No Honor In His Own Country

No Honor in His Own Country

43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast. 46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you [people] see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” 49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told [him], saying, “Your son lives!” 52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that [it was] at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. 54 This again the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. – John 4:43-54 NKJV

Have you ever heard the phrase “seeing is believing”? A lot of people in the modern world are convinced that this is the only way that they can be certain of something.

Especially when it comes to accepting the claims of Jesus or the Gospels. They have to see it to believe it and, no doubt, seeing something can help you accept something but is seeing always believing?

And is there a difference between accepting a fact or having mental ascent regarding something and having Biblical faith? I want to demonstrate to you that you can have belief in one sense and yet not have what the Bible calls “faith”.

Charles Blondin, who some of you may have heard of, was a French tightrope walker who lived in the 19th century. He grew up in the circus and he is considered one of the greatest tightrope walkers of all time.

In the mid-1800s he was enamored with Niagara Falls and he concocted a scheme. He was going to stretch a tight rope the length of Niagara Falls over 1000 feet and then walk across it.

Once the planned stunt was known, an enormous crowd showed up to watch him cross the gorge which he did with no trouble.

Now he crossed Niagara Falls a number of times promising that each performance would be more daring than the last and he never used any nets to catch himself

He crossed it blindfolded. He crossed it backwards. He ran across. He did somersaults and backflips across. He carried His manager on his back across.

He crossed on stilts. He crossed while shackled. He crossed while tied up in a sack.

Once he carried a stove and utensils on his back, walked to the center of the cable, started a fire and cooked an omelet. When it was ready, he lowered the breakfast to passengers on a passing ship

One time he asked the crowd if they believed he could cross the falls with a wheelbarrow and he got mixed answers. He then proceeded to walk across with the wheelbarrow.

Next, the wheelbarrow was filled with rocks and he asked again if they thought he could do it. He then did it. Finally, he asked if they thought he could cart a man over the falls in that wheelbarrow.

Of course, the crowd was fully convinced by now that he could, so they said yes. He then asked if anyone would volunteer to get into the wheelbarrow and … no one from the crowd could muster the courage. Finally, with no volunteer from the crowd to be had, he carted his manager over the falls without incident.  

You see, they had seen wonders with there very eyes and they acknowledged in their minds that he could do it but seeing was not believing when it came to trusting him with their very lives.

  • Mental ascent doesn’t equal Biblical faith.  There is a difference between nodding your head to a few points of doctrine about Jesus and trusting your life to Him completely. 
  • You see Jesus had multiplied volumes of people who followed him. They believed he was the messiah or at least a very great prophet. They saw his miracles. They heard His words and they were excited about it but the majority of these “followers” were condemned by Jesus for their unbelief and sentenced to a worse fate than Sodom and Gomorrah

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: … 23 “And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 “But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” – Matthew 11:20, 23-24 NKJV

  • So why is it that this crowd which followed Jesus and desired to make him king by force turned from Him in the end?
  • Because they had received Jesus after a fashion but not in the way that was required. They believed in Jesus as a political messiah but not as a savior for their souls. They were ready to depose the reigning monarch and make Him king when they should have sought freedom from the greater despot.  
  • The truth is the crowd was fickle. They want to crown him one moment and the next, they are walking out on him. Upon entering Jerusalem, they welcome him as a triumphant hero and a few days later they’re screaming, “crucify him, crucify him!” 
  • Jesus subverted their expectations. They had spent so long writing a script for the messiah based on their past heroes, they couldn’t recognize him when we came for real. 
  • I believe that very little has changed in this modern era. There is a great host of people who call themselves Christians today but if you peal back the preverbal layers, I suspect that many of these professing Christians will find themselves in the same position as these first century Jews.
  • We have a kind of belief but can it rightly be called faith in the biblical sense?
  • What was meant by “faith” in the New testament?

14 What [does it] profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? … 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? – James 2:14, 17-20 NKJV

  • James says that you will know a man’s faith in how he lives. And Jesus says something similar by saying you can judge a false teacher by his fruits 
  • now James is not saying that works save you. This is fruit vs. root issue. The root of our salvation is faith but the fruit of salvation is works
  • But here is what is interesting, we can detect if we have real faith or not by examining our lives
  • I think this is what the Charles Blodin example demonstrates so wonderfully. The crowd rooted Charles on and watched him preform daring feat after daring feat.
  • And when he asked if they thought he could ferry a man over in a wheel barrow they all agreed he could but when he asked for a volunteer all the confidence they had evaporated.
  • This is the point, saving faith in Jesus is not merely affirming points of doctrine. It is entrusting yourself wholly and completely to Jesus as Savior and Lord in absolute surrender. Trusting that Jesus will preform what he promised concerning you.
  • When you get in that barrel your life is out of your hands. You are at the mercy of the one ferrying you across the gulf.
  • Same is true with a parachute or a life preserver. If the plane is going down your going to have to entrust yourself to that parachute if you don’t want to go down with the plane.
  • Speaking of planes. Isn’t that a tremendous act of faith? You don’t even get the happy advantage of a rope. No, no, you are suspended on mere air and not 200 feet in the air, 35,000 feet above the earth’s surface. 7 miles! In a tin can and they don’t give you parachutes or escape pods… just trust us. We’ll get you there safe.
  • You can tell I don’t have much faith in airplanes no matter how much the Gospel of flight is preached and demonstrated to me.
  • You get the point whether its tight rope walking over a chasm or flying in some manmade abomination. It’s the same thing. We exercise more faith getting on an airplane than we could ever bother giving to God
  • There is another part to this story I think is poignant. You see the Jews thought they were pretty alright.
  • The Jews thought they were the closest to God. The most safe. The most secure. They after all had a special covenant and promise that no other people enjoyed. They had God’s law and the scriptures to guide their lives they had the temple and synagogues with rabbis to teach them

17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know [His] will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. … 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? – Romans 2:17-20, 23 NKJV

  • But in spite of all this they were rejected by God for their lack of belief and repentance
  • And like these Jews I think it is possible to deceive oneself. You can think you are standing tall in the faith you can have a kind of faith and a form of godliness but be in the worst sort of jeopardy
  • Many people consider themselves Christian but upon examination they make very little effort to combat sin and live a holy life.
    • “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me’… ” – Mat 15:7-9a NKJV
    • Are you giving God lip service but your heart is far from him?
    • I think that we all have been in this place even as Christians.
  • Again It is possible to deceive yourself and think you are solid but not.

23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with [you]. 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain [it]. 25 And everyone who competes [for the prize] is temperate in all things. Now they

to obtain a perishable crown, but we [for] an imperishable [crown]. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as [one who] beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring [it] into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for [their bodies] were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as [were] some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. – 1 Corinthians 9:23-10:12 NKJV

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 “Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ – Matthew 7:13-23 NKJV

  • Why do I tell you all this?
  • Because I want to encourage you to give yourself completely over to Christ. If you aren’t a Christian, I want you to become one. Place your faith in Jesus. Let him redeem you
  • I want you to absolutely surrender your life to Christ today. Give up your right to your life. Come to Jesus receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life
  • Let Him ferry you across the chasm from death to life, from this broken reality to the new reality awaiting those who trust completely in him 
  • If you are a Christian, I want you to have more faith in Him. We all need to grow in our faith
  • Think about how worthy Jesus is for a moment. He is the creator of the universe. He is so powerful. Nothing can stand against him. If anything were to ever challenge him, he could crush it like a bug. He is at the mercy of nothing. He stands in judgment over every soul. Everything answers to Him.
  • Yet he laid aside his rights and restrained his power and walked among men. The ruler of the universe submitted to human authority
  • and although he was at no one’s mercy He placed himself at the mercy of cruel men who punched him repeatedly in the face.
  • The King of Kings creator of everything, was punched literally in the face by his creation until He was bloody.
  • They spit on him and stripped him naked and whipped him until he was nearly dead. The judge of all creation allowed himself to be judged by dogs. Instead of worship, blasphemy instead of honor, mockery. Instead of dignity, shame. Instead of love, hatred
  • They laid that cross on his shoulders and made him carry the instrument of his death and they hung Him on that cross until he died. And he let them! He had no honor in his own country!
  • Let me bring you through an exercise. I want you to picture everything I say visually
  • There are about 200 Billion Galaxies in the known universe each of those galaxies have about a thousand million stars
  • It would take light, which travels at 186,282 a second, over 90 billion years to shine from one edge of the universe to the other
  • That means that each person on earth, all 7 Billion of them, could have more 28 Galaxies all to themselves.
  • That’s just space. Think all of that God created her on earth. Mountains, hills, plains, canyons clouds, rain, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, lagoons, coral reefs, sunsets, rainbows, flowers, grass, shrubs, trees, birds, fish, whales, elephants, foxes, cats, dogs, insects, hippos, rhinos, bears, humans.
  • All this god made with minimal effort
  • When Jesus created the universe, He did it with His Word. He said, “Let it be,” and it was; and, universes sprang from nothingness at his command. But, when He saved us, it took every drop of His blood… think about that. It was harder to save you than to create the universe… He didn’t have to do that.
  • If the thought of that doesn’t cut you to the heart then you have a hard heart friend
  • You were so hopelessly lost in you sin that God had to go to such lengths to save you.
  • He could have deleted you friend. Snuffed out your existence and started again but He didn’t!
  • This world is in open revolt against the King of the Universe. It is in complete rebellion against God. And for all these years he has suffered our insolence and insults when at any moment he could have crushed us like a bug. But he doesn’t!… Isn’t that incredible!
  • You see God has reduced it all down to how you respond to Jesus. He is the lynchpin. Whatever you decide to do with Him will determine your eternal destiny. It’s all about Jesus and it’s all for Him. It’s about How I owe him devotion, reverence and service.  Will you give him that devotion?
  • Does Jesus have pre-eminence in your life? Is He at the very center of your life? If not, what right do you have to call yourself a Christian?
  • Would you bow your heads for a moment? How many of you can say, “I know that I know if I died today, I know on the authority of the Word of God—because I have repented of my sin, trusted Christ, and God’s Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I’m a child of God—I know that, if I died today, I’d go straight to Heaven”?
  • If you could not say that I want to invite you to accept Jesus Christ for who He really is. Creator God, Ruler of the Universe and Savior of the world.
  • To become a Christian is really simple you must repent or in other words you must turn from your sins and this world and put your trust In Jesus.
  • You must believe in Him and you must confess it with your mouth. Submit to Him as Lord and the moment you do that the Holy Spirit will cause you to be born again and you will pass from death to life.
  • Let Him ferry you across the chasm from death to life, from this broken reality to the new reality awaiting those who trust completely in him 
  • Is there anyone who wants to do that today? Please raise your hand
  • If you are all ready a Christian
  • I want you to absolutely surrender your life to Christ today. Give up your right to your life. Come to Jesus receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life
  • Trust in Jesus more fully. From this point forward. Amen?

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