Look at hidden images. Why is it hard to recognise the images? How can we make it easier to recognise them?
i. How did the Jews not recognise Jesus as the Christ?
There are several hundred OT prophecies concerning the Christ and Jesus fulfilled every one of them.
He was from the tribe of Judah, the house of David, born in Bethlehem, presented with gifts…
(For those who would like more evidence and a little homework, look at Psalm 42 and Isaiah 53.)
Jesus fulfilled prophecies not just regarding who He was but what He did:
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22
The Pharisee Nicodemus (amongst other leaders) recognised these things. He said that no-one could do these things unless they were from God. Too true! But what about the majority of the Jewish leaders? Why were they unable to recognise Jesus as the Christ?
In a word, they were proud. 彼らは高慢でした。They were hard-hearted, stiff-necked people,
– prone to envy - ねたみがち
– misguided expectations, - 誤った期待
– resistant to change. - 変化に抵抗
ii. How did the disciples not recognise Jesus right after His resurrection?
This was a little different from the error of the Jews. But it is interesting for us to consider.
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. Luke 24:15,16
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. John 21:12
Jesus had a new physical appearance after His resurrection that kept the disciples from recognising Him straight away. But there were other factors, too. The disciples were:
– prone to despondency (they had all run away) 落胆しがち
– misguided expectations (Peter was so misguided in his expectations that Jesus called him ‘Satan’ and told him to ‘get behind him’.) 誤った期待
– slow to change (Many times Jesus told his disciples plainly that he would die and resurrect, but they couldn’t understand.) 変わるのに時間がかかる
iii. How is it that people today do not recognise Jesus?
Obviously, there is no physical body to look at. Yet with the benefit of hindsight, mountains of evidence from the days of Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit since then, how is it that people still do not recognise Jesus as the Christ?
We can cite the lack of unity in His followers, the temptations and distractions of this world, the suffering and hardships that bring bitterness and blame. These are all true to some degree. But at the core of the human condition is a predisposition [from sin] toward unbelief that can make it difficult to recognise God.
Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. John 12:37 (See also the whole comedic episode in John 9!) The same is still true today.
Many people want God to ‘prove Himself’ to them. Ironically, He has already done this and many still don’t believe. That’s what Easter is all about! The problem isn’t God’s proving Himself, it’s our inability and unwillingness to open our hearts to Him. We have a responsibility in this. The onus is now on us. 神が神であることの証明を求めている人が多くいます。
When I speak from the pulpit, we each have a responsibility. I have a responsibility to speak the Word of God clearly, fully, faithfully and in a way that holds your interest. (How am I doing?) You have a responsibility to be a good listener. (You’re doing well!) If I get up to speak and you fold your arms, nod your head and say, ‘Ah! Nap time!’, please don’t hold me accountable if you don’t get anything out of the message! I suspect Jesus had similar issues when He spoke. He often said to the crowds, “If you have ears to hear, listen!”. Mark 4:23
The onus is on us to recognise Jesus and what God has done through Him.
So how can we do this and not make the same mistakes that the disciples first made, or that the Jews made? Without the physical body of Jesus, How can we recognise Jesus today? 今の私たちはどのようにしてイエスが分かるのでしょうか？
We can recognise Jesus By the Word 御言葉によって
John said, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30,31
Avoid misleading fictions like the Da Vinci Code and weird Youtube videos which are filled with errors and falsehoods. And don’t just read about the Bible. Read the Bible! Familiarise yourself with the Bible as the true, authoritative, reliable Word of God. Read it, study it, meditate on it, question it, delight in it, believe in it. That is a prime way that we can recognise Jesus. 真理であり、権威があり、信頼できる神の御言葉である聖書をよく把握すること
Warning!: Knowing the Bible is important means of recognising Jesus as Lord, but knowing the Bible is not the same thing as recognising Jesus as Lord.
Recognising God requires knowledge and faith. If we only have faith, we’ll believe anything. If we only have knowledge then we’ll only know about God but we’ll never know Him personally. 神を知るには知識と信仰が必要です。
We can recognise Jesus by learning and applying the truth of the Scriptures.
B. We can recognise Jesus By the Holy Spirit 聖霊によって
– The Holy Spirit is manifest in the conscience of Christians. (Romans 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—)
Though subject to Biblical teaching, our conscience is a very real and insightful means of Holy Spirit activity. 聖霊はクリスチャンの良心に現れます。
– The Holy Spirit illuminates Scripture to us. He helps us to make sense of the scriptures which tell us how Jesus is the Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us to enjoy scripture and be inspired by it. 聖霊は聖書を私たちに明らかにします。
– The Holy Spirit is manifest in the fruits and gifts of the God. The fruits of the Spirit are qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. These can’t be faked. The gifts of the Spirit are manifestations like prophecy, faith, evangelism and so on. 聖霊は神の実や賜物に現れます。
In each of these gifts and fruits, the Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus – that is, The Holy Spirit helps us to recognise Jesus as Lord.
We recognise Jesus through the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the lives of others. 私たちの人生や他の人たちの人生にはたらいている聖霊を通してイエスが分かります。
C. We can recognise Jesus By the church family 教会家族によって
We were made for community and the Holy Spirit shines most brightly in community. The Holy Spirit was first poured out amidst the community of believers. The first missionaries were sent out amidst the community of believers. We are strongly encouraged to meet regularly (as we do) as a community of believers.
The fruits and gifts of the Spirit are by necessity brought forth and developed amidst community. 私たちは地域社会に生きるように造られ、聖霊は地域社会のうちにもっとも明るく輝きます。
So we also recognise Jesus in one another. ですから私たちはお互いの間のうちにイエスが分かります。
This Easter by the power of the Word, the Holy Spirit and the community of believers, let’s recognise, celebrate and worship Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, so that by believing we may have full life in his name.