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Previous sermon in this series This sermon is number 5 in a series of 5 This is the last sermon in this series

101 Christian Questions - Part 5

"The Curious Christ"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'Well, good morning to you all. It's good to be back with you today, and let me just say what a delight it has been to have fellowship with you Tuesday through to Friday each night. I enjoyed being here, and I enjoyed attempting to answer your questions. Thank you for those questions, and I'm sorry I went on a bit long each night, but that was your fault - don't ever forget that now! That was your fault for asking too many questions! But I'll try and keep it tighter this morning in the meeting.

This time the questions in this portion - and there are four - are being asked of the Lord Jesus...

I want you to turn with me in your Bible to Mark chapter 2. Now this is, I suppose, in keeping with the theme of questions, and I've entitled this message: 'The Curious Christ'. This time the questions in this portion - and there are four - are being asked of the Lord Jesus. It's an interesting study, and we'll take a while to look at it this morning. Mark chapter 2, and we're going to read the whole chapter. I want you to try - right away, I've given you a head start - try to find the questions, there's four. If you have a pretty up-to-date edition of the scriptures, your chapter could already be broken up into four, and that will help you right away.

Chapter 2 then, verse 1: "And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you'. And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 'Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?' But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, 'Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'; He said to the paralytic, 'I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house'. Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, 'We never saw anything like this!' Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office", that's Matthew of course, "and He said to him, 'Follow Me'. So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, 'How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?' When Jesus heard it, He said to them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance'. The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, 'Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?' And Jesus said to them, 'Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins'. Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him, 'Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?' But He said to them, 'Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?' And He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath''.

That is probably how the majority of the world still views the Lord Jesus Christ: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma...

Winston Churchill, who I'm sure will be mentioned many times today, said of the Soviet Union that it was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. In other words, it was hard to understand! That's how the Jews viewed the Lord Jesus Christ: He was curious to them. It has to be said, that is probably how the majority of the world still views the Lord Jesus Christ: a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. The tragedy is: the Jews, because they couldn't explain Him, rejected Him. Sadly that's what this world does, and that's often what we do with things in general - if we can't understand a thing we reject it. In chapter 2 of Mark's gospel we have in embryo the great rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Jewish nation. It is compiled around four questions. In verse 7 we have this question: 'Who can forgive sins but God alone?'. In verse 16 they ask: 'How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?'. In verse 18, 'Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?'; and verse 24, 'Why do they do on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?'.

Now, when we come into chapter 3 of Mark, we find that this rejection that has been in embryo in chapter 2 now is manifest. In verse 21, if you will look at chapter 3, we see that His friends begin to publicly reject the Lord: 'But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, 'He is out of His mind''. His friends thought He was mad. Then verse 22 of the same chapter, we read that the scribes reject Him: 'The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He has Beelzebub', and, 'By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons''. The scribes, the religious establishment, is now rejecting Him, saying He's demon-possessed. Now if you look at verse 31, down the chapter a bit, you will see that His own family, His immediate relatives reject Him: 'Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, 'Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You'. But He answered them, saying, 'Who is My mother, or My brothers?''. It seems that His family was embarrassed by Him, and so made this attempt to restrain Him and take Him back home to Nazareth before things got worse.

Now if we come to chapter 4, we have the parable of the sower, and basically that parable teaches that the majority of people who hear the word of God will not receive it as they ought. Now, what's that only rejection? The Lord Jesus was teaching His disciples that they've got to be prepared for that. When we come into chapter 5, we have the very well-known story of a demon-possessed man, the Gadarene - but verse 15 tells us that the people of the area where the Gadarene lived rejected the Lord Jesus for doing this great miracle. They couldn't understand Him, so what did they do? They rejected Him, verse 15: 'Then they came to Jesus', chapter 5, 'saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Jesus to depart from their region'.

We ought to use the brains that God has given us, and we ought to reason as far as we can, as long as we realise that there is a limit to our human intellect...

Believe it or not, when we come to verse 31, even His disciples start doubting and, in a sense, in spirit, may be rejecting a little bit His ministry. Verse 31 of chapter 5: 'But His disciples said to Him, 'You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?''', you remember the woman who was in the crowd with the issue of blood for many years. Now the inference there is that they're starting to doubt, 'Lord, what are You talking about, we don't understand You'. You see, they can't explain why He should say in a crowd: 'Who touched me?', and so there is that tone, I think, in their statement where they say, 'the multitude thronging You, and You say, 'Who touched You?''.

Then if you go to verse 40 of chapter 5, you remember Jairus' daughter that Jesus has been sent for to help her. There were mourners in the house, and when the Lord Jesus, says that the child is not dead, but sleeping, in verse 40 it says they ridiculed Him. They thought this was ridiculous! Now, you would be a little bit sympathetic with them - but they openly ridiculed the Lord Jesus, they were rejecting Him. If you go to chapter 6 and verse 2, we find this regarding the Nazarenes - that's the people of Jesus' own town: 'And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, 'Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!''. Now that word 'astonished' has the sense of being deflated, like a tyre that is going down - they were astonished! Webster says this could be translated, 'They were completely flabbergasted'. 'Who is this man?' - their problem was, having grown up with Jesus in Nazareth, they were too close to Him, they were too familiar with Him to see His greatness. In verse 3, if you read it, of chapter 6 they say: ''Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?' And they were offended at Him'. That word 'offended' is a word that means 'stumbling stone', and it's the word that we derive our English word 'scandal' from. They were scandalised by the Lord Jesus!

Ultimately this rejection that we see in embryo in chapter 2, and then manifested in chapter 3 on, is completed and climaxed in the cross, where the whole nation, the whole people, reject the Lord Jesus - and Mark's gospel, of course, is the gospel of the cross. Now here's a lesson: education has trained us in our generation to question everything, and you have been questioning a lot of things during the week - and that's commendable. We ought to use the brains that God has given us, and we ought to reason as far as we can, as long as we realise that there is a limit to our human intellect. We must beware, especially in spiritual things, of trying to rationalise everything - because we can't - but if we do, that will lead, inevitably, to unbelief. You have it in chapter 6 and verse 6: 'And He marveled because of their unbelief', the people of His own town, and then He left them and 'He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching' other people who would receive Him.

Now you cannot explain the unexplainable - you can't! No matter how clever you are and the education that you've had! That applies to many holy truths, it applies to the Trinity, it applies to God's sovereignty and how that relates to human responsibility as we have touched upon this week - but primarily in this context it applies to the incomprehensible Christ. You cannot understand Him completely! We might be curious about Christ, but we've got to come to terms with the fact that we are not called upon to explain every aspect and characteristic of our Lord Jesus, but we are called upon to believe in Him and worship Him in awe before the One who is beyond us.

We might be curious about Christ, but we've got to come to terms with the fact that we are not called upon to explain every aspect and characteristic of our Lord Jesus, but we are called upon to believe in Him...

Now, such rejection that we have seen evidenced in these portions seem to be poles apart with verse 1 and verse 2 of chapter 2 that we read together, because we see there that the people were thronging the house where Jesus was because they wanted to be healed, and they wanted to be helped in the problems of life. It shows you how fickle humanity really is, doesn't it? As the old hymn puts it:

'Sometimes they strew His way
And His sweet praises sing,
Resounding all the day,
Hosannas to their King.
Then 'Crucify!'
Is all their breath,
And for His death
They thirst and cry'.

People heard that He was healing but, when the multitude came, what did Christ give them? This is a good point for you in the church here in verse 2: they came for healing, and I'm not suggesting they didn't get it, but it says at the end of verse 2, 'And He preached to them the Word' - that is the greatest need of humanity. I believe God heals, and does heal today, but the greatest need is for God's word, the greatest need is that the sin problem would be healed.

Now, let's look at this passage this morning. If you were to look at chapter 2 right through to chapter 3 verse 6 - and we've left off that chapter 3 part - there are five accounts in the ministry of our Lord Jesus that are marked by controversy. The Lord and His disciples are being challenged by the Pharisees and the scribal interpreters of Jewish tradition, and He is scandalising them by His behaviour. But here's an important point, and I want you to grasp this: the ground of their objections was their own understanding of spiritual things - that was the ground of their objection, their own understanding of spiritual things. So when God started to work outside their tradition, they were confounded because they couldn't think outside the box of their own accepted wisdom and their own authorities.

We see this in the first question that they asked the Lord Jesus in verse 7: 'Who can forgive sins but God alone?'. Now in all these questions that I'm going to bring before you this morning, there is an issue at stake, there is an attitude displayed by the Pharisees, and there is an answer that the Lord Jesus Christ gives in every one. So follow with me: the first one, verse 7, 'Who can forgive sins but God?'. The issue was authority, that's what the Pharisees were getting at: who has authority to forgive sins but God? Now, if you were to look at chapter 1 verse 22, you would see there that the people recognised He had authority in His teaching: 'They were astonished', chapter 1 verse 22, 'at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes'. Where they getting jealous? I think so.

When you look at verse 27 of chapter 1, you see also that it was recognised that He had authority over demons: 'Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, 'What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him''. In verses 29 through to 34, we'll not read it, and in verses 40 through to 45, He demonstrates His authority over sickness and disease. Now what is He doing? He has the audacity to claim authority to forgive sins! How can He have authority to forgive sins? That's the issue of the Pharisees over authority.

The Lord Jesus is saying this: which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you', or 'Arise and walk'?

But what you've got to see is behind the facade to their attitude, and their attitude was commendable in a sense - because they were coming from the perspective that 'Only divinity can pronounce absolution! Only God can forgive sins'. Now this is very interesting, how the Pharisees at the one point can be theologically correct, and yet come to wrong conclusions. Is that not an interesting one? Vance Havner said: 'Often evangelicals have all the facts and come to the wrong conclusions' - it's worth pondering. But the answer of the Lord Jesus Christ really focuses on the authority, because He in a sense agrees with the Pharisees, but He fills in the missing part that they couldn't see - His answer basically was: 'Authority has just come from Divinity, that's what you're missing!'.

The Lord Jesus, you see, in His life didn't just claim divinity, to be God and to be God's Son; He demonstrated God's authority. This is what He was doing in chapter 2 verses 9 and 10, and this is what this means: ''Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sin'', that's why He said to the paralytic...

Now, the Lord Jesus is saying this: which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you', or 'Arise and walk'? Now, I'm asking the questions now this morning! Which is easier to say? Have a bash! Come on now, you can't ask all the questions of me, and stand me up here all week and then not answer one very simple question I'm asking you! ...Well, if you said 'Arise and walk', you're wrong! Because it's easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven you', why? Because who knows! There is no evidence. The harder thing to say is: 'Get up and walk', because if somebody doesn't do it you're finished, your authority is over! What the Lord Jesus was saying is: 'Which is easier to say? It's easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven you', but I have proved to you that I have power on earth to forgive sins by raising this paralytic!'. So He's saying: 'Yes, forgiveness comes from divine authority, but I have demonstrated it to you' - He was God.

Now we come to God in Jesus' name, but let us never forget that He is God of very God, and He has divine power and authority. Now that ought to encourage you, whatever you're going through today. It ought to encourage you if you're not converted, and you've committed heinous sins, that Jesus Christ has power to forgive sins and He can forgive yours. Backslider today, He has power to erase all your misdemeanours - now they're all forgiven if you were truly saved in the first place, but He has power to wipe away all those foul things that are hindering your fellowship with Him at this moment. Don't you ever think that you can't come home, like the prodigal, when the Father is looking out for you.

Don't you ever think that you can't come home, like the prodigal, when the Father is looking out for you...

That's not where I want to leave it this morning, the second question, we've got to move on - verse 16: 'How is it that He eats and drinks with publicans and sinners?'. Now the issue for the Pharisees was His company - and, by the way, I hope you know that 'Pharisee' means 'detached one' or 'separate one'. They just couldn't handle the company the Lord Jesus was keeping. Their attitude was: it was bad company! You've got to understand that tax collectors were despised, and they were despised - rightly so in a sense - by the fact that they were dishonest, they were lining their own pockets with the taxes that they were collecting. But they were also, as far as the Jews were concerned, disloyal - because they were in cahoots with the Roman establishment, who were the occupiers at that time, and so they were seen to be traitors. But they also were defiled, they were despised because they were ceremonially unclean as far as the Jews were concerned. The rabbis taught that you shouldn't talk with them, you shouldn't walk with them, and above all you shouldn't eat with them.

You can see their problem! The answer of the Lord Jesus to this indictment of bad company in verse 17 is clear: 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance'. Who else would you expect the Saviour of sinners to be with, but sinners? Who would you expect Him to be mingling with? You see this is vital, because the Pharisees consider themselves as being well, 'We're the separate ones, and if we mingle with the 'hoy polloy' we'll get defiled, and we'll get dirty'. They saw themselves as well, when really Jesus says: 'No, you're sick, but your problem is you don't see it! When those who are the sinners are sick, but they know it, and that's why I'm with them, and that's why I'm making them well - because they know they're sick'.

The reason why this is so, as verse 17 says, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance'. He didn't come to call people who thought they were righteous, that's the inference, but were really sinners - but He came to save those who were sinners and knew they were sinners, He came to call them to repentance. Now that is evidenced in verse 14, the feast in Levi's house, but before that there was the conversion - He called Levi, Matthew, a tax collector. It is evidenced not only in Levi's conversion, the conversion of these type of deep-dyed sinners, but the fact that Jesus was content - verse 15 - in their company: 'Jesus also sat together with them, and His disciples; for many of them followed'. One translation puts it that He didn't just sit with them, 'He reclined at table', you know how they did in those days - the table was way down low, it was probably about that level to this platform. They didn't sit on stools, they reclined on their elbows - and the Lord Jesus looks comfortable, that was the Pharisees' problem! He's comfortable with these folk.

Does His company strike you as curious? Does it? Does it?

Kent Hughes says in his commentary, and this is worthy of your consideration, I don't have time to elaborate: 'Perhaps none of us espouse such pharisaical beliefs, in fact we loathe them, but many of us live them out nevertheless. We come to Christ and in our desire to be godly we seek out people like us. Ultimately we arrange our lives so that we are with non-believers as little as possible. We attend Bible Studies that are 100% Christian, prayer meetings that are 100% Christian. We play tennis with Christians, and eat dinner with Christians. We have Christian doctors, Christian dentists, Christian plumbers, Christian veterinarians, and even our dogs are Christians! The result is that we pass by hundreds without ever noticing them, or positively influencing them for Christ. None of us are Pharisees philosophically, but we may be practically'.

Does His company strike you as curious? Does it? Does it? It's a question! Well, if it does, you need to analyse your heart, and we also need to analyse our practice. The third question, verse 18: 'Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?'. Now, the issue is ceremony. It's likely that at this present time the people were observing a fast - on Mondays and Thursdays they fasted. So, if you think about this, Levi's having a feast on one of the religious fast days - and who's there enjoying it? Jesus! So the issue is: ceremony - He's just walking it under His feet.

The attitude of the Pharisees is 'gluttony', that's their attitude. In fact, we haven't time to look at it, but in Matthew chapter 11 verse 19 they say that He is a glutton, He is a drunkard, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. Not only was He in bad company, but He's enjoying it! Not only is He with these people, but He's feasting on a fast day in their company! Now what is the answer that the Lord Jesus brings to this? Here it is: 'I came to bring gladness, not sadness'! Now, don't interpret this as the Lord being anti-fasting, because He was not. He said that the day would come, which I believe is today, when His followers would fast. But what you've got to understand is that the Old Testament only prescribed one day a year for fasting, and the Pharisees - by their accepted wisdom, generally, concerning the whole law - they had added so many rules and regulations and traditions of their own that they had extracted all the semblance of joy from religious experience. Things that should have brought joy into their life were burdensome and weighing people down. But here's the Lord, and His life is a feast, not a famine - He's talking about new garments, not a patch-up job like Judaism; He's speaking about new wineskins and new wine. He's talking about joy that would explode the old forms of Judaism, something new was necessary - and we know what that something new was in Acts chapter 2, it was the birth of the church. What happened at the birth of the church? Everybody around, who were Jews by the way, thought the Christians were drunk! New wine, the joy of the Lord. Such exuberant joy!

Now, is such exuberant joy curious to you? It's curious to me that Christians are meant to have it, sometimes, when I look down at the congregations I have to preach to on a regular basis! Paul said in Galatians, one translation put it like this: 'What has happened to all your joy?'. What has happened to all your joy? Now, we are to fast, and I think it's a day that we need to be fasting and praying - but let nothing, let nothing take away from the joy that the Lord Jesus has brought us. The issue was ceremony, the accusation and attitude of the Pharisees was gluttony, they accused Jesus of, but He pronounces that He came to bring gladness, not sadness.

What they failed to see was that they had elevated their additional rules and traditions to the status of infallibility...

The final question in verse 24: 'Why do they do on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?'. Now the issue is legality. The law, in Deuteronomy 23, expressly said - now follow with me - it expressly said that it was not illegal, not illegal, for a hungry person to take some of his neighbour's fruit or grain, provided he didn't fill a vessel or use it as a harvesting tool. Do you understand? So you're allowed to pick for a wee snack if you're hungry, but you're not allowed to take a whole load to harvest it for your family or to sell it on. Now that's what the law said, but what was the attitude of the Pharisees? Their attitude was: infallibility. What I mean by that is: they had developed all their own extra rules - and they had these rules for good reason, by the way, they were like fences to keep people away from coming anywhere near breaking the law. But the problem was: these fences themselves became the rules and became infallible! They had 39 extra laws added on to Deuteronomy and the rest of the law concerning the Sabbath, and four of those 39 prohibited this reaping, winnowing, threshing, and preparing a meal. They were added on to God's law, and according to their hair-splitting rules, the disciples - by plucking, by removing the husk, and by eating the corn - had broken all those rules.

So their issue was legality, but what they failed to see was that they had elevated their additional rules and traditions to the status of infallibility. The answer that the Lord Jesus brings them is: infallibility is from God's Word, not man's. Verse 25: 'Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?'.

Now David had broken God's law by going into the Temple and doing this, that's a very interesting point - yet he's not rebuked by God. Now we're not going to dwell on that, save to say that I feel that the Bible teaches, right throughout, that as far as God is concerned: lives are more important than laws. But Jesus' point is: if David actually did break the law by going in and doing this, how much more blameless are my disciples who, under similar circumstances, have broken nothing, because the law allows them to do this? All they have broken is the tradition of the elders. What Jesus was demonstrating was that God is more concerned with meeting people's needs than He is with protecting man-made traditions. Often in the church we've got God's priorities confused.

In Matthew chapter 12 and verse 7 the Lord Jesus said: 'If you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless'. Now the underlying truth of this incident here with the grain and the plucking of it was: when David did this, went into the Temple and ate the shewbread, he was on the run - do you remember? He was the anointed king, and yet he was rejected by Israel. We have the exact same scenario here in Mark: Jesus is the anointed King, and as He's travelling He's plucking grain - and again, as it was in the days of David, so it is in the days that Messiah has come, things are not right in Israel. The Pharisees should have been feasting in the presence of their Messiah, but what are they doing? They're plotting His death.

Maybe you're unsaved here this morning, and you've got great questions and doubts, and Christ is curious to you...

If you look at chapter 3 and verse 6: 'Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him'. It's incredible, isn't it? Why? Why did they want to kill this miraculous Man? Well, there are many reasons, but one is: He didn't fit their man-made mould of what Messiah should be, and how He should behave. He was the curious Christ to them, they weren't satisfied with Him. Now listen carefully to what I'm saying as I apply this as I close: when there is a conflict between our ways and God's ways, do you know what we have to do? We have to bow our brains to the Bible. We can't explain everything. Maybe you're unsaved here this morning, and you've got great questions and doubts, and Christ is curious to you. Well, that's OK, but I encourage you to search the scriptures and look at His character, and look at His person, and I believe that you will be truly satisfied in all your questions and doubts - at least most of them.

Maybe you're saved here today, can I ask you a very very personal question? Are you still satisfied with the Lord Jesus and His word? It seems to me, and I have to confess of myself at times, that Christians seem to need more these days at times, they just need 'a wee bit more'. 'Jesus and...' whatever, whatever it may be - and the church, at times, is guilty of this. They need more than just Christ and His truth, but when you look at this passage of Scripture: what could be more exciting than this Man? But beware of questioning Him, because their questioning of Him - if you're an unsaved person, if you're a backslider, if you're a doubting Christian - your questioning of Him, like these Jews, will lead to your loss of Him. I'm not saying you can become unsaved or anything, but the loss of His presence - because after this event, He departed and went to other villages and ministered to them. There may be some here today that will have to say:

'What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
This world can never fill'.

Is that you? Come back to this curious Christ, and don't try to explain Him - He cannot be explained. If you want to explain Him in completeness, you will end up rejecting Him - but if you allow the mystery and the majesty of His person to overwhelm you, you will fall at His feet and worship. Like doubting Thomas, you will say: 'My Lord and my God!'. May God bless His word to our hearts.

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins
Preach The Word.
November 2009
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered in the Ards Evangelical Church, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the fifth recording in his '101 Christian Questions' series, entitled "The Curious Christ" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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