In this sermon, Pastor Neil continues his series on Travels with Jesus. Here, he touches on the question of why Jesus came and who He is. Here are some excerpts:
…When they listened to Jesus speak, the congregation in Nazareth was impressed, but not persuaded. They were amazed, but skeptical. It all sounded so good, but they couldn’t figure out how to fit His ancestry (as they thought they knew it) with the claims He was making.
I suppose that is still true in the lives of a lot of people today. Lots of people may be impressed with Jesus, even amazed by Him in one way or another. But they remain unpersuaded. They remain stuck in their skepticism. Maybe even proud of it. They hold Jesus in high regard, but are not willing to cross the line from unbelief to trusting faith, not willing to surrender their will to the sovereignty of Jesus, not willing to accept Him for who He is as the true Son of God, Savior of sinners, and Lord of all things
Thabiti Anyabwile, who pastors a church in the Anacostia section of Washington, DC, and sits on the Council of The Gospel Coalition says: “It’s dishonoring Jesus to call Him something less than He really is. Muslims say they honor Jesus as a great prophet, but they dishonor Him by denying He is the Son of God. Hindus say they honor Jesus by worshiping Him as one of thousands of gods, but they dishonor Him by not seeing that He is the only true God and that all others are idols. Some people think they honor Jesus by saying, ‘He is a good moral teacher,’ but they dishonor Him by refusing to see He is the Savior of the world” (T. Anyabwile, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Luke, 81).
His words remind me of the famous words of C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity. If these words are familiar to you, it won’t hurt you to hear them again. Lewis said: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things He said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Lewis, Mere Christianity).
Are you persuaded that Jesus really is who He says He is – God in flesh and blood, the Savior of sinners, the chosen Messiah who came to rescue sinners from the wrath of God and to make us trophies of God’s grace? Have you stepped across the line of faith? If not, there is no day like today to take that step.
Pastor Neil has more to say about this topic– Why Jesus Came. Please click on the link below to here the message in its entirety.