was an exciting evening – not the birth we expected – not at all.

    4. But then neither was Jesus' birth the one that his mother and father had planned. Yet on the first Christmas morning, God became Man.

    5. We all will have days that do not go the way we planned. But even in the midst of those days, like the day that Jesus was born, God is there.

  2. Jesus welcomed the children into his life Matthew 19:13-15

    1. Jesus had been a child. He had struggled with all the pain that comes with childhood. I expect that there were times that he was excluded from the group as he stayed away from the mischief that was and is a common part of childhood.

    2. But as he grew – he also welcomed children into His life.

(Ill.) Do you realize the ages at which some of the great church leaders came to Christ? Polycarp came to Christ at the age of nine, Matthew Henry was eleven, Jonathan Edwards was seven. Isaac Watts, the great hymn writer, was nine.

E. Stanley Jones, the great Methodist missionary statesman was called into mission service at the age of eight. He saw a picture of a big tiger standing besides a small Indian boy. Underneath was the caption, “Who will tell me about Jesus?” E. Stanley Jones said, “I will.”

Phillip Bliss, the author of a seven hymns in our “Celebration” hymnal was twelve years of age when he made he made his decision to follow Jesus.ii

    1. The biggest mistake we can make is to exclude children from our vision. Jesus invitation is clear, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    2. The church is the body of Christ – can we say any less than Jesus did? We must say to the children of our world, “Let the little children come to me...”

  1. It is the child who will understand Matthew 11:25

(Ill.) I work with a great many smart people. They have degrees and experiences that I will never have. When we meet in formal groups, they wear the most colorful gowns. Smart, intelligent, wise.

    1. But these are not the people that God chooses to reveal his truth. These are not the people that are going to understand spiritual truth.

    2. Who does he say will understand God's ways? It is the children.

    3. Let me suggest some truths that come out of this – first, when Jesus is talking about spiritual maturity, he is not talking about a person's physical size; rather, he is talking about their spiritual size.

    4. In fact it seems almost backwards – the spiritually mature person is not the one who knows the most. The spiritually mature person is not the one who understands it all.

    5. The most spiritually mature person is the one who comes to God knowing he does not know it all. The spirtually mature person is often the person who comes empty and confused – seeking to understand, but not understanding.

(Ill.) Financially, we might say it this way. The person who has it all, has nothing; but the person who is poor, the person who has nothing, is extremely rich. But it is not a financial truth – it is a spiritual truth.

    1. One might want to pray like this -

      Lord, teach me to come to you as a child. May I never be so wise, never so learned, that I forget to be a child. Teach me to cry, teach me to want, teach me – I have so much to learn.

Conclusion: May we all leave with this prayer this morning.


iTan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : [a treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers]. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

iiMorgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (Page 99). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jesus – The Word Of God

Intro.: There are a number of things that will impress visitors to our church.

  1. One of those things will be support that we have for each other – how we care for one another

  2. Others might find the fact that we place a great importance on the word of God to be significant

  3. There may be others that find our history to be signifant – with a church that is approaching 200 years of ministry in

  4. There are others, but I would be amiss to not to mention that one of the most attractive parts of our church are the stained glass windows that adorn the building.

  5. There are seven windows in the sanctuary proper – and five more in the northex area.

  6. It is the seven windows in this room that we will use as the outline for the sermons of Lent.

Trans: During the next seven weeks we will look at each of these windows.

  1. Today we want to look at Jesus who John calls the Word of God

  2. Next week is Scout Sunday – it seems like a good Sunday to discuss Jesus' relationship to the children

  3. Jesus was not only the Word of God, he was also King of Kings and Lord of Lords

  4. The last Sunday of March we move to take a look at Jesus' relationship to the Old Testament.

  5. April will begin with a look at the picture of Jesus as an infant

  6. A week later, on Palm Sunday, we will reflect about the darkest day in human history – the day they put Jesus on the Cross

  7. Finally, on Easter Sunday, we will look at Jesus, the good shepherd.

Read: John 1:1-5, 10-14; I John 1:1-4


  1. Jesus as the Word has roots that go back before creation.

    1. Look again at the passage we read this morning - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.i

    2. He was there when the world was spoken into existence.

    3. He was there with God when He created Adam and Eve

(Ill.) My wife and I like to watch the clouds. She is convinced that she can even tell the weather by looking at the clouds. For example, she tells me that when the clouds are pink, she can predict that it is going to snow. I don't know if she is right or wrong – I do wonder if Jesus was as excited about the first clouds that appeared on the horizon after creation? Was he as amazed at the shapes and colors? Did he stand back and see elephants or dinosaurs or airplanes in the shapes formed by those clouds?

    1. Jesus Christ, the word of God, was present at the beginning of creation. Was he as awe struck with creation as we are today?

  1. Jesus is both the source of life and light.

    1. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.ii

(Ill.) In June 1982 a massive solar flare was emitted from the sun. The energy in this flare was so high, that the scientific instruments designed to measure such things went off the scale. In less than 20 minutes, that single flare released more energy than all the natural and manufactured energy the earth uses in a single year. Here was a tremendous source of energy – but we had no way to capture it, no way to use it. It was lost to the vastness of space.

Jesus can be compared to that solar flare – he as so much light and life to give to us, that we fail to use it all. He wants to touch our lives in so many ways, but we miss it, we fail to see him at work, or we are so ingrained to our lives, that we do not call on the life and light that Jesus wants to provide.iii

    1. You will remember that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.

    2. But someplace we missed it – though we are the greatest part of God's creation, we would have been there at his crucifixion. Perhaps you would want to scream, “Not me.” But remember, Peter was there; Paul, if not there, was active in trying to destroy the church just a few years later.

    3. Yet, Jesus did not reject Peter, Jesus still went after Paul. And he is there ready for you.

    4. He offers us, as broken as we are, his light and life. Now we only need to respond.

  1. The Word became flesh.

    1. That is what John 1:14 says.

    2. Christ gave up his crown, so we could gain ours.

    3. Jesus shed his royal robes, so that we could sit at the foot of the King of Kings.

    4. Today, we begin the celebration of Lent – but without the birth of Christ, there could be no celebration of his death.

  2. (Ill.) John Stott, a superb preacher from the 60's and 70's, once wrote, “It is fitting that a supernatural person should enter and leave the earth in a supernatural way. This is in fact what the New Testament teaches and the Church believes. His birth was natural, but His conception was supernatural. His death was natural, but His resurrection was supernatural.”

    1. And it was so we could enjoy God's grace rather than His wrath.

  3. The Word is to be proclaimed.

    1. Take one more look at I John 1:1-4

    2. When we talk about proclaiming the word of God, it is not just the scriptures that we are to proclaim, it is Jesus, the Word become flesh.

    3. To witness is not merely to invite someone to church, though this may be part of it.

    4. To witness is not merely to tell someone to read their Bible, though that may be part of it.

    5. To witness is to offer our world Jesus Christ – with the power to hear, with the power to take our brokenness and remake it into something that God can and will use.

    6. I hope that as we meet here week after week, that what is offered is a person who loves you and cares for you more than any other.

    7. We offer Jesus.


iThe Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jn 1:1-3). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

iiThe Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jn 1:4-5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

iiiHurley, V. (2000, c1995). Speaker's sourcebook of new illustrations (electronic ed.) (Page 44). Dallas: Word Publishers.