Jesus and His Movement
Topic: Jesus and His Movement
Conversation Starter: Many today say they like the Jesus
of Christianity, but not all the “religion” or “church” that comes with it. Do you ever find yourself agreeing with that statement? I have, and here is why- What happens when Christians look more like the old Temple of Judaism rather than the movement of Jesus?
Let’s Dig In! “Ever Wonder about God’s Kingdom”
Turn to Matthew 16:5-12. As Jesus walks with His disciples He starts talking about leaven. Remember what that is? It’s yeast- causes bread to rise. Jesus said to beware of the leaven of Pharisees and Sadducees.
The Disciples aren’t quick on the draw; thinking Jesus is talking about the bread they forgot to bring! But Jesus is actually talking about spiritual things again <- He tends to do this often, just so you know.
Jesus then redirects their attention from the wants / needs / concerns of this world that that of His world- His Kingdom. Jesus is talking Kingdom principles.
Let’s Regroup. Turn to Matthew 6:25-34. The best this world can offer cannot compare to what Jesus is bringing.
Context Time! “Give Me a Sign”
Matthew 16 opens with Jesus being questioned by both the Pharisees and Sadducees, pressing Him for a sign from heaven. Jesus challenges their perception; they believe that their kingdom is God’s Kingdom waiting for deliverance from Rome. Their eyes are on this world. On their religion. On their temple.
Their sign was walking among them, talking to them. Their sign was exercising dominion and authority unlike any other. Jesus is their sign!
Check out Matthew 5:17-20. Like a coat that was designed to fit Jesus, He fulfills the Law. The Law looked forward to Jesus. The Prophets looked forward to Jesus.
This generation was in sync with the generations before them, missing the point. Missing the heart of God. Missing their Messiah. (Matthew 23:37-39)
Their religion and temple looked nothing like Jesus. My fear is that the church may not either!
Jesus’ Point. “What I am building will look like me!”
Matthew 16:13-20. First, who is Jesus? Asking his disciples this question, they defer to what others are saying about him. He’s compared to some pretty heavy hitters! But Jesus want’s their opinion.
Ever felt that awkward moment when you’re asked to give an unpopular opinion? It’s like the whole world waits in silence to hear your answer, right?
Peter declares a spiritual truth; a truth that came from God’s Kingdom not this world’s kingdom.
This is where it gets crazy, and dangerous. This is why people wanted to kill Jesus. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes- the leaders of this broken religious system understood Jesus better than those who followed him. Their earthly kingdom was starting to shake.
John 10:22-42. They had built a wall where Jesus was becoming a bridge!
Jesus said that He is building a movement; an (ekklesia) assembly of people gathered to be his Body-to bring His Kingdom. They will have authority- bridging God’s Kingdom in Heaven to the present world (Coming and Present).
Side Note: When Jesus’ Movement Got Highjacked; and the danger of it happening again!
William Tyndale <- In 1522 this dude rocked the temple Christianity by restoring translation of assembly in place of church, elders instead of priests and repentance in place of penance! His work of translation rescued the Scripture from the hands of religious authorities and returned them to the people!
Application Time (You knew this was coming)
What the world needs is still Jesus. It is never about a building, but a moving body. A movement of people looking like Jesus, bridging God’s Kingdom into our present world.
It will be dangerous
It will be powerful
It is living in Victory!
Does our faith lead us to look like Jesus? If how we are living leads us or others looking at our lives to a place other than Jesus, we need to stop and ask ourselves where we went wrong. Domesticated religion is safe, comfortable and dead. The movement of Jesus is dangerous, powerful and alive!