Easter - 2018

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jesus the Son of Man... infinitely approachable!

The sick, hurting, and dying need the SON of MAN…

You have probably heard it before. There is a saying commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette,  the Austrian princess who became queen of France after marrying Louis the Sixteenth.  Legend says that when she was informed that her subjects, the French peasants, were starving because they had no bread, she naively answered, “Let them eat cake!” While there is no evidence she ever said those words, she was nonetheless beheaded in the early days of the French Revolution.

But the legend lives on, and has come to symbolize a person who is spoiled and privileged, and out of touch with common people and everyday life—like a queen who would assume that someone who has run out of bread could eat cake instead.

It is a common failing of the rich and powerful. Someone who has been raised in a wealthy family may have trouble understanding what it is like to work hard and still not be able to make ends meet.  …a person that cannot relate to the people they lead.

Politicians and presidents are sometimes lampooned because they don’t know how to use a grocery store scanner, or because they’re caught without cash in a sandwich shop or don’t have to pay their own insurance premiums.

And then there’s the rest of us. We get an overdraft notice or a shutoff notice, and we wonder if there’s anyone who really knows how bad that feels. Someone treats us like dirt, and we sense there’s no one else who truly understands how that feels.

We doubt ourselves, disappoint ourselves, and think that no one could possibly identify with us. This past week, I played keyboard in the Orchestra Pit for the BEA Production of Shrek…that music is fast, detailed and HARD…I had to take it to the woodshed a few times. My fingers have not done that type of playing for a long time…I started to doubt…be disappointed…alone. With a little hard work…and a lot of prayer…it was a good show and a memory that many will never forget…my fingers finally caught up.

If any of that is close to what it feels like to be you, you are not alone today.
In fact, you couldn’t be less alone because of what God has to say to you through His Word today. Today we begin a series of sermons and worship experiences examining the questions concerning “Who is Jesus?”

Jesus called himself the Son of Man. In fact, He is called “Son of Man” eighty-eight times in the New Testament. He said: “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” —Matthew 8:20, NIV He also said: “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” —Matthew 12:8, NIV

And so on. Many would have recognized it as a reference to the prophecy of Daniel, from hundreds of years earlier, who wrote:

I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. —Daniel 7:13–14, NIV

When Jesus called himself “Son of Man,” He was making a clear reference to His identity as the promised Messiah. But the phrase “Son of Man” also refers to the fact that Jesus shares in our humanity. Jesus could relate to our human-ness.

Of course, the Jews of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to be fully human. Jesus did not surprise anyone by being human; He surprised them by being much more than fully human.

And so the title, “Son of Man,” means that Jesus is not out of touch…more in touch!

He knows what it’s like to work hard; He knows what a blister feels like.
He knows what it’s like to have bills to pay; He helped support his family.
He knows what it’s like to face disappointment, rejection, betrayal, and grief.

He knows what it’s like to be you. He is able to identify with you in your sorrows and sufferings, as well as in your pleasures and successes. Who is Jesus? He is the Son of Man. As the Son of Man, Jesus understands our human nature. Because the proof overwhelming shows God’s desire to know us and our human nature, we are able to embrace Him.

He knows us better than you we know ourselves...you know I love ya, Don 


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