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34 Luke 9.18-27

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Your Declaration Form

v    Opening Illustration

Ø     Declaration forms

§        Forms needed because people cannot be taken at their word

·        There must be some hard evidence

§        In our text today we have the most important declaration ever made!


READ V. 18-22


v    Perhaps the greatest question ever asked by Jesus was…

Ø     “Who do you say that I am”

§        And Jesus asked many questions in his ministry!

v    That was the rabbinical teaching style of the day

Ø     And Jesus used questions in a variety of ways…

§        Parable of the two sons asked by their father to work in vineyard

·        Which son did the Father’s will? (Matt 21:28-31)

§        2 men owning money to a moneylender

·        Which man will love him more? (Luke 8:41-42)

§        Parable of the good Samaritan (Priest, Levite & Samaritan)

·        Which of these three was the man’s neighbor? (Luke 10:36)

§        Where did John the Baptists authority come from, Heaven or men?

·        Matt 21:24-25

v    But this particular question Jesus had been waiting to ask for three years!

Ø     Ever since he called those fishermen off the sea of Galilee

§        And promised them that they would be “fishers of men”

·        He had known that this moment was coming

¨     The moment when he would ask them…

Ø     “Who do you say that I am”

§        It was a moment pregnant with expectation

Ø     I would say that there are several questions in our lives that have that type of pregnant expectation

§        When your wife walks into the room holding her belly and you ask…

·        Is it time?

§        When you are on bended knee and ask the question…

·        Will you marry me?

§        When you are confronted with the same question as the disciples…

·        Who do you say that Jesus is?

v    That is the question that Jesus is always putting before us

Ø     Heals sickness and disease…

§        Who do you say that this Jesus is?

Ø     Raises people from the dead…

§        Who do you say that this Jesus is?

Ø     Teaches and preaches with great wisdom and authority…

§        Who do you say that this Jesus is?

Ø     He loves sinners and is able to forgive sin…

§        Who do you say that this Jesus is?

v    This is the question that everyone that has been exposed to the gospel must answer

Ø     It is a question that is pregnant with expectation

Ø     It is the question that determines your eternal destiny

§        Who do you say that this Jesus is?

·        If you are here today and you have never had that question put to you

¨     I ask it now…

Ø     Who do you say that Jesus is?

§        He doesn’t give us the option of a wise, moral teacher

·        Because he claims to be the living Word

§        He doesn’t give us the option of just another prophet

·        Because he claims to be the Messiah

§        He doesn’t give us the option of being just a great man

·        Because he claims to be God incarnate

v    Designing surveys “forced answer

Ø     The Scriptures give us a “forced answer” question

§        Who do you say that I am?

·        Either the Lord Jesus Christ (break this down)…

¨     Or Not

v    To this question, Peter answers, “The Christ of God”

Ø     The Messiah, God incarnate

Ø     Q: Why do you think Jesus waited until now to ask this question?

§        Shouldn’t he have asked this question toward the beginning of his ministry?

§        Or perhaps at the latest halfway through?

·        Why now?

v    I think it is because of what happens right before?

Ø     The feeding of the 5,000

§        Why?

·        Of all the declarations that Jesus makes…

·        Of all the parables that Jesus tells…

·        Of all the pictures that Jesus paints of who he is…

¨     Perhaps the clearest is the feeding of the 5,000

Let me ask you a question…

v    Q: What is the most important event to happen to Israel in all its history?

Ø     The Exodus

§        “Out of Egypt 100+ times in OT

v    Q: And what is the miracle that Yahweh wanted them to remember most?

Ø     Not parting of the Red Sea

Ø     Not the water from the rock

Ø     Not the Quail

Ø     It was the Manna from heaven

§        We know this because he commanded them to put a jar of manna in the Holy of holies and in the Ark to remember it by

v    Q: Why did God want that particular miracle remembered?

Ø     Because he was setting the stage for Jesus to reveal himself as God incarnate 1,500 years before!!

Ø     You see…

§        The feeding of the 5,000 is a mini-Exodus 16 all over again!

·        In Exodus 16

¨     Yahweh has led the Israelites out into the desert

¨     They are encamped in the Desert of Sin

¨     The Israelites were hungry and began to complain

¨     Yahweh miraculously provides Manna

Ø     Bread from heaven

§        In Luke 9…

·        Jesus leads the people out to a “wilderness” area

¨     Away from towns

·        The people are hungry and have no food with them

·        Jesus has them grouped into 50’s

¨     Arranges them like they are encamped around him

·        Jesus is standing on the top of the hill

·        People looking up at him

·        Jesus miraculously feeds them bread from atop the hill

¨     Like the manna

Ø     This is such a clear picture of who Jesus is that it is included in all 4 Gospels

§        The only miracle which is!

·        And in each of the Gospels, Peter’s confession happens right after this Miracle

·        In John’s Gospel, there is no confession of Peter…

¨     But Jesus gives the Bread of life discourse

Ø     “I am the bread which came down from heaven”

v    So Peter hears Jesus’ question

Ø     “Who do you say that I am?”

§        And reflects on what he has just witnessed

§        Thinks about Exodus 16

·        And his eyes are opened

·        His heart is softened

·        And his mouth is loosed

¨     And he declares exactly who he is…

Ø     The Christ of God!

v    And do you know what…

Ø     Each one of us has to do the same

§        The Scriptures ask us again and again “Who is this Jesus?”

·        And we have to reflect on what the Bible tells us about him…

·        What we have witnessed in people’s lives…

¨     And let our eyes be opened

¨     Our hearts softened

¨     And our mouths loosed!

v    On every one of these forms

Ø     There is a space for a signature

§        A place to bear witness to what the above stated is true…

v    If our mouth is loosed to declare Jesus as Lord and Savior…

Ø     Where do we sign?

§        How do we bear witness to our declaration?

v    Well…

Ø     Jesus continues on and tells us how we can bear witness to what we just stated

§        He tells us how we can sign our declaration of faith

·        With the signature of our lives

READ v. 23-27


v    Our lives lived for Christ is our signature

Ø     That is what gives evidence to what you claim about Christ to be true

§        Here Jesus outlines what our lives should be characterized by…

·        Sacrifice

·        Losing

·        And Pride

v    Characterized by Sacrifice

Ø     V. 23

§        The Christian life is a sacrificial life

In a church service one Sunday, the offering plate came to a little girl at the end of a row. She took the plate, put it down on the floor, and stood in it. When the usher asked her what she was doing, she responded, "In Sunday school I learned that I was supposed to give myself to God.”

Ø     That is a very vivid picture of how we are to live our lives

§        That picture is communicated again and again in Scripture

·        Paul wrote to the Corinthian church

¨      2 Cor 5:15

Ø     And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Ø     You see…

§        In response to the gift we have been given

·        We are to deny ourselves and take up the cross

¨     William Barkley wrote in his commentary on this verse

Ø     Not “How much can I get”

§        But “How much can I give”

Ø     Not “What is the safe thing to do”

§        But “What is the right thing to do”

Ø     Not “What is the minimum permissible in the way of work”

§        But “What is the maximum possible”

Ø     Christ asks of us not part but all

§        That is taking up our cross

·        A willingness to sacrifice all for him

John Harper was born into a Christian family May 29, 1872. He became a Christian 13 years later and had already started preaching by age 17.,He received training at the Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, and in 1896 he founded a church, now known as Harper Memorial Church, which began with 25 worshipers but had grown to 500 members by the time he left 13 years later.

In 1912, Harper, was called to pastor Moody Church in Chicago, and was traveling on the Titanic with his 6-year-old daughter. After the ship struck an iceberg and began to sink, he got his daughter into a lifeboat but apparently made no effort to follow her. Instead, he ran through the ship yelling, "Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!"

Survivors report that he then began witnessing to anyone who would listen. He continued preaching even after he had jumped into the water and was clinging to a piece of wreckage.

Harper's final moments were recounted four years later at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, by a man who was a survivor of the Titanic:

When I was drifting alone on a piece of wreckage that awful night, the tide brought Mr. Harper of Glasgow near me.

"Sir," he said, "are you saved?"

"No," I said, "I am not."

He replied, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

The waves bore him away, but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, "Are you saved now?"

"No," I said, "I cannot honestly say that I am."

He said again, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," and shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harper's last convert.

v    Christ does not call all of us to give our lives

Ø     But he does call us to live in the light of that potential sacrifice

§        Jesus asks us to always live with a Philippians 1:21 perspective

·        To live is Christ, to die is gain

v    Characterized by Losing

Ø     V. 24-25

Ø     There is a childhood saying

§        “Finders keepers, losers weepers”

·        That is the motto of the world

¨     Survival of the fittest

¨     Survival of the “finders”

v    But the motto of the Christian life is different

Ø     “Losers are Keepers and Keepers are Weepers”

§        I am a fan of the original Star Trek

·        And to this motto, Spock would say…

¨     “That is illogical”

Ø     And it is!

§        That is what makes the Christian life so hard to live in the world…

·        It doesn’t make worldly sense

§        Keepers are Losers

·        Those who whore after mammon

·        Those who buy into the world’s logic of “whoever has the most toys in the end, wins”

·        Those who adhere themselves to the world’s standards instead of Christ’s

·        Those who look for success as defined by the world

·        Those who look to the world for acknowledgement and acceptance

·        Those who put this world before the next…

¨     Are ultimately losers

180 years after the death of Charlemagne, about the year 1,000, officials of the emperor Otho opened the great king’s tomb.  When they brought torches into the room, they witnessed an amazing sight. Along with incredible amounts of treasure, gold and jewels, in the far end of the room they saw the skeletal remains of king Charlemagne seated on a throne, his crown still on his skull.

As they approached they noticed a copy of the Bible opened to the Gospels in his lap with his bony finger resting on the text, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul.”

Ø     King Charlemagne finally understood this

Ø     King Solomon finally came to this conclusion

§        Vanity, vanity, all is vanity

§        Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless

·        In fact he came to the conclusion

¨     12:13 ~ Fear God and keep his commands, for this is the whole duty of man

Ø     But people think that they can still have both

§        A sold out life for Christ, and

§        The acceptance and success by the world’s standards

·        That is why John wrote this warning to those who think that

¨     1 John 2:15-17

v    You see…

Ø     Christ wants us to really realize

§        This life pales in comparison to the next

§        Desire what is eternal, not temporal

Ø     Remember…

§        Whoever saves his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for me will save it

·        In other words…

¨     “Losers are Keepers and Keepers are Weepers”

v    Characterized by Pride

Ø     That seems strange

§        Isn’t it pride that got Adam thrown out of the garden

§        Isn’t it pride that got Absalom hung up in a tree

§        Isn’t it pride that split the kingdom of Israel under King Rehoboam

§        Isn’t pride a sin and something we are to rid ourselves of?

·        Yes and No

¨     Yes, we are to have no pride in ourselves

Ø     Prov 16:18

§        Pride goes before a destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall

¨     In fact, we have to work our way to the place where Paul was when he wrote…

Ø     Phil 3:8

§        I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things

§        But the Scriptures do leave us a little room for pride…

·        It just depends on the object

¨     Gal 6:14

Ø     May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world

v    We are to have pride in the what Jesus has done and who Jesus is

Ø     And you naturally talk about what you are proud of

§        My first job with Pitney Bowes

·        Quick to bring it up

§        Pride in being married to Carrie

·        Beautiful, intelligent, elegant, poised, funny

Ø     Perhaps you …

§        Take pride in your spouse

§        Take pride in your Children or Grand-children

·        Talk about them

§        Take pride in your house, your car, etc

·        You love to talk about it

·        You find a way to work it into the conversation

·        Or at the very least are willing to talk about it when the subject comes up

v    We should take pride in Jesus Christ being our Lord

Ø     Love to talk about him

Ø     Eager to share him with our friends and family

Ø     At the very least willing to talk about him when the subject comes up

v    We should have Pride in who we follow

Ø     That is what Paul is encouraging Timothy in as elder in Ephesus, a very secular city…

§        2 Tim 1:8

·        So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner.

§        2 Tim 1:12

·        Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day

v    You see…

Ø     As pride follows you into eternity…

§        So does shame

·        And that is a scary thing!

Ø     We all have to get to the point where Paul was when he wrote…

§        Rom 1:16

·        I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes


§         1 Cor 6:19-20

¨     You are not your own; you were bought at a price

¨      1 Tim 6:9-10

Ø     People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs

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