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Posts Tagged ‘identity claims of Jesus’

No clue who he was!


Have you ever had the experience of missing something incredible that was staring you right in the face?  You didn’t even know you were in the company of someone incredibly important till after the fact?  In session 02 Rico tells about a fabulous opportunity to meet none other than… THE Prince William… but blew it because he didn’t recognize him.  Sometimes we’re at a double disadvantage of not only having a vague grasp on someone’s identity combined with the presumption that we’d never have the occasion to be in their presence.

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It’s like that with the person of Jesus.  Many today would struggle to name more than a couple of basic facts about Jesus even though he is arguable humanity’s most enduringly famous person.  Combine that with the fact that nearly no one ever really expects him to actually show up in any sense of the word, and you have a person who could remain painfully anonymous and irrelevant to our world.

Do the New Testament documents give us a picture of an anonymous, irrelevant Messiah?  On what basis did people in his day credit him with greatness?  Why was his identity so consequential?  How could he have gotten HIS birthday to become the marker our planet uses to measure the centuries by?

Rico takes us into the Gospel of Mark and looks at 5 key areas over which Jesus demonstrated divine authority.  Bring a friend and come join us this week.  Christianity Explored meets at Christ Community Church on Sunday mornings at 10:45 in room D-126.

I Am The True Vine


Not sure you can believe everything you read on the internet (including posts from church pastors like me) but according to my painstaking research over the past 12 minutes on Google, the worlds most expensive grapes are the Ruby Romans.  Ever heard of Ruby Roman grapes?  Me neither till 12 minutes ago.  According to an article in the Japan Times a couple paid over $5,000 for a single cluster of 30 golf-ball sized Ruby Romans for their wedding reception.

This week in Unconvinced we’re finishing up the 8 “I Am” statements of Jesus.  I am the true vine (#8) claims Jesus.  He who remains in me will bear MUCH fruit.  But in the same breath Jesus says that apart from him, you can do nothing.  Branches that bear no fruit (much less $180 per grape Ruby Romans) are cut off, picked up an burned!

Each week we’re discovering that Jesus’ identity claims are far more than mere pithy word-pictures tossed out by a flashy public speaker.  In all 8 “I Ams” Jesus is making serious identity claims with huge implications for his listeners.

Week 6 resource sheet

Week 6 – Text

Come on out and join us this week.  Unconvinced meets at 10:45 in Room D-126.  Bring your questions.  Bring your doubts.  And bring a friend and join in the discussion.  The above links are the resource sheets for last week’s session.




Did you really have to say that, Jesus?

john 6 bread

This week in Unconvinced we’re doing part one of Jesus’ famous I AM statements.  When you read the Gospel of John you’ll notice he records Jesus making a series of theological identity statements.  There are 8 of them that are commonly talked about by bible scholars.  “I am the Good Shepherd.”  “I am the Bread of Life.”  Each of the next two week we’ll take a look at four “I AMs…  Each revealing something core to Jesus’ identity.  Each of them somewhat controversial based on the reaction Jesus got from them.

How controversial could Bread really be?

One thing I keep seeing again and again in John’s Gospel is TENSION.  The verbal barbs Jesus trades with the Pharisees are smokin!  Not even Donald Trump can get himself in as much hot water as Jesus.  How controversial could “I am the Bread of Life” really be?  When I’m reading it in my Bible, I think… “Nice Jesus.  Great comparison there to manna.  You’re speaking to their Old Testament story-line with that imagery.”  Then the next thing know Jesus just pushes it over the cliff!

“My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them.”  John 6:55-56

Little wonder that you see in that same passage:  “Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves – How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Among the 8 I AMs…this is one of the more tame examples.  Jesus draws even more heat for some of his other identity claims.  The reason we’re going after the 8 I AMs is to wrestle with the person of Jesus for ourselves.  Can we really come to grips with who he claimed to be?  If we were in his audience that day, would Jesus push our buttons?  Most people think Jesus was about as controversial as a blond-haired, blue-eyed sweater model who carried lambs around on his shoulders.  Jesus was no wimp.  Just about everywhere he went he nearly got himself killed.  Come jump in with us and find out why.

Unconvinced meets Sundays in Room D-126 at 10:45am.

In case you missed last week, here’s the notes from our discussion – thanks Cheryl Perry for doing an awesome job as our facilitator:

Week 04 Resource Sheet

Week 5 Resource Sheet

Week 5 – Manuscript

Hope to see you Sunday.  Bring a friend with you!