Posts Tagged '#PreludeToThePassion'

Prelude to the Passion: Right For The Wrong Reason

Prelude to the Passion: Right For The Wrong Reason

John 11:45-54

Found examples of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons:

Ernest Hemingway said, “If you have a success you have it for the wrong reasons. If you become popular it is always because of the worst aspects of your work.”
An anonymous writer had a different take on things: “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

When Making Decisions, Keep These In Mind

* The Right: Coming Together ~ John 11:45-48

  • 45 these were eyewitnesses; they watched Jesus’ miracles
  • 46 they saw, and then then told
  • 47 Chief Priests & Pharisees were OPPONENTS OF EACH OTHER – and yet they united in the question: what are we going to do about Jesus
  • 48 The Romans will come – the end of the nation, as far as the leaders are concerned (A RESPONSE OF FEAR)

* The Wrong Reason: Fear, Not Trust ~ John 11:49-53

  • 49/50 they can’t see that Jesus’ teachings and actions would eventually conquer the Roman Empire: they’re too short-sighted (ARE WE?)
  • 51/53 John gives us an editorial comment here: he lets us know that this plot to kill Jesus wasn’t outside of God’s plan – God KNEW how it was going to play out, and used it for His glory

John 11:54~ Jesus stops “walking around”, and focuses his ministry. This is His response to those who would stand against Him. He doesn’t resist them, or engage on their terms. How are we responding to those who would stand against Christ?

Prelude to the Passion: Eternal Declaration

Prelude to the Passion: Eternal Declaration

John 10:22-33

The Boston Globe, which carries a daily column designed to answer readers’ queries, listed the top ten unanswerable questions. Here’s one: “I am nine years of age and have a cat that eats regularly and needs to go on a diet. He also eats mice when he is out. How many calories in a mouse?”

This isn’t an unanswerable question at all – but what you’d have to do to the mouse to determine the answer will cost the mouse everything! Are we willing to pay the price to answer our deepest questions?

How Do We Answer Life’s Big Questions?

* Desire the Plain Truth ~ John 10:22-27

  • 22/3 notice the scene: this is not a story, but an historical event
  • 24 a direct request: not unreasonable, for those looking for Messiah
  • 25 if they weren’t going to be convinced by miracles, what good would words do?
  • 26 they don’t believe because they don’t belong
  • 27 this isn’t just a metaphor, it’s actual behavior: sheep respond to their shepherd, and run from others

* Accept the Plain Truth ~ John 10:28-32

  • 28/9 notice the echo: Jesus gives us eternal life, and no one can take us out of Jesus’ hand; God gives us to Jesus, and no one can take us out of the Father’s hand
  • 30 Jesus tells it plainly: He is one with the Father
  • 31 the Jews get it: they know **exactly** what Jesus is claiming
  • 32 His question is to get them to REFLECT on what He has DONE – can a mere man do the things Jesus did?

John 10:33 they ASKED Him to tell them plainly who He was. He did, and they couldn’t take it; can we?

Prelude to the Passion: Fruitless Frustration

Prelude to the Passion: Fruitless Frustration

Matthew 21:12-22

When was the last time you had a goal blocked? Often, we think of that in sports terms: wanting our team to win, and watching as the points needed can’t be gained because the other side is playing better defense than our side is playing offense. But the games we watch aren’t as important as the life we live. What happens when our goals IN LIFE are blocked?

What are the foundations of our frustration?

* Putting the Wrong Things in God’s Place ~ Matthew 21:12-13

  • 12 court of the Gentiles: the largest area of the Temple was reserved for those who weren’t very religious
  • 13 Jesus was upset because the religious elite of his day would rather use that space for making money with animals than making space for people

* Refusing to Credit the Work of God Around You ~ Matthew 21:14-17

  • 14/5 the religious elite were offended by the presence of the needy who saw God at work
  • 16/7 important to remember: children weren’t valued in the 1st century like they are now; they had ZERO STATUS; when the lowest of the low praised Jesus, the elite were offended; kids didn’t have the **right** to say anything at the temple

* Not Seeing Expected Results in Your Life ~ Matthew 21:18-22

  • 18/9 Jesus EXPECTED fruit to be there, and was frustrated when it wasn’t
  • 20/1 disciples focused on the PROCEDURE; Jesus concerned about the POTENTIAL

Answer frustrations with a choice of joy (Hab 3:18),
and shared prayer (Mat 21:22)
prayer requires 1) recognition of God [GOD answers prayer];
2) reception of God’s faith [God GIVES faith];
3) release of mistrust
(we can’t hold on to our own agenda and expect God to conform to IT; we’re supposed to conform to HIS)

Prelude to the Passion: Woe Warnings

Prelude to the Passion: Woe Warnings


Regarding the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster:

Two engineers performed an unauthorized experiment. In order to perform the test they were interested in performing, they had to override manually six separate computer-driven alarm systems. One by one the computers would come up and say, ‘Stop! Dangerous! Go no further!’ And one by one, rather than shutting off the experiment, they shut off the alarms and kept going. You know the results: nuclear fallout that was recorded all around the world, from the largest industrial accident ever to occur in the world.

The instructions and warnings in Scripture are just as clear. We ignore them at our own peril, and tragically, at the peril of innocent others.

Why Know The Woes?

* Woe Means Warning ~ Luke 11:37-44

  • 37/41 setup: the Pharisee and the Rabbi; Pharisee all about controlling outer activity; Rabbi Jesus concerned about inner life
  • 42 Warning: don’t focus on holy minutiae and ignore everyday faith
  • 43 Warning: don’t love the important at the expense the crucial
  • 44 Warning: don’t hide your brokenness to trip others up

* Whoa Means Stop! ~ Luke 11:45-52

  • 45/6 STOP weighing others down with what YOU’RE unwilling to carry
  • 47/51 STOP putting others down while pretending to lift them up
  • 52 STOP misleading other’s understanding;

The point of the Law isn’t the Law itself: it’s Living IN PARTNERSHIP with the LawGiving God.

Pastor Ed Backell

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