Faithlife Sermons

Unity: Oily Beards and Dewey Mounts

Unity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

Unity is rare, hard to hold, but is one of the greatest witnesses of the Church.

Good morning Church!
It is so good to be with you this morning. As you may already know, school is opening tomorrow!! Its a strange time with so many students unable to come to campus unless they have face to face labs, but we started meeting with leaders a couple weeks ago and we will be opening our Freedom cafe on Monday and doing regular video chats as well as a streaming cafe for folks to tune in to to see what's happening and perhaps join small zoom chats to connect. It's a strange time to be doing ministry. I've been meeting with students every day this past week online and on friday a few of us met in person. But one thing that never changes about ministry is who we are trying to reflect and glorify. His name is Jesus.
If you're here this morning and you're wondering what you are supposed to do with your life. It is to glorify Jesus.
If you're here this morning and you're wondering how to navigate this new normal? Find ways to glorify Jesus!
If you've been laid off your job or your having to work from home. Find ways to glorify Jesus!
This morning, we are going to look at an interesting passage of Scripture. Ps 133 is a very powerful passage about unity. Before we read it, let me just acquaint anyone new to the Bible.
David was a shepherd boy who became king of Israel. He wrote most of the Psalms or Songs of the Old Testament which is the first 37 books of the Bible. They end just before the birth of Jesus.
Let's go ahead and read the passage: Ps 133
Psalm 133 ESV
A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.
I think this passage is interesting because unity amongst brothers is not the norm. It is unusual to have unity. Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, etc. and etc. David had known what it was like to live with disunity. He grew up in a household of brothers that didn't think he was worth giving a second glance. When Samuel the prophet went looking for a king at Jesse's house, all of the sons EXCEPT David were paraded before him while David was left in the field tending sheep. David was overlooked. When he went to give his soldier brothers food for the war that was going on, they chided him, reprimanded him for being there and asking questions. Not exactly a picture of unity.
But David was a worshiper of God. He was constantly praying and seeking God and in communion with Him. He thought about the laws of God, the Torah, or first 5 books of the Old Testament, and did his best to live his entire life honoring those laws. He tried to reflect God by being IN TUNE with Him, which is what we want to focus on this morning. If we want a united church we must be united with Him, Jesus!
?? Now I'd like to ask how many of you have some familiarity with playing an instrument?
Now I'd like to show you a clip of an incredible performance by an up and coming orchestra.
Worst 5th Grade Band
?? What did you think you were going to see? What was missing from the performance?
All State
I was an all state percussionist and was able to participate in our all state orchestra as well as other honor bands and actually started out as a music major. The very first thing that we would do is tune. If we were not in tune, not matter how well our rhythm and fingerings, our balance and dynamics, it would sound absolutely awful. When a group is not in tune, they are dissonant and sound like a beginner's band.
It was so nice to be at an honor band or all state orchestra or when I finally went to college to be in bands that knew how to play in tune. That was a defining feature, more than the difficulty of music.
*(start tuning vid)
At an orchestral concert, you’ll hear an A from the oboe before you hear anything else because it’s the note that the rest of the musicians tune to. But where did this tradition come from and why is it still around?
Orchestras tune to an A which is called concert pitch which is 440Hertz, or 440 vibrations per second. This is quite convenient since every string instrument has an A string. For many years, they would tune to the A string of the first chair violin. More recently, orchestras have been tuning to oboes A because of its penetrating sound and steadier pitch.
There's a lot of people familiar with the music who haven't tuned to the 1st chair violin. They haven't tuned to the steady pitch of the oboe. In other words, in this analogy, they are familiar with the Bible, but they aren't in relationship with the God of the Bible. Their life is not in tune with Jesus.
And if you're life isn't in tune with Jesus, if you haven't tuned to his concert A, your life will be filled with dissonance. Dissonance is a note that needs resolved. And until our lives glorify Jesus. Until we tune to Him, we are never really resolved.
Additionally, if we want to have unity with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, we will first have to tune our lives to Jesus.
You see, in an orchestra, you don't tune to each other. Everyone tunes to the oboe. You don't expect people to tune to you either. If everyone expected to be able to tune however they wanted, it would be chaos. It would sound like that first video clip!
You see, when we are in the same key, tuned to the same Savior,
* We will listen for Him to reflect Him
* We won't expect Him to reflect us.
* We will evaluate and make corrections by reading the Gospels and see how Jesus responds and acts.
* We won't be trying to change His pitch by assuming that the Bible needs changing or thinking that it is outdated in its stances. We want to reflect Him, not make a god that reflects our desires.
* We will keep on tuning ourselves and developing relative pitch. (guitar)
* [once I get a note, I can tune the rest of the strings. This took some time, but now I can do it.] We need regular communion with Jesus and His Holy Spirit to be able to reflect Him and His tuning.
* Josiah had perfect pitch. Jesus is our perfect pitch.
* We won't assume that we are always on pitch. We realize that we need constant interaction with Scripture.
What I love about this illustration is that God is the writer of the music, the conductor, and He is the oboe that we tune our lives to. He has music that He wants to share with the world and we get to be part of it.
Now next week, we are going to look more at living in harmony and what it looks like to live in community in harmony. But today, we are focussed on unity with Jesus. If we can't have unity with Jesus, we will never have unity with other believers.
This idea of unity with Jesus. Let's explore that a little.
Aaron's Beard reference:
Ok so if you are new to the Bible, this Aaron's oily beard reference is really going to be strange. But you need to realize that Aaron was the first high priest. You may have heard of Moses? Moses led the people of Israel and Aaron was the high priest who interceded on behalf of the people of Israel. He represented them to God. He would offer the sacrifices for their sins before God to pay for their sins. Back then, when a follower of God broke God's law, there was a fine. This was paid for by a costly sacrifice like a lamb. The priests were in charge of those things. Aaron was the high priest who would represent the entire nation of Israel before God and would present a sacrifice for the entire nation for sins that had not been paid for, possibly accidental sins, unintentional sins, etc.
Oily Beard
To be in that position, Aaron went through a special ceremony and oil was poured on the top of his head and it flowed down his beard and onto his clothes. Oil, in the Bible, is a typology of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly enough, Aaron is a typology of Jesus. Because Jesus is now our high priest. Hebrews tells us that just like the high priest would offer the sacrifices of bulls and goats for people's sins on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant in the place called the Holy of Holies that only he could enter, Jesus
Heb 9.12
Hebrews 9:12 ESV
he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
It also says of Jesus, our high priest, that God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit to preach the good news Isa 61.1,3 and indeed to anoint all who follow Him with His Holy Spirit oil of gladness! (Ro 14.17)
Isa 61.1,3
Isaiah 61:1 ESV
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Isaiah 61:3 ESV
to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
Ro 14.17
Romans 14:17 ESV
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
If you're familiar with the gospels at all, you will know that the disciples didn't always get along. They didn't agree and they argued. They weren't in unity until after Pentecost, after Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. (Josh McDowell, Gary Habermas, one minute apologist, etc.)
Mt Hermon and Pentecost:
How did a rag tag bunch of misfits that can't get along, aren't in unity, aren't tuned to Jesus, don't act like Him at all, become the leaders of a movement that would change the world? They spent 3 years around Jesus. They got familiar with His music. They learned all of the keys and time signatures and the rhythms, so to speak. But they weren't unified. Now certainly they were unified in the sense that they all were following Jesus and trying to learn from Him and be around Him. But they still had their own competing visions and selfish desires and motives.
Mt Hermon is generally considered the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus reveals Himself to some of the disciples. They begin to see Him for who He is and not who they want Him to be. We see in this Psalm that the blessings of oil and dew are both liquids that are seen as "flowing down". The horizontal blessing of unity with each other comes from the vertical blessing of being in tune with Jesus.
This Psalm was sung on the way to Jerusalem by worshippers of God on their way to the Temple. As they were going up the mountain in unison, the blessings were flowing down. It is the same with us. As we ascend in worship to God, the blessings of unity flow down, unity with God and with each other.
The disciples didn't come into real unity until the Day of Pentecost when they begin to understand that they had all been tuning themselves to themselves! On that day, they were in one accord tuning themselves to Jesus in prayer, and the oil flowed down from the head of our "Aaron", our faithful high priest Jesus and onto the Church.
Acts 1.15
Acts 1:15 ESV
In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said,
Acts 2.1-4
Acts 2:1–4 KJV 1900
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
You see, according to the Scriptures, those who put their faith in Jesus are called the Body of Christ (Eph 4.12)
Ephesians 4:12 ESV
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
and He is called the head of that body (Eph 4.15) .
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Jesus is our head and the oil flowed down the head, and down His beard, and on to the body of Christ. Do you see that?
As will see next week, this tuning to the key of Jesus, this unity with Him that they experienced together in unified prayer, led to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but also the unifying of themselves. The community of Christ became an orchestra of God and His music began resonating in all the earth as quartets, ensembles, and bands, and sometimes just duets went out into all the earth to play the master's music.
Jesus wants to unify us. It was his greatest prayer. He says in Jn 17.21-23 that He wanted us to be one as he and the Father are one. We’ll get into that next week. But we need to understand that
Unity with Him leads to unity with each other. And there is a blessing that comes from that unity. If you are experiencing disunity with God it will affect your relationships with others. If you are experiencing dissonance with others, it will affect your relationship with God.
Altar Call
I want to tell you friend, that God is calling you to repentance to God and faith in Jesus. Repentance means turning away from your rebellion against His laws. If you aren't currently obeying God's Words, you are in dissonance with Him. It is time to turn from them and listen for Jesus voice. He is calling to you today and offering you harmony with God. Will you respond to Him?
Related Media
Related Sermons