Real 3 - John

The real life story of Jesus Christ is told by the real life man John.

Doyle Jackson
Mar 4, 2018    37m
In this sermon Pastor Doyle Jackson tells us about the Apostle John. We learn about his real life, loving, relationship with Jesus Christ through his writings. Pastor Jackson hypothesizes that John was Jesus's cousin, but didn't say so in his writings, so that we wouldn't be distracted by what he had to say about Jesus. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Doyle Jackson: 00:53 Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Good morning. Good morning. Good morning. I'm excited to be here with you. My name is Doyle. Would you tell me yours? Awesome. A couple of you had to struggle for a moment, it's okay. Hey, if you've got a worship folder, would you do me a favor, hold it up and shake it. I want to see it real quick. Okay? Alright, look inside there. It has all our Easter stuff on it. We want you to begin to pray, think about who you're going to invite. Statistics tell us this, that over 50 percent, I believe it's 52 percent of the people, if you invite them...Okay, If you invite them to Easter, they'll come. So that means a one in two chance, man. If I had a one in two chance, I mean just think how my dating life would've been, it would have been a lot better than it was. Okay, I knew it was much lower than that. Invite somebody to Easter, they want to come, they're just waiting for somebody to invite them. And we're going to have more invitations out for you very soon.

Doyle Jackson: 01:45 While you've got that worship folder out, if you would pull out the notes, you can follow along with me there. If you want, you can follow along on The Church Next Door app. Today we're talking about real Jesus. And the reason that is, is because John, what he wants to do is give you and I a picture of the real Jesus. Now let me tell you about John, because it helps you understand the real Jesus. We've been looking through these different people, that are real people in the Bible, and this is what we found. Is that if you know that they're real, it adjusts the way you relate to them.

Doyle Jackson: 02:20 For example, alright, I had the privilege of going to school with Billy Graham's nephew. That's right, Billy Graham's nephew and I went to school together. He lived across the hall from me when I was in seminary. And I remember it because he would talk about it, and he would talk about it this way. He would say Uncle Billy, Huh? And so from then on, I had a different way of relating to Billy Graham, instead of this great evangelists that we all know that has impacted our world. And this week we've been celebrating, I always think of him as Uncle Billy, he was a real person. He was a real person. See, once you know somebody, or you know somebody who knows somebody, you want to know, well give me the inside scoop. Is Billy Graham really nice? You know what I'm saying? And he was, I got to meet him, and he was just a kind, gentle man. Every person that talks about him, that I've heard this week, talks about him that way, alright?

Doyle Jackson: 03:16 Well, John talks about Jesus in a different way from other people, because he knew him as the real Jesus for him. John actually describes himself as the most loved, or the most beloved, of all the disciples. I love that. I can relate to that, because you've heard me say it before, I know that I'm my mother's favorite. It's just a fact, alright? Now, if you meet my brothers, they'll tell you a similar thing. They'll say, oh no, I'm mom's favorite. You know, why is that? Because this is what we believe, we believe our mother is extremely loving, and she just gives that off. And so I believe, when you open up the Gospel of John, and you read John's account of Jesus, what he wants you to get across as this. If you would get to know Jesus, I want you to know you'll walk away believing that he loves you more than anyone else in the world. You'll walk away, and you'll say, no, you don't understand Jesus. He may have died 2000 years ago, but what he's done for me is proof that he loves me more than anyone else in the world. And if you'll get to know Jesus, he'll love you the same way. That's so powerful. So powerful.

Doyle Jackson: 04:44 Where does John get this? How can this be? Well, if you would, just give me a few minutes, I want to unpack who John was, and the context. Some of what I'm going to tell you is not written in scripture. Okay? But the historical facts around it help us go, oh wow, you see what I'm saying? And so I want to do that with you. In the time of Jesus, and the world of Jesus, and the world of John, we have certain things that are in scripture. Like it tells us in Matthew and Mark and Luke. Matthew, Mark and Luke, they give a certain perspective on Jesus. It's about what Jesus did, and what Jesus said. Okay? And they're very similar accounts. Mark's account is the shortest, and more than likely it is the first account of the Jesus Story.

Doyle Jackson: 05:36 And then later Matthew came along, and he wrote his account, and he was trying to fill in some gaps and explain some things. Because he had a particular audience in mind, and he wanted to help them understand Jesus, and what it meant to be a disciple. And then Luke came along. We talked about him a couple of weeks ago. If you didn't hear that, go back and listen to it. Because Luke, he came to know Jesus through Paul's when he was living in Asia. Luke was a doctor, and then Luke got to visit the Holy Land, and Luke went and investigated, and he went and visited the different people, and he wanted to make sure everybody understood this was historical. This happened in this place, and he with surgeons precision, gives us every detail and he becomes the ancient world's most famous historian.

Doyle Jackson: 06:20 Well, John arrives, it's a different period of time. John grew up, and he was one of the disciples with Jesus. We know because of the Matthew, Mark and Luke accounts that Jesus comes along the shore of the Sea of Galilee one day, Peter and Andrew are fishing. Okay? And Jesus says, come follow me. And then it says next to Peter's boat was his partner, his partner in the fishing industry, Zebedee and his two boys, James and John. So it clues us in there, that James and John were part of a family business with Peter. Now, the reason it says James and John, is the same reason at my house we talk about Alan, Phillip and Doyle. I'm always the last in the list, that's because I'm younger, and I'm more handsome. It's because I'm the beloved one. Because guess what? Once my Mama had me, she's like, that's the end no more, we don't need anymore, we have perfection. I like you guys, you get this. So when John is described in the other accounts, he's the younger brother. Okay? He's part of this family business, and in and he's being invited into this. Now what you and I don't see from culture, is that in the ancient world, well the way it worked was this. Your education went until you were about age 15. Alright? And at age 15 you had two tracks you needed to go on, the best track, the most economically good for you track. It's same to this day, it's continue your education, and you would go to work under a rabbi. So at age 15 you'd go get an internship, a scholarship program, where you studied under a rabbi. So you would try to get entrance into one of these rabbis schools, and you would follow that rabbi, they would teach you, and you'd just be one of their followers. The other track was, if you didn't matriculate into the education path, then you had to go towards an internship of a job. Very similar to the world in which you and I live. So at 15 education ends, or you follow a rabbi, or you go to work, more than likely, in the family business. That's where James and John were.

Doyle Jackson: 09:01 And John tells you the story and he says, I want you to know about Jesus, and I want you to know that he was my rabbi. But when Jesus grabs these guys, they're not necessarily following rabbis. Now Peter and Andrew and James and John had all followed John the Baptist for a period of time, they are listed as shifting from John the Baptist, over to Jesus in this process. Okay? They'd been listening to John going down, he was the rabbi. Okay? Now, what we know about John the Baptist is this, that he is related to Jesus, right? We know because the story of Mary and Elizabeth, and the leaping in the womb, and the joy that comes from that, that they are cousins. What you and I miss is the relationship with John. Now, let me just stop for a second, because I want to remind you again what I want you to get from John. John wants you to take away not just the what Jesus did and said, but the who he was. Looking at your notes. I wrote it down, because I want you to get this. Okay? It's really important. John's perspective on Jesus and the Church are unique, as the one who was closest to Jesus, while on earth. His chief concern seems to be that we know more than what Jesus did and said, and realize who he was, who Jesus is. So who was Jesus to John.

Doyle Jackson: 10:46 Jesus was more than just John's rabbi. Look at what it says in the Gospel of John, the gospel of John. It says, "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister. Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby. He said to her, Woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, here is your mother. From that time on this disciple took her into his home." See John, John was standing there at the cross with the women. Why was John there at the cross with the women? I believe John was there at the cross with the women, more than likely, because John was the youngest of the disciples. John could have been 15, maybe younger, maybe 16, when Jesus called him out of his boat to drop his nets. Now, just from my perspective, 14, 15 year old boy working nets with the father's business, and someone gives me an opportunity to leave. I'm out of there baby. I'm getting that. But John more than likely at the cross, it's three years later, he's still pretty young. He's not allowed, in that culture, to be running around without a rabbi, without a mentor, without someone over him. And John, oh my gosh, I'm stuck with the women again. But Jesus looks at him at the Cross and he says, you're still here with me to the end, and you're standing there, and I want you to know something John. I need you to do something extra special for me, I need you to take care of my Mama. My brothers aren't here, and I'm about done with this life in this way. Watch my mother. And there's a bond between men at this level. There's a bond when a man at a hard place like that, looks at another man and they asked that, it's a done deal. That's a done deal.

Doyle Jackson: 13:12 Now, what's interesting is this, the thing that the Bible doesn't specifically say this, but this is what I believe. I'm good with it, I believe that John was Jesus's cousin. This is why, in the same way the Bible does not say for you that John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin, but it gives you the connection there, and you're like, well, that makes sense. When you look at the other accounts of Jesus and the cross, when you look at Matthew. It says, that standing at the foot of the cross is this group of women. Mary of Magdala was there, the wife of Zebedee is there, and then it goes on to describe these other women. And then when you when you look at the other Gospel, it says that Salome, the mother of James and John. But here in John, John refers to his mother as the sister of Mary. That would mean that Jesus was his cousin. It totally changes the story. It totally changes the way you relate to it, because when James and John are described at different times, they are described as fiery boys. I mean they are something else. They're called the sons of thunder, the sons of thunder. And I read that and my first thought is, well does that Zebedee had gas? And then another part of me thinks no, if Jesus was their older cousin, if Jesus is in his 30'ish, okay, and they are teens. Than Jesus was in the house at Salome and Zebedee when they were running around, and they were a thunderous heard in the house, and they've always been this way. They've always been two rambunctious brothers, full of energy. Dad had to have them on the boat, just to keep them tuned down, maybe?

Doyle Jackson: 15:25 The Bible tells us that there's this one account, when Jesus is in Samaria, and he's dealing with the Samaritans. And James and John run up and say, do you want us to call down fire from heaven on them? I mean, their first gut reaction is to do something wild like that. And you know what I see in that? I see a couple of young men that are a lot like Peter. What's Peter doing on the night Jesus was betrayed, he's whipping out his sword, he's cutting off... Their first reaction is, you know, shoot first, ask questions later. They were probably a thunderous, energetic, fiery couple of guys. Notice this, when Jesus goes up on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John, Pete, Jim and John, you read through it again. What's his deal? Why are these guys so special? It says when they get to Jerusalem, Jesus looks at Peter and John and he says, I have a special assignment for you. Would you do me a favor? Would you to go get the donkey, a colt? If they ask you who sent you? Just say the master does, and John was a part of that.

Doyle Jackson: 16:48 You realize that Peter is the only one listed, among the disciples, as being married. It says that Peter's mother-in-law was sick, and so Jesus went to her house and healed her, so she could get up and make dinner. Let's not even discuss the sexism in that, but it tells us the truth about the relationship. Peter, more than likely is the eldest disciple, he's the only one that's married. The rest of these guys are high school age, and more than likely John is the youngest. And the night that Jesus had communion with them, John is leaning up against Jesus. He's like, just leaning on him, cousin Jesus. When John looked at Jesus, he saw a man, through the eyes of a teenage boy, who's wanting to be a man, who's longing to have a life of meaning and purpose. And in the same way, if you had an older cousin in your life, or a maybe an older brother, an older sister, that looked at you and they throw you the keys when you were 16 and said, come on, let's go for a drive. You're driving, and you suddenly you felt all this respect, all this love, all this trust, that's John. And on the cross he looks down at John, and he says, okay son, the ride's not over, but I need you to watch my mom now. In the Christian church, the tradition is, is that John watched after Jesus's mom.

Doyle Jackson: 18:43 Later on, the church in Jerusalem is persecuted, it's scattered across the earth. We have that historical information, [inaudible] comes, plows down the city. Because of a false messiah, by the name of Bar Kokhba, so the Christians have to leave Jerusalem. More than likely John makes his way to Ephesus. Ephesus becomes the center of the church's sending units. it's where they keep meeting, and sending people out. Because Jerusalem is, it's still part of us, there's still some people there, but it's not the sending church, the powerful church, getting the word out. And John is teaching there, and everybody already has Matthew, Mark and Luke, and John sees the church growing. Paul is now gone, Peter is now gone, he's aging, and he looks at the church and he sees what's going on in the church, and he becomes concerned. He's the last apostle, the last disciple, he knows Jesus so well.

Doyle Jackson: 19:44 The church is skewing two ways. One way the church is skewing is out here towards grace, and people have been focusing so much on God's grace, and God's love that they're saying, God's grace is so good. You don't even have to clean up your life, you don't have to to get rid of the sin, and that becomes a concern. And what John is writing to, is he's writing to people. He says, I want you to know something, Jesus loves you, and love is all about Jesus. But you must understand something, Jesus came to cleanse us of our sin, to redeem us out of the pit, and give us a new life. And it's in relating to him that you can have freedom from sin. Wherever Jesus went, he accepted people, but he said, I want you to throw away the old life, and take up a new. He said things like, you know, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it can't produce, that old way of life has to die.

Doyle Jackson: 20:39 Now the other extreme is a church that has become legalistic. They've got a list of rules, and the right things and wrong things you've got to do, and these people think that they can do it. And John would say, no, no, you're missing it, you still need God's love. There are some things you shouldn't do, but please let his spirit, let the spirit of God guide you, not man made rules. And he said, you guys have got to stop focusing so much on the what Jesus did, and what Jesus said, you need to know who Jesus was. Let me tell you, he loved me, he wanted me to be a part of what he was doing. He wants you to be a part of it, he wants you to live your life under the grace, under the awareness, that you are beloved by him, and serve with him. And that's the perspective John writes with.

Doyle Jackson: 21:33 When John writes, he makes this whole series of statements out of Jesus' mouth. He says, this is what Jesus said. See John's perspective, when John talks about Jesus, it's so personal. He gives you these one on one interactions. He tells you the story. He gives you the tidbit that the others don't. That when they were at the last supper, and Jesus goes to wash their feet, that Peter argued with Jesus. He said, oh no, Jesus don't wash my feet. Then he says, oh, Jesus, wash all of me. How could John know that? Because John was right there next to him. He was listening in like a little brother, tattle telling on you, for staying out too late. John was on the inside scoop with Jesus.

Doyle Jackson: 22:19 Now in your notes, look at this because this is really important. He's the one that says to you and I, that Jesus said, I am the bread of life in John 6:35. Jesus is the one that said, I am the light of the world, in John 8:12. Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life, in John 11:25. In John's Gospel, Jesus said, I am the door, I am the good shepherd, I am the way, the truth, and the life, I am the true vine. Why does John Keeps saying this, I am, I am, I am? Because he wants you and I to know that Jesus is the I am, that Jesus is the I am of the burning Bush, that Jesus is the I am. And he will be for you, believe in him, believe in him.

Doyle Jackson: 23:13 John, he's at Ephesus, he's older, he's probably around 80. He's been hearing this about the church, and he begins to write, but he's not void of the context of the world around him. He realizes that he lives in a world that certain language is important. And he realizes that people want to know, okay, well if God was born in a manger, and you guys call him Jesus, would you mind telling me what his name was before he was Jesus? And John answers the most important question about Jesus ever. He says, let me tell you what Jesus's name was before he was born in a manger to my Auntie Mary. That's so wild. He says his name was, Lagos, his name was the word, listen to what he says. This is John chapter one, he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him, all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

Doyle Jackson: 24:39 Why did John choose these words? Six hundred years before John arrived in Ephesus, there was a philosopher, in the beginning of science. The first scientist, so to speak, his name was Heraclites of Ephesus. Now Heraclites had this idea, and his idea was if we could study the world around us, if we could just figure it out. If we could get the right word to go around it, then we could study it more fully. And he said, the reason we need to know this word, is because the word behind the study, is the reason why it's so. He took the word Lagos, the word Lagos, and he said, Lagos means the reason why. And he said, if we can find out the reason why behind life, then we can study life and understand it. And so he was the first one to create the word biology. Bios means life in Lagos. Biology. This scientist is the one to create the first idea behind meteorology, geology, psychology, sociology, et Cetera, et Cetera.

Doyle Jackson: 25:54 So when John writes to you and I, he says, listen, Heraclites has got it, but let me tell you what the real story is. It's Jesus, he is the word. Now 5,000 miles from Heraclites, and several centuries later is a similar philosopher in Alexandria. Alexandria is on the Mediterranean coast on North Africa, what you and I would call Egypt today. And there's a huge library there, it's a place of study, it's a place of learning and Philo says this. He says, we have to understand life better, and the word Lagos is the key to it. And we've been calling word Lagos. We've been calling that it, and we need to the pronoun, it needs to be he. And so Philo changes the way we relate, changed the whole way of the world. These two guys begin to change the whole way we relate to this idea of Lagos. And John takes that in the same way, that Solomon in the book of proverbs, when talks about wisdom being a woman and he says, she. Solomon always used, the word of God always use wisdom from the perspective of a her. The ladies would agree, that's a good idea.

Doyle Jackson: 27:20 What Heraclites, and Philo, and John Bring together is this, Jesus is the answer to life, Jesus is the word, he explains everything about life. And if you'll come to Jesus and get to know him, you'll get to know Jesus, you'll understand everything there is to understand about eternity, everything you need to know about life, everything about the divinity of God, everything you need to know about humanity and being a person. I wrote it this way, since Jesus is the eternal word, he can give us everlasting life. Because he was a real person, he can have a personal relationship with God. His deity gives him authority to forgive sins, and as a human he can make atonement for our sins. What John said is this, in John 20:31, he said, what John wanted us to know about Jesus is, that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and by believing you may have life, and life eternal. If John was here today, and I believe he is through his testimony and his word, he would say to you and I, believe. He would say, believe in Jesus, believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. It's the only answer. John would say that to us about Jesus, because he knew him the best. He said, I've watched him all my life. I've watched him.

Doyle Jackson: 29:10 The only detail that's important, the only thing is for you to know he is the great I am. He is what he says he was. You can rely on it. When John writes to the church in First John, he says, let me tell you how to be. He says, what do you need to be? And he says this, he says, be satisfied, be sinless, be safe, and be sure. In John's letters, he says, you can be satisfied. He says, if you know Jesus, and you can recognize him and just be satisfied with knowing him, and no longer be grabbing at the things of this world, no longer striving and doing all that, if you can just be satisfied that God loves you, and that you are valuable. That's the key And then he said, be sinless. He says, have nothing to do with sin, have nothing to do with that former way of life. He says, just let that go. Those old temptations, the only way you can overcome them is by Jesus. Wherever Jesus went, he invited people to be free of their sin, not through their own effort, but by coupling with him, by knowing him and believing him. And say, God, you got to help me with this, I need a new life. In the same way that those lepers came to Jesus to be clean, you and I come to Jesus to be clean. We can't do it on our own. And he said, you can be safe. you don't have to worry about the tempter, you don't have to worry about the devil and his schemes, you don't have to worry about being deceived. He said, if you will just believe in Jesus and just be satisfied with him, believe with all your heart and know that he's the one that's going to make you sinless, he's also the one that's going to keep you safe. And then finally be sure, be sure of whom you believed in, be sure that if you've put your trust in Jesus, it's good for all eternity. It's interesting because this verse that he uses here and in First John Five, he says, for you and I to believe, but he uses a special Greek tense, Greek has the ability that English doesn't. It has the present perfect, and the present perfect what it does is that it says something starts here in time, but there's some sort of energy, there's this force that keeps going in that and it'll goes on to forever and ever and ever. And so he says, if you've believed in Jesus and you've started that in your life, just know this, he will continue that in your life if you allow him. Just continue to believe in that, and that energy, that force that comes from God will continue, and you do not have to worry about what happens.

Doyle Jackson: 32:08 John's last writing, his last writings, is the Book of Revelation. And some people put it into a whole other category. A lot of people are frightened of it, and I get that. I know why people are frightened by Revelation, but John would not want you to be frightened of Revelation. John wrote Revelation to the church, because he wanted the church to be encouraged, he wanted the church to be blessed. He wanted the church to snuggle in close to Jesus the way he did, and know Jesus is the one who loves you. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son. That's John, John wants you to know God's love, he wants you to live surrounded by God's love. He doesn't want you to be afraid, he wants you to fan the flame, the passion for him, that understanding that Jesus brought into your life from the beginning, he wants you to be close to that. So when John writes revelation, he's writing to you and I, and he saying to you and I, don't be afraid, hang on, the best is yet to come. Why? Why would John say that? It's such a brutal, bloody, horrific picture of the last days. Because John's still remembers Jesus as that guy on the shore of Galilee, that threw him the keys and said, come on son, we've got some stuff to do. The thought for John of Jesus' return, is like the best idea in the world, because when Jesus is involved, life really happens. What John is saying is the world can be falling apart around you, if you know Jesus, you can walk on water. Hmm? Blind eyes will be healed, the dead will be raised. Know my Jesus, my Jesus is the one from the beginning of all time, and he will be here for the continuation of all time. And John Invites you and I into that because Jesus was his cousin, but he never tells you he's his cousin, because he doesn't want you to get lost in that. He wants you to get lost in Jesus's is love. He wants you to get lost, that Jesus loves you. And if you will get to know Jesus, he will treat you the same way he treated John, because that's the way Jesus is.

Doyle Jackson: 34:51 Some of you here today, you're still not sure about God. Do your best to try to get to know the Jesus that John speaks of, it'll transform your life. Some of you, you've allowed the situations of life to create doubts in your mind about God, I challenge you to leave them here today, try to get to know Jesus. Some of you have continued in the faith for some time, continue on. Church history tells us that John was 90, maybe 91, when he preached his last sermon. They say it was at Ephesus. He was so old and frail that they carried him in on a litter, they brought him to the front of the church. He leaned up, sat up, and he said to them, God is love, and God loves you. Go love as many people as you possibly can, love each other. Then they carried him out, and he went to be with Jesus. That's the real Jesus, and that's the real John.

Doyle Jackson: 36:32 Here's our confession for today. It says, Jesus, you are the way, the truth and the life. Your blood has set me free to live. I'm satisfied and joy filled. Keep me from temptation and deception, that I might continue to serve. In Jesus' name, Amen. You know if, if you're new, and you're uncomfortable with that prayer, you don't have to say it. But if you want to try it out, we invite you to say it with us, and I invite you to stand. If there's someone here that's with you, and you're willing to take their hand, I think it's a great way of showing the people around you that they are loved, and they're welcome. Okay? We'll say this prayer together, and if you want to pray some more, talk some more will be down here. Okay? Let's say this together. Jesus, you are the way, the truth and the life. Your blood has set me free to live. I am satisfied and joy filled. Keep me from temptation and deception, that I might continue to serve. In Jesus' name, Amen. Amen. God bless you. Thanks for coming.

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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