Jump Start # 2392
Acts 8:35 “And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.”
I did something the other day that I was surprised how difficult it was. I was writing some Bible class material for our next quarter of adult classes. I do this all the time. But this one lesson was to be on Jesus Christ. I found that to be a great challenge. I have preached and taught about Jesus for decades. I have a work book entitled, “The Life of Christ.” My office is lined with books about Jesus. I have tons of sermons about Jesus. I have lessons about his birth, life, death and resurrection. I have a lesson on what Jesus is doing now. I have many lessons on the coming of Jesus, the judgment and Heaven. I have a series of lesson on the sermon on the mount. The prayers of Jesus was another class I taught. It’s not hard finding material about Jesus.
What made this task so difficult was I wanted to teach Jesus in one lesson. I wanted to list some key facts that everyone ought to know about Jesus. There is so much. How do you squeeze it all into one lesson? Prophecies. Parables. Miracles. Example. Compassion. Lives He changed. His relation to the Father. His goodness. His heart.
I spoke at a memorial service the other day for one of our members who passed away. He was an amazing person. A Colonel in the National Guard. A dentist. A world traveler. A Christian. A Bible class teacher. He belonged to so many organizations and had done so much good. How can you sum up someone’s life in a few words? Husband. Father. Grandfather. Brother in Christ. Community leader. Volumes of things could be said. What was most important? I chose to talk about honor and service. Those words defined his life and they described His walk with the Lord.
What is incredible about the task of writing about Jesus in one sheet of paper, is that you and I need to be able to do that. Yes, there is so much. Yes, He has changed our lives for the better. Yes, Heaven bows to who He is. But for so many in the world today, they do not know Jesus. They have a concept of Jesus that is all love and no law. They want a Jesus that winks at sin, and looks the other way at disobedience. The world wants to turn Jesus into their buddy rather than their Lord.
Our verse today tells us that Philip opened his mouth and told the Ethiopian about Jesus. This seemed to be one setting. One lesson. He didn’t have 13 weeks to teach Jesus. One shot. Right now. What would you have told him? You can overwhelm someone with so much information that their head gets dizzy. Knowing Jesus is a life long pursuit. But for someone who doesn’t know, what do you tell them about Jesus?
Here are seven bullet points I wrote. I called these, “Jesus Facts You Need to Know.”
- Jesus is God (John 1:1; Philippans 2:6)
- Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18; Colossians 3:17)
- Jesus ‘put on flesh’ to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 2:2)
- Jesus was resurrected from the grave (Acts 2:29-32)
- Jesus became our high priest, mediator and example (1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 2:21)
- Jesus is coming again to judge the world (Mt 25:10-13; John 12:48)
- Jesus loves you (John 3:16; Acts 4:12)
Is this it? Certainly not. Consider His names: Lord; Christ; Immanuel; Son of David; Son of Man; Son of God. Each of those expressions has many thoughts, lessons layered among them. But a great concern in all of this is that we can learn “facts” about Jesus, without really knowing the Lord.
Do you know that the Lord is concerned about you? Do you realize that the Lord wants you to be close to Him? Do you understand that the Lord does not want you to be lost?
Who is Jesus? He is God. He is your friend. He is your Savior. He is your help. He’s not out to get you, nor delights when you are in trouble. He wants you to put Him in the center of your heart. He wants you to think about Him. He wants you to shape your choices around Him. He wants you to see things as He sees them. He wants you to have His perspective about life. He wants you to become His hands, feet and eyes. He wants you to have a heart of compassion and the hands of a servant, as He did. He wants you to follow Him, step by step throughout life. He wants you to love Him with all that you are.
Some can’t see Jesus for the church. And, when they see the church, they see inconsistencies, prejudice and judgmental attitudes. It’s not the church that saves, but Jesus. The church is not perfect, but Jesus is. The church is a work in progress, Jesus is the real deal. The church may let you down, but Jesus never will.
Jesus knows that we have sinned. He is the one that revealed that. Jesus hasn’t walked away from us. He hasn’t given up on us. Some of us slip and slide so much that we wonder if Jesus has simply grown tired of us. He hasn’t. He never will.
Jesus wants us to be serious about our faith. He wants us to follow His word. He wants us to trust Him. He will forgive you. He will lead you. He will help you. He will change you. But you must believe. You must follow. You must obey. You must allow Jesus to be the Lord, and not yourself.
The demon possessed man, in Mark five, was told to go tell your people what great things the Lord has done for you. We ought to be able to do the same.
Do you know my Jesus? Can I tell you about Him?