The Words of Jesus 2

Continuing with the series on the Words of Jesus across our venues this Sunday. It’s such a vast topic that my Senior Pastor and I, even though we discussed the topic at some length, have both taken a slightly different angle for our messages.

It is very much a revelation thing. In my times of reflection this week I have thought much about how Jesus changed the culture through the words He spoke. He changed pre-conceived ideas about what God was like, who could reach God and how they could reach Him. The traditions that maybe kept some from entering were offensive to Jesus and He talked a different language which was much more inclusive and definitely more accessible.

Two more Sundays to go. This week we will be digging a little deeper into how Jesus spoke about the Kingdom of God, checking out some parables and also how He always gave faith the big up. It’s all BIG STUFF in this topic but I know the guys at Xcel Church Darlington can handle it!

Reading the Gospel with an investigative attitude certainly brings thoughts to mind. Imagining how people felt hearing those words for the first time, those sharp intakes of breath, the realisation that they were included – must have been so exciting. No wonder they thought that Jesus was a revolutionary who had come to set up a new kingdom.

I think our role is to echo the words of Jesus in our lives each day. That sounds easier writing it than doing it, but the challenge of living the lifestyle He desires is worth it because of the rewards it brings – to us and more importantly, those we come into contact with.

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The Words of Jesus Were…

As part of my introduction to the Red Letter Series we began on Sunday I shared some quick thoughts about the words of Jesus. Thought I would share them here too…

His Words were…

…different depending on who He was talking to [Pharisees, the sick/lost, disciples, the crowd. It wasn’t just about what they wanted to hear but about what they needed to hear]

…full of power & impact [anyone who tells someone brought by their four friends to ‘get up & walk’ or to another ‘your sins are forgiven’ is speaking words of power & impact]

…full of focus [Jesus regularly went to be with His Father to pray that’s why He managed to stay focused and only do what His Father told Him to]

…full of challenge [when the Pharisees throw a woman caught in adultery at his feet His response is a great challenge ‘let him who is without sin, cast the first stone’]

…full of purpose [Imagine hearing someone say that they are the fulfilment of the words Isaiah spoke and the same person telling the crowd ‘I am the way, the truth & the life’]

…full of life [amazing words that spoke of His purpose & love for people like ‘I have come to give you life and life in all its fullness’]

…challenging to the norm [in answer to the question ‘Who is my neighbour He told the story of the Good Samaritan – definitely NOT what they expected to hear]

…transforming peoples lives [we don’t know everything He said to Zaccheus but it made a huge difference & to the woman at the well – He told her everything about her life and it impacted her & the town forever]

Why are the Words of Jesus powerful to you?

The Thinking Process

Preparation for Sundays can become all-consuming.

Taking the theme, the Word, the idea or concept and then allowing it time to ruminate within. It’s a fine balance between making sure it’s what God wants to say and not what I think God wants to say. Maybe there is a set formula, something I should be doing – if there is can someone let me know.

I like to see the whole thing in front of me so I can see the journey that the series will take people on. That is vital. So, plenty of plain paper, lots of scribbles of thoughts, ideas, stories and verses attached to the theme or main areas within it. It’s difficult to explain but I guess as long as it makes sense to me.

I then carry that stuff with me all the time, chewing over it, praying over it, making the message part of me, talking it out loud – goodness knows what people driving by me think. Doing this gives me time to get Gods view on what is in my heart to share. I am of the opinion that if what I am going to preach is real to me, then it helps me connect with those who will hear it and it makes it more real to them.

Preaching is not about me – its about equipping people with the right tools to walk their Christian life well, wherever they do life. This series on the Words of Jesus (see previous post) is going to be amazing but with a series like this, the burden of responsibility has already begun to kick in – bringing the right word, making it relevant to peoples circumstances whilst challenging them too, speaking the truth and allowing God to have His way.

Update: getting excited about delving in the Red Letters – the Words of Jesus. It’s interesting to think about what His words are full of, how they challenged when they were first heard and continue challenge today.

The Words of Jesus

We are about to launch into a new series at Xcel Church called Red Letters. Check out the promo we did here

The words of Jesus. It’s definitely a back to basics kind of series. I think we can read the Gospels without really getting to grips with what is actually being said through the words. There is so much in those ‘red letters’. We forget to easily what it must have been like to hear those words for the first time.

The ‘did He really say that’ reaction.
The ‘He cannot say that’ reaction.
The ‘I can relate to that’ reaction.
The ‘those words changed my life’ reaction.

I am going to enjoy unpacking this topic, which in reality is huge.

Let’s talk about Jesus the man, the Son of God, how the words He spoke always had an impact, how He spoke differently to different people, how His words showed what He was offended by.

Let’s talk about how we must treat the words, get into minds of people who were hearing them for the first time – how Jesus used them to show value, paint pictures, challenge the process, challenge religion, turn tradition on its head, so to speak.

The words of Jesus were effected by what
He was offended by…
He was impressed by…
He was unimpressed by…

His words had focus
His words challenged
His words had power
His words brought life

It’s going to be great. Love to know what your favourite words of Jesus are and the reason for that!