[00:00:00] Awesome. Well, welcome to central here in this room or whatever room you're watching from a it's summer changes, everything weekend. We have students up front. Good to see you guys. How you feeling? You all right. That's all right. We'll get there. Okay. Cool. Well, It's good to be here. Thanks so much for being here with us this weekend.
[00:00:21] Hey, if you have a Bible, you turn to John chapter 19. That's what we're going to spend our time together today, John chapter 19, starting in verse one, and I'd like to open us up in prayer and ask that God might speak to us in a powerful way as we continue in worship as we read from his word. So let's pray together.
[00:00:38] God, thanks so much for who you are things for this weekend and this day, and this. These few minutes, God, that we have to open your word and to learn from it. And, uh, God, we just believe it's a powerful thing that your, that your word is living. That it's active. That even though it was written thousands of years ago across the world, we know that it can change us here and now today.
[00:01:02] And so ask that you'll do that work. We need your holy spirit to do that. We need your living word to do that. God. So be generous to us. Be faithful, encourage us as we need to be in. Uh, challenge us as we need to be challenged. God, we want to hear from you in this time. So we love you so much and we pray this all in Jesus name.
[00:01:21] Everybody said, amen. So my mom is from the south. She's from Tennessee shout out Tennessee. Wow. Okay. And then they got placed for the Titans. That's awesome. So that threw me off. That's amazing. So my mom's from the south Tennessee and it means a few different things. The first thing that, that means is that on Saturdays we watch college football.
[00:01:45] That's just what we do. And so we like neglect other responsibilities in order to watch college football all day. Everything about college football is amazing to me. I just grew up watching it every single Saturday in the fall, having a parent from the south also. You grow up with this encyclopedia of like very bizarre phrases that people in the south just say, like, they're very normal, but here's the thing they're not very normal.
[00:02:11] And so like, let's say just hypothetically, you're a third grader in Illinois and your friends are like, what, what'd your mom? Just say, that's super weird. And I'm like, I don't want to talk about it. And so like, that's just how it goes. Right. So I'll give you an. Uh, w growing up, if my brother and I were upset or mad or in a bad mood about anything, my mom would never say, why are you upset my son?
[00:02:33] She would say a really weird Southern phrase. Maybe you've heard this. She would say, why are your panties in a. And I would be like, I hate that. You said that to me right now. And so I just wanted to say it in a microphone so that you got to share in that with me and imagine what it would be like to be a five-year-old and be like, I'm not entirely sure what panties are.
[00:02:50] I don't think I have them. I don't even know what you're saying right now. Right? Like this is terrible. Your brother's just got his panties in a lot. I'm like, mom, you got to stop. This is so rough. I could tell you a million of these phrases. But as I was thinking about this message today, I was reminded of another one.
[00:03:06] This is a. You might've heard before. If I could, if I could deliver this with a convincing Tennessee accent, it would be even that much more impactful, but you'll just have to use your imagination for our time today. It's the phrase I got bigger fish to fry. I got bigger fish to fry. You've heard this right.
[00:03:23] We got, we got bigger fish to fry. We have more important things to give our attention to. There are more pressing matters at hand that we should be paying attention to in the things that we are paying attention to are too small of fish, so to speak. And we need to kind of refocus on the more important things.
[00:03:41] But in the south, they just say, we've got bigger fish to fry. Move on right today. We're talking about this idea of being on offendable. That as followers of Jesus, we should be on offendable. We should be impossible to offend. Why? Because we have a victory that can never be. We have a victory in Jesus that can never be taken from us.
[00:04:03] We should be on offendable because we have the eternal power that comes from the creator. God that spun all things into existence. Like what could offend us. We should be impossible to offend because our God is ushering in a new kingdom. That is way beyond any earthly kingdom or power structure. What should be able to offend us?
[00:04:26] Don't we have bigger fish to fry. Like, are we really going to get sucked in to the earthly arguments and division and disunity and aggression that we see all around us? Are we going to just play into that game? That our culture is playing? Are we going to come into church and lift our hands and say, you've turned graves into gardens.
[00:04:46] You've turned bones into armies. Like just these anthems of hope and calm. And victory. And then we walk out of our church and then we put our gloves back on and get into the ring and fight and argue just like everyone else. And we're all guilty of this to some level. I know I am, I can get so worked up and I try to remind myself these trees that I know that man have it.
[00:05:11] Haven't you been bought by the blood of Jesus? Like haven't you been secured for eternity because of how much God loves you. Haven't you been made a son or a daughter of the most high God? Like, why are you so worked up? Why are you so offended? But I'll still fall into it. I'll still find myself at like 10:00 PM arguing with a stranger on Twitter.
[00:05:33] Like, what are you doing? Go to bed. Right. But this is. This is what we do. And I think God is calling us to something higher. He's calling us to something beyond being offended by everything around us. So we're going to look at the story today in John 19, that's towards the end of Jesus' life. It's actually in the last sort of night of his life as he's gotten arrested and now he's on trial and this story is intense.
[00:05:58] He he's being accused of a lot of. His reputation has character has intentions. Everything about him is completely under attack and it's offensive and it's an intense scene. And hopefully prayerfully today. We're going to learn from this story in John 19. I think God wants us to get better today. So let's jump in John 19, starting in verse one, it says.
[00:06:25] Then pilot took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying hail king of the Jews. And they struck him in the face. Once more pilot came out and said to the Jews, look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.
[00:06:49] When Jesus came out, wearing the crown of. The crown of Thrones. Wouldn't that be interesting? The crown of thorns and the purple robe pilots said to them here is the man. As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, crucify him crucify. So this is an intense way to start this story.
[00:07:09] And it leads us to the first reason why I think we are offended. Number one, we're offended because we're. We're offended because we're threatened and this is a threatening scene. Things do not look good for Jesus at all in this scene, right? He's flogged. He's beaten to a pulp. If you didn't know, oftentimes during a Roman empire flogging, the victim would actually die because of how severe the beating was because of the trauma that was happening to them.
[00:07:37] And so usually they would flog a criminal. They would whip them and beat them on their way to a more formal execution. But oftentimes the criminal never made it through the flogging. It almost always knocked them. Unconscience like this, wasn't a spank. Jesus was flogged and beaten almost to the point of death.
[00:07:55] He's bleeding, he's cut open. And then this crown of thorns is jammed into his head, humiliating him, mocking him, and they're like hail the king of the Jews as they're coming up and hitting him in the face and spitting on him. This is difficult to imagine. It's hard to wrap our minds around just how dark this moment would have been.
[00:08:18] Just how hopeless this seemed. Victory never seemed more unlikely than it did here. And now this is a threat through and through. And if we're honest, we feel threatened by our world right now. Like, it seems like everywhere we turn, we see things that are seemingly getting darker and darker and more and more hopeless all of the time.
[00:08:41] And the truest sense of the word we feel insecure. We feel threatened. We feel like our security, our stability under the victory of Jesus is shakeable it's insecure. It's able to be moved. Can I say something potentially offensive to you today? You are as offendable as you are in. You are as a findable, as you are insecure.
[00:09:05] I really believe that what are you insecure about? Okay. Then those are the things that you can be offended by. When, when that insecurity gets triggered, that's when the swords come out. Right. That's what we do as humans. I'll give you an example. I'll just use me. So don't feel uncomfortable. I am, I'm six foot four.
[00:09:22] I have been since I was 16 years old and I was really hoping that there'd be like another growth spurt. Cause I was like, man, if I could get to six, eight, maybe I could play in the NBA. All out. All that I would need is to be much better at basketball and generally more athletic. And so, but that wasn't in the cards.
[00:09:37] And so I stayed six, four. You could spend a lot of time, like crafting a really perfect short joke to try to offend me. Like you could hire in writers from Saturday night live to like, how can we really cut deep? Like how can we offend him about his height? It's not going to work. I'm not going to be offended by that.
[00:09:57] Why? Because. That's not how that works. Now, if you, if you pressed on something that I am actually insecure about, then we're going to do some damage, right. Even if you kind of like flirt, if you're flying in the orbit of something I'm insecure about, I might just get mad at you because I'm insecure. Is that just me.
[00:10:17] Okay. We're a church full of liars. That's good to see. Awesome. I'll give you an example. I'll give you an example. So I have an insecurity, a very real insecurity that I've pretty much always had. I've known that I wanted to be a preacher since I was a little kid and my dad is a preacher. And so I grew up full blown.
[00:10:33] In that world. And I had this massive insecurity. That's gotten a little bit better, but it was rough when I was younger. That no matter how much success I get in this field, it feels weird to talk about it that way. But no matter how successful I am as a preacher, everyone in the world will know that I'm just a fraud that I just got handed this thing because of who my dad or who my parents.
[00:10:54] And so like everything I accomplished, even like down to getting married, having kids that people are just like, oh, well, he's just, he just lucked out because of the family that he's from anything good that I do on my own. Doesn't get to be me doing anything good. No, surely he was just handed this because of who his.
[00:11:11] And this bleeds, this insecurity bleeds into every part of me up here on stage right now, how I act to my wife when I'm tired and insecure, how I respond to my kids. Sometimes if this insecurity gets pinged, then I turned into a not awesome version of myself to put it very lightly. So let's just say a hypothetical situation that has not happened a hundred times in my five years of being married.
[00:11:34] It'll be like, let's say that my wife and my wife, if you know her as the sweetest human being, I know she's incredible. And she's so encouraging. If you could tell her, I said it that'd be awesome, but we'll be like having a, having a normal conversation, like very not threatening at all. And my wife will be like, Hey, I'm going to put the girls down.
[00:11:51] Can you do the dishes in the sink while I do that? Well, it's the fourth quarter and I don't want to miss this game, you know, cause I'm a good husband. And so she'll be like, she'll be like, well, you know, like we have two kids now, like the dishes are gonna stack up. If we don't, if we don't get to them, it's just going to cause a bigger mess.
[00:12:07] And then I'll say something like, do you not think I'm a good dad? I'm a good dad. And she'll be like, what is happening right now? Is this about the dishes still? And I'm like, I'm going to be a good dad. And she's like, what's happening like this? Like take a step back. Like, okay, this is, I think this is my thing.
[00:12:20] I don't think this was about the dishes at all. This is an insecurity. And when you suggested maybe I help around the house go figure, then I'm like, you think I'm a terrible dad and husband and altogether man meant not made in the image of God. Right? This is how insecurity. And as it relates to our faith in Jesus, I fully believe that the less secure you are in the victory that Jesus has bought for you in his death and in his resurrection, the more offendable you are to put it another way.
[00:12:48] If you still think there's a chance we can lose, you will be really easy to. I look back on these verses and I see the gruesome picture of how Jesus was treated and the situation that he's in in John 19. And I have to remind myself over and over again. Oh my gosh. Like as dark as this seems as bad as this seems, this is how Jesus.
[00:13:12] The end of this story is Jesus in victory. The end of this story is him walking out of the tomb and leaving the sins of all mankind for all time in the tomb, dead buried, never to be brought up again. And that story of victory and hope and eternal life and purpose starts with him bleeding and cut open on trial.
[00:13:33] And I'm like, man, this is crazy to me. I have to imagine as he's sitting here, he's he's yeah, he's in. He might even be struggling to maintain consciousness, but he's not nervous. He's not wondering about whether or not this is going to work out. Even when it looks dark, like crown of thorns, dark victories coming in Jesus' name, even when it seems this hopeless, Jesus knew that this was always the plan.
[00:13:56] Jesus knew that he was on his way to. And if this is how Jesus ultimately wins, if this is how death is defeated for all people for all time, then why are we so insecure and threatened by everything around us? What could threaten us? Have we forgotten about the victory that we have that can never be taken in the kingdom of God.
[00:14:21] There's an upside down approach to victory. It's not by overthrowing Cesar. It's not by having the biggest fortress or the biggest army or the most resources. No, the victory that we have in Jesus starts with him bleeding and cut, open and beat to death. That's how he beats death. And if that's the case, then, then why do we walk around now acting like any offense to us, any infraction against the Christian worldview is like gonna knock everything out of whack is going to shake the kingdom of God is our God that small.
[00:14:55] Did Jesus not really do what he did or did it not really matter that much we're offended when we're threatened, but what could possibly threaten us? What could pull us from the victory that Jesus has given us. Let's keep reading, pick it back up in verse six. As soon as the chief priests and their official saw him, they shouted, crucify him crucify, but pilot answered you take him and crucify him.
[00:15:23] As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him. The Jews insisted we have a law. And according to that law, he must die because he claimed to be the son of. I love verse eight. When pilot heard this, he was even more afraid, like no kidding. And he went back inside the palace. Where do you come from? He asked Jesus, look at this, but Jesus gave him no answer.
[00:15:48] Where do you come from? But Jesus gave him no answer. This is fascinating. There's so much to learn from this silence. There's so much power in this. Jesus is saying so much by not saying anything at all. And this has always been a pillar of the followers of Jesus doing more and saying less they'll know us by our love.
[00:16:10] That's what God's word says it. Doesn't say they'll know us by how good we are at sharing Facebook. It doesn't say they'll know us by how good of arguers and debaters and how much we can make somebody else feel dumb. That's not how they're going to know us. They're going to know us by our love. And sometimes I think a lot of times they're gonna know us by our silence.
[00:16:26] They're gonna know us by how we're able to keep our mouth closed, but keep our hands on our feet to work, to actually serve people and build the kingdom of God. How many of you know, the kingdom of God is not built by good. It's built by hands and feet. It's built by willing hearts. It's built by people who are willing to die to themselves in order to build something else.
[00:16:45] Great. That's how this is going to happen. But Jesus gave them no answer. The world will know us by how we serve by the arguments we refuse to get into. They'll see Jesus in our willingness to love people, not by our correct answers. The second reason we're. So offendable is because we're offended because we think we're correct about everything.
[00:17:08] And we feel like it's our job to correct.
[00:17:14] You know, this is true. We have become so unteachable as a culture. I don't mean just the church. I mean our whole culture. We don't want to learn. We don't want a new perspective. We don't want a different viewpoint. We watch the news channels that already agree with us and they just, they have makeup on and a microphone and they just articulate what you already think is true.
[00:17:37] What I already think is true. And it just further cements going well, I guess they said it. So I am right. Wow. I'm batting 10 out of 10. And if you flip the channel like five channels up, they're going to have the exact opposite tape, but why would you do that? Let me just stay with what I already agreed.
[00:17:54] And your phones and our social media apps and YouTube and Google and all these engines have these algorithms that find out and learn what you think, what you believe, what your opinions are about everything. And it's really awesome because they use these algorithms to provide you a balanced diet of diverse thoughts.
[00:18:12] So that we're all really well-rounded critical thinkers. That's great. No, they just spoonfeed you. What you already. Oh, you believe that. Cool. Let's give them that belief. You think that let's give them other articles that think that obviously this is problematic and it's made us incredibly black and white in our thinking.
[00:18:32] And honestly, it's made us stubborn and immovable, but Jesus gave him no answer. Jesus didn't feel the need to respond or to correct pilot. He didn't argue with him. Why? Because he knew his purpose. He knew that this story was going to end the way that it was going to end before it even started. Jesus knew that he had bigger fish to fry.
[00:18:53] What about us? Are we willing to say less? Are we willing to come alongside people in relationship rather than just yelling from a distance about what's right or wrong? Can I say something else potentially offensive to you? God does not need us to be his moral police officers in the. It's not what he needs, not our job and where we've gotten really good at it, which, which is a bummer, but that's not what he needs from us.
[00:19:23] He's commissioned us to go in, to serve people and love them and do life with them and to go and make relationships with them so that they might see the power and the love that we have because of Jesus. So maybe prayerfully they'll find that for themselves and their own lives. He doesn't need moral police.
[00:19:40] He doesn't need us to work day and night just calling out and pointing out every single infraction that we see. Can we stop telling unchurched people how much their. First off because they don't use words like sin. And so right away, we just sound insane. Like, what are you all wizard sending? What are you talking about?
[00:20:02] And second off. Cause you're just not going to shame anybody into a relationship with Jesus. Is that how you found Jesus? Because people made you feel bad enough about it until you're like, I guess fine. No, you were exposed to goodness. You were exposed to grace and love and people serving you and it made no sense.
[00:20:18] That's why you're. If we're going to be on offendable, we've got to follow Jesus' example, but Jesus gave him no answer. He allowed his actions to speak. He knew the purpose that he was SIM for. Let's keep reading. Look at verse 10. Do you refuse to speak to me? Pilot said, don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?
[00:20:44] Jesus answers. You would have no power over me. If it were not given to you from above, therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin. This is amazing. This is one of my favorite exchanges in the new Testament. I love that pilot says, don't you realize I have power. And that question in of itself communicates that pilot is a little bit worried about how this situation is playing out, right?
[00:21:09] There's this criminal, who's almost beaten to death and pilot's like, Hey, just so you know, I'm in charge. Jesus is like in chains, bleeding out, like, okay, thanks for saying that. Hey, don't, don't you know that I have power and Jesus goes, whatever power you think you have was just given to you. You don't have any power over me.
[00:21:27] The third reason that we were offendable, we were offended because we have a wrong understanding of where power comes from. We have a wrong understanding of where power comes. I want to apply this in a few ways that I think is going to make some of us feel a little bit uncomfortable, but it's okay.
[00:21:44] We're going to get through this together. The more the world sees Christian people fight like crazy to maintain earthly power. The less they're going to care about some heavenly kingdom that we keep talking and singing and. If we're just fighting for the same platforms for the same offices, for the same places of earthly power.
[00:22:05] We got to know that they're rolling their eyes. When we talk about the kingdom of God, that's coming to pass, they're like, you're fighting just like I'm fighting. What are you talking? We need to decide where our power is going to come from. And so much of the offended ness that I see is based on earthly power, things that were never promised to us and just flat out aren't the point of what it means to follow Jesus.
[00:22:30] We're offended because we have a wrong understanding of where power comes from. Let me go there for a minute. No government can give you more or less religious. Like we got to stop fighting so hard. Like that's our end goal to have some government stated religious freedom. Look at me. You have religious freedom already.
[00:22:49] Only God is able to give you the freedom to worship him or not worship him. No government, no elected official, no office gets to decide that. You can clap. Like that's how small does our God have to be for somebody that gets elected by people like me and you. I don't even know what I want for lunch today.
[00:23:08] And I can elect somebody that can give me religious freedom. Are you out of your mind during the story of Daniel in the old Testament, Babylon put this law out that said you can't pray to anybody except for the king of Babylon anymore. What did Daniel do take to Facebook? I'm going to let them know. No, he went up and prayed.
[00:23:30] That's what Daniel did. Who gives a rip about Babylon's laws when Daniel was like, no, no, no. I pray to the most high God I have access to God. You can't take my freedom. You can't take my religious freedom for me. That's not how that works.
[00:23:47] If Daniel's praying to the God that can close the mouths of lions, what can the king of Babylon. And I think part of it is we just forgot that story, or we forgot that God is still the same all these years later, that he's still the God that closes the Mao's Alliance. That he's still the God that breaks through walls.
[00:24:04] That seem like you can't break through him. That he's still the God that brings victory and eternal life out of a bleeding out savior on trial and being falsely accused. That's the type of God that we. So, what are we yelling about religious freedom for if a government can threaten your religious freedom?
[00:24:21] I think you're just talking about personal comfort, which I did it. We love that. I love being comfortable, but, but we're not talking about religious freedom. No government gets to take that from you. We got bigger fish to fry. I love this example of Jesus, understanding of power and John 19, he knows the pilot had no power over.
[00:24:45] Pilot was just fulfilling it. Inevitable purpose that Jesus was SIM four pilot was just playing a role in the story. Pilot is such a minor character. And this Jesus wasn't threatened by him. He wasn't intimidated by him. He definitely wasn't offended by him because Jesus knew where his power came from.
[00:25:05] And we need to learn that too. Can I use one more example? I'm not sure you're gonna like it. I hear from so many people that we need to fight, like gloves on. Let's go to battle because they're trying to take God out of the schools. I don't even know who the they is and that statement, but I know that you've heard that.
[00:25:24] Can we stop saying that? Do they have the power to do that? Whoever they is. Are your kids in the schools? Are you teaching your kids how to be the hands and the feet of Jesus if you are, if they are, does anybody else have any power to do anything about God in the schools or out of the schools? Is our God that small?
[00:25:45] Is he that easy to defeat that if it's a little bit harder to do FCA meeting that God's like, well, wrap it up, guys. No, come on. Our God's big. This applies to schools, neighborhoods, workplaces, fill in the blank. I just think there's this fear, that secular culture or they, whoever we think they is, is working day and night to push Jesus out of the world.
[00:26:08] But we're acting like power comes from pilot rather than Jesus. We're acting like pilot has some authority in the story. He knows he doesn't even have authority in this. He's got to tell a beaten up criminal, like, Hey, just so you know, I'm in charge. Men know you aren't the more you have to say it, the less you have.
[00:26:26] If we keep our kids in schools, then God stays in the schools. He probably has you there on purpose. Students. Look at me right here in this room, wherever room you're at, we have a really big God and whatever school God has called you into whatever team God has called you into whatever family, whatever neighborhood, whatever Dutch bros that you all work at, God has called you into God is big enough to change that entire place just by you being.
[00:26:53] That's it like he, he doesn't need the whole Calvary. He doesn't need an elected official. He doesn't need culture to agree with us. Culture's never agreed with us, but we have a big God. And if you guys are there, man, I feel good about our chances. So keep going, keep trusting. We have bigger fish to fry.
[00:27:16] Let's finish out these verses. So we good. You guys mad at me. Okay. Verse 12. Doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.
[00:27:24] Okay. I should move on. I'm going to smarter like nude verse 12. Doesn't matter. Okay. From then on, look at this. This is so powerful to me from then on pilot, tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting. If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.
[00:27:46] I've never really noticed this before in this story, but do you see what just happened? You see how that just turned. Look back with me at this first, from then on pilot tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting. If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. So again, I'm not being, I'm not being progressive.
[00:28:07] I'm just applying this text. So if I'm reading this correctly, Who represents the state or the empire or the culture is trying to set Jesus free while the Jews, the insiders, the religious ones are reminding pilot that his allegiance needs to be to Rome.
[00:28:29] That's tough. Isn't it?
[00:28:33] Could it be. That our love of God, if we're not really careful, if we're not really focused, if we're not constantly digging into this thing, could it be that our love for God can turn into accidentally? I think in allegiance to Caesar, could it be that growing up this religious upbringing that so many of us were handed can actually become a dependence on earthly powers and systems.
[00:29:03] And could it be that culture that sees her, that the world is actually a little bit more open to Jesus than we think. And the more we punch them in the face, the less, they're going to be willing to hear that
[00:29:18] who is our allegiance to, where does our power come from? What could we possibly be threatened by? I believe in the church so much believe God wants to use us to change the. I also believe that you need to diagnose a problem to fix it. I think God wants to call us into revival. I think he wants to call us into a lifestyle of reclaiming the good news that no one can take from us.
[00:29:46] I think he wants to call us into a life of reclaiming the victory that has been bought for us to reclaim the power of the everlasting most high God that earthly powers run and hide from. I think God wants us to reclaim. Our identity today. I think God wants to shake us up so that we can see clearly where power comes from that we don't have to fight so much that we have a security that can never be taken from us, that we have a victory that we get to sing about and pray about and talk about and serve because of, and love because of in go out because of simply put, I think we have bigger fish to fry.
[00:30:24] Let me pray for us. God. We're grateful. For this truth. And sometimes God and these, and these types of stories and messages where we just feel like our butt gets kicked. We know that you're faithful to show us the next step. We know that whenever you call us out as to call us to yourself and so do that work.
[00:30:48] Now God open us up. Call us back to you. Keep our eyes focused. Keep our hearts focused on the people that you've made us to be God individually and together as a church, we need your help.
[00:31:05] Remind us of the victory that we have. God, we love you. It's in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen. Thanks guys.