“People Looking for Jesus”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Jeremiah 31:10‐17
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will give the priests their fill of fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty, says the Lord.
Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more. Thus says the Lord: Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for there is a reward for your work, says the Lord: they shall come back from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future, says the Lord: your children shall come back to their own country.
Theme: During Jesus day there were three types of people looking for Jesus:
3. King Herod
New Testament reading: Matthew 2:13‐23
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So, he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’.
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
So, he got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’
“There is a vast quantity of religion currently in the world, which is not true, genuine Christianity. It passes muster; it satisfies sleepy consciences; but it is not good money. It is not the real thing which was called Christianity 1800 years ago. There are thousands of men and women who go to churches and chapels every Sunday and call themselves Christians. Their names are on a baptismal register. They are married with a Christian service. They mean to be buried as a Christian when they die. But you never see any ‘fight’ about their religion! Of spiritual strife, and exertion, and conflict, and self‐denial, and watching and warring, they know literally nothing at all…it certainly is not the Christianity of the Bible. True Christianity is a ‘fight’. I say again, let us take comfort. The child of God has two great marks about him, and of these two we have one. He may be known by his inward warfare, as well as by his inward peace.” ~J.C. Ryle in Holiness
Matthew 5:10‐12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Lots of people were looking for Jesus in His day. Today there are lots of people looking for Jesus who are not even aware of what they are looking for or need. ~D. Moore
Philippians 3:17‐20 Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be all in or get all out. There is no halfway.
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“There is a common, worldly kind of ‘Christianity’ in this day, which many have – a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice – which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.”
It seems that God consistently uses the small and what humans consider insignificant in order to bring about His will. ~D. Moore
When Jesus comes into your world, He comes bringing bright life and a struggle. This strife humbles us and creates an atmosphere in our lives of regeneration. ~D. Moore
God allows suffering and persecution to regenerate our hearts to love Him and to enter into a deeper life with Christ.
Luke 9:23‐25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
Are you all in or just thinking about the Christian life?