The Human Steps Of JesusSeries: Christology
THE HUMAN STEPS OF JESUS
Sermon By Terry Siverd /September 11, 2022 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
As we continue to delve into the field of Christology we cannot overlook the baptism of Jesus.
This particular subject also invites study as to how it is harmonized with a fully Divine & fully human Christ Jesus.
All four of the gospel accounts make a reference to this highly significant event.
cf. Mt.3:13-17; Mk.1:9-11; Lk.3:21-22 and Jn.1:29-34.
Write these passages down and read them in advance of next Sunday's sermon.
As you read these citations ask yourself, WHY DID JESUS NEED OR CHOOSE TO BE BAPTIZED?
For those who like to study ahead, on the last Sunday of the month we're going to examine Mt.4 (the temptations of Christ). If Jesus was fully God without being fully human, could He really be tempted as we are? cf. Heb.4:15 & Js.1:13.
In our current sermon series, Probing The Passion, we have been looking more carefully at the HUMANITY of Jesus.
There has been much written and lots of discussion as to the DEITY of Jesus Christ, which is an all-important topic.
On the other hand, there has not been nearly enough discourse and study concerning the human-side of Christ.
We must be diligent to not downplay the humanity of Jesus.
For this morning, let's pick up where we left off last Sunday and then next Sunday we'll turn our attention
to the baptism of Jesus. This is a covered-dish luncheon Sunday and my intention is not to be long-winded.
Let's begin by re-reading 1Pet.2:21-23 - -
For YOU have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow
in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not
revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
In last Sunday's sermon, The Man Christ Jesus, we spoke of Peter's exhortation to follow in the steps of Jesus.
If we fail to properly capture the teachings of Scripture concerning the full humanity of Jesus,
I am convinced that such will work in a rather insidious and perhaps subliminal way in eroding our faith.
The word “insidious” refers to something that subtle and stealth-like manner. i.e. we don't see it coming.
By “subliminal” I am referring to our sub-conscious thought.
I take a B-12 vitamin every day (sublingual - - below the tongue). Subliminal is below our outward thoughts.
Some read 1Pet.1:21 (an example to follow in His steps) with the tendency to rationalize Peter's admonition: In our deeper and unexpressed thoughts some conclude that we can't really follow in His steps - - after all, Jesus was GOD.
If this is our thought pattern, it will train-wreck (derail and destroy) any effort to pursue genuine discipleship.
This is the insidious side - - none of us would dare to cut this passage out of our Bibles, yet many explain it away.
We're told to follow in His steps, but we are not like HIM - - he was GOD and we are but flawed humans.
To read the Bible in this way is to make a mockery of Scripture.
On the other hand, and here is where this sermon series becomes so important and practical,
if we properly understand that Jesus emptied Himself (Philp.2:6) so as to became
fully human, we can truly (realistically and actually) aspire to follow in His steps.
If we can correctly comprehend the words of Heb.2:17 - - He had to be made like His brethren in all things - -
this reading of Scripture will produce within us a discipleship that is driven by authentic and unadulterated motivation.
We can do this:
walk in His steps: not reviling in return … uttering no threats … continually entrusting ourselves to God.
Jesus gave numerous commands making a variety of demands upon His disciples.
Perhaps that which stands out more than all others -- the one that's most all-encompassing is His command, Follow Me!
Someone has quipped,
The Bible passages that trouble me the most are not the ones that I don't understand, but the ones that I do understand.
We hear these words throughout Jesus' ministry.
Mt.4:19 / follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.
They forsook their nets, and followed Him (Mk.1:18) … they forsook all, and followed Him (Lk.5:11).
Mk.2:14 / As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew, sitting in the tax office;
and He said to him, 'Follow Me!' And he rose, and followed Him.
cf. Jn.1:43 / spoken to Philip – Follow Me!
Mt.10:38 / He who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Mt.16:24 / If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
This was not a specific command to be literally crucified but it was a charge to a way of life.
cf. Lk.9:23 includes, take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.
Jn.8:12 / I am the light of the world; he who follows Me
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jn.12:26 / If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me...If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
To follow Christ is to serve Christ.
Jn.21:18-22 records Jesus' words to Peter after His crucifixion and before His ascension.
Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone will gird you, and bring you where
you do not want to go. Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when He has spoken this, He said to (Peter), 'Follow Me!'
Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved (John) following them; the one who also
had leaned back on His breast at the supper, and said, 'Lord, who is the one who betrays you?'
Peter therefore seeing him said to Jesus, 'Lord, and what about this man?'
Jesus said to (Peter), 'If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you, You Follow Me!
If Jesus could only obey the will of God because He was Deity, could He fairly charge us mere humans to follow Him?
The apostle Paul was not one of the original twelve, but He was an apostle nonethless.
He went everywhere preaching the word to the Jews and the Gentiles.
He would often tell them: Be imitators of me; just as I also am of Christ!
cf. Philp.3:17 / join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.
Throughout His incarnation, Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered.
His human side was confronted with daily choices and Jesus always chose OBEDIENCE.
In His humanity Jesus provided an example for US to follow.
THIS PATH OF OBEDIENCE WILL NOT BE EASY. Indeed, it will be the greatest challenge of our lifetime.
As we fix our eyes upon Jesus (Heb.12:2), let us determine to never give in; to refuse to give up.
Let us give it our all and even in times when we're about to give out, let us pray that the example of Christ
our Lord will inspire us to keep giving it over to God - - entrusting ourselves to the One who judges righteously.