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“Jesus the Mind-bender”, by Pastor Mark DuPré

February 20, 2019

     Continuing our series on encountering Jesus in the book of John. Last week, Pastor Bruce talked about how relational Jesus was, and is.        This week we get a different side of Jesus. Not gentle Jesus, meek and mind, but the one who messes with people’s heads–then and now. It’s what […]

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Sermon Notes

     Continuing our series on encountering Jesus in the book of John. Last week, Pastor Bruce talked about how relational Jesus was, and is.

 

     This week we get a different side of Jesus. Not gentle Jesus, meek and mind, but the one who messes with people’s heads–then and now. It’s what He does. It’s actually part of how He relates to us, and connects with us. And it’s all from love.

 

     First easy example: John 3:1-21–Jesus and Nicodemus. Nicodemus protests that Jesus doesn’t make sense to him. But he kept engaged, and got a great deal of revelation (including John 3:16)!

 

     Best thing we can learn here is to KEEP LISTENING! If Nicodemus had walked away at the first moment that things didn’t make sense to him, he (and we) would have lost out on hearing these words!

 

     God is confusing at times, but God is never confused. All the confusion is on our end, but God delights in having it make sense over time!

 

     John 4–the woman at the well and the disciples who wanted Him to eat. Woman didn’t get the direct answers she was looking for, but she heard and received what He was saying. Can we do that? What happens to us if our prayers are not directly answered the way we prayed? Do we get upset, or think that God isn’t talking. What if she had said, Wait, you didn’t directly answer what I asked! But she still stayed engaged with Jesus until He told her He was the Messiah!

 

     John 4:31– eating. This didn’t just give Jesus something cool or poetic to say. It put something in front of us that we really have to think about to get!  Can we say, “I find my strength in doing God’s will.” Or “I need to do His will as much as a person needs food”?

 

     John 5–the man at the pool. Jesus didn’t answer him as he asked the question, but what an answer!

 

     Can we see a pattern here? Jesus has things to do and say, and He’s willing to completely confuse us in the short term, or simply ignore our line of questioning or reasoning to get to the good stuff!

 

     John 7:32… Jesus is going away….The Pharisees didn’t know where He was from (heaven) and didn’t know where He would go back to! But their thoughts are negative: They didn’t like the Greeks, whom they considered heathen, and in their efforts to try and understand, they belittle and judge. Are we ever guilty of that?

 

     John 8:21-24 The next question was “Who are you?? It should have been “Wait, what? Die in my sins? What do you mean?”

 

     John 8:54-59 They could have become part of what God was doing, but this was too much for them. It was a strong statement for sure, but a true one!

 

     Luke 7:23–Don’t be offended! Work past it. Notice the promise–BLESSED are those….be one of those!

 

     John 18:33-38–Jesus was declaring truth, (and who WAS truth personified) and here was someone who not only rejected it, but dismissed the idea of actually knowing truth.

 

     But perhaps the biggest tug of war was in John 6, vv. 41-69.

     Jesus asked, “Does this offend you?”

 

     Jesus in the book of John says things that are misunderstood on a simple level, things that are profoundly misunderstood on a spiritual level, and things that some listeners were unwilling or unable to take in.

 

     The book of John also highlights Jesus as the light of the world, and that is a reality that speaks to His wanting and needing to mess up our heads: John 1:4-5; 8:12, and 12:46.

 

     One of those places of darkness He speaks of is our minds. Not just evil thoughts and sinful intentions, but wrong information, wrong beliefs, and even harder to crack–wrong ways of thinking and processing information. The fall of man into sin affected every part of our being–including our brains and how we think and process. As a race, we each got a massive brain injury!

 

     Can we really say out loud, “The way I think, the way I receive and process information, is the best and most godly way possible?” Some of us think that the WAY we think is THE RIGHT WAY TO THINK! Look at what happened to those who clung onto that lie and didn’t receive what the Lord was saying!

 

     Jesus came and messed with people’s heads as an act of love. His speaking to us, and letting us accuse Him of being hard to understand, and confusing, and all sorts of things–that’s an act of love and patience too!

 

     Well, Jesus went to heaven–now what? Well, he sent His Holy Spirit. Also, we have something called the Word of God. Here is what it says about itself:

     Psalm 119:130–entrance of your words gives light.

 

     John 3:19-20–light and darkness. He’s come to bring light–to even those that know Him.

 

     II Corinthians 4:6–Will you allow God’s light to come into your darkness? Your sin, of course, but also your wounds, your empty places, and your injured brain?

 

     God made the gospel easy to understand. That began a relationship with God that brings in light again and again to clear away the darkness–a process that continues until death! Let’s receive Him again, with all the light we can take in!