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Good morning church! What an awesome morning we have had together and I am thrilled to be with you this morning! If you have your bibles go ahed and open up to and we will start in verse 14 in a moment.
but Ilet’s start with a story this morning. A few years agao I decided it was time to be an outdoors person. It was in part due to a few things. One a live in Alabama, 2 I have a beard and trhee chick fila
Elizabeth was working at Freshmarket and I went through Chick filas drive through one afternoon with my girls. In there kids meal was an outdoor travel guide and binnoclurs. so I thought it’s time....I got the beard, I leave in the state I might as well take this as a sign it’s time to start hinkg.
So that’s what we did. We went to hayes nature perserve and took a hike. It was aweseom. So awesome that for my daugthers 6th Birthday we decided to hike blevings gap trail. Also amazing. I always wanted to get one of those awesome instagram pics of both sides of HSV.
Things were going good and it was fall we decided to take our next step. We had heard the walls of Jericho trail was awesome and I thought let’s go for it. So we did. about an hour into the hike I realized it was pretty easy....but then I realized it....we had been walking downhill the whoel time. and that hill that we had just walked down we were going to have to walk back up. That was a little horryifing.
then a little while later when it felt like we had been hinking forever we meet up with someone. I asked how much futher and they said maybe we had made it half way. The sun was setting and I had one thought. I JUST WANT TO GO HOME> My kids thought the same thing and so did my wife. We turned around, no water, no food, sun setting and one goal.....get back in the care and go home.
It was rough. But spoiler alert since I am standing on this stage todauy we made it.
and I think that’s something we can all relate to this morning. Whether it’s a hike, a long plane flight, even an awesome vacation there is a moment when we long for home.
and in a more spirtual way there is that longing within each one us. We realize this is not our home and we long for heaven. the bible says the Lord has put eternity in our hearts.
and this morning when we look at john 14 we see Jesus telling us how to get home, how to make it to heaven.
this discourse Jesus has with his disciples is during the last 48 hours of Jesus’ life so we need to understand the uregecny with which he speaks these words.
Let’s read
John 14:1–6 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
In verse one Jesus says words to us that might seem strange without understanding the context of what’s going on. Jesus says let not your hearts be troubled. Literallly let not your hearts shudder.
This is because what had just happened. In chapter 13 Jesus is sharing the passover meal with his disciples and then reveals one of them will betray him. sure enough Judas is pointed out to be the one, leaves and Jesus tells him whatever you are about to do, do it quickly.
and this rocks the disciples world. I mean we know the end of the story so we don’t fell the suprise, shock and pain that the disicples would have felt in that moment so we fail to pause and feel the wieghtness of this moment.
It would be like’ve been in a d-group with a group of men or women for 3 years.
You’ve seen god do amazing things in each others lives. You’ve had an awesome d group leader....and then the d group leader looks at you during breakfest at little rosies and says someones going to betray them. I love that John includes in chapter 13....they are like who is it? The worry and anxiety starts.
and then your d group leader says whover I give this chip to and dips it in the sals that’s the one.
That would rock you.
so they are troubled. because of this broken relationship. and they do what’s natural they start to try and understannd what’s happening.
Jesus in the midst of this tells them that they are going to have to love each other, and by there love people would know that they are his disciples.
Peter in classic peter fashion isn’t even listening to what Jesus is saying. He is just ready to respond. Look at this with me
John 13:36–37 ESV
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
What’s happening. YOu are the one. We’ve have bet our lives on you. We left our jobs, our famlies, our lives, so wherever you go we are all in man.
Jesus gently rebukes him and says were I am going you can’t come.
IN otherwords. I am going to do what only I can do.
Peter then says Lord....I will lay down my life for you!
In other words, peter is saying listen I know Judas betrayed you but I will fix all this....I will die for you.
Peter was trying to be the saviour in the situaiton....what he failed to realize that even with all his determantion he could not save anyone.
Jesus looks back at peter and says
John 13:38 ESV
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
John 13:
He is basically saying peter you can’t do it. You can’t lay down your life for me or for anyone, I am the one whose going to have to die. And by the way you are going to deny me.
When Jesus says let’s not your hearts be trouble this is what he’s responding to. He is respoding to a group of men who are deeply hurt by what’s happening and a group of men who are unsure what to do next.
but Jesus clearifies he says the reason you don’t have to be troubled is because you belive in God, and Believe in me
In fact this is in the presnet text Jesus is saying. You have believed in God this long......Keep on beliving keep on pressing in. I am in complete control. I know what I am doing.
He is saying if you will keep in mind who God is and what he can do your heart would not be as troubled as it is.
He continues to build there confidence in him by saying in his fathers house there are many rooms, if there were not would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
He is saying that what I am doing. Going to the cross, bearing the full wrath of God, dying for your sin....I am doing that so that you will have a way to make it home. So that you can have access to the father and that you will be able to enter into heaven when you die for enternity.
and then there is this guarntee Jesus says if I do this, If I go to the cross, If I go to prepare a place for you then then, I am coming back and I myself will take you.
He is basically saying, I know you’ve risked everything for me, I know you did that because you thought I was going to take down room and restablish the earthly kingdom, but I am doing something greater here.
and that belief would gaurd their hearts agaisnt any trouble that would come their way
Jesus is speaking right to their hearts in this moment. Lewis called this incosolable longing.
He writes:
There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else.… It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work.1
By going to the cross Jesus is dealing with this and preparing wonderful homes for all who would follow him.
This alone should bring comfort.....but a lot of times we can relate to Thomas....
John 14:5 ESV
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
He’s like man, You are talking in Jesus code again. We have no idea what you are tlaking about, Peter just said he would die for you, and you told him a rooster was going to crow becasue he will deny you.
YOu told judas to do whatever he was going to do quickly
and know you are saying you are going somewhere....would you just tell us where?
and this is one of the great things about the Bible. One of the earliest leaders in the church is recoreded over and over by John in his doubt, and not completely getting that. If he was trying to make up all this stuff then it would have been easier to leave that out.
but Thomas questions Jesus and don’t you love the Lords response
Here is the I am statement.
He says I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life.
He is saying Thomas it is me, It’s always been me. I am the way to the father.
If you want to go home, If you want your heart to be satisfied, if you I am it.
Everything you are looking for, everything you are longing for it is found in me. Just like you’ve thrown your life onto me so far, continue to do so.
this is the promise, everyone in that day was hoping to firgure this out and Jesus says in this one statment you don’t have to look any futher then me.
but not only does he say he is the way, He says he is the truth
in other words he is saying that it’s my truth, my rightouusness that gives you access to the father.
that means we don’t have to pretend that we are rightous on our own. That’s crushing right? I rememebereed when I first came to Christ I felt like I had to be perfect. That wasn’t anything he told me it’s jsut something I thought. so I was quick to point out others sins, and pretend my didn’t exist.
One of my friends at the time wrote me a note during church on Sunday night pointing out my own hypociris....he drew a picture of toliet paper and it said Dunne you are a hollie roller....not sure what he meant exactly but the point was right. The grace that had set me free I wasn’t offering to others.
but here’s the deal when I bleive the gospel and realize Jesus is the truth. It’s his truth that makes me irghouts. And I don’t have to cover antynig else up. I can stand on stage and share with you that I get it wrong more then I get it right, that thier are times I blow it as a dad, or a husband, that I don’t always live out the gospel in my nieghboorhood, that there are moments that I know I should witness to someone and I fail.
but I’m ok with you knowing that, because I am not the hero, Jesus is. and when I get to the point I realize that their is such freedom....and the same could be true in your life. When you realize that Jesus is the truth you point people to him.
and then he says he’s the life.
Jesus said it in , and he is empahzing this truth again. If anyone knows what life is, and what life is suppose to be it’s the one who conqured death. It’s Jesus Christ himself.
and while we may know it, we can so often miss it, by looking for life in everything else outside of Jesus.
We look for life in expierences, reltainoships, tradional fmaily, changing who we are or what we look like, success, fame, homes, and what we find at the end none of those things can really bring us life.
Jesus makes it clear only he can do that.
The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can't supply is proof that Heaven must be our home
and if that is true we have to allow the Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life, to transfrom us today.
for some you are so determined. You think, If i work hard, enough, i’m a good enough parent, I am a church going person, I’ll make it home....I can pay my own price.
Your like peter…so determined, so ambitious but just a little off....and the reality is that you’ve betrayed yourself and yoru’ve denied him. and what he would say to you you can’t do it....YOu can’t lay down your life to save stop trying and find life in him.
others you are like’ve listend to the teachings of Jesus but your confused about what it means to follow him.
Like you are following but you aren’t really sure what that’s suppose to look like…you are putting the pressure and telling everyone to look at how you live as the way
He says he’s the way.
you projecting a version of yourself that isn’t authentic…you need to stop luying to yourself and trust heis truth
your looking for life in everything else....find it in Jesus
but the inviation is a little different this morning.
Because hre’s the reality
there are some of you today for the first time you realize that your only hope is Jesus, and you are ready to turn from your sin and put your faith in a few moments there will be an oppurtnity to do that.
but others, your a christ follower but the reality is that there are over 260 million people in North america who aren’t
they don’t know the way? They think all roads lead to heaven, the are what we will call moral thesit....they belive in God and hope they are good enough to get home.
You know the way.....this morning some of you God will call you to go to a place in the USA on misison and share the way
others in the states, THey are confused about the truth....the don’t think there can be absolute truth....everything is realitive....our goal is to give them the Jesus who is true and iintroudce them to the most relivient person in the world. the most true.
The 260 million plus people in the states who don’t know Jesus are looking for life in everything else yet they are empty. We have to give them Jesus. because in Jesus thier is life.
some you go
short term or learn term
others you give
People Like Kevin Scott in boston, and Our partner Isreal Kelly in the bronx. Isreal has an increadible goal. He wants to plant a church in every zip code in the bronx. Some of you need to be part of that by going, others you need to be part of that by giving. But we can all be a part of it.
Kevin and Isreal have a heart to see people know that Jesus is the way the truth and the life.
Isreal Kelly heart beat is to see 1 church in every zip code in the bronx.
Today when you give that’s what you are a part of.
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