Jesus is surprising. Throughout the Bible He shows up in unexpected places doing unexpected things.
That same Jesus is alive today, so we shouldn’t be surprised when He shows up in our lives. Instead, we should be looking for Him, and we should be prepared to encounter an unexpected Savior.
- Jesus is Surprising
- He gives us good news that we don’t deserve
- Are you willing to let Him surprise you?
- there comes a point in everyone’s life when they will encounter Jesus
We Serve an Unexpected Jesus
Who is this 4 – that shows up unexpected
Sermon Notes by Marshal Blessing
*** Bumper Video
“And today we are asking “Who is this that shows up unexpected”
***Incoming Call VID
<<Chris excuses himself and walks off. Marshal walks up.>>
Who is this who shows up unexpected?
Who is this? Well, I’m Marshal Blessing. I’m the Care Pastor.
I want to talk to you about a Jesus who shows up unexpected.
Do you like surprises? It depends, right? Surprises can be either good or bad.
Surprise audit –not so good. Cheryl Fane recently took Bruce on a surprise trip to Florida for his birthday.
My mom is great at surprising people. Several years ago she made a surprise visit to Ohio to visit her brother. She wore a disguise and arranged to randomly meet him at a gas station. It was a good surprise.
Think for a second, what is the best surprise you ever received? It was probably either when you were given something you didn’t expect, or when someone showed up who you weren’t expecting.
Jesus is the master of surprises. He always gives us more than we expect. And he frequently shows up at unexpected times and in unexpected places.
So, Mom, when you surprised Uncle Ralph, you were being like Jesus. Good job, Happy Mother’s Day!
Jesus does some really unexpected things. Jesus says some really unexpected things.
The Gospel is Unexpected
Good news is unexpected. Have you watched the news lately? Good news is rare.
We live in a broken world. Tragedies make headlines. It’s reasonable to expect to hear bad news.
And the world got this way because of our sin. God didn’t create it to be this way. We did that.
So if we’re expecting a status report from the Creator… If we’re expecting to hear from Almighty God what he thinks about what we’ve done, how we broke his world, how we’ve messed things up…
I wouldn’t expect good news.
John 3:16 NASB For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
That’s Jesus. Through him we’re saved, because God loves us! That is GOOD NEWS. I didn’t see that coming!
Who is this who shows up unexpected?
Jesus is that unexpected good news. It’s like the guy with the rainbow wig and the John 3:16 sign at the football games. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there he is, reminding us of God’s love.
I miss that guy. He was great, but you don’t really see him anymore. If a guy with a rainbow wig and John 3:16 sign starts showing up again, pause your DVR and look really close, that might be me.
Happy Mother’s Day again, Mom, I’m sure that makes you proud.
Anyway, Jesus shows up unexpectedly.
Did you get an Easter invite card? Did you stare at it? ***Inverse Jesus Picture
It had this black and white blob, and if you stare at it for a while and then look away, Jesus would appear. That’s a great illustration because Jesus shows up unexpectedly all the time.
He still does it today. If you get past all the bad news, every once in a while there will be news story about Jesus miraculously appearing in household objects. For example…
On a tree stump ***Tree stump picture
On a frying pan ***Frying pan picture
On toast ***Toast picture
On a Kit-kat bar ***Kit-kat picture
On a turtle shell ***Turtle shell picture
On kitchen tile ***Tile picture 1 Upon closer inspection this one might be Mary but we have personally verified that it is a miraculous picture of someone. ***Tile picture 2
Even on a potato chip ***Chip picture
And these are just a few. Jesus shows up in some unexpected places.
I love stories like these because they show that people are eager to see Jesus. They are looking for Jesus.
And they’re like a puzzle, like the “hidden picture” puzzle from when you were a kid. ***Toast picture
Can you find a hairbrush, a chair, and the face of Jesus in this picture?
But, I don’t necessarily believe that they are miraculous. If you find a Cheeto that looks like Jesus and you can sell it on Ebay for a million dollars, go for it. Just remember to come back to Redemption and tithe the following week.
***Frying pan picture The truth is, I don’t know if Jesus really looked like that.
We don’t know what Jesus looked like.
Isaiah 53:2 NIV He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
Some people in the Bible didn’t recognize Him. Sometimes his disciples didn’t recognize Him.
He didn’t look the way people expected the Messiah to look.
Instead, people recognized Him by what he said and did.
Ironically, one of the most recognizable things about Jesus was that he did unexpected things.
We serve an unexpected Jesus
Jesus = Surprising
Jesus is consistently surprising. Throughout the Bible Jesus shows up in unexpected places and does unexpected things. Jesus surprised people all the time. I sat down and tried to list them out. Ready?
- King of Kings born in a stable, laid in a manger
- In the temple when he should have been traveling home with his family
- Shows up requesting to be baptized
- Walks along the shore and tells fishermen to follow him
- Tells a tax collector to follow him
- Everyone is looking for him, he has gone off to himself to pray
- He preaches with authority in his home town
- Talks to Samaritan woman, spends two days in Samaritan town
- Heals people on the Sabbath all over the place
- Heals lame man by the pool of Bethsaida, the man doesn’t even know who he is
- Goes to Zacchaeus’ house
- Meets with Pharisees
- Meets with sinners
- He drives money changers out of the temple, TWICE
- Appears transfigured
- Shows up walking on the water
- His brothers ask him if he is going to festival, he says no, goes anyway
- He stands up in the temple and announces that he is the source of living water
- Jairus’ daughter is already dead, Jesus shows up anyway
- Jesus knows people in Jerusalem are trying to kill him, he goes anyway
- Lazarus is already dead, Jesus shows up anyway
- Washes the disciples’ feet
- Announces himself to the Roman guard
- The King of Glory is put on trial, beaten, nailed to a cross, and laid in a tomb
- Appears to Mary – She thinks he’s a gardener
- Appears to disciples on the road to Emmaus
- Appears in a locked room, twice
- Appears on the shore
- Appears to Stephen before he dies
- Speaks to Saul on the road to Damascus
- Appears to John on the island of Patmos
- He stands at the door and knocks
- He is coming again in glory, but no one knows the day nor the hour
- He is the eternal, living Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Jesus is amazingly surprising. And that’s probably not all of them. I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a few.
So let me ask you, Why? Why is Jesus so unexpected?
He didn’t have a secret identity. He didn’t put on a mask when he went out and did miracles.
Sometimes when He healed people He did instruct them not to tell everyone who had healed them, but they usually did anyway. His identity wasn’t a secret.
The truth is that people couldn’t accept his true identity.
John 14:8-9 NIV Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
After the resurrection Thomas says, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Some people don’t want to believe, others just find it hard to accept the surprising truth that Jesus really is who He said He is. I understand. It can be hard to accept. But there comes a point in everyone’s life when they will encounter Jesus. And as surprising as it may be, the truth of who He is will be undeniable.
Philippians 2:10-11 NIV that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If you have encountered Jesus already, if you have accepted the surprising reality that He is your Savior, then you are blessed. If not, look again. You need to get to know him, and I pray you do before it is too late.
Brothers and sisters, have you ever been caught off guard by Jesus? If not, you need to spend a little more time with him.
Jesus = Surprising
Because even once we know Him, Jesus is still surprising. He is surprisingly consistent. He does what he says. He told His disciples he would be put to death and He would rise again in three days. And they were all shocked when He did it. He prayed for those who persecuted Him. He turned the other cheek. He proclaimed good news to the poor, freedom to the prisoners, recovery of sight to the blind, he proclaimed the year of the Lord’s favor, JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD!
I pray we don’t make the same mistake. Jesus does what He says, and He said He will be coming back. We don’t know the day nor the hour, but it’s coming. It’s closer now than ever before. Be ready, don’t be caught off guard.
Jesus said where ever two or three are gathered in His name He will be there among them. Do you believe that? He does what He says. I’m here in Jesus Name. Are you? Do you believe He is here?
We should expect to be surprised
Jesus is surprising. If he is here today; if he is part of our life, we should expect to be surprised.
His ways are higher than our ways.
Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
“…able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”
This is the God we serve. Based on that, we don’t know what to expect.
Expect to be surprised. Expect Jesus.
Jesus does show up today, and even if it is not unexpected, it is still surprising.
Where does Jesus show up in your life? I hope it’s not just at church each week.
If Jesus is part of your life he could and should show up at any time.
Are you willing to be surprised?
Are you willing to be surprised by Him?
Are you willing to encounter a God who is able to do more than you expect or imagine?
Jesus does appear in our lives today, not in pans and tree stumps and burned toast, but in you,
in the lives of people around you, in the love that we share. Sometimes it is in unexpected places:
the prayers of our children, the wisdom of our parents, the encouragement of our brothers and sisters.
Matthew 25:40 NIV The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Sometimes it takes a little effort to see Him.
Are you looking for Him? Are you actively seeking him in your daily life? Seek and ye shall find.
Are you willing to encounter Jesus today? Are you willing to reach out to Him? Are you willing to be surprised by a God that reaches out to you? These altars are open, come and talk to God.
Announce Him, help others see Him. John 20.
We serve an expected Jesus