That You May Know: Who is Jesus? S1 E1 Notes
Pastor Josh McPherson
February 3rd, 2019 Sermon Notes
Text: Luke 1:1-4“Who is Jesus?”
We all have some kind of answer. Is your source credible?
“Jesus might be described as an underprivileged working-class victim of political and religious persecution.” – Prince Phillip
“I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If he was a carpenter, I wondered what he charged for bookshelves.” – Woody Allen
“There couldn’t possibly be just one way to God as Jesus claims.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his own doctrine.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
“Some people say Jesus wasn’t Jewish. Yes, of course he was Jewish. Thirty years old, single, lives with his parents, come on! He takes his father’s business; his mom thought he was God. He’s Jewish; give it up!” – Robin Williams
“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity.” – John Lennon
“I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin born, because the answer to that question would define history.” – Larry King
Luke: The Book
Longest Gospel - 1151 verses, 568 Jesus Himself
Not a Biography… it is “Historical Narrative”
Luke: The Author
Luke/Acts... identical grammar & identical structure
Luke/Acts... identical Greek introduction & identical recipient
Luke/Acts... two books, one story
Luke: The Man
3 Big Ideas from Luke:
1. The Christian Faith is Rational
- There is no incongruity between faith and rationality, faith and logic
- Following Jesus does not mean checking your mind at the door
- God is not honored by a mindless, empty-headed sentimentalism
- Luke is inviting a robust intellectual debate
2. The Christian Faith is Credible
The question is no longer, “Is it true?” The question is now, “Is it good?”
In Luke’s critical research for writing his gospel:
- Luke listened to the entire oral history of the life of Jesus
- Luke read everything written about Jesus
- Luke went and talked to eye-witnesses
- A man of science inviting you to investigate the authenticity of this story
3. The Christian Faith is Personal
- Luke wrote a personal letter to Theophilus – God gives us a personal invitation to investigate Him through the Gospel of Luke
- God’s love is personal – not only for the masses but also for the individual
- Sometimes before your head figures it out, your heart does. God not only speaks to the head but also to the heart - to the whole person
“For thirty-five years of my life I was, in the proper sense of the word, a nihilist, a man who believed nothing. Five years ago my faith came to me. I believed in the doctrine of Jesus Christ and my whole life underwent a sudden transformation. Life and death ceased to be evil. Instead of despair, I tasted joy and happiness that death could not take away.” – Leo Tolstoy
“… I live with God ever before me. I recognize His omnipotence, I fear His anger; I acknowledge His love, too, His compassion and mercy towards all His creatures; He will never desert those who serve Him.” - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“I came under conviction when I was in the third grade, and I talked with my mother. I told her, ‘I don’t understand this, but I need to talk to you.’ We talked, and she led me to Jesus. The following Sunday I made a public confirmation of my faith. In one sense, it was not terribly eventful for an eight-year-old, but it was the most important event of my life.” – John Grisham
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemange and myself founded empires… but what foundation did we rest the creation of our genius on? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded an empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.” – Napoleon
“I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful. No man can read the gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates every word. No myth is filled with such life. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.” - Albert Einstein
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was and is, the Son of God; or else a madman of something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” – C.S. Lewis
Questions – Getting to Know Me
Are you happy with who won the Super Bowl? Did you even care? Any favorite commercials? Happy (late) Groundhog’s Day! Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, indicating an early spring. Are you excited about this news or were you hoping for a longer winter? When you are doing research or wanting to look something up that you are curious about, how do you do it? Where do you go for information and how do you assess whether or not that source is credible?
Into the Bible
Read Acts 1:1-3
What similarities do you see between the first few verses in Gospel of Luke and these verses? Why do you think it is significant that Luke references his gospel in the beginning of Acts? What do you think are some of the reasons Luke mentions Theophilus by name in both the beginnings of Luke and Acts and writes a historical narrative to him specifically?
What was your main takeaway from Pastor Josh’s sermon?
How were you impacted/encouraged?
Did you have an “ah-ha” moment or realize something new for the first time?
What stood out to you most or was something you’ve never heard about who Luke himself was and the process it was to write his gospel?
Describe what it means for there to be no incongruity between faith and rationality, logic and intellect?
Why is it so important that we don’t “check our minds at the door” when learning about and digging into faith?
Why is the way you answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” so pivotal and impactful on every part of your life?