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What Manner of Man Is This?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 24, 2020 12:01 am

What Manner of Man Is This?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 24, 2020 12:01 am

When the disciples were caught in a fierce storm, they feared they were going to die. But when Jesus calmed the wind and the waves, they became even more afraid. Today, R.C. Sproul reveals what it is about Christ that makes people uneasy.

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Today on Renewing Your Mind.

We may be afraid of hurricanes, floods and fires and other natural disasters. There something that is even more frightening to us than the wind or the sea, it's the presence of God. Jesus: the wind and waves. The storm was going and you might think the disciples would be excited were at least relieved instead, they were still afraid and they asked the question, what manner of man is this that's the title of today's lesson here on Renewing Your Mind as we continue Dr. RC Sproul series fear and trembling the trauma of God's holy. Have you ever noticed something that I at least find range about people who are not professing Christian but they sometimes are very hostile towards Christians and hostile to the church but you almost never hear them say unkind things about Jesus not willing to affirm his deity or that he is the Savior of the world, but they'll usually say that he was a great prophet for a great teacher or a great man and people were so kind in their assessment of the historical Jesus makes me wonder what it was about him that so infuriated many of his contemporaries that they actually clamored for his blood. And of course they executed him. So as nice as we are about Jesus from a safe distance of about 2000 years. If we go back in time and look at the period in which he was walking around this earth. We find all these people who hated why I think there are couple of episodes recorded for us in the New Testament that will give us an inkling, at least as to why so many people hated in the first one is found in the gospel according to St. Mark we read in the fourth chapter of the 35th verse these words Mark says on the same day when evening had come. He said to them let us cross over to the other side and when they had left the multitude they took him along in the boat as he was in other little boats were also with him and a great wind storm arose and the waves beat into the boats so that it was already filling but he was in the stern sleep on a pillow and they woke him and said to him, teacher, do you not care that we are perishing, and he arose, and rebuked the wind and said to the sea piece the still the wind ceased, and there was a great call. He said to them, why are you so fearful. How is it that you have no faith and they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, what manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey. I find this an extraordinary narrative and I have a special interest in it because I used to teach a course in the seminary on atheism and I required my students in that course to read the original works of some of the most brilliant and formidable advocates of atheism and I noticed particularly among 19th-century atheists that there was a common strand of thinking among them where people of that ilk were trying to explain why it is even though there is no God, there are so many people who are religious and one the most important voices from that. Was that of Sigmund Freud. You've all heard of Freud was regarded as the father of modern psychoanalysis and Freud came up with the thesis that the reason why religion emerges in history is out of people's natural fear for the forces of nature were afraid of tornadoes were afraid of hurricanes were afraid of floods were afraid of diseases they can invade our bodies and destroy us were afraid of death, and so on.

And he said it's out of this fear of nature that we create religion we create a God who rules over nature that we can talk to that we can plead with us that we can try to butter him up with our praise and worship, so that maybe he will steer the tornado in another direction.

And so for Freud, it is the fear of nature that causes us to be religious.

Here we have a story in the New Testament where the disciples meet one of these fearsome natural forces there on their way across the sea of Galilee and remember their season veteran fishermen are accustomed to the vagaries of the winds and the currents and so on. But where that lake is situated in the Middle East. It happens to be arranged in such a place where there is almost like a wind tunnel from the Mediterranean Sea that sometimes a storm will come flowing through that wind tunnel and get that sea without any warning and turn it into a tempestuous catastrophic natural disaster and that's what happened while they're going across the sea. Suddenly this fear storm arises in the wind started blowing a gale in the water is turbulent and is boiling up and dispelling the boats and threatening to capsize up in all this time Jesus is sound asleep in the back of the book of the Scriptures tell us that the disciples render their leader and they shake him awake and they said, Lord, do something or were in a parish right here on this. So Jesus stands up, looks at the waves looks at the turbulent waters, and he shouts a command saying grace, be still and instantly, this seems like glass. There's not a Zephyr blowing in the air and everything is absolutely call know what would you expect that the reaction of the disciples would be at that.

You would think that's rather saw Westerners in the air and say thank you Lord for removing the threat of nature from ops at this moment so wonderful. What happens, the Bible says they became exceedingly right so this is the point that Freud didn't consider that even though we may be afraid of hurricanes and floods and fires and other natural disasters.

There's something that is even more frightening to us than the wind or the sea, it's the presence of God see when when the disciples saw Jesus tame the storm and the sea by the mere force of his command.

They stood back in horror and they asked the question what man is this what kind of person does not think about that you meet new people all the time you walk down the street you see strangers coming and you know that there are people walking around out there who are strange to you, you don't know them, and you also know that among those people that you encounter every day are killers, rapists and murderers.

People who are hostile towards other people who could represent a clear and present danger to your life but they don't wear signs on them, and of leg walked on the streets. I am a murderer.

Watch up.

I am a rapist look up not when you're walking down the street here gazing in front of you and you give a quick once over with your eyes towards every person that is approaching and you may not even be conscious of this, but while this is going on. You're going through a classification process a sorting process you're making an assessment about that stranger that's approaching you on the sidewalk. What is his gait like is he smiling is he frowning. Does he look friendly. Does he look hostile and all the while you're doing that you're determining in your mind what kind of person that is it's coming because you want to know is that person safe or is that person a threat. What happened to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee was they started through that sorting process and it wouldn't compute because they didn't have a category that would describe somebody who had the power to stop a storm just by speaking to or yelling what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey. They had a study a few years ago. Of the 10 most frequent phobias that people have in the United States and a phobia is a gripping fear, and in that top 10 the number one fear.

By the way, was standing up and speaking in front of a group of people. People fear that more than death itself, but in any case in the top 10.

They included xenophobia and xenophobia is fear of xenophobes. Now what xenophobia is Maine's beer of strangers, fear of aliens is an interesting how Hollywood makes all the money it does by producing scary movies about the intrusion into our planet of aliens people or creatures from another planet or from outer space that are terrifying because they're different. We don't know how to handle notice how we react to people of different ethnic backgrounds. White people tend to huddle together and live at a distance from black people and black people live separately from white people, and there's a fear between these people because they're different from each, and so that's what xenophobia indicates a fear or phobia that we have towards people who are different from wheel but the person who manifested the most radical difference from us in all of history was Jesus because he was holy. Nobody ever had met a person who was without blemish, who was absolutely and that's what threatens us who were the people who were considered the most righteous people in Israel at the time Jesus appeared with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a group of people who would dedicated themselves to achieving the highest level of morality they could possibly achieve who were the people that were screaming the loudest for the blood of Jesus. It was the fairness you sleep.

They enjoyed the acclimation they received from the people for being so righteous, but their righteousness was revealed as filthy rags as soon as the holy one appeared in their midst. As soon as the true righteous one came those who were fraudulently righteous were exposed for what they were and they couldn't stand it. I had a student will never forget this.

I had a student when I was teaching college several years ago so young lady who was in her senior year in college and she was a straight a student, a four point student and she really was head and shoulders above everybody else in the class.

I would give an exam.

I couldn't make an exam hard enough to stop her most of the exams I gave in philosophy and in theology I had to grade on a curve and you know people who are curve busters where everybody else in the class is making 50 and 4030 and then there's that one student makes 100. What happens when you have one student who breaks the curve all the time does everybody rush up to that person. After the class, and after that that's been returned say congratulations were really proud of you. We think that what you did was fantastic. We wish we could be more like you. Was that your response but you want to take out a knife and put it in their back and say I can't stand a goody two shoes. You know what could and should be just like everybody else and flunk this test will this actually happen.

I gave a test on one occasion. Second semester senior year and this girl flunk the test, I couldn't believe it. There's something wrong here.

So I called her in my office and I said to her what happened. You flunk this test like this. She started to cry and I said what's the matter, she confessed that she had flunk the test on purpose. She said because her grades make it impossible for her to get a date and she was in her second semester of her senior year she was suffering from what they call senioritis. She'd hope to find a husband while she was in college and she says none of the guys will take me out because they're intimidated by me because I make these good grades.

She was not like because she was too good she was to perfect and so people were uncomfortable around her.

Another incident took place during the life of Jesus is similar to the one I've just indicated will look at it in Luke's gospel is recorded for us in the fifth chapter of Luke's gospel beginning at verse one and the reader to quickly and so it was as the multitude pressed about him, to hear the word of God that he stood by the lake of Nazareth, which is another name for the Sea of Galilee. And he saw two boats standing by the lake, but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. And they got into one of the boats which were Simons and asked him to put out a little from the land and he sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat money and stop speaking. He said the Simon launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. Simon answered and said to him master we've toiled all night and caught nothing.

Nevertheless at your word. I will let them. The net and when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their net was breaking, so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them and they came and filled both the boats so they began to sink and then when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus knees, saying, depart from me, for I am a sinful man of war. What an incredible response on the surface it doesn't make any sense at all. You get the picture here. The disciples had been fishing again.

There are veterans of the sea. They've come up empty. Jesus says take the boats out a little bit further and drop your nets out there and you can just read the sarcasm dripping from Peter's slips here in the text catcher releases the Lord and I we've been doing that all night. Nevertheless, are gone.

I will try like he says the other guys humor in him. I know all about theology and all about spiritual things were the guys who know about fishing but if Jesus wants us to drop them at sober will drop the nets over here will you see what happens as soon as I dropped the net in the water.

What happened every fish in the sea of Galilee jumps into the net and then that some bulging to capacity. There's the cords of the ropes are starting to break. So they had to bring the other boats ever get the other nets involved, and they fill both of these boats with fish to the point that they're starting to sink and remember that Simon Peter was Jewish and he was a Jewish businessman why would you expect the Jewish businessman to do and assertiveness.

As I got I would've been there I know what I would've done I would've pulled a contract out of my coat and out of said the Jesus of today. What Jesus, here's the deal. 50% of the business is yours free.

All you have to do is come down here to the dock one day of the month and do this little trick that you just did here Philip the nets like that were in business, you get 50% of profits. That's what I would do so it's on. Astonishingly, he says to Jesus, depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Jesus, please, I can't stand this. You're crowding me in a way that's driving me crazy. Now again, Peter's not giving this response because Jesus is standing there given a message on evangelism and telling Peter that he's a wicked center he has to repent or he's gonna perish.

Jesus hasn't just given a sermon about L that would terrify people all he did was perform this miracle of providing this catch of fish and Peter says it says I'm out of here. I sinful what is it that revealed to Simon Peter that he was so sinful it was the participants in the power of Christ. You see, when Simon Peter saw Christ and saw who he was so clearly in that moment he was overwhelmed just as Isaiah had been overwhelmed centuries earlier.

He looked into a mirror of his own soul and he realized that next to the standard of perfection next to the standard of absolute purity in the presence of one who was altogether holy. We can do nothing but tremble and quake at the contrast and so Simon wanted to leave and call this the Peter principle.

You've heard the Peter principle in business were organizations tend to elevate people to their levels of incompetency so that if you're doing well at the job you get a promotion to get more responsibility and higher pay and if you do well at that job to go up the ladder and you get an even more responsible job and even a greater package of faith and the tenancy is in the corporate world to increase people's elevations to promote them to the level where their incompetent and they fail and then they talk about another person.

The super competent person the super competent person is a person who is one of greatest difficulties in moving up the ladder. Why because the people above that person are jealous and threatened by that person superior skill and so the way the super competent person advances. According to this book is by moving to another company where they're looking for talent and even then he has to go to another company to move up to the next step where he's not known to threatened and that at a corporate level expresses our natural hostility to that which is better than we. Why was Christ kill.

He was killed not because he said consider the lilies how they grow because he said consider the thieves how they steal because he said consider the Pharisees. How hypocritical they are and they hated him because he was challenging and convicting message today. We were faced with God's holiness. Our natural inclination is to avoid it. The message of the gospel tells us that because of Christ were invited in him being acceptable before our holy God.

We just heard is a lesson from Dr. RC Sproul series fear and trembling the trauma of God's holiness in each of the six messages in this series helps us understand who God really is. We'd like for you to have this to DVD set. Maybe you'd like to use it in a Sunday school class at your church were in a small group setting in your home or you may even want to donate it to your church library will send it to you when you give a donation of any amount to look at your ministries make a request online that Renewing Your work. You can call us at 800-435-4343 for the time that RC founded look in your ministries.

In 1971 until the time he went home to be with the Lord nearly 3 years ago. RC had a singular passion to awaken people to the holiness of God and that remains our goal today, this series will open your eyes to the terrifying reality of God's holiness, but also the peace and security that it brings. It is a two DVD set and will be glad to send it to you with your gift of any amount again.

Our phone number is 800-435-4343 and our web address is Renewing Your your faithful support makes it possible for people around the world to access the teaching of Dr. scroll along with our ligand or teaching fellows in the various resources available through licking your ministries to work. Thankful for your generosity. I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we continue Dr. scroll series that when Ananias and Sophia lied to the apostles God judge them by killing them on the spot was his justice. So severe will find out tomorrow on Renewing Your Mind

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