Every Sunday, we'll update this section with a recap of the weekend's message, as well as some discussion questions for groups to use. As always, use them as little as much as you want. They're meant to be a helpful guide, not a rule book!
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JESUS: THE NAME
JESUS Part 1 | PASTOR ED HOLMES | 03.14.2021
MESSAGE SUMMARY & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Nearly everyone, from devoted Christ-followers to hardcore agnostics, would readily agree that Jesus was a humble man, a wise teacher, a model of peace, love and compassion. Yet throughout the last 20 centuries, few historical figures have caused more division than Jesus.
As Pastor Ed quoted C.S. Lewis and John 1:10-14, teaching us that the world does not recognize who Jesus truly is. Sure, we all want Jesus the advocate, a savior who pleads on our behalf before the Father, but very few people want a sovereign Lord. By definition, a “Lord” is one who carries power and authority; as humans—especially Americans—the idea of willingly, gladly, and completely giving ourselves over to the power and authority of another is anathema.
Pastor Ed asked a great question: What do I think about when I hear the name of Jesus? For many, “Lord”, with all its implications of power and authority, is not the first thing that springs to mind.
Philippians 2:6-11 explains Jesus’ lordship well:
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine
took the humble position of a slave and
was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
God elevated him to the place of highest honor and
gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Every knee should bow. Terrifying words unless we understand and truly believe the words of John 3:16, that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but will enjoy eternal life. Do we believe this in the deepest part of our heart? Is this truth tattooed on our souls? It must be if we are to know Jesus as the advocate Paul describes in Romans 8:31-34:
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
We are not condemned! This is the good news of the gospel. Most of us know John 3:16 from memory, but perhaps the best part of the good news follows in verse 17: “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
As Pastor Ed said, the meaning we attach to Jesus’ name shapes our expectation of Him, which in turn shapes our experience of Him. If we believe He is harsh and critical, we will respond to him accordingly. But when we choose to believe He is God in the flesh who loves us beyond measure, we will gladly bow the knee, declare Him Lord, and trust Him to be the Advocate we can never be for ourselves. And if you’re not there yet, that’s okay; God will take our mustard seed of faith and make it bloom.
Questions for Discussion:
- 1. What do you think when you hear the name of Jesus?
- 2. Based on this, what do you expect of Him?
- 3. What is your response to Him? (see John 20:30-31)
Have any questions or needs relating to your group? Let us know!