Why do we come to church?
– Escapism, get away from the terrible things in the world and the hardness of life
– A social exercise
The reason will affect/shape how we go out into daily life – does what we do here relate to work/family/community?
- A wrong reason – we don’t come to influence Jesus (12:12-16)
Why do I raise that?
Scene – Jesus is coming into Jerusalem for the Passover
The crowd start waving palm-branches
“Hosanna to the Son of David”
Think of the scenes in Barcelona last week -the Catalonian independence declaration
Joy/excitement from some whilst others watch on angry
-Nervousness – will it last will it be crushed
-Something of that here.
-Palm branches – waved to celebrate war leaders …
Jesus gets on a donkey “Coming in peace” (not a war horse)
A theme – people having their own agenda for Jesus as the political Messiah. Jesus does not play to this.
My agenda – what will Jesus do for me
– Give me happiness/money/success?
– Heal me?
– Fight my enemies – the things I fear?
Jesus is the true King of Kings -we cannot get him to submit to our agenda – we must follow his.
Implications – church not a hierarchy where we jostle for position and power
– In practice this means plural elders
– It means leaders are servants
– It means we think the best of others -and their motives
– It means we forgive ….
- A Right reason – a joyful, thankful response to who Jesus is and what he has done (12:17-18)
The key reason why people are responding – the raising of Lazarus
The theme links ch 11-12 closely together
– Lazarus raised – chapter 11 – those who believe see the glory of God
– Curiosity -some just come to see Lazarus (ch 12:9) -danger of distraction
– Extravagant love in response to Jesus giving life (12:1-3)
People witnessed the sign and tell others – notice
Praise – declares the good news of the Gospel because this is the cause of our joy
Evangelism (declaring the Gospel) is central to praise
A key theme in John is that there are those who believe – it transforms their lives
The Gospel means
Jesus died in your place – taking your sin on himself
We are raised with Christ and in him are justified – new creation,
We are forgiven, have peace with God, have eternal life
This should effect how we live
Am I naturally talking about Jesus?
Does how I live match what I say?
- A wrong response – don’t reject Jesus (12:19)
Not everyone is happy -the build up from raising Lazarus is to Jesus being betrayed and crucified.
Some respond by rejecting
– Too good to be true?
– Too easy?
– Too humbling? What’s my part?
Your response to Jesus?