Presentation on theme: "JES US An overview of the Man Jesus, Son of God. Making Waves Stand on the seashore Feel the gusting wind See the random waves Out of sight, wind met."— Presentation transcript:
Making Waves Stand on the seashore Feel the gusting wind See the random waves Out of sight, wind met water and made waves
Out of Sight For 30 years Jesus was out of public sight. But from Jesus’ birth, winds of change began to trouble the waters of politics, religion and social status. Israel was under Roman occupation and under the rule of Herod, a puppet king installed by Rome. The religious leaders had settled for a legalistic interpretation of the faith without much heart. Society was class ridden. You were born into either position & power or poverty & powerlessness. Stuck. Birth
Into Sight John “the Baptiser” prepared the way with God’s stark message for people to repent ~ be sorry for their sins and turn from them, being washed in the river as a sign. John was preaching, teaching and baptising in the outback when Jesus came into sight. “Look, the Lamb of God”, he exclaimed to those around him. Jesus publicly identified with John’s message to repent by insisting on baptism ~ a sign of anointing for his role. Jesus now went public and the seemingly small “plop” would in 3 years become a tsunami. Water Baptism
Waterside The Sea of Galilee was important to life in many ways and not least for its fish. Jesus called 12 apostles from different walks of life. Matthew was a tax man. Peter, Andrew, James & John were fishermen. Simon “the Zealot” was an activist. Galilee is an inland lake but of no small water mass. Sudden storms would whip up waves out of nowhere. The disciples would soon learn that Jesus was about as unpredictable as the weather and those waves. “L” plates on disciples
Water into Wine Jesus’ mission was to make God known as never before possible ~ God with us! By words and deeds Jesus amplified John’s core message of repentance and presented another way of life and means of salvation. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, said Jesus. God, yes. Human, yes. Bridging the gap. Jesus and his disciples attended a “society”wedding. The wine ran out. Jesus turned jars of water into fine wine. He showed his transforming power in a most surprising way. Miracles of nature
Storms in Life Jesus and some of the disciples began to cross the Sea of Galilee by boat to escape the crowds. Exhausted, Jesus sank into sleep in the back of the boat. A huge storm blew up threatening to overwhelm the boat, causing even the fishermen disciples to fear. Jesus slept on! “Wake up, Jesus, don’t you care about us!”, shouted the disciples over the wind. Jesus stood up and by command calmed the wind & waves. The disciples were amazed at his power over nature. Miracles of nature
Troubled Waters A paralysed man used to shelter from the heat and cold in a portico fronting a pool. It was widely reported that the surface of the pool bubbled on an annual basis and that the first person into the pool thereafter was healed of illness. Jesus saw the man. The man said he was waiting for the waters to be disturbance but had nobody to help him in. “Get up, pack your stuff and go”, commanded Jesus. The man acted on Jesus’ words and he was instantly healed. But such miracles and Jesus’ authoritative words were getting up the noses of the Jewish religious leaders. Miracles of healing
Walking on Water Many of Jesus’ miracles were to get the general population thinking. Some were to prepare his close followers. Peter was one of several disciples in a boat. He saw Jesus walking towards them on the water. Peter wanted that experience and Jesus invited him to demonstrate his trust. Out of the boat with eyes fixed on Jesus Peter achieved it. But “reality” set in and Peter realised how rough the sea was. He started to sink and Jesus had to support him. Jesus said, “With faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.” What a promise. Miracles of teaching
No Watered Down Word Jesus conversed with individuals and small groups, as well as his twelve close disciples. The curiosity of many people was raised in Jesus. They saw and heard about his miracles and his refreshing, down to earth style. There was something different about him. Jesus addressed large crowds too. The Sermon on the Mount was the first occasion, but he spoke to more than 5000 men (plus women & children) and on another occasion 4000. And he did not ignore their physical need, he fed them! The Direct Word Blest are you who are poor for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Life Saver As a very direct sign of his power and as a kind of foretaste of what was to come, Jesus raised people from death to life. A little girl certified dead by all the neighbours; a widow’s son on the way to be buried; a close friend dead for four days already and sealed in a tomb. Others Jesus dealt with were next to dead. Like lepers progressively losing limbs and losing their livelihoods. There was no social security to fall back on! Time and again Jesus showed his love of ordinary people ~ sinners not the self-righteous. Miracles of caring
Plumbing the Depths Jesus had great insight into the people he met. Of course, he had an unfair advantage. A religious leader came to Jesus secretly and Jesus told him he had to be “spiritually reborn”. A rich young man who had followed the Ten Commandments virtually to the letter was told to give away the one thing he considered more important than God – his money! Jesus met a woman at a well. She was ostracised by the women of her village. Pointedly but without condemnation, Jesus confronted her promiscuity. Her life turned around. Miracles of understanding
Salty Stories Jesus did a lot of teaching and like any good teacher he did it in ways that would be understood by his audience. He spoke in parables about one thing but aimed at another. He told stories of lost sheep, lost coins, a lost son, seed in the ground, salt, whitewashed graves, a poor widow, a Roman coin, a camel gate, an exasperated judge, birds... But he was talking about the preciousness of things, their hidden potential, the sham of many powerful people, taking focus away from God, placing undue focus on riches... And like salt rubbed in a wound, it caused people to smart! Telling as it is
Towards High Tide Jesus did many miracles, challenged many people, preached to large crowds, fed thousands... But that was not his big mission. His big mission was to go to Jerusalem, confront evil and give himself up to death. So, Jesus “set his face towards Jerusalem”. The disciples could not understand Jesus’ fixation on death. But Jesus knew that “the pay-back for sin is death”. He had no sin to worry about, but his friends did; the people around did; you and me do. So, Jesus went forward to his death and our life. Mission sent
Wave of Popularity News of Jesus’ impending arrival in Jerusalem went before him. The people waited to herald the man who seemed to challenge the authority of Rome and the Jewish leaders. With palms strewn on the road and waved in the air Jesus entered to joyful shouts of “Hallelujah!”. It was like the entry of a king fresh from conquests. Not mounted on a white stallion but Jesus dragging his feet near the ground on a humble donkey. A week later some of these same people would be baying for his blood. Palm Sunday
Calm Before the Storm Last Supper One night, in fact the night before he died, Jesus shared a meal with his disciples as he had often done. This time Jesus said strange things that pointed to his death. Breaking everyday bread into pices and sharing them with his disciples he said, “Take and eat this, it will remind you of my broken body”. Passing a cup of wine around he said, “This is my blood, poured out for you”. Judas left in the dead of night to betray Jesus.
Waves of Emotion A kiss of betrayal Jesus led the disciples to a favourite place of solitude and peace. The Garden of Gethsemane. He left the disciples to watch and pray whilst he went a short way off to speak to His Father. Jesus wrestled in waves of emotion over what he knew was to happen. Three times he returned to find the disciples asleep. He knew he was facing the immediate alone. His friends, even the big fisherman Peter, would in fear desert him. First torches in the darkness; then soldiers; then a kiss; finally arrest. The wave was now beginning to overtop.
Tossed to and fro King Jesus Jesus first before High Priest Caiaphas and the Jewish leaders. Blasphemy was the charge. Then onto Roman Governor Pilate. “What is truth?”, shrugged Pilate. Finding no fault in Jesus, Pilate offered the waiting crowd Jesus or Barabbas, a revolutionary. Stirred up by the Priests and Elders, the crowd chose Barabbas, and Pilate assented to their wish for Jesus to be crucified. First though he had Jesus flogged. After mocking Jesus and forcing a “King’s Crown” of thorns onto his head, Jesus was lead off to Calvary for crucifixion. A slow and suffocating death pinned to a cross.
Tsunami Strikes! Crucifixion Thud went hammer on nails through the hands and feet of Jesus. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Thud went the cross as it dropped into the ground. Nailed flesh resisting the impetus of Jesus’ body. After 3 hours Jesus breathed “It is finished”. And that is certainly the way it looked to those around the cross. Certainly after the soldier pierced Jesus’ side releasing massive fluid loss. Into a sealed grave. Everyone thought that was that. Three amazing years swept away ~ disciples’ hopes & dreams.
Rising! Risen Jesus was dead, but he did not stay that way. Women arrived to prepare his body for proper burial. He was not there in the grave. He was seen by them alive. He was twice seen by the disciples as they hid away in an upper room to recover from their loss. He met with people on the road to Emmaus. He was seen by 120. He met and ate fish with the disciples on the shore of Galilee. He was no ghost. He was the same Jesus who was crucified and with the marks to prove it. He promised another “presence” would support them if they but waited patiently.
Wind! Change The promised presence came as a wind that shook the upper room in which the disciples gathered. The presence, the Holy Spirit, came upon them like tongues of flame. They were baptised – engulfed - in the Spirit. The disciples shared and testified in powerful, baffling ways.The Spirit within them overflowed in waves to those they spoke to with hundreds added to the church daily. Whatever happened, it changed frightened disciples into men who were prepared to die for what they believed and knew to be true.
No Calm Water! Persecution Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, you must expect it also.” Don’t expect the Christian life to be a bed of roses. Early ‘Christians’ (as they were nicknamed) were hunted down to stamp out talk of Jesus as the Son of God. Many were put to death in the arena as public entertainment. Saul was an arch-persecutor of Christians, enthusiastically undertaking his task. On the road to Damascus he was temporarily blinded having seen a vision of the risen Jesus. After that he became Paul, the stalwart Christian. He wrote many letters to encourage & discipline fledgling churches.
A Flood Plane Universality Leaders and congregations in the early church were at best harshly treated. Persecution caused many to flee. But as they fled, the Gospel (the good news) simply spread by word of mouth. These Followers of the Way had indeed found a better way and they did not keep quiet about it. Growth in the early church was explosive. Paul (and others) travelled widely across the known world following Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. Persecution continued to be the way of life and many were imprisoned and met death. But the word spread out.
Flowing Onward 2005 The Christian Church continues 2000 years after inception. In many parts of the world, the church is dynamic and growing ~ Africa, China, South America are examples. Where we are, the Church seems to have lost its momentum. Faith is seen as being anachronistic and irrelevant. But things aren’t always what they seem. Jesus lives on and his Spirit is ready to enthuse. They thought Jesus was dead, but he confounded them. He is still in the business of confounding!