Sometimes the Truth Hurts

Sun, Aug 16, 2020
Teacher: Mark Hull
Passage: John 12:42-50
Duration:28 mins 8 secs

Message text

Text: John 12:42-50

A woman was preparing some pancakes for her sons,
Johnny, who was 5, and Alex, who was 3.
The two boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. So their mother decided that this would be a good opportunity to teach them a moral lesson.
So she said to them, "If Jesus were sitting here,
He would say, 'Let my brother have the first pancake,
I can wait."

Little Johnny quickly turned to his younger brother and said to him, "Okay, Alex, you be Jesus!"

And I guess the moral of the story is,
being a good example of Jesus needs to involve handling the truth like Jesus did. We are going to look at how Jesus handled the truth, especially when He was in debate with other people. We are going to learn how we should handle the truth
and come to the understanding that people will often be offended by it
and that’s because sometimes the truth hurts.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Timothy tells us that all scripture of God breathed. And you need to understand that when God says “All” He means “All”.
Everything written within the Old Testament and everything written within the New Testament.

“All scripture is God-breathed.” But we are living in a time where some people want to rip the Bible to shreds and discredit it.
We are living in a time where many religions of the world, even so-called Christians are placing less and less faith in the Word of God. We are living in a time where so-called religious people are using and twisting the Word of God to suit their own needs.
But how are we going to handle the truth? Are we going to stand up proudly and say,
“Yes, we have the truth and everyone else doesn’t and that’s just tough”? Or are we going to handle the truth like Jesus did?

Turn your Bibles to John 12:42-50 42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not [a]believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”
Jesus has just performed miraculous signs in front of a big crowd of people and as usual we have our dear friends the Pharisees in the crowd. They have just questioned Jesus about His up and coming death but they didn’t understand what was going on.

But this was no surprise to Jesus because He knew that the reason they couldn’t understand was because
God had prophesied that this would happen through Isaiah prophet in Isaiah 6:10 where he says,
“Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

You see, like we saw a moment ago in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
the Bible says the Bible is good for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training.
And it’s by teaching the truth that you can set people free.

Now let me ask you, what is stopping you from becoming free? What’s stopping you from becoming a Christian?
Is it embarrassment from your friends at work or school?
What if you are already a Christian, what’s stopping you from becoming free?

You see freedom is when your walk reflects the truth that you talk. But how can you walk and talk the truth,
if your best friends and your family don’t even know you’re a Christian?

What’s stopping you all from walking and talking the truth?
You see for the religious leaders at the time of Jesus, it was the Pharisees who stopped some of people from becoming followers of Jesus.
But it wasn’t just the Pharisees who stopped the religious leaders from becoming followers;
it was their love of praise from men.

John 12:42-43 states it this way, 42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Remember these are religious men and they had a chance for freedom from all the religious ceremonies and sacrificing, which Jesus was bringing to an end anyway.
But they were afraid of loosing their jobs, their highly paid jobs, I may add.
But they liked their job, which was so much in the public eye, which was so well thought of by men and they loved it all.

You see, the Jews had the emotions of religion but they didn’t want Jesus as He was. They looked good and that’s all that mattered to them, but God knows the hearts of men.

Isaiah 1:10-17 10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.  11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?  13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.  15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.  16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Now ladies and gentlemen that’s pretty strong language ...  but you need to understand that this is God speaking about His own people.
And we as Christian can easily go through the motions of our religion but not have our hearts in it.   We can easily talk the talk but never walk the walk.

Now that’s the truth and I know it hurts us sometimes but we need to be pleasing to God, not to people. You shouldn’t be ashamed of being a Christian because Jesus said,
your not just the light in your house;
you’re the light of the world.
You’re not the salt in a shaker;
you’re the salt of the earth.

Jesus said in John 12:44-46, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

Jesus has brought you into the light and out of the darkness. Colossians 1:10-14 “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,  and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
You can’t mix an ungodly walk with a godly talk.

It’s like the man who goes to the doctors and says, “OK doc, give it to me straight, tell me in plain English, what’s wrong with me, I can take it!
And the doctor says, “OK you are just plain lazy.”
The man says, “OK tell me the technical name for it, so I can go home and tell my wife.”

And that brings me to my next point; there are some people who are sharing the Word of God with others for the wrong reasons. Jeremiah calls them ear-tickling preachers.
In other words, they are just out to please people.
They tell people what they want to hear,  not what they need to hear.

Jeremiah told them that they were going to be in captivity for a long time because their hearts were hardened towards their God. And much like the people of the world today, nobody wants to hear bad news. So the people tried and tried again to get rid of Jeremiah and kill him because they only wanted to hear good news.

God describes what was going on in Jeremiah 5:31. “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way.”

Then in Jeremiah 6:13-14 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace.”

I love that phrase in there, where Jeremiah says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.”
In other words, they looked great on the outside and carried on as though everything was fine but spiritually they were dying.

A mother put some turnip on her son's dinner plate, which was one of his least favorite vegetables, but she told him to eat everything. He cleaned his plate, except for the turnip.
She pointed out to him that if he had eaten the turnip first; he would have not been left with its taste in his mouth at the end of the meal.
The young boy said, "I suppose I was trying to delay the inedible."

When Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law in Matthew 23 where He continually says, “Woe to you Pharisees and teachers of the Law.”
And He calls them “Blind guides and fools.”

Jesus said these things with the intent of getting them to look at themselves. He wanted them to realize that their ways were wrong and so bring about their repentance.

Now you might ask, where does it say that in the text? Well I show you, in Luke 23:34 when Jesus was on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." He rebuked them because he loved them.

“For God so loved the Pharisees, he gave His One and only Son.” He was still willing to die for them.

Do you remember in Acts 2 when Peter preached the first gospel sermon and many responded? He repeatedly told the Jews that they were the ones who killed Jesus. They were the ones who had crucified the Christ.

The long awaited Messiah, God Himself, was brutally killed by them. Now can you imagine what that would have been like to have been there and been told that you are guilty of killing the anointed one?

Well, in a sense you were there because Jesus died for your sins too. So we are just as guilty as those who were there at that time.
But in Acts 2:37 it says, “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

The reason they were cut to the heart was because they understood what they had done and now they are panickingNow Peter’s sermon offended many of them who were listening and so some people just went on their way because the truth hurt them.

But there were also 3000 other people who were offended but wanted to know how to make up for what they had done. That’s why they said, “Brothers, what shall we do?"

And it’s because Peter was preaching for a response, that’s why he got a response. He may have offended many people but it was for their own good.

And can you imagine how they would have felt after Peter told them what they must do? Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

I would imagine that they would be thinking to themselves, we’ve just killed the Messiah and now you’re talking about forgiveness and a gift! The truth hurts but sometimes people need to know the truth.

The truth about God,
the truth written within the Word of God
and the truth about themselves.

We ALL need to know the Truth.
We need to try and understand a little more of His Word, the Bible, everyday.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “The Bible is also useful for correcting”.
A three-year-old boy decided to put his shoes on by himself but his mother noticed that the left shoe was on the right foot.
She said, "Son, your shoes are on the wrong feet."
He looked up at her with a raised brow and said,
"Don't kid me, Mom, they're the only feet I've got"

And the point is that “There is only one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

And when Jesus was talking about the words He spoke, he said in John 12:49-50 “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."

Jesus spoke the very words the Father told Him to speak. He spoke in the very way the Father asked Him to speak. We have the Word of God today,
which according to Hebrews 4:12 is “Living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Romans 10:17 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Let me finish by saying this, “You can know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 2:9+10 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”
People are going to perish because they refuse to love the truth and they want to feel good and look good.
Let me leave you with the words of Solomon, who had the right attitude towards our God. Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

We are here to obey God and to please Him, not ourselves. And if you’re not a Christian this morning then you too can please God by being obedient to His word. The truth will set you free

Sermon Contributor : Mike Glover


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