Perplexed – Part One | Luke 9:7-9

YouTube video sermon

Your testimony matters, because it is perplexing!

Introduction

Luke 9:7-9 ESV  Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead,  (8)  by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen.  (9)  Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.

  • Up to this point in Luke we have seen some crazy things…
    • We have seen a barren woman bore a child and her husband lose his voice until he was born… they named him John.
    • We have seen a virgin have a child in a manger… accompanied by a choir of angles, and sought out by wise men and shepherds, and hunted by kings. His was named Jesus.
    • Now John came to prepare the way for Jesus… like a mad man shouting in the wilderness…
    • And Jesus came to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Heaven.
    • Through all of this, demons were cast out, the sick were healed, the lame walked, the blind saw, and the people were taught secretes of the Kingdom of God.
    • And not only that, but just last week we saw Jesus send out 12 apostles to heal the sick and cast out demons and preach as well… so it’s not just Jesus and John… it’s others now too…
    • AND WORD IS STARTING TO GET OUT THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING!
    • And people are freaked out by it… they are perplexed…

Show Title Slide

  • Christianity is perplexing.
    • It’s weird… it’s not normal… it’s supernatural…
    • The stuff that happens in Christ does not happen elsewhere…
    • The stuff that Jesus teaches is not taught elsewhere…
    • The stuff that Christians do can not be done by others without Christ… it can be faked, it can be mocked, but it cant be honestly and truly done.

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

  • Now, If you hear testimonies that sound crazy… that’s because they are…
    • If you hear about miracles that make your natural self-feel odd… that’s because there supernatural
    • It’s odd… it’s weird… it’s confusing… but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself “Is it God?”
  • And that is why I am so grateful for the Bible… because the Bible is a plum line, black and white, clear measure of what is or isn’t the things of God…
  • When something weird happens, when something strange happens… we can look to scripture and say “Does this fall in line with what Scripture teachers… or does this go against it?”
    • And the reality is that the stuff that happens in scripture is WEIRD!
      • Jesus spit in some dirt to make mud and rubbed that spit mud into some blind dudes eyes… was that odd… OH YEAH! But the dude could see after… so there is that…
    • Jesus sent a whole group of demons into a herd of pigs who then killed themselves…
      • Is that odd? You bet! But a man was set free from demon possessions… so there is that.
    • God told the Israelites to march around a wall for 7 days then shout and blow trumpets…
      • Not a great military tactic God… BUT THE WALLS FELL! So there is that…
    • Look, the reality is that if you look throughout all of Scripture… WEIRD STUFF HAPPENS!
      • So just because it’s weird, or odd, or strange, or perplexing… doesn’t mean it’s not from God.
    • In fact I suggest that if we are true Christians, trying to be and live like Christ… then we should live a life that perplexes the word.
      • Because Christ perplexed the world, and we are supposed to be like Him, therefore we should perplex the World… amen?

Point One – We Should Perplex the World

  • That’s my first point this morning, we should perplex the world.
    • If your life looks normal to all your non-Christian friends and family… then let me ask you something… what are you doing wrong?
      • Because that’s not how Jesus lived… and that’s not how His apostles and disciples lived… and that’s not how we are called to live…
      • So what’s wrong in your life that it’s not perplexing people?

Luke 9:7a ESV  Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed…

  • Now I want you to understand something about this… Herod already hated Jesus… His father, Herod the Great, had tried to kill Jesus when he was a baby… and now he has already beheaded John the Baptist…
    • So please, again, I talked about this last week… never ever assume that because what Jesus asks you to do is weird, or strange, or perplexing… that it will turn people away from Christ.
      • Hear me church. Herod decided he Hated Christ before he was perplexed by Christ.
    • Let me read something to you… least you ever make the excuse that you are afraid of turning people away from Christ…
    • Least you ever say “I don’t want them to think I am weird… I don’t want them to hate me… I don’t want them to not talk to me… how can I share Jesus with them if they think I am weird…?”
    • Listen to what Jesus says…

John 15:18-25 ESV  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  (20)  Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  (21)  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.  (22)  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  (23)  Whoever hates me hates my Father also.  (24)  If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.  (25)  But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

  • Let me read two of these verses again…

John 15:25 ESV  But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

John 15:18-19 ESV  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  (19)  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

  • The world will never hate Jesus because of you… the world hates Jesus without reason!
    • And the world doesn’t hate YOU because of YOU! They hate the you because you do the things of Jesus… and they hate Jesus.
      • If the world doesn’t hate you… you are doing something wrong…
      • If you are not perplexing the world… you are doing something wrong… or failing to do something right…
    • Look, let’s take miracles out of it for a second and just talk about some perplexing things Christians do…
      • Most people can agree that it’s wrong to have sex outside of marriage… even many atheists believe this…
      • But not Christians… Christians say not only is it wrong to have sex outside of marriage… but it’s even wrong to look at others with lust…
        • Matthew 5:28 ESV But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
      • Most people agree that it’s wrong to murder… but Christians take it to a perplexing level… Not only are we not allowed to murder people… we can’t even secretly hate them!
        • Matthew 5:21-22 ESV “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  (22)  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
      • I think everyone can agree that it’s good to be a forgiving person… but there are some things that can’t be forgiven… everyone agrees with that except Christians… Christians forgive… period…
        • Matthew 6:14-15 NIV For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  (15)  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
        • I can tell you church, I have talked to many people who couldn’t be a Christian because they refused to forgive someone in their life…
          • GREAT! AT LEAST NOW WE KNOW WHERE WE STAND…
        • But the sad thing is the many Christians I meet… who at least call themselves Christians… who harbor unforgiveness and refuse to forgive others when they sin against them.
      • I know it’s weird… it’s almost unthinkable… to forgive that person in your life… the one who hurt you so bad… who’s sin against you haunts you to this day…
        • I know it’s hard to swallow the thought of forging that man, or woman, or family member who did you so wrong… who hurt you so bad… who has so scared you that you can’t even talk about it.
          • BUT THAT’S WHAT WE AS CHRISTIANS DO! WE DO THINGS THAT NOBODY ELSE DOES. WE DO THE WEIRD THINGS… THE HARD THINGS… THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS.

Matthew 19:26 ESV  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • It may seem impossible to forgive that person… and with man it IS impossible… but with God all things are possible.
  • The world says it is impossible for men not to Lust! They say it is natural. With man it is impossible… but with God all things are possible.
  • The world says it’s impossible not to be angry with your brother sometimes… with man it is impossible… but with God all things are possible.
  • I can spend all day going through the CRAZY things Christ expects for us… the impossible things… without even talking about miracles…
  • LOOK, CHURCH, THE REALITY IS THAT CHRIST CALLS US TO PERFECTION!

Matthew 5:48 ESV  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  • IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE PERFECT… at least that is what man will say… but with God all things are possible.
    • YOUR LIFE SHOULD BE PERPLEXING!
      • It should be full of evangelism, Love, Grace, Forgiveness, and peace.
      • It should be so full of the Light of Christ that it draws others in.
      • It should center around the Gospel… the good news.
        • Will people hate you? Sure!
        • Will people be perplexed! You bet!
      • But that just means you are doing something right.
    • Yet as it stands… and remember we are not even talking about miracles here… but as it stands most Christians in America are not perplexing to the world.
      • Their lives are identical to everyone else’s… except they sometimes go to church on Sunday and name their kids names after Bible characters…
        • THAT’S NOT WHAT GOD CALLS US TO! GOD CALLS US TO PERPLEXING EXCELENCE.
      • Let me close this sermon down with this awesome line from the Casting Crowns song “What this World Needs”:

What this world needs
Is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can’t see the difference
And it’s the difference that sets the world free

  • I LOVE THAT LAST PART! It’s the difference… it’s the perplexing bit… it’s the bits of crazy… that’s the stuff that sets the world free.
    • Being nice and kind and living an ok life, which is what so many Christians put forward… that stuff doesn’t save!
      • It’s the crazy stuff that saves… the stuff that says God loves us so much He sent His only son to be born of a virgin, live on earth fully man and fully God, never sin, die and rise again for us…
        • That’s not normal! That’s perplexing! That’s saving grace.
      • We have testimonies in this church that will change lives because they are so RADICAL! They are not normal! Let people be perplexed by your testimony!
      • We have forgiveness in this church that doesn’t make sense! TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT!
      • We have peace in this church that surpasses understanding! LET THAT PEACE GLORIFY GOD!
    • Now take all of that and throw miracles on top of it! Yeah! The world will be perplexed… but people will be saved, amen?!

Conclusion

Gospel call.