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Seeing Jesus Through the Fog - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 30, 2023 6:00 am

Seeing Jesus Through the Fog - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 30, 2023 6:00 am

There was always a fog surrounding Jesus! It was a fog of uncertainty, of unbelief, and of conflicting opinion. He was misunderstood about both His mission and His message. His friends, His family, and His foes were often bewildered about who He was and what He was doing. That remains true even today. But in this passage our view becomes clearer. Jesus had clearly defined objectives that He reveals here and they are extremely practical for us today.


Your life will go better once you realize that your time and God's time may be different. You can be like Jesus' brothers and suggest you ought to do something now, or you can just let him figure out the best time.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. It's one of those issues that can be rather confusing. Who was Jesus really? When we're sitting safely within the confines of our church walls, it seems fairly clear what the answer to that question is.

However, once we head outside of those walls, things can get a little foggy. There are new discoveries all the time that question who he really was. There are people who sincerely believe they've discovered the real Jesus of the Bible, and there are those who chalk him up to being one more fairy tale, such as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, a construct no mature thinking individual could really ever ascribe to. We continue today in John, Chapter 7, so if you turn there in your Bibles, we'll join Skip Heitzig for today's study. You know, Paul the Apostle wrote to the church at Thessalonica, and he said, You are the way you are, and you've grown the way you've grown, because you have become followers of me as I follow the Lord. Twice he said to the Corinthian church, Imitate me, follow me as I follow Christ.

There's nothing wrong with following someone if that someone is following Christ. That's how discipleship takes place. Now, if you happen to be in ministry of any sort, if you're a ministry leader, you're a small group leader, if you're starting up something in the church, some new group, and you're always, or a missionary, and you're always wondering, How come there's not more people that come?

There should be more people that come. Listen, you concentrate on depth, and let God worry about breath. Just concentrate on discipleship, and let God take care of the math. That's a New Testament principle. That's the principle of Acts, Chapter 2. You know that famous verse in Verse 42, Acts 2, 42? And they devoted themselves continually to the apostles' doctrine, to the fellowship, to breaking of bread, and prayers. Breaking of bread and prayers. That's discipleship.

And it says, The Lord added daily those who were being saved. That's God's business. So you concentrate on discipleship.

Let God take care of the rest. I mean, here's why I'm sharing this with you. Because no matter what you do or where you are in life, even if you feel like you're restricted and you can't give more of your time, this you can do. This anybody can do.

And this is a healthy church when people are doing this. You say, Well, I work at a job. I'm chained at a job. I have to give so much of my time to a job.

Do you have any workers around you? Maybe one's a Christian, or maybe one's an unbeliever that you could lead to Christ and then disciple that one. Somebody else might say, I'm a mom raising kids.

I'm stuck at home. You can disciple those children. That's your mission field. I love what one woman had over her kitchen sink, a sign that read, Divine Service Rendered Here Three Times Daily. That's how she saw her cooking of the meals and training of those children. So his unwavering priority, those disciples. Here's the second thing to notice as the fog clears his unbelieving family. Verse three, his brothers therefore said to him, because he's staying up in Galilee, depart from here and go to Judea, go down south, that your disciples also may see the works that you are doing for no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world, for even his brothers did not believe in him. Now what brothers is he talking about? Talking about his brothers, physical flesh brothers.

Here's how it happened. When Jesus was born, he was born through the conception of the Holy Spirit. He was begotten by the Holy Spirit in the virgin womb of Mary.

But after he was born, it would seem that Joseph and Mary had normal relationships and had a series of children. The Bible speaks about Jesus having both sisters and brothers. We're even given their names in Matthew 13 after Jesus speaks in the synagogue at his home digs in Nazareth.

They said, isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't this his mother Mary and aren't these his brothers? Now listen, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas, those were his four brothers. James, Joseph, Simon and Judas or Jude.

Now if that's a chronological list, and most certainly it is, they would put the oldest first, the youngest last. That means that James had Jesus as his older brother. All of them did, but his only older brother was Jesus for him. Can you imagine what it would be like to have your big brother perfect?

The only guy ever to never sin is your big brother. That would create some issues, wouldn't it? And it evidently did. Here they're suggesting something. Now why do they suggest that Jesus go down to Judea? Why are they telling him this?

I can think of a few reasons. Number one, they realized that Jesus had just lost a boatload of disciples in chapter six. Remember it says they they turned and followed Jesus no more. Maybe they're saying, look, if you want to get them back and you want to really get this show on the road, do something really spectacular at the feast in Jerusalem because your popularity is sort of faltering.

That'll boost it up. Possibility number two, being Jewish 2,000 years ago, their idea of a messiah was a political messiah like those in chapter six. Remember it says they wanted to take him by force and make him a what? A king. So maybe they thought, well, if he goes down to Jerusalem and he can pull this off and become the king and overthrow the Romans, well, we're his brothers.

We could have like really cool positions in this reign of our brothers. Possibility number three, and I tend to lean to this, they just wanted to be convinced. The key word in verse four is the word if.

Notice that. If you do these things, they're not convinced, then show yourself to the world. In other words, look, Jerusalem's the real test. Why are you wandering around up here in the boondocks of Galilee? Let's see what you can do at the feast in front of the Sanhedrin and all of the big wigs of Judaism. This is sort of similar to the crowd in chapter six, who said to Jesus, what sign will you perform that we may see and believe? I want you to think about this.

I want you to think about this. Jesus' own brothers were unbelievers. Do you have any unbelievers in your family?

And you walk around feeling guilty all the time. Man, I've worked so long and I prayed so hard and I've done everything to get them to Christ. I've given them books. I've taken them to church. I put tracks in their sandwiches.

Anything I can do to awaken them. Jesus' own brothers didn't believe in him. You know what the principle is? Proximity is no guarantee of spirituality. Proximity is no guarantee of spirit. Jesus' own disciple, Judas Iscariot, was not a believer. So his brothers didn't believe in him. You know to what extent they didn't believe in him? They didn't believe in him. They didn't believe in him. They thought he was nuts. Mark chapter three is the story when Jesus is doing all of this ministry and he's not even getting time to sleep and time to eat and his family finds out about that and they come to where Jesus is and they say about Jesus, his family says about Jesus, he's out of his mind, his family.

King James I think renders the best. He's beside himself. Ever seen a person talking to somebody else that isn't there? They're just sort of muttering.

They're really talking to themselves beside themselves or they think they're talking to somebody. He's nuts, they say. That's what his family said about him. I'm sharing all this and pressing this point because I want you to be encouraged if you have unsaved family members. Your family is the hardest group to witness to.

Have you discovered that? You know other people will like listen and dig in but your family, well they watched you grow up. They know you. Here's what else you need to know about Jesus' brothers. They're unbelievers now but later on they'll be believers.

In time they'll come around. They'll show up in Acts chapter one when the early church is starting. Jesus has ascended into heaven. It says the apostles were there and Mary and Jesus' brothers were there. They were part of that first church. Now do you wonder what it was that changed their minds?

You know what it is? The resurrection. I heard somebody whisper it. The resurrection. When their older brother got up from the dead, then they said okay.

We believe. In fact, Paul even writes about James' conversion, the brother of Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul writes, Christ was raised on the third day and appeared to Peter and then to the 12th.

After that he appeared to more than 500 at the same time, most of whom are still living though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James and then to all the apostles. You know what happened to James? Jesus' brother? He became the pastor of the church at Jerusalem. He became the head of the church and he wrote a book called the book of James. You know what happened to Judas, also called Jude? He wrote the book of Jude, that little book right before Revelation. That's his brothers.

And you know what's really cool? You know how they started their letters? They didn't start them throwing out names like, James the brother of Jesus. Or Jude, I'm Jesus' younger brother. Both of them said, the bondservant. James the bondservant of Jesus Christ.

Jude the bondservant of Jesus Christ. They were truly converted, no doubt humble because of the years they had spent in unbelief. Now they have finally come to believe. If you have unsaved family and say it this way, that family member isn't saved yet.

Don't forget to throw that word in, yet. God has ways to work on those family members of yours you haven't even thought of yet, yet. Here's the third thing I want you to notice and that is his uncompromising chronology. It's interesting the way he speaks back to his brothers in verse six. Look at this. Jesus said to them, my time has not yet come but your time is always ready.

I was using the word kairos here or opportunity. The world cannot hate you but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. They're not going to hate you. You're part of the system.

I tell it the truth and they hate the truth. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast for my time has not yet fully come. There's an overarching theme that runs through the fabric of Jesus' life.

You see it everywhere. He's always on a divine timetable. He always speaks about his time or his hour.

He's already done it once at the wedding feast of Cana but listen to this sampling just so you get the picture. This is John chapter 7 verse 30. They sought to take him but no one laid a hand on him because his hour had not yet come. John chapter 8 verse 20.

No one laid hands on him for his hour had not yet come. John chapter 13 verse 1. Jesus knew that his hour had come that he should depart from the world. John chapter 17. Now he's edging closer and closer to the cross. He prays to his father, father the hour has come. Glorify your son that your son may glorify you. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed behold the hour is at hand that the son of man is betrayed.

What hour was he talking about specifically? His death, the cross. His whole life was on a timetable toward the cross.

So they're saying show yourself. He says it's not the right time. You know when the right time will be? Six months ahead or six months from this date, six months in the future, the next Passover is when Jesus will publicly show himself like the disciples say he should and a few days later he'll be crucified. That's when he says to his disciples remember he's coming into town he goes hey go to the next town get me a donkey not because he wanted to donkey ride but it was to fulfill prophecy and he comes riding on this donkey they put palm branches at his feet and people say Hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. A few days later they put him on a cross because that was the right time.

That's the right time. Galatians 4 verse 4 and 5. Paul the apostle says in the fullness of the time or at exactly the right split second if I can be free in my translation God sent forth his son born of a woman born under the law to redeem those who are under the law. Did you know that Daniel even predicted the exact time of Messiah's coming and death? Way back in the Old Testament, way back in Daniel chapter 9 it says from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the prince will be 483 years. That's an odd prediction. It was March 14 445 BC that Artaxerxes gave the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and Daniel predicted that 483 years later the Messiah the prince will come.

From the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah the prince will be 483 years. There was a guy who looked at that and he said I'm going to study it. His name is Sir Robert Anderson. He was the head of Scotland Yard. He did the math. He published it in a book called The Coming Prince. He started at the starting date March 14 445 BC and counted 483 years transferring it into days using the Babylonian calendar of 360 days per year.

He counted 173 880 days from March 14 445 BC and it ended up on April 6 32 AD which happened to be notice that happened to be the very day Jesus sat on that donkey and presented himself at the right time to Jerusalem as their Messiah. A few days later like Daniel said he will be cut off and he was cut off. Now why am I belaboring this?

Here's why. Your life will go better once you realize that your time and God's time may be different. You can be like Jesus brothers and suggest you ought to do something now or you can just let him figure out the best time. How many of you believe God's always on time? Okay by putting up your hand you're saying I believe God's on time. How many of you wonder sometimes if God's on time? Okay that's honest.

Opportunities go by. God why didn't you do something? Let me counsel you here Lord.

This is a perfect time for you to do this. Well that's what his brothers were saying. Charles Spurgeon said it's one of my favorite quotes of his. There are no loose threads in the providence of God. No stitches are dropped. No events are left to chance. The great clock of the universe keeps good time and the whole machinery of providence moves with unerring punctuality.

Here's the fourth and final thing I want you to note is his uncommitted assembly. The people that were there at the feast who were looking for him or who heard about him verse 10. When his brothers had gone up then he also went up to the feast not openly but as it were cryptos in secret.

That is no public fanfare at this point. Then the Jews sought him at the feast and said where is he? That's how I think they said it. Now the Jews are his enemies at this point because I want you to notice in verse 11 says the Jews sought him at the feast. Go back to verse one it says he wouldn't go to Judea because the Jews sought to kill him. So when he gets to Jerusalem it's this group it says where is he? They're looking for him.

You know why they asked the question? Because it was his brothers that they had seen. His brothers went up.

People in those days traveled in families in a caravan together for the feast. So in seeing his brothers they thought don't tell me he didn't come with you. Where is he? Because they wanted to kill him.

But then there's the rest of the group and they're divided it says. Verse 12 there was much complaining, murmuring, whispering among the people concerning him. Some said he's good. Others said no on the contrary he deceives the people.

However no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews. That's a whole sermon just that verse. I'll spare you on that one.

Wow. You see that group of people this assembly they're foggy concerning Jesus. Some say he's a good man.

Some say he's a deceiver. Which group is right? It's a trick question really. Which group is right? Neither.

Neither. Jesus wasn't a good man. Good men don't say the kind of things Jesus said. Good men don't run around saying I'm God and if you don't believe that you'll die in your sins. That's not a good man. He could be a deceiver.

That's not a good man and he's not a deceiver. You know what the right answer is? Who he is? It was Peter's answer back in chapter 6 verse 69. We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ the Son of the living God.

I love C.S. Lewis's quote. What a lucid thinker he was. One of his famous quotes is either this man was and is the Son of God or else he's a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for being a fool. You can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let's not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Do you know him? Can you see clearly through the fog of popular opinion and various opinion? Is your life on divine schedule? Here's what happens. If you're an unbeliever, your life is purposeless, meaningless. You're just sort of wandering from experience to experience and you have nice little human experiences here and there and you really keep no appointments except one and that is death.

It is appointed unto every man wants to die. But once you become a believer, you hop onto redemptive time. Every second counts.

That's why Paul said redeeming the time because the days are evil. You want to make every second count and be right on God's perfect time. Fog slows things down.

It makes it hard to tell what direction you're heading in, which causes hesitation and delay. When our view of Jesus gets foggy, we lose any sense of urgency. But make no mistake, time is short. So let's make sure our world doesn't cloud our view of Jesus. And more importantly, let's make sure we represent him clearly to a world in desperate need.

Well, that's all the time we have for today. But before we go, let's see what's going on in the Connect with Skip Resource Center this month. For those who knew Jesus while he walked this earth, the road to discovering and believing that Jesus was resurrected started in disheartening confusion, but it ended in decisive confirmation. And we're excited to send you a special set of resurrection resources by Skip that include five of his finest Easter messages for digital download or CD and a full video titled On the Road by Skip. Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

So it was while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus himself drew near and went with them. With your gift of support of $50 or more, we'll send you a copy of this hope-filled package of five audio messages for download or on CD and the full video On the Road as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major U.S. cities. So request your resource when you give and take a walk with Christ on the road to Emmaus. Just call 800-922-1888 or visit slash offer. And if you'd like a copy of today's teaching, give us a call at 1-800-922-1888.

We'll send you a copy on CD for just $4 plus shipping. Or if you have any other questions or comments, you can always write us at The Connection. And that's P.O.

Box 95707, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87199. Next time, we'll learn how we can follow Jesus without being overly religious about it. So I hope you can join us right here in Connect with Skip weekend edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 04:14:55 / 2023-04-30 04:23:44 / 9

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