He Just Knows

November 15, 2017

The whole of John’s gospel record revolves around showing that Jesus was God in the flesh.

John catalogs episode after episode giving evidence to this truth. In just the first two chapters, he explains how Jesus saw and knew Nathanael before he had been called by Philip to join them and pointed to much greater things that they would see (John 1.47-51). John recorded the miraculous transformation of many gallons of water becoming wine (2.1-11). He recorded the way that Jesus walked into the temple and cleaned house—as though he (or his Father) owned the place (2.12-22).

And through the rest of the book, He relays occurrence after incident where the power of Jesus as God in the flesh was evident.

But here in the end of chapter 2, there is a brief note—sort of a commentary that John offered, that illustrates another dimension of who he was:

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. (2.23-25)

Many people, having heard about the strange wonder of the water becoming wine, were curious about Jesus. When he came into the temple and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, people were struck by the authoritative way he spoke and acted.

The people had been longing for the promised Messiah—the king who would deliver Israel from all of their oppression and make them truly free. But, as we often do, they had imagined something quite different from what God had actually promised.

This text tells us, “Jesus… did not entrust himself to them.” He did not allow them to begin a revolution around him. He didn’t permit them to start a campaign of some sort. That wasn’t the purpose of his coming.

But John tells us why.

“He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (24b-25)

John told us back in the first few verses of his gospel record that Jesus was the force behind all of creation. He made mankind. He knows what is in there. Like some expert called in by the counter-terrorism unit at the urging of Jack Bauer in an episode of 24 to hack through a computer system or code that is highly secure simply because they designed the system, Jesus had intimate knowledge of the hearts of people. He made them. He knew their tendencies, their flaws, their longings.

That’s all well and good when we’re talking about them. But what about us?

Jesus knows what is in you and me.

He just knows.

That’s why he came.

He came to give us hope beyond our brokenness and life beyond death.

You don’t have to tell Jesus what’s in your heart because he already knows.

But, even knowing what is in us, he still came and died to give us life.

That, my friends, is amazing grace.

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The Mess of Death

November 13, 2017

Death is an inevitable reality in this world.

In this message, we walk through John chapter 11 to see one of the most powerful statements Jesus made.

Read John 11.

SEE HIM as the giver of life–even on the other side of death.

BELIEVE HIM – that He really did give His own life for your sake.

KNOW HIM as life amidst the mess of death.

Take a moment to look at this picture.

It’s full of glorious color.

It’s a testimony to the beauty of creation that renews over and over and over again.

It’s a testimony to the evergreen and its reflection of the faithfulness of our great God.

What you don’t see, however, is that is was taken standing next to a garbage dumpster.
Now, I didn’t climb into the dumpster to take the picture, but I could have.

I know a number of people right now that have kind of latched onto a phrase I used several weeks ago as I spoke of being overwhelmed with the mess of life. I described the feeling of being “eyeballs-deep in the mess” and it struck a chord with some folks. If you’ve ever been through a season when you couldn’t seem to see out over the mess, you know what I’m talking about.

Part of my function as a pastor is to help us see things more completely, to see the hand of God at work even when we don’t feel it or when we’re overwhelmed. I get to sit in the mess with people and try to draw attention to the beauty around us that is so easily overlooked.

We sang a song yesterday that expressed it beautifully with this simple lyric, “There’s beauty in my brokenness.” (Give it a listen here.)

You see, the life of faith—for all who have believed in Jesus—is filled with beauty. When things are difficult and painful and scary, there is still an abundance of wonder in the greatness of our God and the things that He has made.

John’s gospel account teaches us that everything that was made came through Jesus (John 1.1-3). But when Jesus came to earth, God was coming to us, stepping down into the mess of this life to show us the most wondrous thing of all—Himself.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1.14)

My friends, there is much beauty around you. Despite how clouded our vision may become with the weight of the mess of life, the beauty is still there. Regardless of how broken and battered our hearts may be, the beauty of this God who stepped into the mess of this broken world is still all around us.

I know that the mess is overwhelming sometimes. I know that it’s often hard to stand up under the weight of it all. I know that the pain is so much sometimes that you cannot see around it. But the beauty is there… even when you’re eyeballs-deep.

Look up. Look beyond the mess. See the glory of our great God on display all around you.

Father, help us today to see Your glory on display—even when we’re eyeballs-deep in the mess.