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Jesus Unfiltered - Believe - Jesus - Launches a Movement, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
December 4, 2023 5:00 am

Jesus Unfiltered - Believe - Jesus - Launches a Movement, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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December 4, 2023 5:00 am

When you think of Jesus, who comes to mind? The thoughts you have of Jesus will have a direct effect on your daily life. The question is, who is the real Jesus? Join Chip as he explores that all important question.

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When you think of Jesus, what comes to your mind? Better, is the picture in your mind an accurate picture of the real Jesus? How do you know?

That's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. While we're in the middle of our series, Jesus Unfiltered Volume 1, Believe, today Chip will challenge the traditional ideas and portrayals of Jesus against what the Bible actually says about Him. And I think you'll be surprised to learn that we all have some preconceived notions about Jesus that aren't entirely accurate.

Well, with that, go in your Bibles to John Chapter 2 for Chip's talk, Jesus Launches a Movement. Nearly every single weekend, there's a weekend now and then this doesn't happen, but just about every weekend someone's traveling from around the country or someplace other in the Bay Area and they have been listening to the radio for three years or 10 years or 15 years and they usually say, oh, I knew you, I recognized your voice. And then they look at me and some of them say something, but even when they don't, I know what they're thinking. I've had this conversation, I mean, scores of times in the last decade. It goes something like this, oh, you don't look anything like you sound. For real. And then someone will be really honest like, you're way taller on the radio.

I guess you tell basketball stories and make assumptions. Or this one, this is a true story. And a lady sincerely, and you could tell she was deeply disappointed. So for some of you guys that don't have hair, you'll be very encouraged. Literally, she looked at me and she goes, oh, I thought you were bald. And I said, I'm sorry. She goes, yeah, you know. It's kind of like, I don't know if her husband was bald or, you know, she was a Kojak or Yule Brenner. She was right about that age that would know those people.

And how you like this one. Oh, you sound so much younger on the radio. Who's this old guy talking to me now?

And then I loved it. This one person said, you know something, when you listen to someone, but you don't see them, you come up with a mental picture in your mind and that sort of becomes who you think they are and you take whatever they say and you put it through the filter or the lens of this mental picture. And what I want to suggest is, is that we all have a filter or a mental picture of Jesus that we've gotten through life.

And even when we read the Bible, when we hear a message, it goes through this mental filter. And you know, the fact of the matter is, is that I'm really sorry I'm not taller. I'm really sorry I'm not younger. I'm sorry I'm not bald for those people. But personally, I'm kind of glad for who I am.

As is my wife. But what if we're doing the very same thing with Jesus that people do with me? Because the fact of the matter is they hear my voice, but they really don't know who I am. If you look on the front of your notes, I want to give you a little quiz. And I want to examine maybe a filter that you and I may have. And so here's the question and just your first answer. Don't spiritualize this.

I'm going to go through a few questions I put together and I want you to ask an answer. Which is the easiest for you to picture? I mean, you're just trying to mentally picture something in your mind. Which is easier to picture about Jesus? Number one, Jesus praying or Jesus partying? Jesus looking holy or Jesus laughing loudly? Jesus sipping a cup of tea or Jesus drinking a glass of wine? Jesus frowning at your mistake with his arms crossed or Jesus smiling at you with understanding after you just made a mistake? Jesus calm and reserved or Jesus in an outburst of anger? I mean, of these so far, which are easiest for you to picture in your mind? Finally, Jesus keeping the peace, a religious leader, or Jesus causing a riot, a radical revolutionary? See, I'm going to suggest without even knowing you, just in the culture that we live in, most of us, with the exception of a few of you, we would go down through and say, the thing you said first, I could picture in my mind pretty easily. Him belly laughing, him really enjoying a glass of wine, him at a party going, hey, I got the next dance.

I mean, right? He did. He did. He was a radical revolutionary. He started his ministry, as we've already heard at a humongous party. He laughed loudly. He was funny. He was great to be around. Was he calm? Was he holy?

Was he all the rest? Yeah. Here's the deal.

Question on the bottom. Could it be that our filters are blinding us to the real Jesus of the Bible? Could it be that you just have unconsciously thought about him in such a way, just like those people unconsciously thought about me? I got news. I'm not that tall.

I'm not bald and I am older, but that's me. And I've got news for you. Jesus laughed deeply. Jesus celebrated life. Jesus was a radical revolutionary. Jesus was strong and bold and courageous.

And in a moment of outburst of righteous anger was violent. And that's not the Jesus that we have in the little picture books. So we're going to discover the unfiltered Jesus in John chapter two.

And to do that, we're going to do a little review. Because part of my journey, remember, I long for us to go through the Gospel of John. I long for you to see Jesus for who He is, this authorized biography.

But I want you to learn to do this on your own. Now three questions you ask, you remember this? When you're going to study the Bible, you always ask three questions. What does it say? What does it mean? And what does it mean to me?

Do you remember that? And so what I like to do, let's just start and ask this question. What does John chapter two, and then write the word, say? What does it say?

Just what actually does it say? The context is chapter one ended after we heard about his pre-existence and his deity, he recruits five disciples. So as chapter two opens up, Jesus has just started his ministry, he's recruited five of his disciples, and he's traveling and they're following along with him. As you read the entire chapter, you would see there's two very specific sections. Section one is Jesus with his five disciples go to a wedding feast and we'll learn about it, and a miracle happens, and it's the first miracle. Section two, he goes to Jerusalem, to the Passover, and where there's first a wedding, then there's a whipping. He takes some cords together and he drives out money changers, he turns over tables, he is livid with what's happening there.

And so what I want us to do is I want to, remember, if you're going to do observations, you want to read through it quickly first, and all we want to do is just get an overview together. On the third day, there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, they have no wine. And Jesus said to her, woman, what does this have to do with me?

My hour's not yet come. His mother said to the servants, do whatever he tells you. Now there were six stone jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, holding about 20 or 30 gallons each. Jesus said to the servants, fill the jars with water. And they filled them to the brim. And he said to them, now draw out some and take it to the master of the feast.

So they took it out. And when the master of the feast tasted the water, now that had become wine, and he didn't know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew, the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, everyone serves the good wine first. And when people have drunk freely, then they serve the poor wine.

But you have kept the good wine until now. This, the first of his signs, literally miraculous signs, Jesus did at Cana and Galilee and manifested his glory, and something happened to the disciples. And his disciples believed in him. And then there's a little segue. After this, he went down to Capernaum, we'll learn became his headquarters, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

Scene number two. The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple, he found those who were there selling oxen and sheep and pigeons and money changers were sitting there. And making a whip out of cords, he drove them all out of the temple with the sheep and the oxen, and he poured out the coins of the money changers, and he overturned their tables, and he told those who sold the pigeons, take these things away.

Do not make my father's house a house of trade. His disciples remembered what was written. Actually, it's Psalm 69, nine.

Zeal for your house will consume you. So the Jews said to him, what sign do you show us for these doings? Jesus answered them, destroy this temple in three days, I will raise it up. Then the Jews said it took 46 years to build this temple, and you'll raise it up in three days? But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he'd said this, and they believed, notice the scriptures and the word that Jesus had spoken. Now after he clears the temple, notice there's a little side light, something he hung around. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw, literally, the signs or miraculous signs that he was doing.

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew the people, and he needed no one to bear witness about him, for he himself knew what was in man. You got the overview? And so once you do the overview, then the next thing you want to do, what does it say? Observation. So let me just go through and quickly make some observations that you with a legal pad, or I with a legal pad, and an open Bible, I mean this isn't rocket science, it's not something spiritual, what does it actually say?

So let's look and see what it says. What we learned in the wedding section is a host runs out of wine, Jesus' mother requests help, Jesus instructs the servants, the water supernaturally turns to wine, only the disciples and the servants are aware of the miracle. The miracle is Jesus' very first miracle, and it's called a sign. We'll learn a little bit later, there's four different words for a miracle. One is a sign, other is a wonder, there's two other Greek words, and they all have a different emphasis, they're saying something supernatural happened, but as we'll learn a little bit later, this supernatural thing happens, but it's not just to turn the water into the wine, it is a pointer, it is a sign, it's communicating a deeper spiritual truth. The disciples see Jesus in a new light, and they believe. Now we know that, remember the context, we found the Messiah, so they believe intellectually, they talk with him, he tells them some things, there's five of them and they're walking with him, so they believe at one level, and now they've seen a miracle, now they're believing at yet a deeper level as they're beginning to see his power as well as his words.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, we'll get back to our series, Jesus Unfiltered Volume Believe in just a minute. But quickly, I want to remind you that we are in the middle of our year and match. Thanks to a few close ministry friends, every gift we receive until December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar.

For more information about how to partner with us, go to livingontheedge.org or call us at 888-333-6003. And thanks for doing whatever God leads you to do. Well, let's rejoin Chip now for the remainder of his message.

Question number two, what can we observe? In the whipping, Jesus goes to the Passover in Jerusalem. By the way, every adult male 19 years and older who lived within 15 miles of Jerusalem was required to attend. Jesus drives out the animals and the money changers. Jesus calls the temple his father's house.

His authority is challenged by the Pharisees and the religious leaders. Jesus performs many miracles. Many people believe on his name. And Jesus knows men's hearts. All I want you to see, if you're going to get the unfiltered Jesus, the real Jesus, not the Jesus that you've created in your mind, not the Jesus that you've heard someone teach or talk about, not the Jesus in a book, not the Jesus in a novel, not the Jesus of your church background, but the Jesus that is unfiltered, the God that came to earth and lived as a little baby and lived a perfect life that was born of a virgin, died upon a cross, rose from the dead, who's living and sitting at the right hand of the father and who will come again and who lived on the earth and came. What do we learn? In him was the life and the life was the light of men and that he came to his own, but those who were his own rejected him.

But to as many as received him, he gives the right to become children of God. And now in John, we have the real story of the real Jesus, who he really is, why he really came, and now what's that mean to you? So step one is you just say, what does it say?

But you can't stop there. The second question you need to ask is, what does chapter two mean? We're talking about interpretation.

What's it really mean? Well, when you want to know what something means, you need to start asking questions of the passage, because remember there were two boxes we talked about. First century, John is writing to a group of people, what did it mean to them on that day when he wrote it and the scrolls were sent to all the churches in 90 AD? And then a little bit later, we're going to ask ourselves, okay, great, we need to fully understand what it meant, the author's intent, and then what are the timeless principles, what does it mean to us?

And so here's some questions that I began, I had a few more as I was studying, but here's just some questions that if you're going to understand about the wedding, here's some questions probably we should address. Why did Jesus launch his movement here? Why in Cana? Why in a gallery? Why in a village?

I mean, he's literally launching his movement. He's got five disciples, he's now a rabbi, he now has a following, he does his first miracle, why would he do it here? Second question is, what are we to make of the conversation with his mother?

I read it purposely in the, it's a pretty literal translation, it's called ESV. Woman, what does this have to do with me? It sounds kind of like Jesus and mom are having a little tiff. If you don't understand about the background, so what are we supposed to make of that conversation? Third question would be, what significance is there in these six stone jars?

What were they used for? Why does the author tell us there's six of them? Four, what underlying spiritual implications are we to grasp? If the miracle is a sign, then we're supposed to learn something more than, see there's two stories going on.

This is what happened, but there's something behind it. What does God want to say about what's it mean? Historically it happened, it occurred, but he wants the disciples then to learn something about what he's really doing, and he wants the disciples, us now, to learn something significant as well.

And then finally, how did this miracle position or launch his ministry with the disciples? Notice as you look at the passage here, it says on the third day there's a wedding. Let me give you a picture of what a wedding was like. It was the most joyous occasion, especially in a village.

Most villages were pretty poor. A wedding could last anywhere from one or two days to seven days. The way it would happen is they would have a year-long betrothal period. It was a legal betrothal period that was actually as important as the wedding itself. After a year, the husband during that year time, he would prepare a place.

Women were living in their family, under their father's life and all the rest. And so when the actual day came, then they would take the longest route with torches in the evening, and they would walk all the way through the village so everyone could come. So this huge feast is coming. They would do all the legal documents, and then they would have seven days, and instead of going on a honeymoon, they literally hung around, especially if it was a big wedding, for seven days, and everyone would bring oil and wine.

All the children would get nuts. And it was just like a huge, big party for seven days. Now, in a culture like this, there's not many of these occasions.

This is like the pinnacle of what happens. According to Jewish law, if the girl was a virgin, which was almost always the case in that day, the wedding was to be on Wednesday. And so we can even get some time documentation. You realize, OK, this is when Jesus got the disciples. The wedding has already started, so it's probably middle or late in the week of festivities. When you read the passage carefully, it says Jesus was invited to the wedding. The word invite is singular. OK, Jesus was invited. Have you ever invited someone like to a party and they come with five of their friends?

Right? This is what happened. We're going to run out of drinks. We're going to run out of chips. We're going to run out of food. What are we going to do?

What are we going to do? And Mary probably is either related or a very, very close friend. And in Eastern culture, there is nothing more humiliating or embarrassing than not to be able to offer hospitality. In fact, lavish hospitality. And so running out of wine is not like, oh, you know, someone run down to the 7-Eleven or the mini mart and gets, no, no, no, no, no, no. Everyone was to bring wine and bring oil. Now Jesus comes with five friends. He's coming near the end and they're out of stuff. And Mary's is, oh, this is a crisis because when you run out, the bride and the bridegroom would suffer humiliation and shame in front of the whole village.

So it's a big issue. Notice the text said woman. Actually, it wasn't impolite at all. When he says woman, NIV, it says, dear woman, because they want to give you the sense. It was a kind expression of respect. And when he, it's an idiomatic expression.

What do you have? What does this have to do with me? It's not harsh. Literally, I wrote down the literal rendering would be something that goes like this.

Your concern and my concern are not the same thing. My hour's not yet come. He'll use that same phrase five more times in the book. And then toward the end of the book, remember when he prays, Father, my hour has come.

Jesus wants us to know from the very beginning, there's a very clear path and a very clear purpose for his life. His mother clearly knows who he is from day one. She knows now, here's the rabbi.

He now has a following, you know, fix this problem. Her concern is wine and embarrassment. He said, we're on different pages. My concern, I'm going to launch a movement. I'm going to do my thing, my way to fulfill my agenda.

And so she kind of, you know, whatever he says. And so he says to them, the six water jars, they're out of sight. You might wonder cultural context. If you came to this party, you'd have sandals and your feet would be dusty and dirty.

These six are big jars, about 30 gallons each, 20 to 30 gallons. And they would wash their feet with them. And then later, before you would eat, you would ceremonially wash your hands.

And then in between each course, you would wash your hands again. And it was about Jewish purification. It wasn't about germs.

They didn't know about germs. It was about, this is what you do to be holy. There's six jars. Okay.

Now some of you are going to start, it's going to connect. Seven is a word of perfection in Judaism. Six is a word of unfinished. You know, the 666, all those numbers, it's the number of man.

The jars are used for what? External religious rights of that which is unfinished. The water miraculously turns into wine. Who does he reveal it to?

Servants and disciples. The master of the ceremonies, we're near the end. Now get this, this is really good.

It's going to make some of you uncomfortable, but others very, very happy. If a glass is a half a pint and we go with the low equation, he turns 150 gallons into wine. That's 2,400 glasses of a half pint of the very best wine. This party's going to go on. It's lavish.

What's the underlying, what's he saying? I'm going to take that which is used for washing off that people think make them holy because of what they do on the outside and I'm going to lavishly, graciously give him something on the inside and when you take wine in, joy and wine were synonymous. The rabbis would say if there is no wine, there is no celebration, there is no life.

It was the picture of prosperity, of joy and of gladness. And all of that, those disciples are watching and the spiritual implication is I'm launching the ministry. The old rituals of the law of Judaism and hypocrisy of where it has ended now is going to be moved out. New life happens internally and how?

Supernaturally. And how does it occur when Jesus speaks? In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. Hebrews 1, and he spoke the world into existence. He speaks, water turns into wine and who sees it? The servants and the disciples, the lowly people, the man in charge. He's foreshadowing the man in charge.

I don't know where this came from. Who gets exalted? He goes over to the bride and the bridegroom.

This is unbelievable. I've been to a lot of weddings and most people, you know, they watered the wine down a bit in that day for sure, but it was wine. Most people like day five of these celebrations, people were feeling pretty good, but by the way, huge disgrace to get drunk.

Very against getting drunk, but drinking wine and feeling pretty good and dancing and laughing and eating and children and music. I mean, this is a seven day flat out party and Jesus says, I come near the end. I didn't bring any.

I brought extra gas and guess what? And this little couple gets exalted as bringing the very, very best. Now, can anyone think of maybe some implications of if I'm one of his disciples, click, click, click, click, click. One, it's a miracle. Two, it's wine.

It's a wedding. Why did he launch it here? What was God's original heart? What was his intent in the garden? He wanted to be with us. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Jesus Launches a Movement, which is from the first volume of our Jesus Unfiltered series titled Believe.

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. To believe in something is to fully accept it as true or reliable. Through this 10 part study in the Gospel of John, Chip will unpack what it means to believe in Jesus. Learn how Christ's life, ministry and message prove he is our Savior and King, whom we can completely trust. For more details about this or any other volumes in our Jesus Unfiltered series, go to Living on the Edge dot org.

Well, Chip's joined me in studio now and Chip, before you come back to share your application for this message. You know, with all the turmoil and rampant evil happening in today's world, it's so easy to become discouraged and pessimistic about the future. So, Chip, what advice do you have for Christians to avoid dwelling on all the negativity? Because it's not like all of these concerns are just going to go away.

Well, Dave, you're right. I mean, the issues are big. The negativity is strong. And what I want to say to my brothers and sisters right now is we must guard our heart. We have to protect our soul from the continuous stream that's coming across on the internet and news feeds and nightly news that over and over and over keep reinforcing our own view or how bad things are, how difficult they are.

And what it produces is a sense of cynicism and hopelessness. And that's not a believer of Jesus Christ. The first century could not have been more harsh politically, economically, emotionally, in every way for the followers of Jesus. But they guarded their heart. They put good things in their mind. And they weren't afraid of Caesar. And they weren't afraid of dying. And they didn't dwell on all the things that were wrong. They understood there is a new life and there's a new heaven. And they were the kind of people that demonstrated hope day in and day out.

But it takes tremendous discipline. It means we have to fuel our hearts and our minds with good things. It's absolutely essential that we consume good biblical content daily, that first and foremost we're disciples of Jesus, that we commit to the discipline of developing good habits, building up our strength, our courage, our joy, and our peace. Living on the Edge is committed to teaching and discipleship. It's helping Christians live out the truth of God's Word, no matter what's happening in their world or the world.

And here's my question. If God has used the ministry of Living on the Edge to guide and deepen your life or the life of someone that you care about, would you reinvest in the ministry today? And right now, every dollar you give will be doubled, dollar for dollar, until December 31st. Please pray and then follow God's leading about what He wants you to do by partnering with us financially. Thanks so much.

Well, if you feel like God's moving you to partner with us, as Chip said, now's a great time. Thanks to a handful of donors, every gift we receive between now and midnight, December 31st, will be matched dollar for dollar. To send in your gift, call us at 888-333-6003, or go to livingontheedge.org. That's livingontheedge.org, or call 888-333-6003. App listeners, tap donate.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. Well, here now is Chip to close out our time together with a quick word. As we wrap up today's program, I'm not sure what comes into your mind when you picture Jesus. But He's more than this meek and mild picture that might be in the hallway. He's more than the Jesus who walks next to the lambs, you know, in those little picture flanographs. The Jesus of the Bible is loving and kind and winsome and went to parties. And the Jesus of the Bible is strong and powerful and hates sin and deals with injustice and makes things right.

You know, can I encourage you just to open John chapter 2 and read it with fresh eyes and realize this is a very real person with emotions and heart, and He loves you and really wants you to get to know Him. Good word, Chip. Well, before we go, I want you to know about an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast. Hear Chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa Echo and Echo Dot. Just say, Alexa, open Living on the Edge, and you'll hear that day's extended teaching anytime you want. We'll listen in next time as Chip picks up in his series, Jesus Unfiltered, Volume 1, Believe. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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