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Sermon 54 – WHY DOESN’T JESUS SHOW HIMSELF?

15 Jun

Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago and showed Himself to the human race. Our international date system confirms it and every religion recognises that He existed. To Christians, He came as God in the form of man to relate to His creation and die for all of mankind. You could feel Him, walk with Him and talk with Him. But why has He left? Why doesn’t He show Himself now? Why can’t you touch Him and speak face to face with Him as the people could then?

The purpose of Christ’s coming

2000 years ago He came with a purpose … to offer a pathway for man to be saved from the death penalty of sin by the shedding of His perfect blood which covers a sinner’s sin when they genuinely repent and put their trust in Him instead of themselves. However, despite this being His ultimate purpose for coming to earth, the real fact of the matter is that mankind, in general, rejected Him. Whilst Jesus was on earth, everybody who was hurting wanted to know Him and be with Him and take advantage of Him and His healing miraculous power.

The consequence of His coming

However, when you take a closer look, you begin to see the real human attitude of people. If we look at His own disciples, all except Luke were basically low cast inferior, unvalued and ignorant people. It wasn’t therefore any great risk to follow Jesus; in fact the advantages far outweighed the disadvantages. They found themselves in the public eye walking with the man of the moment. They thought Jesus was going to set up His kingdom on earth and they would be the ones in power. Everyone wanted to get to Jesus, and this no doubt swelled their heads with importance. They no longer had to live feeling devalued in the eyes of others and if they wanted something then Jesus would just give it to them. But, we see their hidden attitudes surface when they start arguing with each other over who would be the most important, Luke 9:46. They even repeated this attitude again in Luke 21:24. They weren’t following Jesus for Jesus; they were following Jesus for themselves, John 6:26. We also see it in Luke 9:54 when James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven and destroy a Samaritan village because they wouldn’t do what they wanted. Their arrogance wanted to show–off its power and position.

Yes, Jesus came to earth to ultimately die for the penalty of our sins, but in actual fact, His coming simply highlighted the real inner arrogance of the spirit of man. The Pharisees didn’t like their authority being challenged so they set a plan to destroy Him; the people followed Him to get out of Him what they wanted … they simply used him for their own advantage; and His own disciples followed Him for theirs. The side-effect of His miracles more often offended people, like casting the demons out of the insane man into the pigs.

The thing that Jesus really exposed was that no one, except a chosen few, really wanted to be told what to do; they just wanted to get the best deal for themselves; they really just lived for themselves and pretended they liked Jesus.

The people threw palm leaves down to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem as the king, but only one week later they were persuaded to crucify Him. They preferred to stand on the side of popular opinion. The reality is you won’t know who is really genuine for Christ until they show their position under the stress of being hated for the Name of Christ. It’s easy to walk with Christ and get what you want from Him, but it’s difficult to stick with Christ when you are hated for doing so. This is exactly what the Word says in Luke 6:22. Changing your position based on the mind of the majority is simply a confirmation of your fakeness, Luke 6:26.

So why doesn’t Jesus show Himself?

Because people inherently just use Him, and manipulate Him for their own elevated position. It’s so much harder to stand on the side of Christ when He’s physically not there; when you can’t prove you know what you’re talking about by displaying His power, and you have to rely on His Spirit which no one can see. There’s more chance of His genuine remnant being saved when He’s not here in physical form because there’s less opportunity to be lost in one’s own elevated self-worth. It’s more difficult to fall to the pride of being a Christian when everyone else is saying you’re an idiot and demanding proof of your claim.

The Bible says God shows Himself in nature, but modern man is not convinced. He’s too arrogant to see.

The cross was the point of total loss of position

The cross was the point of the reversal of their fortunes. Everything had gone wrong; the hopes of Jesus’ disciples had been dashed and evil had now risen up in antagonism against them. The disciples withdrew back into themselves and went back to their former jobs of fishing. But, Jesus had risen from the dead and He appeared to them in physical form again. Now their hopes are restored and they set their course for Jesus, willing to pay whatever price was necessary for their Lord. They no longer lived for themselves; rather they were now willing to die for the name of Christ. What had changed?

The reality is that no one sees their arrogance until they lose everything that they use to prop up their arrogance

That’s the point when people show whether they are really for Christ or have just been pretending. After the cross, the disciples served Him for “no” position. They couldn’t show Him off. They had to trust His Spirit which no one could see. There was no personal benefit; rather abuse and persecution. They now were genuine; they now could see what they couldn’t see before; they were now heading for the heavenly kingdom instead of looking for position in the earthly one.

The same experience is valid for every genuine disciple. It’s only at the point of loss and the exposure of your arrogance that you find out who you really are inside and who you will surrender to … you or God.

No loss, no gain

Man is born inherently selfish and arrogant. Man camouflages his selfish inner spirit with deeds of niceness so he can be accepted by others and hopefully be popular and feel of value. He envies his fellow-man. He climbs over his fellow-man in order to get the better deal for himself. He uses and manipulates others for his own advantage, and none of this is exposed to one’s self without losing the thing that’s of value that props up your arrogance.

Right back in Genesis 3, man surrendered to the temptation of Satan to be his own god and unwittingly came under the influence of evil. The temptation for man to be elevated above his position is too great for the ordinary man to resist. There’s only one solution … lose everything of value that puts you above your fellow-man and makes you look good to your fellow-man, but sadly, few will find this path because the temptation to elevation is too great a carrot to sacrifice for something you can’t touch and see.

The point is, you can’t see Christ until you surrender at the cross, and once you see Him, it doesn’t matter anymore what others think of you. The question is … will you trust Him even though you can’t see Him and touch Him? Despite all your good intentions, you won’t know the answer to this question until you lose everything that props up your arrogance; until you kneel at the cross and surrender all; only then will you see Him.

No one wants the cross

Everyone wants to walk with Jesus. They want the relationship, the self-value, the blessings, and the gifts of the Spirit; they want happy family; but no one wants the cross. The Bible says to ‘take up your cross daily and follow Me’ (Luke 9:23) but no one wants to do it; they want the feelings and the values, they don’t want the hassles.

Can you see that this is your arrogance? Can you see that this is what Jesus came to save you from? Until you do you won’t know Christ. You might follow Him and be friends with Him, but you won’t know Him, and He won’t be your saviour. If you live on this side of the cross you’ll never be saved from your sins even though you’re Jesus’ friend. You have to surrender to the will of God, at the cross, to be saved.

Every true believer has to pass through the cross. You have to surrender to God’s will on your antagonistic wife or mother-in-law or employer. You have to surrender to God’s will and trust Him on your financial position; on being misjudged; on being rejected, or whatever it is that you want to go right for you.

Plenty of Christians sing ‘all to Jesus I surrender’ but they don’t mean it. Instead they judge others for their bad behaviour and wrong attitudes and thus elevate themselves above their neighbour; they blame others for their hassles, and they compromise their principles when the majority say so, and they’re happy to tell others what’s right and wrong. They’re often generous and nice and do good things to reinforce their pretence, but the truth is, it’s all a lie; they don’t want the cross and live only for Christ, and their moodiness and elevational judgment confirms their real trust is in themselves. They’ll trust Jesus as long as He does the right thing by them, but they’ll blame Him when it all goes wrong.

What will be man’s reaction when Jesus does come back again and show Himself to humanity?

In Revelation 20, the Word of God tells us that Jesus is returning to rule on earth for a thousand years. Those who will accompany Him and rule with Him are those who have been beheaded for the name of Christ instead of compromising with the anti-Christ. At the end of the one thousand years Satan will be released for a short period of time and the nations will join with Satan against Jesus. The people will rebel against the autocratic rule of the benevolent dictator because humanity doesn’t like being told what to do. Wow, once again humans will try and kill the creator. No wonder God doesn’t show Himself … man just proves once again that he is too evil to listen and bend the knee to being told how to behave even though it’s right and Godly; he always wants to do his own thing in his way without being told he can’t. Wow, the inherent arrogance of man!

The fake Christian works it out with His head

The average Christian simply uses his head to work out what’s right and wrong, but ignorantly bases his deductions on his analysis learnt from behavioural experiences. He never looks to find out whether what he truly believes is the Word of God, but rather reacts on what he thinks he believes is the Word of God. This Christian will never find Christ. You can only come back and reign with Christ if you are beheaded … in other words; your heart must be the origin of your analysis, not your head. If you’re relying on your head, your head will keep it on, it won’t lose it for Christ and it won’t be part of the first resurrection. This is exactly what Jesus means when He says you have to be a child to enter the kingdom of heaven.

May God open the eyes of His remnant too see their arrogance and be saved form their pride to serve the Lord Jesus with their whole heart.

Pastor James Smith

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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Elevation, Faith

 

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