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Surprised by Jesus, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2021 7:05 am

Surprised by Jesus, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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February 8, 2021 7:05 am

The King's Arrival: A Study of Matthew 1‑7: A Signature Series

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Today on Insight for Living from Chuck Swindoll. Learn a lesson as we learn about Jesus. He isn't a celebrity. While He is the God-man, while He is the second member of the Trinity, while He deserves our worship and our honor and our praise, He is not a human celebrity.

Never conducted Himself as one. And those who present Him as though He were, wish for themselves celebrity. Celebrity is a word we reserve for people of fame.

It's often associated with personal ambition and a strong desire to stand in the limelight. But Jesus Christ was not a celebrity, certainly not in the traditional sense. And today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll helps us understand the paradoxical virtues of Jesus.

His life was a study in contrast. Jesus was both God and man, deity and humanity, clothed in royalty and humility. Our study takes us to the third chapter of Matthew where we witness the baptism of Jesus. And we begin with prayer. Our Father, we thank You for the refuge that eries in Christ. We thank You for His wounds that were made because of His love for us, the way they lacerated Him with their fists and spear. He therefore understands when we're torn by grief and is able to give us peace.

Our souls are refreshed, our Father, as we come together. Some are fatigued. Some work very hard, long hours. This is a place they find rest. Some are vexed by hell. And they need the mighty arm that only You can provide to deliver them, to deal with the enemy, the adversary, and to cause him to flee away. And we're all stalked by sin, plagued by shame.

We have only one defense, and it's the one who bore Your wrath and took our sin as His own. Even though we know all of this, Lord, we're prone to wander and we're prone to leave You. We're prone to go our own way and walk in selfishness.

We're prone to let our anger give way to rage. And in our temptation, we're prone to yield. And we need You and our need is desperate. Today we acknowledge that, and we find comfort only in Your understanding, and our only claim is Your grace. And because of it, which we call amazing, we come in great need and find great hope. O to grace, how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. We come to You, our Father, grateful for Your understanding and Your mercy. And we come because of Jesus. In His name we pray. Everyone said, Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living.

To study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to slash studies. And now let's get back to the message started on Friday's program titled Surprised by Jesus. We're so familiar with the scene that we forget how natural it all unfolded, how easy it took place. Had we been there sitting on the riverbank, we would have seen long lines of people, heads bowed, perhaps in prayer. We would hear the splashing of water from the river.

We would not know most, if any, of the people who had gotten in line. We would hear quiet words spoken by John to the one who has turned his life over to the Savior. And as this baptism of John has been going on, Jesus slips into the group without attention, without any fanfare. And John looks up from the work of baptizing and he sees the Messiah. He had no idea that he would be the one who would baptize the one he was announcing. Now, we read that verse 11, I baptize with water. Why do that? What's that about?

See, it's become so common, few people ask that. You may not know that baptism in John's day was something done when a Gentile converted to Judaism. When a Gentile thought, I've been moving in a direction I shouldn't be going, I need to go the way of the Jews. I need to begin to worship on Saturdays. I need to go to the synagogue.

I need to follow the teaching of Moses. And so they would be baptized in a ceremony, a more official ceremony. This is not that kind of ceremony, but it comes from that. This is a baptizing in water that has to do with the kingdom of heaven that is at hand. John had thought about his calling and had seen him without his name there. In Isaiah 40, you will be the one who prepares the way in the wilderness, who makes the rough places plain. You will be the one who will let them know of the Messiah. So John knew there was a Messiah.

John's theology was pristine. As he says a little later, I know that you existed before me. Even though John is six months older than Jesus.

How do you exist before someone if you're six months younger than that? Well, if you are Jesus, you are God and you never stopped being in existence, in nature. John knew that. But John didn't know that Jesus was going to get in line this day.

John is down there and he's baptizing people, encouraging them to change their mind, to turn around in their thinking. In verse 13, we read, Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River. No one went with him.

A brother didn't travel along or a sister, though he had both. Mary didn't come with him. He has not yet called disciples because he hasn't begun his ministry.

This is brand new. At the age of 30, this is the place where that great ministry will be launched, there in the water of the river. He came to be baptized by John. Isn't it interesting that he hasn't cut in line and said to the others, I need to be first, like celebrities do. He simply comes to be baptized. And John sees him standing there and realizes at that moment somehow knew this is the one.

So look at verse 14, I love this. John tried to talk him out of it. Jesus, Jesus, I'm the one who ought to be baptized by you.

So why are you coming to me? John doesn't get the whole picture. He doesn't understand all of it.

And that's OK. He just knows that he's not the one that ought to be doing this. At least he feels that some of the very first words of Jesus as an adult are here.

Verse 15, it should be done for we, plural, you and I, must carry out all that God requires. Now stop and think. Hold it. Who's in line? Sinful people.

How do we know? Because they've come having repented. Repented of sin. Jesus gets in that line. But he has no sin. So John sees him in a whole different category. But John forgets that Jesus came to be identified among us. And that's what baptism means, to change identity.

A change of identity. I am among you. I am a human with you. I am true, truly human. One with you. And the Father has sent me to do this.

We need to carry out his will. So John, I believe, reluctantly agreed to do this. Isn't it interesting, if I may as an aside, isn't it interesting how we get star struck when we're around well-known people? I read some time ago of a woman who lived in Beverly Hills and had come over to Hollywood to her favorite ice cream store and she went in to get an ice cream cone. And she walked in and drew her money out of the purse and she looked up and right in front of her was Robert Redford who had ordered an ice cream cone. And her first thought was, he licks ice cream cones? Well, he steps aside and it's her turn and she orders a little befuddled. She orders hers and then she goes quickly back to the car thinking, oh, that was really something. And she looks all around for her ice cream cone and she can't find it. She thinks, oh, I must have left it in there. I've got to go back in. He's going to see me come back in.

So she walks back in and he sees her walk in and she's looking around. He said, are you looking for your ice cream cone? And she says to Robert Redford, yes, I am. He said, you put it in your purse.

Normally you wouldn't put an ice cream cone in your purse. But you're not normally in line with Robert Redford. And when you are, you think strange things. Here's the lesson as we learn about Jesus. He isn't a celebrity. While he is the God-man, while he is the second member of the Trinity, while he deserves our worship and our honor and our praise, he is not a human celebrity. Never conducted himself as one. And those who present him as though he were wish for themselves celebrity.

He comes just like another man, though he is far more. I love it that he doesn't name drop and say to the guy next to him, you know who you're standing next to? A little stardust on my shoulders there. You know where I was 35 years ago? None of that. None of that.

Nobody steps in line. And will you remember that? Will you become famous?

And making those triple and six and seven and eight figure salaries, will you remember you just got to put your britches on one leg at a time and you're no big shot? You too are vexed by sin. You too are haunted by shame. It's because of this John says, I don't deserve to baptize you. Jesus says, no, no, no.

You have every right to do it. You're the forerunner. And these people need to realize I'm one with them.

I'm one among them. Even though he knew no sin, did no sin, had no sin, do not make him superhuman. He's undiminished deity without question, but he's true humanity. That's why he can be touched with the feelings of your infirmities. That's why you never hear from heaven, shame on you. John, take hold of me. Plunge me in the cold water of the Jordan. Baptize me.

And he does. I love verses 16 and 17. They provide the capstone of the narrative. After his baptism as Jesus is coming up out of the water, the heavens were opened. That has never happened before in John's 30 years on this earth. And there descends from heaven something like a dove. It doesn't say it's a dove. All the artist's renderings are a dove because we don't know what it was. It flew and soared like a dove.

But something came from the heavens and settled on the one that was wet from the river. And then a voice, think of this, a voice from heaven. This is my son, the beloved one. I love the Greek sentence, this is my son, the beloved one.

I take great pleasure in him. Ladies and gentlemen, this deserves the word awesome. I've warned you about using awesome inappropriately.

It's become kind of the throwaway word. There were three emails this last week that used the word awesome. One was about a football team. A football team isn't awesome.

Even if they're undefeated all season long. A car isn't awesome. A story isn't awesome. Your girlfriend isn't awesome. Your husband or wife isn't awesome. You know that, but it isn't awesome. Stop all the awesome.

Save it for God. Oh, what an awesome moment. The Trinity appeared in words or in visible form. Jesus is visible, the only member of the Trinity visible. The Spirit descends and a voice from the Father. Son, Spirit, Father in one moment. I wonder what those in line must have thought or said.

Probably, hopefully, nothing. When will we learn that in the most awesome events of life, words are stupid things? Stay quiet. Let the wonder in. Be still and know this is God. This is God. Following the endorsement, the real humanity shows as he steps into the desert to be tempted by the devil. That's next time. May I share with you three lessons that seem to linger from this? They all tie in with where we've been.

Here's the first. Not recognizing Jesus in our midst doesn't mean he isn't there. Jesus doesn't announce his presence. He still doesn't do fanfares.

He still doesn't have a great group of trumpeters playing the clarion call. Jesus is watching. He's there every moment of our life, awake or asleep. The Spirit of God hovers over our lives, in fact lives within us. Not recognizing Jesus in the midst doesn't mean he isn't there.

I hope you get the double negative. When you're in the hospital room and you sense that something has happened with the patient that not even the doctor can explain and there's been a turn and help seems to be returning from what looked like death within a matter of hours, he's in that room. No physician can heal. He's the only prescribed.

The healing one is the awesome one. When you're in the midst of a situation that you can't see your way through and you suddenly get the insight you need, he's entered your midst. Acknowledge it.

Here's the second. Not understanding the whole message doesn't mean we shouldn't participate in part of it. Not understanding the whole message doesn't mean we should refuse to participate in our part of it. John may not have understood all about this. He may have been very reluctant when he took Jesus and held him under the water and looked at him up and maybe embraced him. He didn't understand all about that. Jesus certainly was more deserving than John.

But that wasn't the Father's plan. You participate in things which is a part of your obedience and I commend you, you don't have to understand all of it. Obedience doesn't mean you know everything about what you're doing. It means you know this part is where you should be. Go there. Do that.

Here's the third. Not hearing God's voice of affirmation today doesn't mean he isn't well pleased. Not hearing God's voice of affirmation doesn't mean he isn't well pleased. You may have gone through a period in your life where you yielded to the same sin over and over.

It's called an addiction. And you were there and you were there again and you were there again. And then through the grace of God and whoever knows whatever turned you around, you repented of that. You're moving in another direction and the Lord is in the middle of it. And he may not tell you in the middle of the night, but I can tell you he would say if he spoke, I am pleased that you've turned. You may have been once known for your unfaithfulness.

You may have lived a life like that, kept it secret. And then you finally couldn't live with yourself and turned a corner and the Lord graciously brought you out of that to a life of integrity. May I tell you without a voice coming from heaven, God's pleased with your integrity. You know what I think when I drive away from worship services like this?

Almost without exception. That's what's in my mind. I'm alone in the car and I'm driving and I am saying, Lord, I just need to know that what I did pleased you. I just want to be sure of this, that you were pleased with every part of what we did and how we did it and why we did it.

You know what? If it's done in the power of the Spirit or his glory, it's as if the heavens could open and say, I'm pleased. I'm pleased. I don't know where this finds you, but if nothing else, I hope it humbles you.

Realizing that even the Son of God who came along with all the others, came like all the rest, blended right in to live his life. I'd like you to bow your heads, please. This may be that, if you will, that epical moment for you where you finally acknowledge that you've spent too much of your life moving in the wrong direction and because of that, you want to turn around. You want to repent. You want to change your mind regarding the one you have rejected and regarding the life he wants you to live.

Do that now. I can assure you without a voice coming from heaven, he will be very well pleased. Thank you, Father, for the awesome moment when we meet with you around your table. Make it a very special time where we remember your son's death.

When they lacerated and punctured his body with a spear, when they beat him mercilessly, when he bled and died as a sacrifice in our place. Humble us, Father, filled with gratitude for the one who was our substitute. Make this time very meaningful, we pray, through Christ.

Amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. And what followed this message from Chuck Swindoll was a sweet time of worship around the Lord's table, taking the elements of communion together. Chuck titled today's message, Surprised by Jesus. It's the seventh study in a comprehensive verse-by-verse series through the book of Matthew called The King's Arrival. And to learn more about this ministry, visit us online at As we prepared this study for you, Chuck designated a book that complements this series.

It's called Perfect Trust. In this brief classic, he's written chapters on trusting when we're troubled and trusting God for the impossible. If you're looking for a meaningful way to cultivate a stronger, more trusting relationship with Jesus, we highly recommend this book. To purchase a copy of Perfect Trust, go to slash offer. In addition, Chuck has written a new commentary that complements our year-long study in Matthew.

In fact, because of its scope, it comes in two hardbound volumes. It's called Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew. These two books include verse-by-verse insight from Chuck, along with charts, maps, photos, key terms, and articles as well. It's a must-have for pastors, teachers, really anyone who wants to know more about the Bible. So to make your purchase of Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew or Chuck's popular book called Perfect Trust, visit us online or call us.

If you're listening in the U.S., dial 1-800-772-8888. Chuck's personal mission is to help you learn more about the Bible and its relevance to your life. It's all made possible, of course, because people like you give voluntary donations.

And we're grateful for those who've taken this mission to heart and made it their own. Through your gift, you're providing a constant source of solid Bible teaching for people who've come to rely on Chuck. To give a donation today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888. Or give online at Music I'm Dave Spiker. Tomorrow Chuck Swindoll will describe how to ace the devil's tests. Listen Tuesday to Insight for Living. The preceding message, Surprised by Jesus, was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited. Music
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-26 23:56:51 / 2023-12-27 00:05:27 / 9

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