"Qualities of Christ"
There are many ways to describe Jesus- our Lord and Savior are but two. Looking at a few others we find Jesus to also be Compassionate, Committed and Confident. Traits we should also have as Christians.
Qualities of Jesus
A. For a week this community has been grieving the sickening deaths of people worshipping at a Jewish synagogue. Hundreds, even thousands have begun to share their condolences with the people who worship there, the families of the victims and the officers who quickly responded. We hear God’s command “You shall not commit murder.” We hear Jesus reiterating it and taking it to the heart and saying, “Everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement.”
B. A small community in Rochester, IN is grieving over the death of 3 children in one family who were hit while crossing the street to get on a school bus. In a small community where everyone knows everyone, this tragedy hits the emotions hard.
C. This past week James buried his wife of 50 years after her long battle with cancer. We think about sickness that bring about death, we think about accidents that take a life, we think about murder that devastate communities and we ask, “Why?” We are taught that God loves us, but when we know our God created the universe we ask a question that was asked by the community that surrounded Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus died. They asked, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also kept this man from dying?”
D. We know the answer and so did they – “yes.” Yes, Jesus could have kept this man from dying. The real question is, “Why didn’t he?” Many have offered answers to that question, but for the hurting, there is no good answer.
E. This morning I want to look at a story of the death and see some qualities of Jesus that rise above our grief and help us to see Jesus as the loving God he was on earth. From that, I hope we will also see Jesus, and the Father, who still possesses the same qualities and touches us the same way.
A. The story really begins in verse 1 of John 11. It starts with close friends reaching out to Jesus and asking him to come because Lazarus is very sick. In fact, the sister know that Jesus loves Lazarus and it is because of that that love that they want Jesus to come. Yet he waits. He waits until somehow he knows that Lazarus has died and then he takes his disciples and begins the journey to Bethany.
B. Some might call Jesus cruel. One who has power to heal from a distance, chose to do nothing. Yet, when the disciples question Jesus about if Lazarus is sleeping or dead we hear Jesus says (READ John 11:11-16).
C. Committed when the reality of pain and even death lies before you is not easy. Yet, it was the commitment that Jesus had to the mission to raise, not just Lazarus but all who have died in covenant relationship with God is what caused him to go. Thomas was right, but commitment was the driving force.
D. Jesus was committed to this family and his disciples. His commitment to walk with them in trials of their faith kept him headed to their home.
E. Jesus is no less committed to the plan today than he was on that day. God desires all men everywhere to come to salvation. God is committed to using the church to be his voice to the world. The strength of the commitment of Jesus would be seen in the garden in such power that those who heard him fell to the ground when they came to arrest him.
A. A second quality is that of his confidence. Confidence about the future when everyone else cannot see it is strange. Yet, Jesus was not “everyone,” he was God in the flesh. His confidence was based upon who he was and who the Father is, not a human perception of reality.
B. When Jesus got close to Bethany, Martha came out of the village to meet him and to question why he had not come. (READ John 11:23-27). That’s confidence.
C. I want you to know that Jesus is still confident. He is confident that all who come to the Father through him will be saved. He is confident that my sin can be cleansed by his blood. He is confident that truth, the truth of who God is and the message of God, is greater than the perceptions that we often have of the future. When you examine the qualities of Jesus, see his confidence because he knows the future fully.
A. But it is the last point that I really want to focus on today. That is the compassion Jesus had for this family. When John tells us this story we see compassion. Listen to John 11:33-35.
B. There are many reason people give for Jesus weeping. The Bible tells us that Jesus was deeply moved and greatly troubled. With that information we read two words, “Jesus wept.” The tears of God flowing down the cheeks of man. Jesus probably wept for different reasons, but you cannot dismiss that he wept for his friends who were hurting.
C. The teaching is the same for us as Christians. We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. That is what Jesus is doing. He is weeping with those who weep. They may have ask him why? And they may have been hurt or even angry with Jesus, but Jesus wasn’t there to tell them there emotions were out of line, he was there to show comfort and compassion to people who hurt.
D. Paul knows God is still compassionate towards those who hurt. Listen to 2 Cor. 1:3-4. The God of ALL comfort. The tears of Jesus flowed at the death of those in that synagogue, at the death of those children at the bus stop, at the death of Patty as James said goodbye. But the commitment, confidence and compassion of Jesus is way we trust in the resurrection.
A. Jesus raised Lazarus that day. But eventually Lazarus died again. The resurrection was proof of what God can and will do. It is the hope that we have for us.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister