WE ARE DRAWING NEAR TO THE HOLIEST WEEK
AND IT GETS HARDER AND HARDER TO WATCH.
YET, BEHOLDING JESUS IN HIS FINAL DAYS,
TRANSFORMS US LIKE NOTHING ELSE.
John Piper summarized it like this: “Beholding is becoming.”
So let us behold Him.
Some like to call themselves “spiritual,” imagining
chicken soup for the soul:
warm, comforting, and soothing.
But the early church fathers had a different word:
The mysterium tremendum.
THE EARTH SHAKES.
YOU LOSE YOUR FOOTING.
YOU REALIZE HOW HOLY HE IS,
AND HOW UNHOLY YOU ARE.
WHEN ISAIAH BEHELD THE LORD HE SAID:
WHEN JESUS PERFORMED A MIRACLE FOR THE FISHERMEN, PETER EXPERIENCED THE MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM:
AND WHEN THE ARMY OF SOLDIERS CAME WITH THEIR TORCHES AND WEAPONS, SEEKING JESUS,
THEY DREW BACK
AND FELL TO THE GROUND
THE MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM.
HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED THIS?
IT CAN HAPPEN IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, BUT THERE IS ALWAYS A SENSE OF AWE.
SEE HOW VICTOR HUGO DEPICTED IT FOR
JEAN VALJEAN IN LES MISERABLES:
IF YOU HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS,
YOUR FAITH MAY NOT HAVE
DROPPED FROM YOUR HEAD TO YOUR HEART.
SO STAY WITH US.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. If you have ever experienced “the mysterium tremendum,” summarize in a few sentences what happened.
MONDAY – WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY
When Jesus said, “I AM HE,” HE WAS CLAIMING DEITY. PREPARE YOUR HEART WITH THIS:
3. Important things are said when time is running out. Read Jesus high priestly prayer in John 17:20-23, for here He is praying for us, and write down what He said. Let it soak in and share your thoughts.
4. Read John 18:1-3 and describe the scene.
5. Read John 18:4-6 and describe what happened and your thoughts.
6. What is Jesus’ concern in John 18:7-9 and why?
7. Read John 18:10-11 and contrast Peter and Jesus in all the ways you can.
8. Pray the Lord’s prayer as a springboard for prayer:
Our Father — praise Him that He is your Father
Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name — praise Him for His holiness
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven — be still before Him and ask Him how you can be His instrument in this today
Give us this day our daily bread — petition Him for what He puts in your heart to petition Him for
And for give us our debts — confess
As we forgive our debtors — forgive, asking Him to help you remember how you have been forgiven
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil — ask for protection
For thine is the power, and the Kingdom, and the glory forever — praise HIm.
Amen. So be it!
Thursday Friday: Free Keller Sermon: I Am He
9. Share your comments or notes.
10. What is your take-a-way and why?
Here is the sermon by francis Chan….How God loves, how we relate to HIM and how our relationships with HIM will all look a little different from each other and thats OK! We can all live in unity even though we are different because we are all connected by the same HOLY SPIRIT.
Cyndi – I love Francis Chan – can’t wait for a quiet moment to listen!
3. Important things are said when time is running out…Jesus prayer in John 17 is just a wonderful blessing. Jesus prayed for his disciples and for all believers to be one, that as he and the Father are one, all believers would also be in them so that the world would believe. They would see the love and know that the Father sent the Son.
Two examples come to mind as I meditate on this beautiful concept. First, is this blog. I see a special bond of unity among each one who shares. There is a love that the Father pours out here and that motivates us to lift each other up for all the concerns that harass us.
Yes, we see where disunity causes such disruption in churches and we know there is no perfect church. But among those who receive this glory there is true love and reflection of Jesus’ love. I was so moved this week as I hosted a small group (5 of us gathered to study Numbers) and to share prayer concerns. Before our prayer I shared the video Awesome God. We experienced the glory as we lifted up prayers: one woman had a need for a job and she had 2 offers. Another was concerned for her daughter who was taking a test for her job and was very anxious because she had failed it previously- this time she passed! But the real joy is in the fellowship of believers lifting one another up in prayer. One woman has been sober for 6 months. Our unity in Jesus gives such joy.
Today i read a devotional that was written by Kara Tippets on John 15:10. “Love motivates like that (like God’s extravagant love). It transforms the most rebellious heart into a pliable, relenting, penitent heart.’
May his glory continue this transformation in our hearts.
Some like to call themselves ‘spiritual’ imagining chicken soup for the soul; warm, comforting and soothing. But the early church fathers had a different name; the MYSTERIUM TREMEMDUM. The earth shakes. You lose your footing. You realize how holy He is and how unholy you are.
I’ve been thinking of these words all week. They WILL be printed out and hung where I can see them often. I find myself in the midst of folks who settle for the chicken soup. Who think they have given the gospel a fair try and found it lacking. They haven’t. They have not ever truly understood the gospel.
Those introductory words are so deeply profound. And so true. It is just as you said, Dee. When I was at a thrift store today, perusing the book shelves, there they were. Under the heading of ‘Religion and Inspirational books’; several varying titles of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ each with it’s target audience; the dog lover’s soul, the teenager’s soul, the grandmother’s soul. Interspersed with different versions of the Scriptures and theological books. I see so many people settling for so little when their understanding of God doesn’t get further than pop spirituality. In contrast, when we truly recognize the Redeemer and know that we are held fast in His furious love, any attempts to describe it fall short and our thirsty souls long for Him more and more. Not because our thirst is never quenched, but because we know where we can truly find the deepest, ever flowing source of true comfort and satisfaction. And his sacrificial love is for everyone, his dying was once for all. We don’t need a special formula to suit our specific style or taste. His love is offered to redeem all souls.
We think alike, Wanda. Any chance you are coming to Fargo April 16th?
Dee, I didn’t jump on it because we are expecting a grandbaby in Oklahoma; due April 1st. So things are up in the air. I think we may be going to visit earlier and be back by the 16th, but won’t really know until baby arrives! I should look into it though. Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten with the anticipation of the new baby and all. 🙂
Oh — no pressure. Just wondered if I’d see you. Sounds like you need to concentrate on that grandbaby!
Answer to 7 (sort of)–as I am reading this scene with Peter, what strikes me most in the difference of Peter and Jesus’ response is that Peter is filled with fear. I think it is fear that motivates him to want to strike out against the high priest’s servant. But Jesus, knowing all, knowing that the Father’s plan could not be thwarted, having no fear, did not retaliate.
This scene caused me to think again about how I respond to a challenge. How often do I, in fear, want to strike out against whatever is hard, whatever trial I am facing–I want it gone, I want to fight back. Even small every day things, a driver who veers in front of me, or the lady in front of me at the check out lane who takes forever with 25 coupons and my sin nature tempted to be irritated, instead of, as Dee reminded us a few weeks ago,to love everyone in my path. Bigger things too, I feel the urge to fight back instead of trust. I think I understand Peter’s struggle, this desire to “do something!”, but I love Jesus’ response of trust and obedience to the Father. In all things, I can remember this–He will use every trial for His plan and purpose, nothing wasted. In my prayer triad today, a friend struggling thanked Him for the trial for how it caused her to go to her knees every day on the issue, deepening the intimacy. I know this is the only way I can truly thank Him in everything, for if the hardest of things cause me to lean more on Him, hide more in the shelter of His wings, then I can thank Him for that.
Good thoughts, Elizabeth. Your words are making me think about how often I may be motivated by fear. Looking through that lens can really skew things. I got very angry about something this week and now I am pondering if fear was a part of it.
Elizabeth – lovely. every word helped my heart this morning. thank you. 🙂
Great everyday examples, Elizabeth.
Yes, Elizabeth, I do relate to your words. When I am afraid, I will trust in Him. These words are my reminder to let go of my frustration and anxiety and turn back in trust. To trust and obey brings me closer to the heart of Jesus.
It has taken me many setbacks to learn this and it is an ever reminder of my smallness and need for his holiness.
I think it took me an hour and a half to listen to and write down everything in the sermon. I really never want to miss a thought so I can compose it all in my mind again. I may or may not get time to transpose the notes here. It is so good. This message really resonated with me, because I think my loved ones are entrenched in the ‘spirituality’ that he talks about and/or just piecing together whatever parts of other religions they like. I’ve seen lots of evidence of bits and pieces and they take it seriously (until they decide to change to something else). The frightening part to me is that in his premise, Keller says that you cannot hold onto a tepid response to Jesus. If He is who He says He is, you either fall down at His feet in belief or knowingly turn your back on Him. Maybe temporarily, while you’re figuring it out, you can have that milder response, but you have to be in one place or the other. (I’m not explaining this well). Frightens me, because ‘the temporarily’ has been a long time for the ones I love. The searching, ‘turning over every other rock’ as my husband says, keeps on happening. I don’t want to think they have come to the irreversible conclusion of turning their backs, but I just don’t know. I listen to sermons like this one and think…..’oh, if only they would listen to this. Maybe this is what would penetrate their hearts.’ and I start strategizing how I could make that happen. But I can’t do the fixing. I can’t make anything happen. I can pray and take some steps but no guarantees. Thinking maybe I should order a CD and give it to them. Will think again tomorrow.
Wanda – once again, you have expressed perfectly so much of my own heart. And by the way, I did see your response to the song I posted on the FB prayer page and I felt so sad. In the sorrow you are clinging to Him. With my own dear Jes just a few weeks ago she initiated a conversation in which she expressed to me how much she admired my “walk of faith”…..and how sad she was to think of how I must quietly agonize over her and Patrick, etc. I was able to be very REAL….I was able to speak of Abel….and to link the story Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus. How my sorrow over Abel was PRIMARILY over his eternal destiny. How I even wondered if, like the rich man in Jesus’ story, he could say one thing to Jes, what would it be??? She accepted my words very tenderly and then the conversation moved on…..oh yes, so many of us are in this similar journey with our children together. How grateful I am that His mercies are new every morning. I’m so blessed by your response to the sermon and eager to give it a listen!
Jackie, It encourages me to hear of your conversation with Jes. I keep hanging on to the hope that every little glimmer is a piece of the return of all of our children. We saw this recently with one of my close friends here whose son acknowledged in tears (and a 3 hour conversation) that he does believe the Bible is true after all. The fearful part of me says, ‘we’ve been here before’. Her son is usually ‘on the same page’ as mine is, (and they are good friends) but has gone back and forth before. I feel like the Puritans (as Dee said in one lesson) saying “We’ll see”. But, on the other hand, it SO encourages me that God IS moving in their hearts. For Jes to say that she admires your walk….that is a solid statement. My oldest and I have had years of mutual tears over not believing the same things. We both hurt over it. I think it’s hard for him to feel at a gut level that he is unconditionally loved and accepted. We are so proud of who he is while we ache for his soul to have the peace of the Living God.
I hope this will be an encouragement to some of you with adult non-believing children, I just felt the urge to share on the chance it may be…there is an older woman at my Church, her husband a seminary professor,they are deeply involved in ministry, and they have 2 adult non-believing children. She said she is sometimes asked, almost criticized, as to why she isn’t more “worried” or upset about her children–and her response is that after many years, she has fully given it to the Lord, “they are His, He loves them more than I can”. Even in my little world with only a pre-teen I’m struggling to see the Spirit in–her example has spoken to me. I thought again of the contrast with Peter and Jesus–and that Jesus had eternity in view, He trusted the Father’s Sovereign hand, and though He struggled, in the garden he released and experienced peace before the trial was over. Not sure if any of that made sense, but I’m praying for especially Laura, Wanda, Nila, and Jackie, Joyce–I can’t fully imagine the pain of longing for your child to turn back to Him–but I’m praying that as we all pray for them, you may experience some peace in the releasing of your children to Him.
Elizabeth – that not only makes sense, but it points us to Jesus! I know I shared this earlier this week as a Mysterium Tremendum place in my life, but several months after Abel’s death, this is where I landed. In reading the last few chapters of Job in particular I truly came to the point of repenting of myself and bowing before the sovereign God. In that place there is tremendous peace. But oh, how we need to be reminded. How we need to spur one another on! Thank you for this.
Elizabeth, thank you for this encouragement. Much-needed.
Yes, this encourages me, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for following that prompting to share it. I do so need to keep this in my heart And also, to fully release them to the Lord. Also, what Susan shared via a radio link several months ago, of another Christian couple in full time ministry and their wise words concerning their adult children who had left the faith. And how even if they did everything ‘right’ that would not insure their children’s salvation. Only Jesus can redeem them. These true examples really do encourage.
Wanda, that was Charles and Janet Morris; he is the host of Haven Today. In fact, I just heard a repeat (can’t remember what program) of that interview. It ministered to me, too, because I often feel that I did something wrong and that is why my sons; one in particular, have turned away from God. I can’t even talk about God with the one, and he has said hurtful things to me like I am “different” since I “went all God on us”. But. I love him no matter what…that’s what we moms do…I hope at least I reflect just a tiny bit of God’s pursuing love.
Thank you again, Susan. I’m going to write it down this time! 🙂
Oh and Susan, I have been keeping your sons on in my prayers as I pray for our adult children also. Thinking about so many mother’s hearts that are calling out to Jesus.
I think this was one of the longest sermons I ever tried to take notes on! And yet, I couldn’t figure out much to cut out of my notes to post, as every time I left something out, I became convinced it was too important or left big holes in the meaning and content. So here I am again apologizing for the length of my post. I’m sure I didn’t catch all the typos, so I will just go ahead and apologize for those as well! 🙂
I Am He
Sermon by Dr. Timothy Keller
When the Roman soldiers arrived to arrest Jesus, He stepped forward and said “I am He.” However in the English translation we need an object, but in the Greek the “He” is not there.
In Exodus 3, when God appears to Moses at the burning bush and says “Go to Pharaoh and tell him to “let my people go,” Moses asks “Who should I tell Pharaoh has sent me? What is your name? God says, “tell Pharaoh I AM sent you. Jesus tells his opponents that “Before Abraham existed, I AM. He didn’t say “I was” which would be amazing enough, He says “I AM.” Jesus has taken the Divine name upon himself. We almost never use the word “to be” without an object. We say I am this or I am that. Or we say I am because. But God never does. God’s name is just I AM. There is no beginning, ending, or because. He does not depend for his being on anyone or anthing. All things, all persons depend entirely upon Him. It is a really staggering statement when a living human being, Jesus Christ, takes that name upon Himself.
Jesus is saying something here that no other founder of a major religion has ever said. In fact, He is saying the exact opposite of what everone else has ever said. Because every other founder of a major religion was a prophet or a sage, and what they said was “this is the way to the truth. This is the truth. I come to you to bring you the truth.” Or they said, “This is the way to live,” but Jesus Christ has the audacity to say “I AM the way, the truth, and the life.” He says, “I am the uncreated, beginning-less God come to find you.” He says, I am God come in the flesh, come to find you because you will nevr find me unless I come after you.
Do you realize how serious this is? Our paradigm is all the different religions including Christianity are very good. They meet peoples’ needs. So they are all sort of sitting there and they all are good. And you have to decide which one is best for you in particular. If Jesus is who He says He is, then the Christian religion would have to be superior to others, because it is not founded by a sage or prophet pointing to God mysteriously remote up there. But it is God come to us. If He is wrong…if He is a liar or a lunatic of megalo-maniacal proportions, then it can’t be one religion among many. You should despise it.
Keller says he has had many people say to him “Well, I don’t know if Jesus is the Son of God or not, but I love the teachings of Christianity – which only proves that they have never read them. Because if you actually read the teachings of Jesus, they are absolutely saturated with His self-understanding. And you know the things He says? There is one place where he actually says to his opponents, “I keep sending prophets and sages to you over the centuries, and you kill them all.”
Bono was interviewed 3 or 4 years ago, and the interviewer said to him “Jesus Christ has value and is ranked among the great thinkers of the world, but Son of God? – don’t you think that is far-fetched? Bono says “No, it is not.” The secular response to the Christian story alwaays goes like this: He was a great prophet, had a lot of good things to say, along the lines of others like Mohammed, Buddha, and Confucious, but Jesus does not allow you to say that. Christ says, “No, don’t call me a teacher or a prophet – I am saying I am God incarnate.” So we are left with really this: Either Christ is who He said He is or He is a complete nut-case on the level of Charles Manson. The idea that the entire globe, one-half the human race, has had it’s history completely changed by a nut case, for me THAT is far-fetched.
If you have a mild response to Jesus Christ, you have no intellectual integrity. You have heard what He said about Himself. Some say maybe He didn’t say that, and maybe these are just legends written down. Keller suggests we read a book written by Richard Baukham called Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. He points out that when history was written in those days, the way a historian was able to authenticate the history was that he got it from the mouth of still-living eyewitnesses.
In the four Gospels, there are very little, bit characters that have nothing to do with the story or plot. In Mark it will just say “a woman” or “a man” or “a servant.” But in Luke or Matthew, they will get names. For example the servant who gets his ear cut off, Malchus. Not mentioned in Matthew, Mark, or Luke – but John is putting down this guy’s name because he was one of his eyewitnesses, and the readers know this was not a legend. If Jesus Christ reall made these claims, and He did, then if you decide He was riaght, you’ve got to fall on your knees in love and commitment, and say “command me,” and absolutely build your life around Him. But if you decide He is wrong, you should have nothing to do with Him. You shouldn’t want to read His teachings or find them inspirational. You should have utter disdain for Him and His faith. Or thirdly, if it has integrity to be temporarily neutral because you are trying to figure it out. But the thing that has NO integrity is to say “I kind of like Jesus. He kind of inspires me, I kind of like His teaching. I go to church ever so often and pray ever so often.” That has no integrity at all. To tepidly respond to Jesus Christ means you are not thinking. You are not listening. You really don’t even know who He is.
Secondly, the greatest problem human beings have. When He gets out there and says, “I AM,” they draw back and fall to the ground. If you go up to verse 2 and 3, you will see that Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. A detachment is a formal name for a troop of Roman soldiers – these are imperial troops. They have been through wars; they were tough guys. They were an amazing group of people. And here is a meek, mild-mannered carpenter, rabbi and philosopher, and he stands up and says “I AM” And this entire imperial Roman troop is knocked flat on their backs. Nobody can stay on their feet in the presence of God. Everybody looses their footing. Keller gave examples found in Ezekiel, 2 Chronicles 5, Luke 5, and Isaiah. If you get into the presence of something infinitely bigger and greater than you, you are knocked off your feet.
Rudolph Otto and Mircea Eliade were investigators doing cross-cultural studies of experiencing God. They were looking for people who had actually experienced the reality of God. When they did, they ex0perienced the mysterium tremendum (the terrifying mystery). Their books were not written from a particularly Christian point of view. They are just looking at the facts.
When people began to actually experience the reality of God, it was traumatic.
All of our self-images are based on performance. Our self-images are very fragile things. It is traumatic to be upstaged so badly by someone else (human). Your self-image collapses and it is crushed. It is even worse with God. We have completely lost this idea in our culture. We simply think of God as a warm fuzzy. Nothing in the Bible says that and common sense doesn’t say that.
Think about Judgment Day. There is a possibility of Judgment Day. If you are a secular person, you should hope for Judgment Day because you see centuries of injustice and inequalities (even genocide). If there is a Judgment Day, then all will be rectified. If there is no Judgment Day, there is no hope for the world. But if there is a Judgment Day, what hope is there for you and me.
The Solution: The solution is in the text. If you arrest a dangerous insurrectionist, then you also arrest his followers. There were 12 disciples and 200 soldiers. They were almost certain to be taken to prison, and that means no one would have ever heard from them again. But Jesus deliberately says “It is me you want, are you seeking me? Then let them go. Ironically the words “let them go” means “forgive them.” Forgive them and take me – me for them – substitution.
And if Jesus just saved twelve disciples, what about us? It is in the last words of the text, where he says to Peter, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” The cup is what God is going to make the tyrants drink at Judgment Day.
Secularism says there is no Judgment Day, and so all these injustices are not getting rectified.
Traditional religion says there will be a Judgment Day and the Judge will be here, so you better be a good person. But the Gospel says there is going to be a Judgment Day, but the judge came to earath and was judged in our place. Why? He didn’t want to lose any of you. He said “Take me and let them go.” This is unyielding love – this will help you keep your footing.
Deanna–your notes are a gift, thank you! I just looked at my notes from 2 years ago and they are pathetic compared to yours! You really bless us 😉
Good notes like this surely help keep it in your heart!
Love the long notes, Deanna! And I agree. It did seem like a long sermon. Took me forever to write my notes. SO glad you got yours posted!
And I especially thank you for getting the names of both investigators who wrote about the mysterium tremendem and the name of the book and author that Keller recommended regarding eye witnesses! You saved me from researching and/or re-listening to catch that. Wonderful 🙂
Thank you, also,Deanna. These notes are so detailed and help me, as I cannot keep up with listening and careful note-taking.
It explains the study so thoroughly.
Thank you Elizabeth, Dee, Wanda and Shirley for your kinds words about my notes. It occurs to me that taking notes may be a little easier for me because of my past history as a medical transcriber. Of course, I don’t hve the equipment that I had at the hospital (tape player with a foot pedal and earphones). However, after awhile a transcriber gets a rhythm, which helps. I listen as much as my brain will carry, and then I shut off the audio and write feverishly. I do very little backing up and repeating. It would be wonderful if I could transcribe Keller’s sermons with the equipment I had at the hospital, for then I could type as I go instead of writing out notes by longhand and then transcribing them. However, I am not complaining; I’m just glad I can do it — period! Dee is right — taking the notes makes it stick with me better.
We just got our worship songs for Sunday and these 2 were so good, I thought they may bless some of you–I know it’s not everyone’s style, but the words are amazing (warning Renee–it’s the “country” Indelible Grace 😉
Sandra McCracken-Oh Love Incomprehensible https://youtu.be/73z_psxQh6A
From the Depths Of Woe: https://youtu.be/1aVWBSmghAs
my reflections on Keller’s sermon:
Wow! He nails it on the head as to what Mysterium Tremendum is really all about. Spirituality is not about a warm fuzzy feeling. It is about how the Creator God has made a way for a sinner like me to reconnect with Him. He pursues me and makes a way by becoming incarnate to show the way. The great I AM stepped onto this earth and pursued suffering for me.
As I look at the immensity of my sin, just as Isaiah, I am undone, pulled apart. I cannot stand in God’s presence. This really describes how I have been feeling and wrestling inside for the past three months with an issue of shame that I and my counselor have uncovered. What is so difficult for me about this is that my sin cannot be corrected by me. I so want it to correct it and I truly want to be obedient to God, but I don’t know how and I don’t think I can.
So another part of the Mysterium tremendum, I think, is the realization that Jesus is the solution. He took the cup His Father gave to him, accepting it with joy. Why? For me! I am undone, undeserving. I am reminded of my life Psalm – Psalm 18.
But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. They hit me when I was down, but GOD stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved! (Psalm 18:16-19 MSG)
That last sentence says it all! I STOOD there saved – SURPRISED to be loved! Wow!! Things are starting to move from my head to my heart. What gratititude I have for what Jesus did for me. Came to earth, limiting his Godness to come to me and show me THE WAY – Him!
Love love love this — get to watch it dropping from head to heart. 🙂
Carol, that passage in Psalm 18 has always spoken to me, too. The image of God reaching down and pulling me up out of the waters…rescuing me because He delighted in me. I’ve read it in the NIV but I like the Message translation you used here, too! You also said something profound in that Spirituality is not about a warm fuzzy feeling. It is about how the Creator God has made a way for a sinner like me to reconnect with Him. I can see that the Lord is working all this into your heart, Carol!
oh Carol–this is it, relatable,so beautiful, HIS work in you– “As I look at the immensity of my sin, just as Isaiah, I am undone, pulled apart. I cannot stand in God’s presence. ”
Oh yes, Carol…...surprised to be loved ~
I just attended a workshop at my church today and marvel at how God speaks to me clearly in hearing things over and over again from multiple sources. As my associate pastor spoke on my identity in Christ, the body of Christ as a team, and discipleship, and another speaker spoke on relationship with God, I was reminded of all that is being discussed here in this week’s bible study blog.
The title of the workshop was OneThing. Scripture text is Luke 10:38-42, as Mary chose one thing (listening to Jesus) as what is needed. And my OnePurpose in life is to know God and to make Him known. Concerning my identity in Christ, one of the questions asked was What is something that causes me a “holy discontent,” i.e. Something that breaks both my heart and God’s concerning the world in which I live? I thought right away of the Mysterium Tremendum and seeing my own sin, as Peter did.
Then the speaker on relationships asked Do I know of Jesus/God (knowledge gained by reading the bible) or do I really KNOW Jesus/God in an intimate way that can only be learned through relationship? She illustrated how two people who first meet can know things about the other person from their outward appearance but can’t know what their likes and dislikes are. Whereas a married couple can know more intimate details about each other because they have spent time together and shared many things together in a way to know each other deeply. So I am challenged to think about how do I know Jesus/God intimately? Do I know His voice? Do I refer to Him as my Abba Daddy? Do I connect with Him in a way that is way more than just being an acquaintance?
Pastor wrapped up with discipleship, using the story of Peter in Luke 5:1-11, where Peter fell on his face at Jesus’ feet. Asking these questions:
Am I in or am I out? Verses 1-3 – will I join Jesus in the boat, even though I had a bad day at work?
Will I let down the nets? Verses 4-5 – it takes faith to believe when Jesus says so.
Who will get the credit? Verses 6-10a – Peter could have taken the credit for catching all those fish since it was his boat and nets, but instead He experienced something powerful and giving Jesus all the credit, saw his own sin and inadequacies. Peter begins to see his identity in Christ.
What’s God’s vision for your life? Verse 10b – Jesus already saw Peter as a fisher of men, whereas Peter saw himself as a common fisherman. Am I willing to see myself as God sees me and agree to go after it?
Will I leave it all behind? Verse 11 – for Peter and the others to up and leave everything behind, they must have seen and experienced something very amazing in Jesus. Do I see something amazing in Jesus? And will I be willing to leave everything behind to follow Jesus? The disciples went so far as to be willing to die in order to spread the Gospel Good News. Am I?
Being in awe and in reverent fear of my Lord and Savior and God is what the Mysterium Tremendum is all about. As the Beavers told the kids in Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan is not safe, but he is good. Am I willing to step into the adventure that my Lord and Savior wants me to take, trusting Him in His goodness, to bring Him all glory and praise, by meeting Him where He is at and being His instrument to bring about change in others and my own life? I pray I can respond with a resounding Yes! I just have to remind myself that Jesus knows I will have doubts along the way, just as his 12 disciples did too.
Carol, this is wonderful. I am very touched by the way this week’s study has synchronized with the workshop. Yes, I agree. so often I am impacted by several ways that the message comes through to me. And the quote from Narnia is excellent. One that I often think of.
Carol’s response to the sermon is so wonderful and honestl-and I loved this too: “I stopd there saved-surprised to be loved!”….
My takeaway: The thing for me is on one hand here is His unyielding Love-on the other His wrath-both are fused together fierce and Holy-like Sally’s Aslan painting..He is both! NO MAN CAN STAND BEFORE HIM..That right there puts me in awe and humbles me-Like Isaiah I am undone-I shut my mouth.. How can I ever even for one moment think I am better than someone in prison??Or someone who doesn’t know Him??? He shed His wrath on Himself for me so that I wouldn’t face his wrath-what did I do to deserve it??? NOTHING. I don’t think I will ever wrap my head around it, or heart-to be able to comprehend this-I can’t. I just know I don’t deserve it yet He lavished his forgiveness and unmerited love all over me and brought me into His chambers to make me, the prostitute, lovely..Like this Tullian Tchividian quote on f.b. I just read:
The Whore is made a bride
Slaves are made sons
Sinners are saved
THATS THE GOSPEL
I am undone, yet how will this reflect in the next hour, today, or tonight? Yet I admit I am such a messy sinner and it is going to take a mightier work of God to make me like Him than it will take with others! I am not saying that to beat myself up-at least I hope I am not, but it is the truth! Every day my sin nature-my selfishness, unholiness comes out and I think, “and He sees me as beautiful??” seriously?! Amazing Love, how can it be?
I am not as mature like Dee or like others here on this blog but by His Grace the Mysterium Tremendum is starting to travel to my heart so I wonder what it will be like with Him when I am more and more yielded to Him..will I experience more the Mysterium Tremendum..where more and more I can fully let go of desiring other’s approval, my comfort and trying to control situations that are out of my control because I am resting in and fully satisfied in His Love? BEHOLDING IS BECOMING..Yet I haven’t ever felt defeated because I know it isn’t up to me..I have hope inside..for He said He will complete His work in me and I don’t think it is morality based! It is Gospel centered transformation. Again, just Beholding HIM!!
Rebecca, I love your take-away, how you dive down so deep into His love and grace. And thank you for these words of hope, Yet I haven’t ever felt defeated because I know it isn’t up to me..I have hope inside..for He said He will complete His work in me and I don’t think it is morality based! It is Gospel centered transformation. This reminds me that when I feel defeated I am thinking that it is up to me!
Susan, OH wow..I didn’t think of that-but wow..yes..that when I feel defeated it is a red flag I am thinking a lie-that it is up to me.
Rebecca, I whole heartedly connect with and agree with your summary wrap up. I sense we are in a similar place in our life journey with God. I was reminded today that I am God’s masterpiece from Eph 2:8-10. Here is a link to the Skit Guys who do a great skit about who we are in Christ and how God is working to change us into the one He created us to be. http://youtu.be/3QCkBL2DfVg
Carol, I agree-I think we are too. 🙂 Thanks so much for the skit. I will watch today!
5. Read John 18:4-6 and describe what happened and your thoughts.
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to Him, came forward…He met the rising tide of the storm that was about to envelop Him head on. It strikes me that He took the initiative, He made the first move. Doesn’t God always make the first move toward us? In saving us, He begins to stir in our hearts, to make things happen in our lives that eventually bring us to faith in Him. And here, He makes the first move. He starts it, and then, from the Cross, He says it is finished.
Jesus asked the mob, Whom do you seek? They answered, Jesus of Nazareth. They thought they knew who He really was, the son of a carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus says, I AM He, and they all drew back and fell to the ground. Suddenly, they were standing on holy ground. The man they thought they knew has just told them who He really is – I AM. The same God who told Moses from the burning bush I AM. I am thinking that this was more of an “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow”; I think they were on the ground before they knew what happened.
5. What is Jesus’ concern in John 18:7-9 and why?
Jesus’ concern is for His friends, the disciples. He is clearly telling them, it’s Me you want, not them. He asks that they let His friends go because He is safeguarding those that the Father gave to Him, that He would not lose one. This reassures me today that He is doing the same thing for me; He will not lose any one of us given to Him by the Father.
7. Read John 18:10-11 and contrast Peter and Jesus in all the ways you can.
I am reminded of the passage in 2 Corinthians where Paul says that we are not waging war according to the flesh. The time had come where Jesus, through His Passion and death would crush the head of the serpent and destroy death forever. But Peter thinks this is the kind of war that is fought in the flesh, and he chooses a man-made weapon, a sword, to do battle. Peter is still seeing this as an earthly battle against mere men; He is not seeing the real enemy behind all this, Satan. Peter is trying to take things into his own hands while Jesus is committing Himself into His Father’s hands.
Your #5 is so good, Susan. The initiating by Jesus, stepping forward, making the first move. That says so much. And I missed that nuance until you said it here. He began it in the garden and finished it on the cross.
My take away is the special instruction in praying the Lord’s prayer. I will keep going back to this pattern. thank you, Dee, for this simple and so meaningful way to pray. Yes, Father, I do praise you for your holiness.
I will be still before him and listen for his still small voice. I do want to be his instrument, to be willing to do what he directs me to do.
I will remember how I have been forgiven and want to forgive others as he has forgiven me.
I have been listening to the excellent song by Damaris Carbaugh, He is so faithful to me. I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
A perfect way to start this holy week of remembrance.