Familiarity Might Compel You to Reject Jesus

2 Mar

Mark Driscoll, co-founder and preaching pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, recently preached a sermon called Jesus the Prophet, on Luke 4:22-30.  In it he points out eight things that might compel you to reject Jesus.  They are: theology, control, greed, selfishness, familiarity, comfort, embarrassment, and religion.  While he made excellent points about each, the one that I liked the most had to be familiarity.  Here’s what he said:

Familiarity. They say, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son? He says he’s God, Lord, Savior, Christ, King, and Prophet, but we saw him grow up. We know who he is. That’s not who he is. We know who he is.”

The truth is, you can become so familiar with Jesus that you don’t even know who he is. You can grow up in church, be around Bible teaching, go to camp, go to Christian school, have Christian family, friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors. You can even go to Bible college and get some goofy, dinky Bible college professor that gives you some weird, funky new liberal insight on Jesus and all of a sudden, you feel like you got it all nailed down and covered, and you reject him and move on and get into spiritism, demonism, and false teaching. Why? Because you’re like, “I know Jesus. I know the stories. I know the doctrine. I got it all nailed down, you know. But I’ve kind of moved on to some other things as well, in addition to or in place of him. Because I know him really well.”

And the truth is, you don’t. You don’t know him at all. You’re like the people in Nazareth. They’ve become so familiar of him that they’re really not aware of his true identity as God among them. I really worry about this with the church kids. See, I’m a fired-up, full-tank-of-gas kind of guy when it comes to Jesus. And part of that is, I didn’t grow up knowing a lot about Jesus and reading the Bible. We were marginal Catholic, but I wasn’t paying any attention. And I would have said, “Oh, I know who Jesus is. Yeah, he did something with fishes and loaves and, yeah, he can water-ski without a boat and stuff. Yeah, I know a few things about him.” But I didn’t really know much about Jesus and I wasn’t that familiar with him.

When I start meeting Jesus and reading the Bible and being with God’s people, I’m fired up because it’s all pretty fresh and new to me. For those of you who are like my wife and now like my kids, and you’re going to hear the name of Jesus and you’re going to hear Bible teaching and Bible reading and be around God’s people for a long time, don’t get too familiar with Jesus. Still be amazed and shocked and continue to be astonished by this man.

To quote Matt Chandler, another awesome pastor, “[in the South] the bulk of people have some understanding of who Jesus is… the bulk of people have enough of Jesus to feel like they don’t need him, or that they understand him enough.”  I think that is a problem.

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One Response to “Familiarity Might Compel You to Reject Jesus”

  1. Moosie March 5, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    That’s an excellent article and admonition. When I see the former Lakeland Revival which has spewed out all over the country and parts of Europe, I see mobs of people who are soooooo familiar with “Jesus”, who don’t really know Him at all. It’s disgusting, but more than disgusting, it’s unbearably sad. They throw His name around like it’s something to have fun with, to get high on etc etc. They get in the habit of using His name or things about Him as exclamations to either start or end a sentence. I’m so beside myself that this movement is taking such hold of our youth, I have no idea what to do about it. I find myself apologizing to the Lord for the blasphemous use of His wonderful name even tho I do not participate in any of it myself. It appalls and saddens me so that I find myself bursting into tears with no warning. Part of my family is completely involved and don’t have a clue that it is demonic. It does no good to talk to them as they are completely hooked on getting into an altered state of consciousness, they want more and more. Just felt the need to say something 😉

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