Sermons on Jesus
This lesson begins a series considering the wisdom of the early church, the wisdom that allowed them to navigate the daily realities of the first century world and evidence their claim of citizenship in Jesus’ kingdom. This first lesson considers the most important, and basic, wisdom of the early church – make Jesus the center of your life
Conflict seems to define the histories of our world’s nations. It proves so central to our understanding of nations that we even evaluate countries on the basis of their military strength and willingness to engage in conflict. Jesus came into the world announcing the arrival of a new kingdom, a kingdom over which he rules. But Jesus’ kingdom rejects the conflict thinking that defines the world’s kingdoms. His rejection of the world’s thinking does not result in his kingdom becoming some kind of spiritual Switzerland; instead Jesus’ kingdom embraces a radical agenda – Jesus’ kingdom seeks to reshape the world, which solicits the world’s hostility. This lesson concludes our exploration of Jesus’ kingdom and his expectations for those who claim citizenship in it by considering the conflict his kingdom encounters in the world and how he expects citizens of his kingdom to respond to that conflict.”
This lesson continues an exploration of Jesus’ kingdom and his expectations for those who claim citizenship in it. In particular, this lesson considers the values that motivate Jesus’ kingdom, how those values differ from the values that define the world’s kingdoms, and the place his kingdom values should have within the lives of its citizens.
Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus’ charge to his disciples to take the message about him throughout the world reminds us that Jesus expects big things from his people. Jesus’ expectation motivates the mission our elders have given to the 151st church family. This lesson will offer a few reminders about our mission and its intersection with Jesus’ expectations.
Luke 1:26-33 — Nativity scenes portray Jesus’ birth but they often present it in ways that loses the tensions that surrounded that event. This lesson takes advantage of the holiday season to consider the contrasting circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth and how they establish a pattern that defined his life and offer a patter that should also shape our lives.
John chapter six records a lengthy conversation Jesus had with a crowd that ended with many of them abandoning him. When Jesus asked his apostles if they also wanted to leave, Peter replied, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life
Luke 9:23-26 The four gospels repeatedly record Jesus warning the crowds of interested people who listened to him about the high cost associated with following him. This lesson considers that cost and its meaning for our lives.
Jesus never seemed to shy away from drawing lines in the sand. Matthew mentions one of those lines when, in Matthew 20:20-28, he records Jesus telling his disciples, “whoever would be great among you must be your servant”. That teaching illustrates the important place Jesus gave to the combined ideas of selflessness and service and how they offer a surprising, counter-cultural expectation that forms the heart of being a Christian
Mark’s quick-paced introduction of Jesus’ ministry offers a very compacted but deliberately told account of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. This lesson will explore that account and consider what insights it offers us into Jesus and the place he should have within our lives
Our culture idea embraces the idea that ‘you can be whoever you want to be’. While that sentiment might have “the appearance of wisdom” (Colossians 2:20-23), it offers an open-ended view of humanity that contrasts with the singular purpose God gave to humanity in the creation, a purpose humanity abandoned in its rebellion against God. Although humanity’s rebellion changed its relationship with God, it did not remove the obligation of that creational purpose. This lesson will explore how Jesus restores us to the mission God gave to humanity and consider what that restoration means for us today.
This lesson explores the surprising contagiousness of Jesus’ holiness in the account of his healing of the leper in Matthew 8 and use it to add another layer explaining our need to follow Jesus
The Old Testament book of Job records Job’s struggle to understand the suffering he believed God sent against him. Part of the his struggle revolved around his desire to argue his case before God, a desire he believed could not be fulfilled because he had no one to arbitrate between himself and God (Job 9:32-33). Job’s lament for an arbiter prepares us to appreciate the New Testament’s explanation for why we need Jesus – he mediates a relationship between God and us (1 Timothy 2:5).
People commonly identify Jesus as ‘loving’ or ‘serving’ or ‘merciful’, but rarely do they identify him as ‘smart’. Paul’s comment that Jesus possess “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3) stands against our common perceptions. This lesson will consider our need to follow Jesus because he knows best and will note some of the features that define his ‘smart’ way of living.”
Psalms 23, John 10, Ezekiel 34
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 — Deuteronomy opens with a reminder of both Moses’ failure as Israel’s God-appointed leader and the punishment he would receive. Moses’ failure combines with his important place both in both Israel and in the Bible’s larger story to raise questions about Israel and humanity’s ongoing relationship with God. Those questions lead to God’s promise to raise up a prophet like Moses, a promise that finds its ultimate fulfillment in Jesus. This lesson will explore that promise and ways…
This lesson considers Revelation’s picture of Jesus’ worthiness in Revelation 5 and what his worthy identity means for us. Revelation 5:11-12
I AM “The light of the world” John 8:12: John, in his gospel, records eight statements made by Jesus that we commonly call his “I AM” statements. Last month we began a study of those “I am” statements that we will continue in this lesson by considering Jesus’ statement, “I am the light of this world”.
John 1:1,14 — Exodus through Deuteronomy devote a large amount of space to the tabernacle, which ought to impress on us the important place God intended it to have within Israel. While the tabernacle served important, functionary purposes, it introduced key ideas about God that found their fulfillment in Jesus who the New Testament presents as God’s new tabernacle.
This lesson (a continuation of the lesson “A Story of Broken Relationships”) will look at Revelation 21-22 to consider the ways in which John’s revelation pictures God restoring His relationship-oriented intentions through Jesus to help us better understand the end of the story we are in and how our relationship with Jesus is moving us towards that conclusion.