“The Lone Ranger and Tonto; Laurel and Hardy. Batman and Robin. It was Snoopy and Charlie. Friends through thick and thin. Friends to the very end. I think you would agree. That’s how it is for You and me.” Geoff Moore and the distance.
We could add to this list, Woody and Buzz, captain America and Bucky. Frodo and Sam. These characters reflect true friendship. When we read and study the Bible we also find great friendships.
Peter had made a promise to Jesus that he wasn’t able to fulfill. He promised Jesus to never abandon him even if the other disciples would. That Friday morning, as Jesus was being taken to the authorities. Peter denied Jesus three times. He swore to have never known him. Jesus was killed and all the expectations and dreams the disciples had about him were shattered by a cross. The disciples didn’t expect the resurrection,
If you are truly a follower of Jesus, you will soon learn that there are qualities or characteristics that would identify you as one. There are things you do and choose not to do that would show others whether you are a disciple of Jesus or not. It’s very easy to identify followers of Jesus in the New Testament time. They are the ones who strive to work on their relationship with Jesus.
Jesus defined the type of relationship he wants with his followers. When he said, if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. The Bible uses tons of figures of speech (metaphors) to help us understand our God’s relationship with us. God is known as our Father and his people his children. (Our Father who art in Heaven…) The Potter and clay, the vine and branches; the husband and bride; God is known as a shepherd and his children are known as sheep. The Lord is my shepherd.
Jesus didn’t fit the mold of religion in the society he grew up in. As a Jewish rabbi, he did things that went against the dorms of religion. This is why more often than not, we find the religious groups mad at Jesus when they saw him doing things that went against their cultural and traditional expectations. Jesus was accused of being a drunkard, a glutton, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Matt.11:19 Jesus often was invited to dine with tax collectors and he would go. The reason Jesus would hang out with sinners was because they are the ones who need grace. They are lost and need to be found. He said, I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners to repentance. Luke 5:30-32
The word Christian has lost its true biblical meaning; there are lots of people who claim to be Christians today and they have no idea what it means to be a Biblical Christian or may be ignorant of whom were called Christians in the Bible. In a world of political correctness and relativism is hard to distinguish true Christians from nominal Christians or Christians by name.
The story of the preacher and the man: “Son you need to join the Lord’s army.” “I am in the Lord’s army already pastor” said the man. “Why do I only see you in church twice a year?” “Oh, I belong to the secret service.”
The majority of us are familiar with the term undercover cop or agent. One whose main purpose blend in while hiding his true identity. Undercover: done or working in a secret way in order to catch criminals or collect information.
What if I told you that for the rest of this week, in every text you send, every email you write, every conversation you have regardless who you talk to, you have to skip every third word. No matter what, you have to skip every third word. How do you think you you’d do that? How long do you think you would last? How helpful or productive do you think you’d be?
It would be awkward if not downright frustrating, right?
It would be so hard to get across the simplest of ideas
There is a phrase people like to throw out very loosely. “Only God can judge me” When people say this, this only partially true because in saying it, you ignore the great deal of judgment that takes place around you. The place where you live have authority figures who will judge your behavior; at work they will evaluate your effort and dedication (employee of the month) that is a judgment call;
Some of you who watch sports know that there are many advantages to being the home team. It plays in his home count, it gets the cheers of the crowd; the atmosphere favors it. When the OKC Thunder could not win game 6 at home, everyone thought they would lose because they would then face the Golden State Warriors in their home court where they were truly dominant.
You see when you are the away team, the atmosphere in the building is hostile towards you; you truly have to set your mind to play well because no one will be cheering for you.
Last week we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. We talked about how the resurrection is truly the reason Christianity even exists. It is what gives us hope of eternal life. The apostles didn’t expect the resurrection, this is why they were amazed when they saw Jesus. Jesus began to appear to his disciples, to give them evidence that he was truly alive. This changed their sadness into joy. Imagine how joyous it would be to see the man who was killed talking with them again. John tells us that the evening of the same day when Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples were gathered, but Thomas was not there. Thomas is known my many as doubting Thomas, but I think we all could relate to him at some point in our lives.
Doubt is defined: as to be uncertain about something; to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely. To have no confidence in someone or something. Doubt is very common in us, it comes from the time the first humans doubted God.
Today is what is known in our times Palm Sunday, a week before Easter or resurrection Sunday. The Bible calls this time, the triumphant entry, the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem, a week before his death. This story is told in the four gospels. Why is this significant? This is the only time in which Jesus openly revealed himself as the expected messiah to the world. We know that Jesus’ identity had baffled a lot of people, but a week before Jesus died, he showed himself to the world as the expected messiah.
There were lots of people in Jerusalem at this time for the Feast of Passover was near.