Do You Listen to Jesus?

Exploring The Question, "Why Should We Listen To The Voice Of Jesus?".

Dan Franklin
Mar 12, 2023    43m
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This message explores the question, "Why should we listen to the voice of Jesus?". In our chaotic world, Jesus is one voice among many vying for our attention, but when we remember that God and the Holy Spirit endorse Him, we know that what He says carries a life-saving message. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Jeremiah Lazo: [00:00:20] Good morning, my name is Jeremiah Lazo and I'm in sixth grade. Today's scripture reading will be from Matthew 3:13 through 17, "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” This is God's Word.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:13] Good morning, everybody. Thank you, Jeremiah. It's awesome getting to hear the Word of God from our kids. It's also a reminder, just as you heard, about how we're moving to three services and we've been talking a lot about the need in our church for those of us that are committed members here to start thinking of ourselves as two-service people. Coming to worship for one service, and staying around to serve for another one. Just as a reminder, Life Kids is a great place to serve during that second service so that we can see more kids with God's word as the guiding force in their lives, we want to see more of that happening all throughout our congregation.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:55] All right, there are a lot of books out there, right? A lot of books, Yeah, are you guys awake? We missed the extra hour. There are a lot of books out there, you can even argue maybe too many books out there. There are a lot of books out there, and so the question I want to ask us is, what makes a book stand out? What makes a book go from being just another book on the Barnes and Noble Shelf, or in the airport bookstore, or the pages of Amazon? What makes a book stand out from being just one of many on all the shelves to being the kind of book that's a runaway bestseller? And there are a number of different ways that this happens, that a book starts to stand out from being just one of many books.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:41] But since the mid-1990s, there's been pretty much one surefire, foolproof way that a book can go from being just another book on the shelf to be in a book that is sure to be flying off the shelves, and that's if you look on the front cover of the book and it has this on it. Some of you know this, since 1996, Oprah Winfrey has had the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, where she features different books on her show or just through magazines. When she does, it has proven to be an amazing impetus for those books to fly off the shelves. By the way, our recommended resource page on our website is only a week old, but similar results have been happening so far, I just want to let you know. But this is true with Oprah's Book Club, this is true of sort of unknown authors like Eckhart Tolle when he came out with his book, his self-help book, A New Earth, 3 million copies of it sold after it was featured by Oprah. And it also has happened even with more established authors like Cormac McCarthy, when he came out with his novel The Road, it had sold about 150,000 copies. Then Oprah featured it, and it sold ten times as many. Whatever you think of Oprah, here's what we can know, if you want your book to fly off the shelf, if you want your book making a difference, and standing out from all of the other books on the shelves, her endorsement is a sure-fire way to make it happen.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:17] Now, here's what I want us to think about. What I want us to think about is the idea that Jesus' voice in our culture is just one voice among many. Jesus' voice is not absent from our culture in the United States, we have churches, we have Bible teaching, we have Christian songs, and we have Bibles that we read, Jesus' voice is not absent from our culture, but it's very much one voice among many. And that's true of our culture, and that's true for all of us. Jesus is just one among many voices that we encounter because we encounter the voices of our friends, we encounter the voices of our extended family, our teachers, professors, YouTubers, podcasters, influencers, and every once in a while, even politicians or people we listen to. And beyond all this, we also have the voices that seem to come to us from within. We're not always sure exactly how to make sense of it, but we know we have voices that aren't somebody else's voice but seem to be our own voice and maybe dealing with everything from feeling accusations of inadequacy and like we're imposters, or just a voice telling us, do whatever feels good in the moment, you live your own life. Jesus' voice is one voice among the many.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:44] And honestly, for some of you listening to this, you might think, I'm fine with that. Jesus is a good, wise teacher, so his voice should be in the mix, but it should just be one among many. Maybe you don't feel any obligation, you're not a follower of Jesus, you haven't come to believe that he is the Lord, and so you look at it and you're like, it's fine, there's no reason why we need his voice to stand out. But many of us in this room, we have come to believe that Jesus' voice should stand out, that he's someone different.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:14] And just as we get into this right now, does anybody in here want to hear Jesus' voice more and more clearly? Anybody? We want to hear him more clearly. And yet we don't always, even those of us that are convinced we should pay more attention to Jesus, we don't always hear his voice more clearly because he either it's drowned out by the many other voices that we're hearing from, or even when we do hear his voice clearly through his word or through his Spirit moving in us, we're not so sure we like his message as much as we like other messages we're getting. We're not so sure that we like the idea that he's going to call us to forgiveness instead of anger, to faithfulness instead of divorce, to purity instead of lust, and to courage instead of safety. We're not so sure, so maybe sometimes we even tune out his voice.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:07] And so here's the question that I want to ask as we get ready to go through our passage this morning. Why should we listen to the voice of Jesus? Why should we pay special attention? Why should his voice on the shelves of all the different voices stand out to us? And what we're going to see, we're going to see the answer in our passage, but I'm going to give you a preview of it now. The reason why Jesus' voice should stand out to us is the same reason why all of those books with that O on them stand out, it's because as we're going to see in our passage this morning, Jesus comes with the strongest possible endorsement.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:45] Now, if you're not already open there, open up to the passage that we heard read Matthew chapter 3 verses 13 through 17, this is our sixth week in our series through the Gospel of Matthew, where we're talking about King Jesus, and how he has come to be our king. And we get to, in this passage not only see the first active steps that Jesus takes, but we get to also hear the first words of Jesus in this gospel.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:11] So let's start off. Verse 13 starts us into the passage by saying, "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John." And if you're here last week you heard Phil, bring us through the first 12 verses of Chapter 3, where we got introduced to John in this passage, who is John the Baptist. And John the Baptist was sent before the Messiah and he was sent to prepare all the people for him, and he did this through baptizing people. And as Phil taught us, baptism was a part of Jewish culture, but only for Gentile converts, they would go through a ritual washing if they were becoming a part of the Jewish community. But John said, No, this baptism is not just for non-Jews, this baptism is for all of us. You might have been born a Jew, but you still need this washing, it was a baptism of people repenting of their sins, and Jesus shows up to be baptized by John.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:06] And if right now you're thinking, that doesn't make any sense, John is going to agree with you. Verse 14, it says, "But John tried to deter him." And by the way, in the Greek, it's a good translation here when it says tried to deter him, The idea behind the verb is consistent action, John kept trying to keep Jesus from doing this, "Saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” John was like, this doesn't make much sense.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:37] Now, we don't know how much John knew at this point about who Jesus truly was. It's possible that he had some sense that Jesus was the one that He was preparing the way for, but it's possible he didn't yet know. Maybe he just knew enough about Jesus to know you are more righteous than I am, I shouldn't be the one baptizing you, we should switch places. And we all could imagine a situation like this. Like, imagine you are teaching a fitness seminar to a whole bunch of people, and suddenly, through the back doors in walks Dwayne Johnson, and he sits down and starts taking notes. And you're like, no, no, no, we're going to switch places. This doesn't make sense, I shouldn't be teaching you about fitness and exercise, you should be teaching all of us. John is saying this doesn't make sense, I shouldn't be baptizing you, you should be baptizing me. And in a sense, we can understand, in a sense, we're all kind of agreeing with this. We're like, yeah, this doesn't make sense, why is Jesus going to get baptized? He doesn't have any sins he needs to repent from, he hasn't done anything wrong, and he's the only person on earth that doesn't need to be cleaned. Why is he going to get baptized?

Dan Franklin: [00:10:42] Well, we're going to find out in verse 15, when Jesus responds to John with the first words that we get to hear Jesus speak in the Gospel, Jesus replied, "Let it be so now." Which, even if we don't totally understand it, you can see Jesus in a way is sort of affirming John's skepticism. He's like, yeah, I get it, I understand why you're resisting this part, but just sort of let it happen for now. All things are going to be revealed in the future, but “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented." so that the baptism could go forward.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:21] So if we're looking at this and we're like, all right, I know that this story is in the Bible. I knew that Jesus got baptized, but I still don't understand why. Well, Jesus tells us right here, he says, it is proper for us to do this, to fulfill all righteousness. So all cleared up, right? We're all like, now I get it. Jesus said something cryptic about a cryptic action, we still need help. What does Jesus mean when he says that his baptism is to fulfill all righteousness? Now I'll be real with you, people debate this. And so I can't get up here and say it is crystal clear what's going on, but I can say what I'm pretty sure is going on here.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:03] Now the word, fulfill, that the Lord Jesus uses here, he says, to fulfill all righteousness, it's used 17 times in the Gospel of Matthew, 16 times other than the use here. In 13 of those other 16 times, it's used directly having to do with Jesus fulfilling some Old Testament prophecy or Old Testament idea. And not even included, so 13 out of the 16 times that's what's going on. Another 1 of the 16 times, an additional time, it has to do with the same concept. Because in Matthew chapter 5, verse 17, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." So once again, it's in the context of all this stuff that was written before that Jesus has come to fulfill. When he says to fulfill all righteousness, Jesus has come to live the righteous life that God has called everyone to live. So it seems like whatever he means by fulfilling all righteousness, it has something to do with him fulfilling something that was written of before.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:10] Now, we've already talked, in the first few weeks of Matthew, we've talked a little bit about this concept that Matthew peppers in that's easy for us as Americans in the 21st century to miss, and that's that he's given these constant hints that the life of Jesus is reliving the life of Israel. The story of Jesus is paralleling the story of Israel, and we've already seen this in several ways in the gospel. Near the beginning of Israel's history, there was a slaughter of young Hebrew boys in Egypt. And then we get into the story of Jesus, and there once again is a horrific slaughter of young Hebrew boys in Bethlehem. In Israel's story, we see them go down to Egypt in order to flee danger and then call them out of Egypt. And in Matthew chapter 2, we see Jesus go down into Egypt to flee danger and then be called back out of Egypt. And by the way, in the passage right after this one, the passage that we'll go through next week, Jesus goes into the wilderness for 40 days, just as Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. And just so that we can get to where we are right now, right before Israel wandered into the wilderness, God led them through the water. Here is Jesus about to be led into the water. Jesus' life is paralleling the life of Israel.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:38] So here is what seems to be going on with Jesus doing this. We know that Jesus is eventually going to go to the cross for all of us. He is eventually going to take all of our sins on his shoulders. He will die the death that we should have died so that all of our sins could be forgiven. It appears that what Jesus is doing here is He is identifying with the whole nation of Israel, having the baptism that they all need, and by this, in a sense, we are all being baptized in Jesus. Just as he is going to die the death that we should die, he's now undergoing the baptism that we all need to undergo. There's a quote, I read several commentaries on this to prepare for this morning, and there's a quote from one of the commentators named Leon Morris that I just want to read because it was really powerful to me. He says, "Jesus might have been up there in front standing with John and calling on sinners to repent. Instead, he was down there with the sinners, affirming his solidarity with them, making himself one with them in the process of the salvation that he would in due course accomplish." Jesus had no sins that needed to be washed away. Do you and I have some sins that need to be washed away? Jesus was baptized so that our sins would be wiped away to fulfill all righteousness.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:15] Now we're hearing about the baptism, but now let's see what happens when Jesus actually goes through with the baptism. Verse 16, "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened." And by the way, Mark, and Luke both record the story also. And Mark, the way he says it is, Heaven was torn open, "Heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him." You know, I talked about endorsements before. Jesus, in a way you could say, well, Jesus got the endorsement already in this passage of who he calls later to be the greatest man to ever live, John the Baptist. John the Baptist is like, you're more righteous than I am, you should be baptized in me. So he's already got the endorsement, a pretty good endorsement. If you get John the Baptist's endorsement, any of us would take that today. It'd be like if John the Baptist was like, Don, pretty good guy. We'd be like, we're not sure he's right, but still, we'd be like, pretty good endorsement with that. He gets the endorsement of John, but now he gets a much deeper endorsement because the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:32] And I want you just to imagine this, because some of us are used to this story. We're like, yeah, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. Imagine you're one of the onlookers, because there probably were a lot of people there because there were usually a lot of people around when John was doing things. So you're one of the people on the shore, Jesus comes up out of the water and suddenly you see this dove flying around, moving around the whole crowd of people, and then suddenly the dove hovers and stops right over Jesus. Now, a couple of things are going on here. Part of what's going on is that this is probably a callback all the way to the very beginning of the Bible, chapter 1, verse 2, as the unformed creation is there, it says, "The spirit was hovering over the waters." And the word that's used there, in the Hebrew for hovering, sort of is the word that you would use for a bird. The only other time it's used in the Old Testament, it's used to describe the actions of a bird. So most likely what we've got is a callback to the creation. God is standing over the unformed earth and right before he says, let there be light, there's this hint, the spirit is hovering above the water, and something is about to happen. And now here, as God is about to make all things new, the Holy Spirit is hovering above Jesus right there to indicate that this is going to be the center of all things being made new.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:07] And not only this but in the Old Testament, if you read the Old Testament, you know that the Holy Spirit didn't indwell every believer in the way that he does now today. If you're a believer in Jesus, the Holy Spirit is dwelling within you 24/7, he is always within you. But in the Old Testament, what we would see is maybe a king or a warrior or a prophet would be temporarily indwelt by the Holy Spirit to do what God called them to do. And so the Spirit's showing his presence over Jesus is indicating for everybody watching that God is with him in a special way.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:50] But even this, I want you to know that the Spirit's presence in Jesus wasn't just symbolic, it was very real. Jesus is about to, at this point, enter into everything that he's going to do, and the Holy Spirit was central to all the ways Jesus lived. Some of you know this, but later on, we'll get into Matthew chapter 12. And in Matthew 12, Jesus has a conflict with the Pharisees. He's been casting out demons, and the Pharisees say he's casting out demons by the power of Satan. And Jesus' response to that is to say, you just blasphemed, you just slandered, the Holy Spirit. Which is confusing to us because we're like, they didn't say anything about the Holy Spirit. But Jesus is saying, if you call my miraculous activity satanic, you are saying the work of the Holy Spirit is satanic. In other words, every miracle that Jesus ever performed was not just because He was Jesus, it's because He was indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:58] Now, a quick break before we go on, I just want you to think about this. If the eternal Son of God who had never sinned needed to depend upon the Holy Spirit to live his life, do you think maybe you do? We have the Holy Spirit within us, and when we are called to walk by the Spirit, that's not just an added extra, that is daily desperation. Jesus is indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Talk about an endorsement, the Holy Spirit hovers above Jesus directing all eyes on Him.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:38] You'd think this is enough, but it's not. Because let's look at verse 17. Verse 17 says, "And a voice..." And by the way, the NIV here doesn't include this, but literally, in the Greek, it says here, and behold, a voice, everybody look. "A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” And the way that this is said indicates that this was said not just for Jesus but was said for all the witnesses. We get an endorsement from John the Baptist, which is pretty good. We get an endorsement from the Holy Spirit hovering over Jesus, directing all attention on him and showing us that new creation is coming. And now we have God the Father speaking from heaven, unmistakably, for all the witnesses, saying this is my son and I know this is easy to skip over, this is my son whom I love. One of the great themes of Jesus' life, and this comes through especially in the Gospel of John, is the love between the Father and the Son. And if you read the Gospel of John, there are a couple of times that Jesus says that he loves the Father, but really, when he's talking about the love, almost every time, he's talking about how the father loves him. He is the beloved, and the Father is constantly pouring out his love on him. This is my son; this is my beloved son.

Dan Franklin: [00:23:22] And if you're a parent, you might get this. I'll skip over this quickly, so I don't get emotional, but when I think of Matt and Jack and David, there are few things that give me more joy in my life. This is my son, whom I love. Jesus lives a life where the Father is constantly showering him with love. Now we are not Jesus, we are not the Son of God in the same way that He is, but because of what Jesus did, we all get to be adopted into the family of God through faith. And when you're adopted, into the family of God, through faith, even though you're not Jesus, you're treated as if you were. You are his beloved child in whom he is well pleased. God the Father affirms Jesus for all to hear. Amongst the Jews, he might just seem like this is just another prophet, this is just another speaker, this is just another rabbi, one voice among many. God makes it clear from the beginning, by the affirmation of John, by the presence of the Spirit, and by the voice from the Father, you better pay attention.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:32] In fact, this is a callback to an Old Testament prophecy from Isaiah chapter 42, verse 1, where he says, "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight.“ Which is similar language to the Son with whom I'm well pleased. Then he says, "I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations." But I want to show you something else also, this isn't the only time, Matthew 3 is not the only time that the Father speaks about the Son from heaven. Eventually, we'll get to Matthew 17, and there's a story of Jesus' transfiguration, which basically means his sort of flesh was peeled back in a way. And the disciples, James, John, and Peter, they got to see him in his glorious state. And when that happened in Matthew 17:5, we read this, "While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." And if you're looking at it, you're like, that's the exact same thing. He says the exact same thing twice, except I left off three words at the end of Matthew 17:5, because he becomes explicit about something that would have been assumed in chapter 3. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Now, if you were one of the witnesses to this Trinitarian appearance in Matthew 3, you would kind of think this is implied, right? Spirit hovers on him, Father speaks about him, you kind of think, yeah, it's probably implied I should pay attention. But I love that in Matthew 17, he just makes it overt, like in case you're not getting it, listen to what he is saying, because he is my Son.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:28] Some of you know in the Gospel of John that when John introduces us to Jesus, the first several times he talks about him, he refers to him not as Jesus, but he refers to him as The Word. Which is weird, like, why call him The Word? Well, here's why he calls him The Word, because there has never been a clearer message from God about God than Jesus. If you want to know what God is like, you look at Jesus. He is the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased. So if we're asking the question, why should I listen to Jesus? Why among all the different voices in the world, why should his take primary focus? Why should I listen to him? We get our answer in this passage, and the answer is this Jesus has been divinely endorsed. Jesus has not just millions of Christians all over the world who have come to believe in him, Jesus has not just a whole bunch of churches from all different ethnicities that all worship him, Jesus has the divine stamp of approval from God the Spirit and God the Father, and so we should do well to listen to him.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:50] Now, let's just talk again about the fact that we live in a culture where Jesus is just one voice among many. And I think as we look at this, if we're saying, all right, I believe that Jesus should be listened to. Most of us in this room would say we're ready to do this, maybe up to a point. We're sort of like, yeah, I mean, I even asked at the beginning and most of us raised our hands to say, yeah, I want to hear Jesus’ voice more and more clearly. And listening to Jesus implies not just that we hear, but that we trust and obey. So probably most of us would say, yeah, I'm on board, I'm on board with doing this, but if we're honest, we'd say to a point. And then there's a point where we're not sure we want to keep listening to them, we're not sure we want to keep trusting him and that we want to keep obeying him. And that point that we're not sure we want to cross is the point where Jesus goes from saying really wise things to the point where Jesus becomes unreasonable. I know it might sound like blasphemy to say Jesus gets unreasonable, but let's just look at it from our perspective. Think of some of the things that Jesus says, it seems like Jesus really gets unreasonable with us.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:09] Pretty soon after Easter, we'll be in the Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5 through 7. Let me just give you a preview of some of the things that Jesus says on the Sermon on the Mount. He says that he's calling us to do more than just not have violent outbursts to other people, but he's calling us to fight the bitterness and hatred in our own hearts. That's kind of getting into our business right there, it's getting into your thought life, it's getting into your intentions. He says it's not enough that I'm calling you not to commit the act of adultery, I'm calling you not even to entertain lustful thoughts in your mind, that's really getting into our business. We're like, nobody knows about that except me, and Jesus is saying, that's what I'm calling you to. Jesus calls us not just to keep our word when we've said I promise or signed on the dotted line, he's calling us to keep our word any time we say yes or no.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:09] And by the way, one of the things that that includes is our marriages. Jesus calls us not just to try in marriage as long as it seems like it's working out, Jesus calls us to be faithful in our marriages, even when it's painful and difficult. Jesus calls us not only to not escalate with revenge, but he calls us not to take revenge at all, but to leave it to God. And Jesus calls us not just to love our friends, but to love who? Our enemies. All right, some of you didn't even want to say it. Like this is too hard, this is getting into our business. Jesus is calling Republicans to love Democrats and Democrats to love Republicans, he's calling us to cross lines, he's calling us to love the people that we sometimes feel like they're on the other team. Jesus gets into our business, and the fact is, whether or not we would say it out loud, there's many of us that say, I am willing to listen to the voice of Jesus, but then when he starts to get unreasonable, we start to find excuses.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:11] What I want you to know is that everything I just said about what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount. And by the way, that was just chapter 5, wait for the rest of it, everything that Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount is absolutely unreasonable, it is an overreach, he needs to get out of our business, unless he is the Son of the living God. Unless he is the Lord and the promised Messiah. If he is just one more teacher, he needs to step down. But if he is the eternal Son of God, if he is the ultimate message about who God is, if He is God's very Word, he doesn't need to step down, we need to step in, we need to respond to him. And if we're looking at it and we're saying, well, why should I believe that? He's endorsed by the Spirit, endorsed by the Father. We get to look at the fact that Jesus didn't come on his own authority, he came on the authority of the one who sent him.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:19] Now, for some of us, right now, we're dealing with situations where Jesus has got unreasonable, from our standpoint in our lives, and we've got to decide what we're going to do about it. We've got to decide if we're going to obey him when all of the other voices in our lives are saying marriage is supposed to be way easier than this, you should just leave. Whose voice is going to win out in those circumstances? We've got to decide whose voice we're going to listen to when it feels like every teacher or every professor that we have is telling us the Bible is only for simple minded people and they have all the degrees and all the letters after their name, we've got to decide who we're going to listen to.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:05] By the way, let me just say, for those of you who are younger, in particular high school and college age, you are in the firing area of all of this. Most of you are targeted with voices looking to undo your faith in Jesus, and you're going to have to ask, who am I really going to listen to? When every celebrity seems to be saying that Christianity is oppressive, when the world seems to be saying you just live your own truth, and when our flesh and our internal voice seems to be saying to us, just make your life as easy as possible, who are we going to listen to? And one more thing I want you to know, I know if we're Christians, we're like, well, I'm going to listen to Jesus, that's the answer. You're right, that's the answer. I want to invite you to listen to Jesus, not just because he is the Son of God and it's the right thing to do. I want to invite you to listen to Jesus because just as he got into the waters of baptism for all of us, this Savior went to the cross for all of us, this is a trustworthy voice. This is a voice of one who sacrifices for you, this is the voice of one who loves you, and this is the voice who knows all things. He will lead you down roads that are challenging, just as he is about to be led into the wilderness to be tested, he'll lead you down roads that are challenging, but every road that Jesus leads you down leads to life.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:33] So let me just invite you to respond in a few different ways. I think the greatest way that we respond to this, and maybe it's the most obvious, is that we've got to put ourselves in positions to more and more hear the voice of Jesus and hear it more clearly. You know, we talk about Bible reading here at this church, and sometimes we can look at it and we can say, that's a good habit, I should develop that good habit of Bible reading. Yeah, you should develop the good habit of Bible reading, you should be reading the Bible, though, because you are desperate to hear from Jesus because there are so many other voices drowning him out. You know, when people talk about the Bible as our daily bread, we ought to treat it that way. We should be saying, I need to hear from Jesus. And so I need to not just open up my Bible and sort of read through it, even though that's better than nothing. I need to set aside time, quiet time where I'm reading God's Word, where I'm thinking about God's word, where I'm rattling around in my head, where I'm praying through God's word in an open way for how He's leading me. We need to put ourselves in a position to hear Jesus more, and to hear him more clearly. This entire book, not just the Gospels, but the entire Bible, according to Jesus, is about Jesus. So whether you're reading the Gospels or you're reading the Psalms or you're reading Genesis or you're reading the letters of Paul, you are hearing Jesus’ voice. Let's put ourselves into positions where we hear his voice more clearly and more frequently.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:07] And then the other step would be this, we need to all ask ourselves, what voices am I listening to that I need to find a way to listen to less or silence altogether. I don't know this for sure, but I'm going to bet that some of you, before even showing up here this morning, already took in two hours of cable news. Now, I'm not going to say that all cable news is bad, but all cable news is bad. No. We need to decide right now, you might say right now, like, all right, there is a news channel or there is a podcast or there's a celebrity or there's somebody that I'm following on Instagram, they have a lot of say into my life right now. I'm listening to everything that they say, and some of it is good and some of it is distracting. There might be a voice right now that you just need to go cold turkey and say, I'm cutting them off because they're too distracting from the voice, I want to hear all the more. We need to decide what voices in our lives do we need to silence so that we have the space to hear from Jesus.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:13] And going along with that, is us making the choice for not only reading God's word, but being around people who are taking Jesus seriously. I'm just going to say, if you are the only person in your life who's taken Jesus seriously, you're probably not going to take him seriously for very long. But if you're in a life group, if you're in a Bible study, if you're in a detour group, if you're around other men and women who are taking Jesus seriously, you're going to find it a lot easier to keep taking him seriously.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:41] And finally, here's what else we need to do, we need to repent of the ways that we've decided that Jesus is unreasonable and so we're going to go our own way. I'm not going to say that you're wrong if you have a battle over a certain area right now. But for most of us, there's some area of our life where we've told Jesus, you stop here, and I take over with this area. And the only call to that is the call that not only John gave at the beginning of chapter 3, but the call that we're going to see Jesus give with his first public words in chapter 4, and that word is repent. And as Phil talked about last week, repentance is is not just this oppressive sorrow, it's a joyful turning back to God.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:29] And so here's what I want to do. I could say, you know what? Later on, go home and think about this. I want to invite you, right now, we've still got some time. I'm going to invite you all to bow your heads right now. And before I give a couple of quiet minutes, I'm just going to give a little bit of instruction on this. For some of you, the area where there needs to be repentance is an area where there's just been a heart of rebellion. Where there's no other way around it, that you've said, no, I just want to do this my way and I've decided to, and it's time to trust Jesus in that area.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:03] Some of you, the area of repentance is going to be a little bit different because it's not an area of rebellion, it's more an area where you have just come to accept certain lies that you are being fed, lies about your own value, lies about how God can work through you, lies about what your future holds. And it's time to repent less out of guilt and more just of the way that you've allowed your mind to be clouded.

Dan Franklin: [00:39:32] We all have ways that we listen to the wrong voices. And here's our opportunity to take a couple quiet moments before Jesus and to respond to his voice and bring our repentance to him. So I'm just going to be quiet for a couple of minutes for us to do that right now.

Dan Franklin: [00:40:31] Father, I thank you that you speak in the silence. I just confess, it's weird to have silence, we're not used to that. We tend to fill every silent moment with music or podcasts or television or our own voice. Thank you that you speak in the silence, thank you that you speak through your word, and thank you most of all that you have spoken through your Son. Father, we want to listen to him, we want to hear his voice, and we want to respond. So we pray that you receive our repentant words. We pray that you receive us joyfully as we come to your throne of grace. Father, we pray that you lead us to walk by your spirit in a way that through joy and through perseverance, we are listening to the voice of Jesus above all the other voices that come at us. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:32] Now I'm going to ask you to stand, as I'm going to read just a word of benediction for us as we close. And as I do, I'm going to invite prayer team pastors, elders, prayer team to go ahead and come to the front, because some of you, before you leave, you need a follow up. You need somebody to talk to you to say, I kind of said to God, I'm going to repent of this, but I'm not sure I really am, and you need somebody with you on this.

Dan Franklin: [00:41:55] But to close our service, I want to read a little bit more of that passage from Matthew 17. So I'm going to read Chapter 17:1-5 as our benediction, "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” Amen. Amen. God bless you the rest of this Sunday.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848