It’s pretty easy to sit here two thousand years after the fact and take long-range pot shots at the Pharisees who opposed Jesus. But the sad truth is we have many 21st Century Pharisees in our churches today. John 9:35-41.
FRIENDS OR JESUS? So if you are going to stand up for Jesus, prepare to be rejected. Many Christians, especially young people and young adults, can’t resist the peer pressure. They want to be accepted by their friends, so they make a decision to reject the truth of the Bible to go along with the popular culture’s definition of truth. If you stand for truth, like this blind man did, you are going to be kicked out of the popular crowd. John 9:13-38.
What if we started seeing supernatural miracles occur here every Sunday morning, do you think more people would believe? Let’s imagine, for instance, that every Sunday God gave me the ability to levitate and float around this room while I preached. We’d have bigger crowds but we wouldn’t have more believers.
So, what is the unforgivable sin? Let me tell you what it is NOT. It is not murder. Moses was a murderer and he’ll be in heaven. The unforgivable sin is not adultery. King David committed adultery and God forgave him. It’s not divorce. The woman at the well had multiple divorces and she was forgiven. It is not suicide. Suicide is self-murder and it is no different from homicide—both are forgivable. Once you are a Christian, you don’t have to confess every single sin you commit in order to go to heaven. We confess our sins to stay in fellowship with God, but when you surrender your life to Christ, every past sin you’ve committed and every future sin you will ever commit is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Some people think all anger is sinful, and they have a hard time justifying that Jesus got angry, because Jesus was supposed to be sinless. He was. The Bible talks about different kinds of anger. Some anger is harmful and destructive. But there is a kind of anger that is holy and just.
The religious whiners of Jesus’ day didn’t like His teaching because it was so revolutionary. It was new. He said things they never heard before. His new teaching shocked and offended them. The religious leaders could not handle this new wine Jesus was offering. They were like the inflexible old wineskins. Their attitudes were “If it is new, it can’t be true!” Every time Jesus said or did something new you could almost hear the sound of straining and stretching until “pop!”—so they killed the messenger instead of accepting the message.
Becoming a Christian can be summarized into three words: Admit, submit, and commit. Jesus is a doctor for those of us who are suffering from the fatal sickness of sin. But before you’ll ever go to the doctor, you’ve got to admit that you have a problem. You must admit you are sinner. Then you have to submit to the doctor’s care. You must submit your wounded heart to the Healer. Then you’ve got commit yourself to the doctor’s plan. You need to take the medicine every day; or follow the treatment regimen every day. You’ve got to be committed to the cure. In the same way, you’ve got to commit to follow Jesus every day.
God is interested in how you manage His money, and He wants you to honor Him with the tithe. He’s interested in every area of your personal life. The websites you look at matter to God. The drugs you’re taking? They matter to God. The gossip you’re spreading? It matters to God. How you care for His temple, your body? It matters to God. Your personal morality matters to God, but if your concern for personal morality doesn’t lead you to help hurting people, you’ve missed the point.
Some people hold two or more passports because they are citizens of two or more countries. In this passage of scripture Jesus reminds us that we hold dual citizenships. He said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” By that statement He indicated that all of us live in relationship to an earthly government. He also said, “Give to God what is God’s.” In addition to our relationship to an earthly government, we must also consider our relationship with God. So, if you’re a Christian, you live in relationship with Caesar, the government and with God. It’s like holding two passports.
The religious snobs of Jesus’ day didn’t like His teaching because it was so revolutionary. It was new. He said things they never heard before. His new teaching shocked and offended them. He did things they never saw before–he ate and drank with sinners! In our next passage–horror of horrors–His disciples picked and ate grain on the Sabbath. The religious leaders could not handle this new wine Jesus was offering. They were like the inflexible old wineskins. Their attitudes were “If it is new, it can’t be true!” Every time Jesus said or did something new you could almost hear the sound of straining and stretching until “pop!”—so they killed the messenger instead of accepting the message.