Hearing Jesus (He’s talking to YOU!!!)



(Sermon preached on Sunday, September 24, 2017, at Maranatha Church, Cambridge)
Read through John 21:15-25.
As you read this passage, notice how Jesus speaks personally to Peter, and addresses his own heart issues. Jesus does not let Peter shift the focus to John (“the other disciple”), making it clear to him that “you must follow me!” Too often we use the bible to judge others, instead of letting the bible judge us. As far as Jesus is concerned, other peoples’ sins are like ‘specks of sawdust’ to me, compared to my own sins which are ‘planks’ to me (Matthew 7:3-5). At the same time, my sins to others are ‘specks’, while their sins are ‘planks’ to them. In other words, allow the Spirit to deal with your own issues, and let the Spirit deal with others for their issues.

As a disciple, I am training WITH Jesus to become LIKE Jesus, so that I can live FOR Jesus in the world. This is why I read the bible, to hear what He is saying to me, and how He is calling me to repent, to change, to live more like Him… with His help. The good news is that He has beaten Satan and sin and death. I am forgiven AND free in Christ, and with His help I can grow more and more LIKE Him. ┬áThis is a lifetime journey – three steps forward and two steps back. But His victory guarantees my victory. ┬áThis is what motivates me to keep learning, keep growing, keep improving.

If we as disciples spent less time focusing on other’s sins, and instead were honest about our own, I am convinced more people would be attracted to our faith in Jesus, and to our churches. As it stands, many people view the church as judgmental and hypocritical, and have no desire to know this kind of Jesus.

What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. It has always bugged me that the church is seen that way by non-believers. What bugs me even more is the amount of people who try hard to be a good christian (especially when others are watching) but do not strive for a meaningful relationship with God (myself being super guilty of this).

    As a young father, my hope is that one day my children will be drawn to Christ rather than pushed away. I don’t want my kids growing up feeling like church is pointless and that being a ‘Christian’ is nothing more than a label. I feel my biggest responsibility is to simply have a genuine relationship with Jesus so that my children will grow up seeing how special that relationship is and how much joy and peace comes from it. The problem is that I leave little room for God in my day and don’t even give myself a chance for God to work on my own heart issues. I just want that desire to burn in me for Christ. I want to wake up and just rejoice and be glad for the day and acknowledge how blessed I am to be alive and then give all the glory to God. I want to not just say these things but feel them too. I believe that I need just to give God the time and begin letting go of idols in my life.

    Thank you for this space to reflect. It may be jibberish but whatever it was, I sense more evidence of the Spirit working within me. To God be the Glory.

  2. I feel your sentiment Gerrit — so often I think about my Children’s faith and how to make that something genuine. How to ensure that they see past judgement/dogma and all the things that plague the church, and just see that endless love. Endless love that I lose track of as I worry about everything else except my own relationship with God; which is cast in a dark shadow by the countless planks I would prefer to ignore.

    How can I attract others to Jesus (my kids included) when in the quiet time I’m more likely to read about axel ratios then Jesus’ ministry…

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