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Sermon 5th Sunday of Lent Disciples in Harms Way

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Sermon: “Disciples in Harm’s Way: Part V: Discovering Who We Are”

5th Sunday of Lent

Sermon: Part V: Discovering Who We Are: “Disciples in Harms Way”

Scripture: John 17: 1-25; John 20: 19-23

Prepared by Carl Schaefer

For Grace United Methodist Church

March 13, 2005

  1. Background: Jonah – anger; Elijah – fear; Jeremiah – depression, doubt; David –sin.
  2. Lent: Approach the cross we need to be honest with God as to who we are.
  3. Disciples are one of the most significant examples of a group of men trying to deal with who they were.
    1. band of men chosen by Jesus not for who they were, but for who they could become.
    2. He had taught them
    3. They had seen Jesus perform miracles
    4. He had shared the prophesy of His death
    5. They had heard him talk of the Kingdom of God
  4. Except for the gospel of John – they were not at the cross – we didn’t know by the biblical record where they went – John and Acts suggest a room in Jerusalem. The Book of John suggests that the John was there – Jesus own words to Mary “behold your son.”
  5. They were unified and bound by teaching, miracles, and leadership.
  6. And then Jesus was arrested, and things began to fall apart – the prophesy of the separation is coming.
  7. The turning point for Jesus was the transfiguration; he now turned to Jerusalem – his three years of ministry was over. The disciples did not understand this – they feared his return to Jerusalem – even one Judas likely saw him taking charge – he misunderstood.
  8. The Supper Meal – in the Upper Room – there was no turning back; the separation between the leader and the followers/learners had begun.
  9. And then Jesus trial began – and the fear began (Elijah ran) and Peter denied, not of fear of Jesus and afraid of the world, and then the anger began (Jonah cried out; related to the frustration of Jeremiah; and Judas betrayed him.
  10. Our human nature begins to break down – life happens and our weak sinful nature – separates us from the Center – Jesus.
  11. Can you blame the disciples – don’t you see us in this picture?
    1. when we were away from parents, we forgot what they had said to us/advised us
    2. when we were away from the Christian community, the world pressured us to deny Christ, or at least not consider him our priority
    3. get angry with God
    4. use his name in vain
    5. like the disciples, separation from God, we become fearful of the world makes us run from the cross – but our goal was to go to the cross
  12. Then Jesus was crucified – according to the Gospel of John, we speculate/believe the Apostle John was there with Mary:
    1. Judas hanged himself
    2. The others ran from the cross
  13. Whether we are like John and stay the course all the way to the cross, or more like the other 10, we must somehow put away our sin – David, anger – Jonah, fear – Elijah, and doubt and frustration – Elijah, and stand before the cross.
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