This is post 7 of 10 in the series “CALL HIM BY HIS NAME”
- Wonderful Counselor: Here Comes The Son!
- Mighty God: Betting Your Life On Jesus Christ
- Everlasting Father: Starlight In A Star-Crossed World
- The Promise Of The Angels
- Prince of Peace: This Shall Be A Sign
- Wonderful Counselor: God Can Make Something Great Out Of You
- Mighty God: It Would Take A Jesus To Invent A Jesus
- Everlasting Father: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree
- Prince Of Peace: The Last, Best, Greatest Hope For Humankind
- Savior: Take Heart! The Lord May Come Today
Call Him By His Name: Mighty God: It Would Take A Jesus To Invent A Jesus
The Gospel of John, chapter 10. This is the Word of God.
“Then came the feast of dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter. Jesus was in the temple area, walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around Him saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you. But you do not believe. The miracles I do in My Father’s name speak for Me. But you do not believe because you are not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’ Again, the Jews picked up some stones to stone Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning You for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy. Because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I have said you are gods. And if he called them gods to whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken, what about the one whom the Father set apart as His very own, and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said, I am God’s Son? Do not believe Me, unless I do what My Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that You may learn and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.’ Again, they tried to seize Him. But he escaped their grasp.”
Yes. May God bless to us the reading and the hearing of this portion of His Holy Word.
Pray with me, please. Give me Jesus, Lord. Give me Jesus. You can have all the rest. Just give me Jesus. Amen.
Are you aware of the fact that Helen Keller never attended church in her childhood? Because she was blind and deaf and unable to speak, she never learned how God came to this earth to reveal Himself in Jesus Christ. It wasn’t until years later, when her teacher, Anne Sullivan, took her on a visit to Boston, and while there, they went to see Phillips Brooks, thought by many to have been the greatest preacher America has ever produced. There Phillips Brooks, speaking through Anne Sullivan, told Helen Keller in the simplest possible language how God came down at Christmas in the form of Jesus Christ to show us His love, to teach us His will, to make Himself known to us. As Brooks unfolded the story, Helen Keller’s face lit up. When Brooks finished, Helen Keller, with her fingertip, wrote in the palm of her teacher’s hand this sentence. “I always knew there must be someone like that. I just never knew His name is Jesus.”
That sentence turned out to the most significant sentence, yes, the most significant sentence, Helen Keller ever wrote. Because in that moment, when she discovered that God had come to this earth in Jesus Christ, it changed the whole direction of her life. And she then went on to become an incredibly powerful and radiant witness for the Lord.
The great prophet Isaiah wrote, “Unto us a child is born. Unto us a Son is given. The government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
His name shall be called Mighty God.
I want to suggest to you today that if you dare to believe that Jesus Christ is Mighty God, then that belief will be the most significant belief in your life. For that belief changes everything, changes forever the way you live and the way you love. I believe that Jesus Christ is Mighty God. I believe that with every fiber of my being. I shall believe that as long as God gives me the grace to live. That belief is the central foundational belief of my whole life. I believe that Jesus Christ is Mighty God. And it is my intent today to call you to that same belief.
Now I want you to understand that this sermon, not like my normal, this sermon has only one point. But ooh, I am going to hit that one point really hard. So let’s begin here. I could hardly believe the article I was reading. The article told how a very prominent minister in Texas stood before his congregation of several thousand, and from the pulpit declared, “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is just one of many. Jesus is a man, not God. And if you believe that Jesus is God, then you are headed for trouble.” That’s what he said. “If you believe that Jesus is God, then you are headed for trouble.” Now, ironically enough, not terribly long after that, what happened in that minister’s life actually proved that what was true was the opposite of what he said. You see, he wound up being fired from his very prominent Texas pulpit for a whole multitude of bad choices and bad decisions. And so the opposite of what he said is true. If you do not believe that Jesus is God, then sooner or later, you are headed for trouble.
Now that preacher is the product of what I would choose to call this modern age of broad-mindedness. You see, there are way too many people today who want to say that Jesus may have some value as an historical figure, but nothing more than that. That Jesus may be a source of some inspiration, but nothing other than that. There are too many so-called Biblical scholars, even bishops of the church, even preachers in pulpits, who are saying today that while there may be some core of truth to the life of Jesus, the Gospel writers, with overheated imaginations, have simply embellished the whole story to the point of the absurd. There are many people today who are saying that Jesus’ whole view of life is way too limited for us who live in this modern world. I mean, Jesus knew nothing about democracy and its challenges. Jesus offered no advice on the separation of church and state. Jesus never mentioned nuclear bombs or labor unions or political machines. And so therefore, Jesus’ words may have some historical value, but they have no meaning beyond that.
There are too many people today who are suggesting that all of the religions of the world are just as valid as Christianity. That what Buddha is to the Buddhists, what Mohammed is to to the Muslim, Christ is to the Christian. And Christ is nothing more than that. Now some of those people, maybe many of those people, would call me narrow, dogmatic, old-fashioned, intellectually inferior. But in this time, when the deity of Jesus Christ is being devalued, in this time I take heart in remembering that it was Jean Jacques Rousseau, the French philosopher not known for his Christianity, who once said, “It would take a Jesus to invent a Jesus.” Yes.
And therefore, I say to you today, with no fear of contradiction whatever, now or ever, I say to you, that Jesus Christ is God Almighty come to this earth and there is salvation in no one else.
That great truth was never more clearly revealed than in the Gospel of the disciple John. Remember, please, that John was Jesus’ best friend. That was a fact that was acknowledged even by Jesus and the other disciples. And because John was so close to Jesus, he had an insight into the Savior’s personality which was unique. He understood Jesus better than anyone else. And therefore, in is gospel, which is not like the other gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke, those gospels are a catalog of what Jesus did. The Gospel of John is a portrait of who Jesus is. John, better than anyone else, understood Jesus. And John declared, over and over again, that God has come to this earth in Jesus Christ. That’s the way, you may remember, that John began the very beginning of his gospel. The very first line of his gospel. You remember the words. He uses the Word to speak of Jesus. And in that first verse, he says, “In the beginning, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
God and Jesus are one and the same. That’s the point that John makes all the way through his gospel. You see, John understood that Jesus came to this earth as God in human form, and proceeded to live the only perfect life ever lived. John saw it up close and personal. And John affirmed it. And of course, Jesus Himself claimed it. In Jesus, in the person of Jesus, the real and the ideal, the human and the divine, met. Jesus claimed that. And John affirmed it all the way through his gospel.
Now I want you to hang on tight for just a moment. Because I want you to hear, I want you to hear the words of Jesus Himself as they are recorded all the way through the Gospel of John. Listen. John 8:19: “If you knew me, you would know the Father.” John 10:38: “Understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” John 12:45: “Anyone who sees me, sees the Father who sent me.” John 13:20: “Whoever receives me, receives the One who sent me.” John 14:1: “Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:9: “If you see me, you see the Father.” John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” Take that, anyone who dares to believe that Jesus is not God, mighty, mighty God.
Let me say it plainly. John understood that the way we view the person of Jesus is the most important decision we ever make in life. For that decision determines the way we live, and work, and play, and love, and serve. John understood that if you do not believe that Jesus is God, then sooner or later you’re headed for trouble. John understood that people are not transformed from the weakness of sin to the strength of purity by the visions of blazing sunsets, or the glories of the mountain peaks, or the sound of birds singing in the still of the evening, or the sight of a mother’s love for her child. Those things may point to God, but they are not God. John understood that people experience God, not when God is discussed as a proposition, but when God comes to them as a person, when God comes to them in the person of Jesus Christ. For when you encounter God in the person of Jesus Christ, it changes your life, everything in it, everything about it.
So in the museum at Düsseldorf, Germany, there hangs a magnificent, dramatic painting of the crucifixion of Jesus. The artist who created this masterpiece, as he was preparing to paint, he decided to make a sketch of the face of Jesus as a preliminary exercise. And when he had finished that sketch, he actually invited his landlady’s young daughter to come in and look at the sketch and tell him who it was. She looked at the sketch and she said, “It’s a good man.” The artist tore up the sketch. He knew he had failed. And so he prayed for more skill. He produced a second sketch. Once again, he called in the little girl. She looked at the sketch and she said, “It’s a man who is suffering.” Yet again, he knew he had failed. He tore up the sketch and prayed for yet more skill. He produced a third sketch, once again invited the young girl. She came in. Immediately when she looked at it, she cried, “It is the Lord.”
Oh, let me say this to you as plainly as I know how. You may call me narrow, or dogmatic, or old-fashioned, or intellectually inferior. Call me whatever you will. I do not care. But I stand in this pulpit today to declare to you, with no shame and with no apology whatever, that Jesus Christ is God, mighty God, mighty, mighty God. And what drives me and fills me with a burning passion that I have to stand in this pulpit Sunday after Sunday after Sunday is the desire that you would know in your life what I know in my life. That you would know in your life that Jesus Christ is God, mighty God, mighty, mighty God. God come to us at Christmas.
Soli Deo gloria.
To God alone be the glory.
Amen and amen.