Shame Off You! Who is Jesus? S1 E2 Notes
Pastor Josh McPherson
February 10th, 2019 Sermon Notes
Text: Luke 1:5-25 “Who is Jesus?”
The introduction of any great movie/story sets up the characters, story, plot, setting, etc… (i.e. Lord of the Rings…if you miss the first 10min you’re lost!). Same with Luke’s introduction…it gives us the backdrop and context for Jesus stepping on the scene.
What are we looking for as we read the Bible in general, Luke in particular?
• We can study the character of God…learning how God works (He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s not tired, slowed down, or lost a step…who He was then is who He is now!)
• We can study the characters & learn about humanity/ourselves (context and culture may vary, but the human condition is the human condition).
Observation #1 (Luke 1:5)
• 1:5 - “The days of King Herod…” - Horrific, madman, evil
• “The darker the night, the brighter the light.”
• “Don’t let your newsfeed set your hope meter.”
• “Some of us need to spend less time looking at the national news and more time looking at the Good News.”
Observation #2 (Luke 1:5-6)
God works with and through the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary.
• Zechariah & Elizabeth were “ordinary” folks, from an ordinary town, working ordinary jobs, living ordinary lives. The established pattern of God is never that he works with the beautiful, rich, gifted, talented, powerful, and popular to accomplish his purposes, but rather the ordinary folks…like you and me.
Observation #3 (Luke 1:5-7)
Serving God does not exclude human suffering.
• Zechariah & Elizabeth were upright in the sight of God, faithful, blameless…
• …AND carrying the shame & disgrace and heartbreak of barrenness…
Two Types of Suffering:
• Consequential…comes into our lives as a result of choices we make
• Circumstantial… comes into our lives as a result of things outside of our control
Whether circumstantial or consequential, both types of suffering can be beneficial, IF we ask the right question to frame the situation correctly.
• Wrong: “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?”
• Right: “How can I glorify God through this? What is He going to teach me through this?”
Suffering leads us to choices… for Zechariah & Elizabeth, they could have chosen:
- divorce (it was a Jewish custom, you had the right if your wife couldn’t produce a son), - adultery (it’d been done before…Abraham and Sarah anyone?),
- idolatry (idolize kids so that when they don’t get one they grow bitter at God),
- faith (trust God’s will and serve Him faithfully even when they don’t understand).
Observation #4 (Luke 1:16-17)
Prophecy fulfillment is God’s way of “Calling It”.
• Zechariah would have recognized the words of the Angel (Gabriel) as coming from Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6 400 years earlier
• The fulfillment of prophecy isn’t an “accident” or a “lucky shot”… (ie Michael Jordan predicting what he would do at the end of a game and then doing it! “He called it!”)
Sometimes our doubts eclipse God’s declarations
• Gabriel had just brought Zachariah the most incredible news…answered prayer, Messiah coming, deliverance of Israel, deliverance for Elizabeth with a son, and what does he do? He double-clutches. Why?
• When our problems speak louder than God’s promises, we will often respond in disobedience.
• Looking to yourself will create doubt; Looking to God will stir faith.
• We do the same. God says we’re loved, adopted, forgiven, but we say, “Really?” Then we worry, carry shame, try to hide…all of these are expressions of doubt over God’s promises.
Observation #6 (Luke 1:25)
God’s love is sweeping in scale and yet specific in application.
• We’re at the culmination, crescendo, climax of God’s redemptive plan…
• …and Elizabeth says… “The Lord has done this for me.”
• God works in such a way so as to accomplish his purposes and simultaneously personally bless his children.
1. The Story is Never Over
• Some of you think you’re too old, your kids or marriage are too far gone, you’ve sinned too much, wondered too far, things are too bad in the culture. God’s word to you is…my story is not over.
2. God Answers Prayer
• No prayer goes ignored or unheared. God always answers prayer…it’s either yes, no, or later.
3. There is Good News for the Downtrodden
• Elizabeth’s disgrace/shame was removed as a foreshadow to the work of expiation that the Savior will do for all mankind. Her experience points to the greater work Jesus would do in removing the guilt and shame of His people forever… through his work of Propitiation (atoning sacrifice for sin, removing guilt) & Expiation (cleansing/removal of sin, taking shame away)…Good News!
The culture, our flesh, our enemy says, “Shame on you!”
God comes and through the work of Jesus says, “Shame off you!” Questions –
Getting to Know Me
• Do you love the late winter snow or are you “over it”? What do you love about it or what do you not love about it?
• Are you satisfied with the amount of news you take in? Would you say it’s too much or too little? In general, do you tend to be more optimistic or pessimistic when looking at the world?
Into the Bible
Read Philippians 4:4-9
• One of the takeaways was, “God answers prayer”… He may answer “yes, no, or later”, but every prayer of his children is answered. In this passage in Philippians, what jumps out to you about “prayer”?
• How does this passage inform the mindset/thought-life of a follower of Jesus? What commands are we given in this passage? What promises are we given?
• 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?
• Which of the 6 Observations did you need to hear most and why?
• How have you encountered the two types of suffering in your life? How have you responded? How can we learn/grow to respond in the “right” way?
• Which of the 3 Takeaways did you need to hear most and why?
• Can you identify with Elizabeth’s experience of having shame removed? Discuss what you think it “would have been” like to be in her shoes.
• How have you experienced the Good News of Jesus removing your guilt & shame? Describe what that experience was/is like for you.