The Son of God Among Us

The Son of God Among Us

Scripture: 1 John 1:1, Matthew 21:28-32, Matthew 23:1-39
Date: 07/26/2008  Lesson: 4
Christ came to show that God doesn't favor riches or human position, but rather humility of heart.

El Camino a Cristo by Ellen White

El Camino a Cristo by Ellen White
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Good morning, Happy Sabbath, and welcome to "central study hour," coming to you from Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. I'd like to welcome those who are joining us from across the country and around the world, who join us each week and are part of our family here at central, whether you're listening on the radio this morning, watching live on our website at saccentral.org, or watching 3 weeks delayed on the various networks, welcome. And of course a welcome to those of you who are visitors that are joining us this morning here in the sanctuary and of course our members as well. We're gonna sing some favorites this morning. The first one you will find in in your hymnals, "tell me the story of Jesus," 152.

This is from charles in australia; sabrina in england; gale in Alaska; linda in hong kong; joanne in New York; James in Alaska; and frederick in finland, all the way in finland. , Verses 1, 2, and 3... [Music] Thank you for that song request. I know that there's many more of you who have favorites. So I encourage you to write in.

Go to our website at saccentral.org. Click on the "contact us" link. And under there, you'll see song requests for "central study hour." And click on that and send in your requests. And we would love to hear from you and sing your favorite song on an upcoming Sabbath. Our next song you will find on 529, "under his wings," 529.

We'll do all three verses. And this is from yahamine from australia; Daniel from australia; judy in Canada; linda in Canada; dorothy in the czech republic. I think this is one of our first requests from the czech republic. Barnabas and oscar in england; dominic in india; kirk in jamaica; margarie in jamaica; deon in granada; felicity in south africa; candy in florida; joanne in New York, Joseph and inena in North Carolina; loretta in Michigan; and elaine in Washington. This is a favorite this morning, so we want to hear you sing this extra loud from home and those of you here, , all 3 verses.

.. [Music] Father in Heaven, we thank you so much this morning for the refuge that we have, that we find underneath your wings. And father, we thank you so much for your love and your protection. And I pray that you'll be with those who are struggling this morning, who are going through difficult times in their lives, that you'll just put your loving arms around them. And they will feel that they are under your wings and they're in a safe place.

And father, we thank you so much for the opportunity that we have to be here together as a Sabbath school family to worship you here in your house. And we pray that you'll be with those who can't be with us, but are joining us from across the country and around the world as we open your world and study together, that we'll all receive a blessing no matter where we are. We thank you so much for loving us and for giving us this holy Sabbath day. Be with our speaker as he brings us the lesson this morning. We thank you so much for his ministry here at central church.

In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you very much, debbie and carolyn, miriam, our pianist, singers, musicians, any angels that might be joining us. How are you all here at central? I'm glad to see you here. For our friends who are watching, this is the 5th of July.

And I know a lot of friends are maybe out of town. And we have visitors I see. And we want to welcome you to central church. Also want to welcome the many people who are watching on the internet, watching on satellite television. I want to take a moment and thank the networks that carry this.

They all do that as a service for free. And we're just very grateful for that. I always have a fresh appreciation for how big our class is. Just 2 weeks ago, I was in Arizona at the camp meeting there. That was a experience.

And I asked the people Sabbath morning, how many get to tune in to "central study hour." Seemed like 80% of the hands went up. And then last Sabbath I was at--where was i? Washington camp meeting. I asked the same question. About the same percentage, about % of the hands went up. And I thought, "wow, we've got a lot of friends studying with us.

" And some people came up to me, and they said, "you know, we're in some isolated area where there is no church that we can worship with. And we just praise the Lord for central church and others that are streaming or on the satellite," because this is where they get their fellowship. And it's wonderful that technology is available. And friends who are watching, if some of you out there are in that category, and maybe you're watching on satellite or the internet and you're isolated, and you would like to adopt us as a church, we'd be happy to adopt you. Just go to saccentral.

org. There's a lot of things that you can get from the internet, for Bible study and messages, former study Sabbath school lessons you can listen to. You can even go to amazingfacts.tv and get these archived lessons. And so we'd just encourage you to feed your soul. Stay connected with the body of Christ.

And we have other friends. I meet people all the time from all different churches that say, "oh yeah, we watch every week." Somebody stopped me here in town at a raley's supermarket, "Pastor Doug, oh I never miss your program." They say, "I'm a baptist. But love your programs." I said, "well, you can go to our church on Saturday and still visit yours on Sunday. So come on by." And so if any of you want to study along with us, we are studying in our quarterly, "God's great missionaries." And you go to any Seventh-day Adventist Church, you'll find one just about every major city or two-- I think around Sacramento, we got about 25-- they'll give you one for free and you can see what we're studying. And we have a special offer we like to give away with each study.

And this is very appropriate for today's lesson on Jesus. It's called, "down from his glory." It's a very inspiring sermon booklet by Joe Crews. We'll send it to you. It's offer number 154. Ask for "down from his glory.

" Or call the number, -788-3966, and we'll be happy to just send that to you. Okay, we're gonna get into our lesson for today. And I have both the privilege and the frightening responsibility of talking about the most important missionary in the world. And we've been dealing with "God's great missionaries: agents of hope." Today is lesson number 4. And we're talking about "The Son of God among us.

" No question about it; Jesus is and was the greatest missionary. We're gonna look at a number of verses that help to bear this out. We have a memory verse. And the memory verse comes to us from 1 John 1:1. I'm gonna read it to you from the new king James version.

John 1:1. Hope you can say it along with me. If you're reading from the King James, the new king James, it will sound almost the same. You ready? "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the word of life." The Word of God was made flesh and dwelled among us. Jesus, of course, was the Word of God.

The greatest message that could be brought to our world-- a missionary brings a message-- is the message from Jesus. Jesus embodied in his life, in his body that message from God. That's why he was called, "the word became flesh." I remember when I was growing up my mom had this painting on the wall. And I wasn't exactly sure what it said, because it was in french. But what it was is it was the picture of a woman.

It was in black and white. But when you got real close, you could see that the black part of the picture was actually words. Somebody had written this beautiful, long, love poem in french. And the artist did it with such skill that the words were so small that each of them just looked like little lines in the painting. You stood back and you saw a picture of a woman.

And you got close and you said, "oh that's something, those lines are odd." You got a little closer you realize that it was words. And it was, I guess, a very valuable picture, painting. And someone had, using words of a love poem, had painted a picture of their girlfriend or somebody. And I always thought that was very interesting. Well, when you look closely at Jesus, you are seeing God's love letter.

You're seeing the Word of God, his love letter to you and me. Nobody else in history has had such a huge impact on the world, or caused such divided opinions as Jesus. The future of each of our lives comes down to this big question that Jesus himself asked. And you find that big question in Matthew 16:15. He said, "whom do men say that I am?" But more specifically, "who do you say that I am?" Now, just for fun sometime you should take a pen or a pencil, go through your Bible in the Gospel of John, circle every time you find the two words, "I am.

" You remember how the Lord identified himself to Moses? "Whom shall I say has sent me?" And God said, "I am that I am." Then notice how many times in John Jesus is identified as the "I am." Or Jesus says, "I am." He says, "I am the bread of life." "I am the living water." "I am the good shepherd." "I am the door." You just go on and on and on through the Gospel of John and you're gonna find all these "I am" statements, because John understood that he was God who had become man. Now that's either true or it's not. Who was it? C.s. Lewis said, "you must make your choice. Either this man was and is The Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.

" When I first began to read the new testament, I somehow had the idea that the whole Bible was a bunch of fables or fairy tales. You know I grew up agnostic or atheist, probably more agnostic. Even though mother was Jewish, father was baptist background, you can still have religious background and be very secular. And I had always been told that, you know, Noah and the flood and Jonah and the whale, and adam and eve in the Garden of Eden, all these were just fables and legends, right along there with aesop and the knights in shining armor. That was just a fairy tale.

But when I started reading the new testament, it was stated with so much fact, it was like history. And I went and checked in the encyclopedia. And none of the history books, none of the encyclopedia questioned the existence of Jesus. They all--they might question whether his claims were true. They might question whether he was The Son of God.

But none of them questioned that he lived and he existed and that he taught and that he died. So, having agreed that he did live, and since you've got these four Gospel stories, and you know, if we're gonna believe anything in history is true--if you get four people saying that something about alexander the great, nobody questions whether it's accurate. You get three people say something about julius caesar or some ancient king, nobody, no historian questions it, because that's all we've got to go on. So they believe it. So if you got all these Gospel stories about Jesus, then we must assume the record is true.

So you come down, those same three things so many people have faced. Jesus either was a great deceiver, a liar, in that he made all these outrageous claims about himself. Or he was a lunatic. Maybe he wasn't a liar. He was just believing it and it wasn't true, so he was crazy.

I don't mean to be disrespectful, but this is one of the options. Or it's true. You really don't have any other options. All right, let's take 'em one at a time. Could Jesus be insane? You know, I thought about that when I was reading through the Gospels.

But if he was, he was the sharpest crazy person you'll ever meet. I mean he was so astute and profound. He was the most quoted author who ever lived. That was one of the epiphanies I had when I started reading through the Bible. How many times people quoted Jesus.

I had no idea 'til I read the Bible. All these things I'd heard all my life that I'd been quoting myself: "turning the other cheek," and "going the second mile," and "loving your enemies," and "do not judge," and all these things. I mean there's so many things Jesus says that even unbelievers and people in the world quip and quote. And I said, "wow." For a crazy person, people sure quote him a lot. And I mean how many times did his enemies get him cornered.

No way out. Do we-- "do you cast aside the law of Moses or do we stone this woman?" And he said, "he who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." That's brilliant. Or they say, "do we pay tax or not? "Render unto caesar the things that are caesar's; to God the things that are God's." Brilliant. He kept confounding them with his brilliance. He wasn't crazy.

If he was, Lord, smite me with that affliction. I would like that kind of lunacy. He wasn't a deceiver, because all truth seems to be defined by his teaching. The principles that he taught are the base rock of truth. And how many times did Jesus have the opportunity to lie and save himself from torture? All he had to do was just deny a few things and make a few statements and he could have spared himself all the suffering.

But because he couldn't lie, he died and suffered. And so his whole life was in defense of truth. So he wasn't a liar. And so the only third option you've got is that he's telling the truth, that God came to earth and became a man. Now having said that, that makes him the greatest missionary who ever lived.

I thought it'd be appropriate since we're talking about this that we define what is a missionary, because I believe Jesus is the ultimate missionary. Missionary: "one who is sent on a mission, especially one sent to do religious or charitable work in a territory or foreign country. One who attempts to persuade or convert others to a peculiar program, doctrine, or set of principles." Someone defined a missionary as, "one who was never used to the sound of heathen footsteps on their way to a Christless grave." So if that's how you feel, if you are never satisfied to hear the sound of heathen footsteps on their way to a Christless grave, then you are a missionary. Someone please, Corinthians 8:9. Do we have somebody? We got that right up here.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich." How many of you know stories of people who have left comfort and prosperity so they could be missionaries, or they've sold their earthly possessions so they could subsidize mission work? David livingston had a brother who decided to go into some business and make a lot of money. He did not go into the mission field. And he did make a lot of money. How many of you know what his name was? Nobody's ever heard of him. I forget his name too.

I think it was John. But everybody knows David livingston. And he lived in incredible poverty, even though he was brilliant. He understood medicine. Albert schweitzer, we all know his name.

Great musician, brilliant doctor, left it all to go live in africa and spend out--i think he lived it, 'til he was -plus in africa. But everybody knows about albert schweitzer. He made a sacrifice of great prosperity to be a missionary. And a lot of people do that. Christ, who was rich, became poor that he might give us his riches.

That's one of the criteria. So by that definition, Jesus is a missionary. Missionaries are often commissioned or sent. Someone look up for me John 4:9. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten son into the world, that he might live through him.

" This is one of the ways that you identify a missionary. Missionaries are commissioned or sent. It says, "God so loved the world, that he gave--" here it says, "and this was the love of God manifested that God has sent his only begotten son." If you read in Galatians 4:4-5, "but when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive adoption of sons." Jesus was sent. Now one of the things that helps a missionary survive is they've got the support of a home base. I'll tell ya, you know, it's really tough when you've got people who are out doing mission work and they just feel like they're just cut off from the world and they don't have anybody back at home that can--you know, sometimes they have special needs.

And they can write to someone and say, "you know, we need this. We need that." This morning on family radio--driving to church, I've got a custom. I listen to family radio. And they've been reading through the story of David livingston. And this morning they were talking about when livingston was trying to set up a mission station.

He sent back to the british missionary society and said, "I need a boat. I need a tough boat, 'cause we're going through these rapids on the zambezi river. And you can't give us these flimsy boats." And so he kept sending home. And it was so nice to have the support of a base. Did Jesus often appeal to a home base in heaven while he was here on earth? Does he tell us that we, when we follow him and we become missionaries, that while we are sent into this world, as Jesus was sent, that we can appeal back to the mission station for support and resources.

Isn't that right? So missionaries are sent. Missionaries typically leave comfort. You know, they say that there are more mormon missionaries per capita in Hawaii than any other place. I wonder why that is. "Where you going?" "I'm going to Hawaii to suffer for Jesus.

" I mean, now I condemned myself. More than once I've found the call to Hawaii was something laid upon my heart. I've had several opportunities to go to Hawaii and do weeks of prayer, do some ministry there. And we just so happened to have a few extra days on the beach when we're there. So it's always wonderful when you get these calls to these caribbean islands or these beaches to do mission work.

Typically though, missionaries go places where it's not as comfortable. And they deny themselves comfort. And they endure great hardship. Did Jesus do that? I'm gonna read you a quote from that classic book, "Desire of Ages." Oh by the way, if you want to read the best book there is to read about Jesus, bar none, I'm talking about aside from the Scriptures, I recommend the book, "Desire of Ages." Here's a quote from page 690 in that classic: "he will save man at any cost." It's talking about Jesus in the Garden of Eden, when he prays three times, "not my will, thy will be done." It says, "he will save man at any cost to himself. He accepts his baptism of blood, that through him perishing, millions may gain everlasting life.

He has left the courts of heaven where all is purity, happiness and glory, to save one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And he will not turn from his mission." Jesus was the ultimate--Jesus is the ultimate missionary. He sets the example for every other missionary. I was reading, again, about David livingston. And whenever he was in dire straits, he would say, "I am claiming the promise of Christ.

I am with you always. And that's the word of a gentleman." In other words, a gentleman never lies. And he's promised, "I'll always be with you." And he's with us today. You know, in that quote I just read, she quotes from that parable in the Gospel of Luke. Where was that? Luke 14.

No, it's Luke 15:3. So he spoke this parable to them saying, "what man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after that one which is lost till he finds it? And when he's found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying with them, 'rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost!' I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." Now, missionaries are typically sent from a place where people are saved to a place where people are not. Is that right? Where do you suppose most of the missionaries in the world are sent from? From North America. You'll find over the course of history--just a little amazing fact for you--the Gospel seems to move like the sun, going from the east to the west.

The Gospel started in--i guess you could argue the Gospel started in mesopotamia with adam and eve. But Gospel starts in Israel. God calls Abraham from the east to the west. And as the Gospel spread there from Israel, it moved through the roman empire. Palestine was sort of one of the eastern frontiers.

And it moved west. It went up through asia minor and found its way into italy. And Paul said, "I want to go to spain." And gradually over the years the Gospel moved up through germany. It found its way across into the british isles. That became a great landmark for the Gospel--especially depending on who was king or queen at the time--of protestantism.

And then it made its way across the oceans. It started on the east coast, made its way towards the west coast. And of course, then it's fanning out. It's going to australia. It's going to other places from there.

But you sort of see it sweeping around the planet. You know what country right now is one of the great countries of the world that is still unevangelized is china? And from there it's almost like it's gonna have made a complete sweep. It's opening up in china right now. Amazing Facts has two people assigned full-time to china. I can't tell you their names because they're going back and forth.

But I think when the message goes to china, the end comes. The Gospel will have gone around the world. So usually missionaries are sent from a place where the majority of those have the Gospel or at least have had an opportunity. You know it's interesting now; a lot of missionaries are going out from korea. Some of you remember we heard about the missionaries from korea that were in afghanistan.

Some were killed. South korea, in particular I'm talking about. A lot of Christian freedom there. They've been sending missionaries out because there's so many Christians in korea. They say, "we need to go other places.

" So just about everywhere in the world I go now, I see Christian missionaries from south korea." It's interesting. They've got the good news. They say, "well, we've got opportunity all over our country. We need to go other places." And some of the very brave south koreans, Christians, are infiltrating into north korea, 'cause they can get in and mix and move around. And they're trying to share the Gospel there where it's illegal.

And they'll lose their lives if they're caught. What's interesting is some countries are now wondering if they should send missionaries to the u.s. Because in spite of the fact that we were once a Christian nation. England used to send missionaries to the u.s. John wesley, george whitfield went from england to the u.

s. To do mission work. But now we're sending missionaries back to england because they're closing the churches there. So some of the people where the light of the Gospel shined, it's moving on. And you know, I'm still--i think I've told you.

I'm very troubled that we're living in a country now, California and Massachusetts and other places where they're giving marriage licenses to people of same sex. That would tell you that something's happened to foundational principles in the culture. And they need to send missionaries back to us. You don't necessarily need to go to some remote, exotic jungle to do mission work these days. Right? You can just go to your town.

All right, well I won't take that too far. In the parable of the shepherd that has 100 sheep and he looses , and he leaves the 99 safe in the fold, and he goes looking for that 1 lost sheep, how many people in this world have sinned? All. And so more specifically, you can apply that parable to Jesus has all these unfallen worlds, and a world falls. Our planet. He leaves the courts of heaven, where all those sheep are in the fold.

They're all safe. And he comes to look for this one lost sheep, this planet. I mean, you know, how easy would it be for God--oh, by the way, I should probably pause here and say, does the Bible seem to teach that God has other worlds besides this world? You read in the book of job 1, there was a day when The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and satan came also among them. And God said to satan, "where did you come from?" These are The Sons of God gathering together. He says, "I came from the earth.

" Some celestial meeting. Well, we already know that God--there's other life out there. God's got angels and cherubim and seraphim, and talk about these creatures in heaven. And then you read in Hebrews 1:2, "through Christ, God made the worlds." And you can read in Revelation about those in earth and those in heaven that are praising the Lord. So I believe there are unfallen worlds.

You think about the immensity of space. It's probably pretty small to think that God doesn't have other beings in other worlds that are unfallen. Jesus left the glory and the perfection and the purity of heaven. Like a missionary, he left that comfort zone to come to our world to save this one lost sheep. Something else we know about missionaries.

I'm sorry. I'm going on and on about this, 'cause Jesus is the ultimate missionary, right? Missionaries: they heal. They teach. They preach. I could talk about these individually, but I've got one verse that bears that out.

Somebody read for me--i don't think I distributed this verse. It's Matthew 9:35. "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people." This is an amazing, profound verse, because it summarizes the work of a missionary. It summarizes the work of Jesus. And this verse is sort of the Marching orders for Amazing Facts.

And I think most people know that Amazing Facts and weimar have joined together, because we wanted to combine the proclamation ministry along with the restoration and the healing ministry. Matter of fact, we've got this acronym that we use for the final harvest. And we call it "reap." And it has to do with restoration, education, adoration--you notice, where does he meet? In the synagogues. That was their place of worship. And p, proclamation.

You've got all--i don't know if since this program went out, I don't think I've ever mentioned that dr. Neil nedley has accepted the invitation to be the president of weimar. So we're really excited about the future. And we've announced this at some of the camp meetings. I don't think I've announced it at central church yet.

Sometimes I think things will just get absorbed by osmosis, because we're out there sharing that. But we're real excited. Dr. Nedley's gonna come be the president of weimar. And combining the proclamation and the education and the restoration with the adoration.

That's the final message, friends. That's the work of a missionary. And you know, our focus up there, of course, is gonna be an emphasis on mission, preparing people wherever you are in life to be a missionary. Let me park on that for just a moment. No matter what your job is, you should be a missionary.

What was Paul's occupation? He was a tent maker. But what was his principle work? He was a missionary. Did Jesus have an occupation? He was a carpenter. But what was his principle work? He's a missionary. Now if you're a Christian, every Christian, whatever your trade might be, if you're a real Christian, you're a missionary.

And some of you might have gifts in teaching. Some might have gifts in preaching. Some might have gifts in the proclamation or healing or different gifts. But you are to use whatever your gifts are to do mission work for Jesus. Some of you got the gift of getting wealth.

That's a gift. It is. And you can use that too to support missionaries, right? You know the work, no matter how small you think your influence is, don't ever underestimate one person that you might reach, no matter how obscure it might seem can change the world. I read this this week as I was thinking about Christ as the ultimate missionary. It might be hard immediately to measure the results of missionaries.

Listen to this. "A Sunday school teacher named mr. Kimble, in 1858, led a boston shoe clerk to give his life to Christ. This was someone who was selling shoes. His name was dwight l.

Moody. He becomes a powerful evangelist that does a lot to transform the world. While he's doing meetings in england in 1879," moody, "he awakens evangelistic zeal in the heart of fredrick b. Meyer," better known as f.b. Meyer, famous Christian and author, "pastor of a small church, f.

b. Meyer preaching on American college campus, then he brings to Christ a student named j.w. Chapman," or j. Wilbur chapman, another famous evangelist and writer, minister. "Chapman--" engaged a ymca work, he "was engaged in ymca work.

He employed a former baseball player named billy Sunday to do evangelistic work." Any of you ever heard of the evangelist billy Sunday? He was almost like a video evangelism because he was so animated when he preached. He never stood still. When he talked about Nebuchadnezzar going crazy, he'd get down on all four and crawl around. I mean billy Sunday--I've talked to people who saw him preach, some of the old timers. And they say it was really something.

He was also very reverent. If anybody started talking when he's preaching, and they had no amplifiers, he'd just stop. If any baby was crying, he'd just stop. He was very kind, but he'd wait. And powerful preacher, billy Sunday.

Okay, keep going here. "Sunday held a revival in charlotte, North Carolina. A group of local men there were so enthusiastic about the results, they said, 'let's have another series because of billy Sunday's series.' They brought in an evangelist named mordecai ham to preach. In that revival, a young man named billy graham yielded his life to Christ." Did you catch that? Starts with a shoe clerk; somebody giving a Bible study. He's just a Sunday school teacher to a shoe clerk, which results in a chain reaction that reaches dwight l.

Moody, billy Sunday and billy graham. Isn't that amazing? So you might think, "I don't know. I've only reached one person for the Lord." And don't under estimate what you might do. I was largely brought to this message by an individual giving me a Bible study up in a cave that was not a pastor, teacher, or evangelist. And so I won't say anymore.

Anyway, what are some of the names that Jesus used to apply to himself, or that were applied to Christ, the great missionary? We're gonna look at some of these real quick. Somebody look up for me Mark 9:12. Matter of fact, I've got several. We got elizabeth. You got that one? "Then he answered and told them, 'indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things.

And how is it written concerning The Son of man, that he must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?" The Son of man is the term that Jesus used the most to refer to himself. He liked to identify himself as The Son of man, because--and that's one of the keys of a missionary. You want to be able to relate to the people you're trying to reach. Jesus, though he was God 100%, he became man so he could reach men. And Paul said to the jews, "I became as a jew that I might reach the jews.

To the Greeks, as a Greek, so I might reach the Greeks. To those who are as without law, not being without law," in other words, not disobeying the law. But he would relate to people wherever they were in order that he might be able to reach them. I remember when I lived among the navajos and spent some time with them. You become very sensitive to little nuisances and customs and things so that you could be sensitive to, you know, how they're comfortable.

And relate to them as much as possible, so they see you as a friend. And you might have to adjust your evangelistic methods based on the culture you're working in. But you don't change the truth. You see what the difference is? The principles don't change. So Jesus identified with man to save men.

Another term for Christ is he calls himself--he was a prophet. Now I'm not saying every missionary's a prophet, but--well, in a sense they are in the 1 Corinthians 14 sense. Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses said, "the Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst of your brethren. Him you will hear." And Jesus was the fulfillment of that. All right, I gave somebody Luke 24:7.

"Saying, 'The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'" Okay, this is another case where Christ refers to himself as The Son of man. I gave John 1:14. Okay, is that over here? All right, go ahead please. "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of The Father, full of grace and truth." All right, now that's another example. Jesus says he's not only The Son of man.

He says that he was the word, the word incarnate. Should a missionary let the Word of God be exemplified in their lives? If you want to know what God teaches, you should look at their life and it should be a model of that. And again, you have in John 1:1-2, "in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Christ called himself, or was identified as the word. All right, did I give out John 1:29? "The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, 'behold! The lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!'" All right, thank you. Each one of these terms that Jesus used to apply to himself is telling us something about him.

He was The Son of man. He was The Son of God. He was the lamb of God. He was the word, or is the word. Then we've got another one here.

Hebrews 2:9. "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man." So as the ultimate missionary, he poured himself out. When it says he was made a little lower than the angels, are angels made higher than men or lower than men? Angels are higher than men. He became lower than-- who made the angels? More specifically, Jesus. "All things that were made were made by Christ," right? So Jesus makes the angels.

And then he makes--he becomes even lower than the angels that he's made to save men. How easy would it have been for that shepherd to say, "well, I got 99 sheep left. I can afford to lose one. It's cold out. I'm not going looking for that sheep.

Should have known better, thinking the grass was greener on the other side of the fence." Right? But he didn't. He came looking for this lost sheep. And then one of the other terms that is commonly used, Matthew 14:33. "Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, 'truly you are The Son of God.'" So he was not only God, he's The Son of God. Again, you can read in Matthew 27:54, "so when the centurion--" this is at the cross, "and those who were with him, who were guarding Jesus, they saw the earthquake and the things that happened, they feared greatly, saying, 'truly this was The Son of God!'" God became a man.

Now what are the principle reasons that Jesus came as a missionary? I've said this before, but it's always good for us to just remember. He came to show us what God is like. He was the embodiment of The Father. He said, "if you've seen me, you've seen The Father. When we go as missionaries, are we to show people what God is like? All right, there's a lot of misconceptions about God and the character of God.

And sometimes you've heard people say, "oh, I like Jesus. But the God of the old testament, he seems a little austere and severe." They're the same God. And that's really just--it's bad education if people believe that. They're reading--they're spot reading the old testament and they're spot reading in the new testament. In the new testament you find the seven last plagues.

You find the wrath of God and the wrath of the lamb. And in the old testament you can find God is compassionate and long-suffering, abounding in mercy and grace. And people, they're just reading spots. And they get that idea. You've probably all heard that.

But he came to show us what God is like. Another principle reason Jesus came: as our example. He not only showed us what God is like; he now shows us how we should treat each other. And he said--he's given us an example that we should walk even as he walked. If you want to know how to react when you're forsaken by your friends, he was.

Or when your own people reject you, or when you're misjudged or persecuted, all through Jesus' life and through his teachings, he told them how to love, how to be patient, how to turn the other cheek. When they wanted to call fire down from heaven and burn up the samaritans that would not let Jesus stay in their hotel, he said, "you don't know what spirit you're of. I'm not come to destroy men's lives, but to save 'em. So we can constantly remind ourselves, "what would Jesus do?" There's enough of his life there to be a pattern for us in almost any situation. And then finally, the third principle reason that Jesus came.

Came, one, show us The Father. Two, show us how to love each other. Three, as our substitute and sacrifice, to die in our place, to trade places with us. How many missionaries have laid down their lives in a foreign land? And you can name some of the great missionaries. Cary is buried in india.

And you'll find judson buried in the east. And many of these missionaries laid down their lives in these foreign lands. I remember when I did some meetings in micronesia. I've been to pohnpei twice doing meetings. Matter of fact, this church sent me the first time in '87 I think it was.

And while I was there, there was another student missionary. And I just remember his name was Solomon. And he went to one of the islands that was there. And while he was there, a very remote micronesian island to work with, a very small tribe on the island. And he got a kidney infection.

And they had no medication. And the boat came once every few weeks to take the ferry to take him to other islands. No way off. They just had a radio. And he was overcome by it until he finally died.

And they buried him there in the sands on this island there. And he died with great peace. And the natives were so impressed with his sacrifice and the way he conducted himself with peace when he died that it created a revival on that small island. And he's still buried there today. And stories like that, you often don't hear about them, because they're isolated.

There's no news. You know, it doesn't get a lot of play. But a lot of missionaries have laid down their lives in order to save the people they're reaching. To some extent, Saul, Paul was converted by the example of stephen laying down his life. So Jesus came, third reason, as our substitute to die in our behalf.

All right, where am I now? Boy, I never even got to the second section, "who was Jesus: part two." I don't think that I can improve on something that you've heard before. This is a quote that--it's called, "one solitary life," by dr. James allen francis. And it sort of summarizes what you find under this heading of "who was Jesus: part two." "Here was a man--" this was written in 1926-- "here was a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village.

He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three and a half years, he was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office.

He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.

He had no credentials but himself. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies.

He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his only piece of property he had on earth: his coat. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen long centuries have come and gone.

And today--" that's close to 20 centuries now-- "today he is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the Mark when I say that all the armies that have ever Marched and all the navies that were ever built, all the parliaments that had ever sat, all the Kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as this one solitary life." Wow. "Who was Jesus?" You know, I always thought it was interesting. When we went to russia, they denied--this was back before communism fell, or it was just after I should say. But during the communist reign in russia, they dated history from the birth of Christ and they denied his existence.

Isn't that strange? All right, let's see. Do I have time to talk a little bit about, "Jesus among sinners and publicans." Matthew 11:19, "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children." When Jesus associated with these people, did he associate with their deeds? No. He showed love for them. He wanted to get to know them, to reach them on their terms. In our neighborhood this week, they had a 4th of July party.

They did it on the 3rd of July. And Karen and I suspect that some of them did that, 'cause they wanted the bachelors to come and they know that we wouldn't be there on Friday night, the 4th. So we were very thankful. And we were happy to go. We were the only Christians from our church that were there.

And of course, you know, someone had a cooler with some alcoholic beverages in it. And they were barbequing things that I wouldn't eat. But you know, we were delighted to be with them there by the pool. And the kids were swimming together. And it was a great time for us to get to know the neighbors and to fellowship.

That's I think what Jesus would do. I won't go to the bar with them. You see what the difference is? 'Cause--matter of fact, they had this margarita machine. And it was taking this lime mixer and mixing it up. And it kind of looked like a lime slurpee.

And I asked them at my table, I said, "can you get that virgin without the alcohol?" I said, "it looks like it'd be good." They said, "no, it's already premixed." I said, "well, I probably shouldn't drink it anyway, because you might not know that I don't have alcohol in mine. And I don't want to give you the wrong impression." So I had my countrytime lemonade right there on the counter where they could see. So you want to mix with them. And we had a great time. We got to make friends.

And we got to joke and talk about things. And you can weave in. You know, I had no apologies about telling 'em I was a pastor. And you get to weave in some fellowship. And then after the conversation, it opened the door where yesterday Karen and I went to--actually, the boys and i--went to the house of one of the people we were with at the picnic.

Knocked on their door, came and visited with them. And so we made friends during the 3rd of July program. And this is what Jesus did. You know, one problem that we have as Christians is we cloister ourselves, we sequester ourselves, and we only--we kind of click together. We've got to know how to make friends with people from other parts of the world to have an influence that will defuse.

And there's that balance with being in the world without the world being in you. Jesus was the friend of sinners. He went to the house of Matthew levi and ate with the publicans. And what happened? Matthew levi became one of his disciples and more fully an apostle. And so--and you know what? When nicodemus--no--when zaccheus, another publican heard that Jesus forgave and fellowshipped with publicans, it touched his heart.

And so there's this chain reaction effect. Well, I'm running out of time. Let's talk about "Jesus exposing the hypocrites." I wanted to get to that part. I don't know if I have time for that. Jesus loved hypocrites.

But that's why he exposed them. And I think there's hope for hypocrites. But one thing is we gotta realize when we are putting on a mask and pretending to be something we're not. Hypocrisy is, "the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one doesn't really hold or possess. Falseness, play acting, making a pretense.

" I don't believe we should be pretentious about being Christians. I think we should be real about being Christians. It should be from the heart. You know, in the italian riviera, virtually every home has a balcony. But some people aren't rich enough to have balconies.

And so what they do is they paint balconies on their houses. And I've seen this before. Some of 'em are painted so well, they'll even paint the wash hanging from the balcony. But it's all a facade. It's not even there.

But they don't want anyone to think they don't have a balcony, so they paint one on. Some of us try and paint on the 3-d actions of the Christian life. It's gotta be real. And that's what Jesus wants. Jesus loves sinners.

He even loves hypocrites. That's why some of his harshest statements were against religious hypocrisy. Because they had just enough to fool themselves, but not enough to be saved. We are out of time, friends. Don't forget the free offer.

Ask for offer number 154. And call 866-788-3966. We'll send that to you for free, "down from his glory." God bless you, friends. We hope you study with us next Sabbath. In a world surrounded by darkness, there is a voice that whispers to every young heart, calling them to seek, pressing them on, urging them to find the treasure of truth.

Those who follow the path will discover eternal riches beyond their wildest dreams. Join us now for an "Amazing Adventure, a journey for life with Jesus," an Amazing Facts satellite series just for kids. Live from Dallas, Texas on 3abn. Register now. Take the journey.

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