Intro. We think of the babe lying in the manger, the virgin has brought forth her firstborn Son, Immanuel, God with us. He was sent by His Father into this world to give to man an accurate revelation of the only true God who exists eternally.
I. HIS MISSION TO REVEAL THE FATHER TO MAN.
A. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. No man had seen God at any time; the only begotten Son who was in the bosom of the Father He hath declared Him, or led Him forth that He might be fully revealed.
B. The book of Hebrews opens with these words,
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
C. When Philip said to Jesus, "Show us the Father and we will be satisfied." Jesus answered, "Have I been so long a time with you and have you not seen Me, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father."
1. In John 12:45
Jesus said, "He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me."
2. In Colosians 1:15 Paul tells us that He is the image of the invisible God.
II. WHY MAN NEEDED A NEW REVELATION OF GOD.
A. Man had developed all kinds of false ideas about God, many times from those who supposedly represented God.
1. The Greeks had their concepts of God.
a. They believed that there were many god's. God's that controlled and governed over the many passions and emotions of men.
b. They worshipped the planets and the other heavenly bodies.
2. Likewise the Romans.
3. If you will look at the grotesque carvings on the Hindu temples you can get an idea of their concepts of God.
B. There was one nation to whom God committed the revelation of Himself, the nation of Israel.
1. Paul asked the question, "What advantage has the Jew?" He answers his own question, "Many and in every way, for to them were committed the oracles of God."
2. Moses said to the people,
For what nation [is there so] great, who [hath] God [so] nigh unto them, as the LORD our God [is] in all [things that] we call upon him [for]?
And what nation [is there so] great, that hath statutes and judgments [so] righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
3. Psalm 147:19
He shows His word unto Jacob, His statutes and judgments unto Israel.
4. By the time Jesus was born, the religious leaders of this nation had become so corrupt that they had turned the Temple of God into a den of thieves.
5. They were supposedly representing God, yet according to Jesus, they were of their father the devil, and his works were they doing.
6. Jesus had said that if the light that is in you be darkness, then how great is that darkness.
7. He also had said that if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch.
8. From them the people received the idea that God was harsh, cruel, and unreasonable. That God was demanding of man far more than man could possible produce.
C. When you see how God was so misrepresented to man, you can see why man felt that He could never be close to God, and did not really desire a closeness.
D. Unfortunately this is still true in the present day.
1. Little demagogues standing before people and declaring their distorted concepts of God, which is actually just a revelation of themselves and a desire to bring men under their power.
2. They represent God as self-centered, demanding, and wanting only your sacrificial support, so that he can live in high fashion.
3. They make a farce out of God.
III. WHAT DID JESUS REVEAL TO MAN CONCERNING GOD?
A. If you want to really know and understand God then you have to go back and look at what Jesus revealed to us about God.
1. Here in Luke 6
Jesus commanded them to love their enemies.
2. Do good to those that hate you.
3. Bless those that curse you.
4. Pray for those that despitefully use you.
5. If someone smites you on the cheek turn the other cheek.
6. Give to those who ask of you.
7. In these things He is telling you about God, He is revealing to you things that God does.
a. Paul tells us that God commended His love towards us in that while we were still in our sins, Christ died for us.
b. God does good towards them that hate him, It is the goodness of the Lord that often leads a man to repentance.
c. God blesses even those who curse Him. "He causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust."
d. We remember how Jesus was praying for those who were crucifying Him. "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."
e. How often does God turn His other cheek to man.
8. In verse 35 He says that if you do these things, then you will be children of the Highest, for He is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.
B. Jesus then commanded us to be merciful as our Father is also merciful.
1. He told us not to judge, and not to condemn.
2. He told us to forgive.
3. He told us to give.
4. These are the things that He commanded His disciples to do, that they might be like their heavenly Father.
5. Having commanded us to do these things, He then said, "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, when you do not do the things that I command you."
C. What do you find so objectionable about the things that Jesus asked you to do?
1. Don't you think that it would be a much better world if all would follow His commandments, if we all treated others like we would like to be treated?
a. Imagine a new community being developed that advertised that only loving people were to be allowed in the community. Everyone was going to treat others as they would like to be treated.
b. No locks would be put on the doors of the houses.
c. There would be no police departments, no judges, no courts, no jails, for all issues would be resolved in love and consideration for each other.
d. There of course would be no need for taxes, because you would have no government bureaucrats to support. You would not be paying people to tell you how you are to live, what you can and can't do. No one telling you that you cannot put up a nativity scene at Christmas time on public property. No one telling you that you cannot sing Christmas Carols in the public schools. It costs us a lot of money to hire people to make and enforce these kinds of protection for you. That's why your taxes are so high.
e. I would be first in line to sign up, then I would gladly give my place in line to someone else who was more needy than I, and patiently wait my turn as I sought to be sensitive to the needs of others.
2. Those in the media think it would be a horrible thing to have Christians in office, for they soon would be seeking to impose their value system on everyone. They would have us to teach our children not to fight, cheat, or have sex outside of marriage. They would outlaw pornography, adultery, and alcohol. They might even impose censorship so that these rap groups can no longer advocate raping your sister or killing a cop. That means I would have to spend time with my family, I could not hang out at the bar or in the clubs drinking beer and being stimulated by the nude dancing. Can you imagine how rotten it would be if I had to love my wife and my kids?
D. At Christmas time rather than just getting sentimental over the beautiful story of a babe that was born in Bethlehem, we should stop and think of the purpose of His coming. He would have you to celebrate His coming by:
1. Loving your enemies, doing good to those who hate you, maybe even sending them a gift this year. For if you give gifts only to those from whom you expect a gift, what reward have you even the sinners do this.
2. Incidentally, the community that I spoke of earlier, it does exist. I have my reservation in, it is called heaven. I'd love to have you as my neighbor there.