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JESUS IN THE MIDST

John 20:19‑22

 

 

Jesus Had Conquered Death, And By The Mighty Power Of God He Had Been Resurrected From The Grave. 

                1.  The disciples were gathered in a house behind locked doors. 

                2.  Jesus walked through the doors and stood in their midst. 

                3.  This is the first church building where the resurrected Lord was in the midst of His people.

 

This is the essence of our Christian faith: “Jesus in the midst.”

 

And This Is A Major Theme Of The Bible:

 

Jesus is God, and is eternal, and always has been.  He is in the midst of all that God is.

 

At creation, when there was not much more than “mist”, Jesus was in the midst of it all.

 

In Exodus 8:22

    …I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.

 

In Deuteronomy, He was in the midst of the camp to deliver Israel

Deut. 23:14

        For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee…

 

Jeremiah exclaimed, in…

Jeremiah 14:9

    …thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us.

 

Daniel reported Jesus was in the midst of the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (3:25)

 

As a babe, Jesus was in the midst of the shepherds and the wise men

 

As a boy, He was in the midst of the doctors of theology in the temple

 

As God the Holy Spirit, Jesus is in the midst of His people

Matt. 18:20 

        For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

 

At Calvary, Jesus was in the midst of sinners

John 19:18 

        …they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

 

As a Lamb in Revelation, Jesus is in the midst of the throne of God

 

As our resurrected Lord, Jesus is in the midst of the churches

 

And on the evening of the first Easter Sunday, Jesus "stood in the midst" of His disciples (John 20:26)

 

                Why is this theme repeated?

                Because this is the key to the Christian life!

 

·       This is the key to a great life

·       This is the key to the fellowship of the church

·       This is the key to our witnessing

 

Thus, As We Assemble In The House Of Worship, Our Deepest Desire Is That Jesus Will Be In Our Midst!

 

As a matter of fact, you can have Jesus in the midst of your life.  There are some people who have no room for Christ.  There are others who have some room for Christ.  Jesus wants every room. 

 

The word “midst” = comes from the word middle.  That’s why I use the illustration of a wheel with spokes…

Ill.—We all have different “compartments” that make up our lives—work, school, hobbies, family, etc.  Many today make the mistake of making Jesus just another compartment…another spoke in the wheel.  But He should be the very HUB of our lives, connecting with every spoke, every compartment.  Jesus should be the foundation of every one of these spokes.  He should be in the midst of our work life, in the midst of our hobbies, in the midst of our family, our ministry, etc.

 

No Christian can be spiritual, powerful, and growing unless Jesus is in the midst of all of their life.

 

I. JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US PEACEFUL

V. 19b

Isaiah promised in 26:3,

        Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Romans 5:1

    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philip. 4:7

    And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 

“Passeth” doesn’t mean “giveth”.  Rather, it’s short for “surpasseth”.  In other words, God’s peace goes far beyond what we can handle.  You want the truth about God’s peace… “you can’t handle the truth!”

 

Have you ever considered what a blessing it is when occasionally our problems pile up so high we can't possibly solve them?  Now don't misunderstand me.  I am not saying we are to be delighted about the many troubles that cross our pathways.  I am saying we should be glad that they are more than we can handle.  Why?  Because when we finally realize we can't carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, we have taken the first step in overcoming worry and bringing peace into our hearts…peace that “surpasses” whatever we’re up against!

 

Most of us assume far more responsibility for the future than God ever intended.  We are like the fellow who was talking with an acquaintance one day about the hectic nature of the business world.  The conversation went something like this: "John, you look worried."  "Man," said the friend, "I've got so many troubles that if anything else happens today that is bad, it will be at least two weeks before I can get around to worrying about it."

 

Jesus gave some sound advice when He said,

Matthew 6:34

    Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

John 14:27

    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

        Why not?  Because Jesus is in the midst!

 

II.  JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US JOYFUL

v. 20

Jesus Used The Phrase, "Be Of Good Cheer," Several Times. 

                A.  He spoke of forgiveness for our past:

 

Matthew 9:2

    …Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

 

                B.  He spoke of companionship for our present:

Matthew 14:27

    But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

 

                C.  He spoke of victory for our future:

John 16:33

    In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 

The sin of the past is blotted out for the Christian. 

The continual fellowship of Christ is offered for the present. 

And the future will reveal Christ as the Conqueror of the world. 

 

This is possible because Jesus is in the midst of the believer's life, bringing joy!

 

III.  JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US USEFUL

v. 21

        We are to be:

                A. A mouth to speak for Jesus [in this world]

                B. Feet to run errands for Jesus

                C. Hands to do the work of Jesus

                D. A heart to love Jesus

 

        Let’s be more specific:

We need mouths to invite others to church, to witness about what God’s doing here.  We need mouths to open and sing out His praises in this room or in the choir!  We need mouths that will speak the truth in love, that say ‘I’m sorry’, that encourage a fallen brother, that tell children about Jesus, that disciple and teach and train others in groups or one on one.  Most of all, we need mouths that say ‘yes’ when asked to help out around here!!

 

        Jesus said, ‘so send I you’—I gave you a mouth…use it!

 

We need feet that will bring us out to church faithfully whenever the doors are open…to Sunday School and on Sunday nites--and also “in the midst” of the week on Wednesdays!  We need feet that will answer the call to the ministry and go out of here to study and serve wherever God leads.  We need feet that jump high in this room at the hearing of great truths and that hit the floor and walk straight as a result…wearing the shoes of the gospel…a sermon in shoes, taking the message to others in great need!

 

We need hands to work on this property, cooking, cleaning and fixing.  We need hands playing instruments, operating puppets, shaking other’s hands in greeting, interpreting for the deaf, and most of all, holding the hands of little ones God has entrusted us with, wiping noses, changing diapers, pointing the way for little eyes to look, helping them with their crafts, to learn verses, to get saved! 

 

ill.--HAND AND GLOVE

If I had a glove and I said to the glove, "Glove, pick up that Bible," could the glove do it?  The glove has the shape of a hand, with a thumb and fingers.  But could the glove pick up a Bible?    

        Why? I haven't shown it how.

I say again to the glove, "I apologize, Mr. Glove, I have not told you how to pick up the Bible.  Put your thumb on top, the fingers underneath, squeeze tight, and lift. Very simple, isn't it?  Now, pick it up."

        Will anything happen? No! Why?  Because the glove is powerless. 

The glove is empty of life.  I could say to the glove again and again, "Pick up the Bible," but the glove could never do it. 

        The glove could never do it until I put my hand into the glove. 

But the moment my hand is in it, the glove becomes as strong as my hand. 

        Everything possible for my hand becomes possible for the glove. 

If the glove could speak, it would say, "I can do all things through the hand which strengtheneth me.”

 

You are the glove; Christ is the hand.  But there is one difference.  When Jesus Christ found you, you were a dirty glove inside and out, so He died to cleanse you. 

                       

 Jesus said, “I was sent, and now I’m sending you.” 

        Jesus was recruiting.

 

The prophet said it this way:

Isaiah 6:8

    I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

        Isaiah was volunteering.  And that’s the ideal.  But many won’t volunteer, so Jesus is recruiting.  So why do so many Christians say, “I go to church, and give my tithe...Here am I; send someone else!”

 

Ezekiel 22:30

    And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

 

Why won’t we allow ourselves to be sent?  Because Jesus isn’t ‘in the midst’ of our hearts, our thinking.  He isn’t the hub of the wheel of our life, but just a spoke that comes around every now and then!

 

Jesus in the Midst will make us useful. 

 

IV.  JESUS IN THE MIDST WILL MAKE US POWERFUL

v. 22        There is no doubt that when John wrote this, his mind must’ve gone back to the story of creation. 

Genesis 2:7

    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

God breathed this world into existence:

Psalm 33:6

    By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

2 Samuel 22:16

    And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

 

The Bible has much to say about breath:

Job 19:17

    My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.

        OK, that one I threw in for fun.  Our breath may sometimes be powerful, but not in the way God’s breath is powerful!

 

In Ezekiel 37 we saw the dry bones of an old battlefield come together as skeletons, and then organs and tissues and skin, but they laid there like corpses until v. 9:

Ezekiel 37:9-10

    Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

 

The Bible was written by inspiration of God.  And the word ‘inspiration’ means “God breathed!”  He used human writers as instruments, and each one sounded differently as God’s breath blew thru them, but they had no power of themselves…the power was in the breath of God.

 

It was the breath-like wind of the Holy Spirit that blew the disciples around at Pentecost, and that same powerful breath of God that will sail our ships on this sea of life.

 

I like this fact:  we don’t have to be gifted or capable or have great abilities…only availability!   How wonderful that God doesn’t send us to do something that can’t be done, for there’s nothing that He can’t do thru us!

 

There’s nothing I cannot do, if Jesus is in the midst.  There’s nowhere I won’t go, if Jesus is in the midst.  There’s no limit to what God can do in this church, if Jesus is in the midst.  There’s no peace I cannot find…because Jesus in the midst makes me peaceful!  No joy eludes me, because Jesus in the midst makes me joyful!  No job in the church should ever go undone, for Jesus in the midst will make us useful!

        But absolutely nothing will be accomplished without the powerful Jesus in our midst!

 

 


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