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Because of Jesus

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HEY
Intro story of status
Intro story of status
"The Era of the Narcissist," Aaron Kheriaty points out the self-absorption of our era:
Of all the amazing features of the medieval cathedrals, one feature stands out as very strange to the modern mind: We have no idea who designed and built them. The architects and builders did not bother to sign their names on the cornerstones. People today might ask, Why build the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Chartres if you can't take credit for it? No lasting fame? No immortalized human glory? We're perplexed by the humility of these forgotten artists who labored in obscurity. Do and disappear?
This is not how we roll in the America of the twenty-first century.
All this humility and anonymity began to change during the Enlightenment. For example, when Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote his book Confessions in 1789 he dedicated it "to me, with the admiration I owe myself."
The book opens with these lines:
"I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself."
In contrast, the 4th century Christian thinker Augustine's Confessions (Rousseau ripped off Augustine's title) gives all glory to God, as in his opening line from the Book of Psalms: "Great thou art, and greatly to be praised."
As much as we might admire Augustine's humility, Rousseau's language sounds more familiar. "To me, with the admiration I owe myself" is a dedication that would look right at home today on social media. For that is how we roll in America now days. "To me, with the admiration I owe myself."
Paul the apostle had some words to say about this phenomenon. Yet, in his day, the social media was the stories of personal achievement that were told far and wide to draw attention to oneself and lift up the reputation. These stories were shared via devices of their day, word of mouth, letters, and stories shared from person to person.
In our passage today Paul is speaking to the details of ones life that would bring personal admiration to himself.
Notice this list...
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phil 3.
Philippians 3:5–7 CEB
5 I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews. With respect to observing the Law, I’m a Pharisee. 6 With respect to devotion to the faith, I harassed the church. With respect to righteousness under the Law, I’m blameless. 7 These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ.
Notice this list of bragging rights...
Philippians 3:7 CEB
7 These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ.
Philippians 3:5–7 CEB
5 I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews. With respect to observing the Law, I’m a Pharisee. 6 With respect to devotion to the faith, I harassed the church. With respect to righteousness under the Law, I’m blameless. 7 These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ.
Phil 3.
Philippians 3:5–7 CEB
5 I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews. With respect to observing the Law, I’m a Pharisee. 6 With respect to devotion to the faith, I harassed the church. With respect to righteousness under the Law, I’m blameless. 7 These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ.
Let’s look a little further into how he felt about these status symbols.
Philippians 3:8 CEB
8 But even beyond that, I consider everything a loss in comparison with the superior value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have lost everything for him, but what I lost I think of as sewer trash, so that I might gain Christ
All these things are used to show his status, that lift him up, that were his own efforts to earn status and righteousness, things that the community of believers would look for another individual in order to know whether or not to place them up on a pedestal.
Paul calls it dung, or sewer trash
He considers all these things as sewer trash...Scubalone - literally excrement, dung, do I need to go further. Dung that has been discarded. Purposely removed to a location. that’s why sewer trash is a fitting modern translation of this word. Scubalone.
Scubalone - literally excrement, dung, do I need to go further. Dung that has been discarded. Purposely removed to a location. that’s why sewer trash is a fitting modern translation of this word. Scubalone.
Paul was willing to let go of all of those status symbols and assets in order to know Jesus.

The superior value of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord!

Because of Jesus…we are glad to lose status, human standards of praise, all the things we hold dear.
Jesus let go of his status because he wanted to get to know you and to save you. In order for that to best happen He decided to move into the neighborhood.
John 1:14 NKJV
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.
John 1:14 The Message
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
He moved into a rough neighborhood that was falling apart.
The type of "neighborhood" Jesus moved into looked like this. A succession of great empires tramped through the territory of Israel as if wiping their feet on the vaunted promised land. After the Assyrians and Babylonians came the Persians, who were in turn defeated by Alexander the Great. He was eventually followed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Jews' worst villain until Hitler. Antiochus began waging war against the Jewish religion. He transformed the temple of God into a worship center for Zeus and proclaimed himself God incarnate. He forced young boys to undergo reverse circumcision operations and flogged an aged priest to death for refusing to eat pork. In one of his most notorious acts he sacrificed an unclean pig on the altar in the Most Holy Place, smearing its blood around the temple sanctuary.
A succession of great empires tramped through the territory of Israel as if wiping their feet on the vaunted promised land. After the Assyrians and Babylonians came the Persians, who were in turn defeated by Alexander the Great. He was eventually followed by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Jews' worst villain until Hitler. Antiochus began waging war against the Jewish religion. He transformed the temple of God into a worship center for Zeus and proclaimed himself God incarnate. He forced young boys to undergo reverse circumcision operations and flogged an aged priest to death for refusing to eat pork. In one of his most notorious acts he sacrificed an unclean pig on the altar in the Most Holy Place, smearing its blood around the temple sanctuary.
Antiochus's actions so incensed the Jews that they rose up in an armed revolt that's celebrated every year as the holiday Hanukkah. But their victory was short-lived. Before long, Roman legions marched into Palestine to quash the rebellion and appointed Herod, their "King of the Jews." After the Roman conquest, nearly the entire land lay in ruins. Herod was sickly and approaching seventy when he heard rumors of a new king born in Bethlehem, and soon howls of grief from the families of slain infants drowned out the angels' chorus of "Glory to God … and on earth peace." First-century Israel was a conquered, cowed nation. This, then, was the neighborhood Jesus moved into: a sinister place with a somber past and a scary future.
He transformed the neighborhood
He even cleaned up the neighborhood. He washed feet from the filth of the streets to the gunk of sin. Yet, the disciples were hesitant to allow such a degrading job be performed by someone they held to such a high status.
SEE
Upon the evening of the last supper, Jesus did another remarkable, status exploding action.
In the gospel of John in chapter 13 we find the experience of Jesus breaking down social status and worldly expectations to teach yet another lesson in humility. Peter almost wouldn’t have any of it. Because Jesus interrupted the supper to adjust his wardrobe to take on the role of a servant. Towel, bowl, water, feet. Everything he needed was there. So he began to wash the disciples feet and dried them with the towel. As I imagine they were awestruck, thinking it was odd, but going along with it. What could this all mean? They were thinking. All but Peter. He wouldn’t have any of it. His thoughts just pour right out of his head through his mouth and enter that upper room and now all attention is on their dialogue.

“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

John 13:6 CEB
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
John 13:7 CEB
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”
“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
John 13:8 CEB
“No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”
John 13:9 CEB
Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”
Common English Bible, (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), .
Jesus explains his purpose in washing their feet. He explains that even though he is a teacher and master, he washed their feet to serve as an example of how they should relate to those around them.
John 13:14–16 CEB
14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them.
This was just a taste of what he would do in service.
His ultimate service was his willingness to serve as a substitute sacrifice for the sins we would commit. For we weren’t born yet. He was willing to be a sacrifice to cover our mistakes. To free us from the wages of sin. To be able to offer us Grace.
Because of His love for you, He was willing to be sacrificed. He laid down his life for our sake. He laid down his titles for our sake.
He became famous for how and why he died, for his resurrection, for the sacrifice.
Because of Jesus, because of the grace offered by Jesus, we are freed from condemnation, and we can live for Christ, with no threat of being fired, cast aside, and no need to obsess about the world’s markers of success. Because now we live for Jesus. When we fall, he is still by our side, and he will never stop forgiving us. While the world turns its back on those who fall and search out someone else to worship, Christ is there to help us up and move on in our development of becoming more like christ.
No other relationship compares to that of one with Christ. Sometimes people’s closest and best relationships in life may not be with aunts, uncles, cousins, or parents. Often times it’s our friends that we get close to. From that we get spouses and start a family, or course. And even then friendships breakdown, or are misunderstood from the start. Someone got the wrong idea. We are just friends.
What is friendship anyway?
Are You Really My Friend?
Being someone's friend used to mean something, until Facebook came along. Now we are "friends" with many people we don't even know that well. So the New York Times asks "Do your friends actually like you?" According to the story, "Recent research indicated that only about half of perceived friendships are mutual. That is, someone you think is your friend might not be so keen on you. Or, vice versa, as when someone you feel you hardly know claims you as a bestie."
So if this is true let's try and define what true friendship is.
Alexander Nehamaz, author of On Friendship, says "Friendship is difficult to describe. It's easier to say what friendship is not and, foremost, it is not instrumental." "[Friendship] is not a means to obtain higher status, wangle an invitation to someone's vacation home, or simply escape your own boredom."
So what is friendship for in this increasing digital age?
"… Friendship is more like beauty or art, which kindles something deep within us and is 'appreciated for its own sake.'"
The challenge is moving away from seeing and showcasing friendships as an enhancement to our personal image.
As Ronal Sharp, professor of English at Vassar College,
"It's not about what someone can do for you, it's who and what the two of you become in each other's presence." - Dr. Ronald Sharp, professor of English, Vassar College
So a true definition of a friend according to this story is
"… friends are people you take the time to understand and allow to understand you."
DO
How is your relationship with Jesus? Is it an acquaintance? Or a Friendship?…
How do you make the most of your time together with Jesus?
what we make of it when we are together. Make the most of your time with Jesus.
Because of Jesus, because of what he did for you, make the most of your time today and everyday, understanding him and growing closer, from friend, to Lord, to Saviour. Following his ways and sharing the joy of this relationship with your other friends.
Hey You! (Get the audience’s attention)
• Look! (Examine the Scriptures)
Make Him your most valued asset, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.
• See! (Explain the passage)
• Do! (Make application)
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