JESUS  MAN + MISSION + MOVEMENT

Christianity is pretty simple. It’s all about one life, the life of Jesus.

Join us at our Christianity course, ONE.LIFE. as we explore who Jesus is, why he came, and what it means to follow him. The course includes good food, coffee a short talk and discussion.  Find out the dates for the next ONE.LIFE. course here. Contact the St Faith’s Church office to RSVP or for more info.

Can’t wait for the next course to begin? Read below or watch the short videos to answer the following questions about Jesus. Who is Jesus? (THE MAN). Why did Jesus come? (THE MISSION). What does it mean to follow Jesus? (THE MOVEMENT). Contact us with any questions about Jesus.

JESUS // THE MAN

 If you read the first half of Mark’s biography about Jesus, you’ll notice that Jesus does some remarkable things. Healing sickness. Wise teaching. Astonishing miracles. Walking on water. Those who witnessed these events continually asked the question “WHO IS THIS MAN?” It’s a good question to consider. Who is Jesus?

 

Chapter 8 is the turning point of Mark’s biography. In the midst of lots of people trying to work out his identity, Jesus asks his followers what conclusions people have come up with.

Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” (Mark chapter 8 verses 27-28)

John the Baptist, Elijah and one of the Prophets are important answers because each of these people are significant religious figures in the Bible.At least by this point in the story people are concluding that Jesus is significant.

Jesus then pushes the question further by redirecting it to his close friends.

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. (Mark chapter 8 verses 29-30)

Jesus’ warning to his followers to keep his identity to themselves would suggest that Peter was right: Jesus is the Messiah. This is the most significant claim that Jesus can make. ‘Messiah’ is a strange word that we don’t use in common 21st Century conversations! Who is this ‘Messiah’? In the Old Testament, the first half of the Bible, ‘Messiah’ was a title given to the King anointed by God. The Jewish expectation was

that God would one day send THE Messiah, who would be the King of Kings and rule the world in a unique way. Jesus is claiming to be that King. This claim is not only significant for God’s people in the 1st Century, but for all people in all times and places! If we were to conduct a survey today asking people who they think Jesus is, there would be many and various responses. Ultimately what matters is that we recognise Jesus to be who he claims to be. Who is this man? He is the King. If that’s the case, it’s worth giving your attention to him.

JESUS // THE MISSION

JESUS-THE-MISSION-600-550x343

In part 1, we asked of Jesus the question, “Who is this man?” The answer? The Messiah. Basically this means Jesus is a big deal. The biggest! He is THE King that God promised would come. But what does it mean for Jesus to be ‘The Messiah’? What’s his MISSION?

 

In Mark’s biographical account of the life of Jesus, we see that after Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus then gets straight to the heart of his mission.

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. (Mark chapter 8 verse 31)

‘Son of Man’ is Jesus’ way of referring to himself. Why did he come? To suffer, be killed and then rise again! Have a look at how Peter responds:

He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mark chapter 8 verses 32-33)

Peter is shocked! Jesus wasn’t playing the role of Messiah like he was expecting. Jesus quickly puts him back in his place. Suffering, death and resurrection; that’s why Jesus came. Jesus repeats this intention again in chapter 9 and chapter 10.It is no accident that Jesus suffered in the way that he did.Why was this necessary? Why did Jesus make death his mission in life?Sin. Sin is a politically incorrect term. We’d rather speak about mistakes rather than sin. Yet, if you were to be honest, you’d know that there are many ways that you fail to live up to your own standards let alone God’s! Each of us have failed to love God wholeheartedly and care for our neighbour sufficiently.

Jesus’ assessment is that we all have a heart problem because each of us are made unclean by the things that come out of our hearts.

 The bad news is that the Bible says that all people deserve to be judged by God for their sin. The good news? Jesus’ mission was to deal with sin on our behalf.Unlike us, Jesus always lived a life without sin. So when he suffered and died on the cross, he suffered and died in our place. Jesus lived the life we failed to live. Jesus died the death that we deserved for our sin. He took upon himself our sin, shame, guilt and judgment. More than that, he rose again 3 days later. This means his death really did work and he guarantees eternal life to all those who trust in him. This is great news!How should we respond? Firstly, like a swimmer drowning at the beach, we need to recognise that we are in trouble and need to be rescued. Secondly?

JESUS // THE MOVEMENT

JESUS-THE-MOVEMENT-600-550x343

 In the 2011 Australian Census 61.1% of our population indicated they are Christian. But as I look around the Northern Beaches, that number seems a lot higher than I observe. It raises the question, “what does it really mean to be part of the Christian MOVEMENT?” Is it as simple as ticking the “Christian box” every 5 years on the census?

 

Part 1 asked the question, “Who is this man?” The answer? The King that God promised – Messiah. Part 2 asked the question, “What was his mission?” The answer? Jesus is the Messiah who came to suffer & die on the cross, in our place, to deal with our sin. Messiah then rises again. So what does it mean to be part of this Messiah’s MOVEMENT?Jesus says members of his movement (Christians) need to make 3 massive commitments.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Mark chapter 8 verse 34)

First, Jesus says that disciples need to “DENY THEMSELVES”.
Our world, the advertising industry, our upbringing, and our hearts each teach us that self is the centre. Jesus says, deny yourself! A Christian says “No!” to an individualistic world that panders to self.

This attitude needs to be adopted to all areas of life. Including: sexual ethics; money; time; family; work and recreation.

Second, Jesus says that his disciples need to “TAKE UP THEIR CROSS”.
Crucifixion isn’t part of our modern world. The cross is more or less a religious symbol on church buildings, church logos, jewellery and tattoos. In Jesus’ world everyone knew the implications of taking up your cross. The person who carried a cross was someone under the sentence of death and on their way to the place of execution. They no longer had a life to call their own.To be part of Jesus’ movement will be noticeable, inconvenient, costly and painful.

Third, Jesus says that his disciples need to “FOLLOW JESUS”.
Followers of Jesus, follow Jesus! That means you listen to him and you obey his teachings. You are to love Jesus, live for Jesus and be like Jesus. No matter what happens in life those who belong to Jesus’ movement must have their allegiance and identity found in Jesus.

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark chapter 8 verse 35)

Being part of Jesus’ movement will cost you everything… but it’s worth it! Jesus and the life he offers is of infinitely greater value than anything the world has to offer.

Deny yourself. Take up your cross. Follow Jesus.Doing these things doesn’t make you acceptable to God. It’s only by trusting in Jesus’ death and resurrection that we can be acceptable before God. But as those who trust in Jesus this is how to now live.

What’s a Christian? It’s much more than ticking a box on the census! Ultimately it is someone who trusts in Jesus and then seeks to live with Jesus as number 1. Is Jesus number 1 for you? If you’re already a Christian continue to centre your life on JESUS.

Not yet a Christian? Why not, from today stop living for yourself and this world put your trust in the King who died for you and was raised again. START living with Jesus as number 1. Join the movement, become a Christian!!

A first step in becoming a Christian is to pray this simple prayer of faith:

Dear God, SORRY for my sin, and seeking to live with myself at centre. THANKS for sending Jesus the Perfect MAN. THANKS that his MISSION was to die on the cross to deal with my sin. THANKS that he rose again and offers new life. PLEASE forgive me & help me to trust in Jesus. PLEASE help me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him.

In Jesus’s Name, AMEN.

Contact us if you prayed this prayer, have questions, or want to find a church.