Given: What is so wonderful about Jesus?

Week 1 – Andy Hazelet – November 25, 2018

Have you ever wondered what is so wonderful about Jesus? As we approach the Christmas season, we’re taking a look at what we’ve been “given” in Jesus. He is wonderful, and He is the counselor.

Isaiah 9:6 – “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  His government and its peace will never end.  He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.  The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”  (NLT)

“It is a word which expresses with surprising accuracy everything in relation to the Redeemer.  For the Messiah was wonderful in all things.  It was wonderful love by which God gave him, and by which he came; the manner of his birth was wonderful, his humility, his self-denial, his sorrows were wonderful; his mighty works were wonderful; his dying agonies were wonderful; and his resurrection, his ascension, were all suited to excite admiration and wonder.”  (Barnes Commentary)

“He is not a dictator but a counselor.  He listens more than he talks.  He comprehends our needs and helps us find ways to meet them.  He pays attention to us.  When we are in his presence, we know we are significant, important, unique.  And the result is that we find a will and the means to live with zest.” (Eugene Peterson)

Main Scripture:  Luke 13: 6-9: “Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed.  Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig!  Cut it down.  It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance.  Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.  If we get figs next year, fine.  If not, then you can cut it down.’”  (NLT)

Big Question:  What’s so wonderful about Jesus?

  1. He is patient. 
  2. Patience doesn’t ignore unfruitfulness.

Luke 13:7 – “Why should it even waste the soil?”  (NLT)

Luke 13:9 – “Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.”

Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’  But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”  (NLT)

  1. Patience involves Investment. 

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.  He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  (NLT)

Luke 13:8 – “Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer.”  (NLT)

“Manure is not a quick fix.  It has no immediate result.  It is going to take a long time to see if it makes any difference.  We love new beginnings: birthing a baby, christening a ship, the first day on a new job, starting a war.  But spreading manure carries no such exhilaration.  It is neither dramatic nor glamorous.  Manure is a slow solution.  When it comes to doing something about what is wrong in the world, Jesus is best known for his fondness for the tiny, the invisible, the quiet, the slow:  yeast, salt, seeds.  And manure.”  (Eugene Peterson)