The Worth of Jesus – David Platt at Urbana 2012 – St. Louis Missouri

David Platt in India – 2011 brookhills.org – 2nd photo http://www.christianpost.com/news/

David Platt IndiaDavid Platt gives a powerful gospel message. He paints a picture of Jesus as someone who is not asking for part of our lives, but our whole lives. We don’t respond to his radical call because it’s easy, but because he is worthy of our trust, our plans and dreams, and our affections. Platt uses Luke chapter 9 in order to flesh out these reasons for making God’s Kingdom known around the whole world.

David Platt:

~For far too long, and in far too many ways, we have minimized the majesty of Jesus in the church and we have diluted what it means to be His disciple in the world.

~We’ll do everything we can today to draw the crowds. But, Jesus is different. Whenever the crowds started getting bigger around Him, He would say something like  „If anyone would come after Me, He must hate his wife and children, mother and father, brother and sister”. „If you’re going to follow me, you must pick up an instrument of torture, reserved for the vilest criminals”. „Anyone who comes after Me must give up everything he has”. He told one man in Luke, „Go, sell everything you have and give it to the poor. Then, come follow me”.  What if Jesus had said these things to us? And this is where we come face to face with a frightening reality: Jesus has said these (very) things to us.  He has beckoned every single one of us to love him in a way that makes our closest relationships in this world, look like hate in comparison. He has called us all to die, to die to ourselves. He has called every single one of us to give up everything we have for Him. And He could tell any one of us to sell everything we have, and to give it to the poor. But, we don’t believe this.

We take texts like these, and we say, „What Jesus really meant was…” and this is where we have to be very careful, because this is where we start defining christianity according to our preferences. This is where we start taking the Jesus of the Bible, and start twisting Him into a Jesus that we are a little more comfortable with, a Jesus who looks like us and thinks like us, and talks like us. A Jesus who is okay with nominal devotion. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced. A Jesus who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes. And for that matter, a Jesus who wants us to avoid danger altogether.

But here’s the real danger. When we treat Jesus like this, when we mold Him in to our image, a nice little North American Jesus that looks like us and thinks like us, the reality is- now, when we gather together in our churches, in our conferences, and we sing our songs, and we lift up our hands, the reality is we are not worshipping Jesus of the Bible. We are singing songs and lifting up our hands to ourselves. And the danger is, we think we’re worshipping Him. (8:50)

So who is the Jesus of the Bible?

And is this the Jesus you are following? Three characteristics of Jesus’s worth:

  1. Jesus is worthy of all of our trust. We must understand the cost of following Jesus in light of the cross that Jesus chose, for you and for me. This is huge for us, and it hits at the core of how the Gospel is so often sold in our day: Come to Jesus to get stuff. Come to Jesus to get happiness and forgiveness. Come to Jesus to get health and wealth. Come to Jesus to get this or that. No! We come to Jesus to get Jesus!He’s the one we want. He’s the one we need. And in Him, we have everything we need or want. But we don’t live that way. Even in our christian lives, we fill them with so much stuff. We have so much entertainment now, that it takes so much to get excited about Jesus. But then I go to underground house churches in Asia, where followers of Christ are meeting at the risk of their lives. They love the Word, that’s all they have, and it’s worth giving their lives to know it. 60 believers crammed in (a small room) with a little light bulb hanging in the middle, they look at you and say, „We wanna pray, we wanna worship, teach the word for us, for at least a couple of hours. You get the picture, well, you wonder, „What can we do? How can we help them, what can we send them?” Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you tonight, that the Holy Spirit is doing just fine in that country without the resources we have filled our churches with and our conferences with. Somewhere along the way, they’ve gotten the idea that the word of God and the Spirit of God are enough for the people of God, to enjoy and spread the worship of God. And they are right. Jesus is enough for them. Is He enough for us? How does faith in this Christ of Luke 9, lead us to construct multi million dollar buildings, and design endless programs all around ourselves, while we have brothers and sisters all around the world, who are dying of malnourished bodies and deformed brains? On top of the millions of people who have never even heard about Christ? It doesn’t make sense. God raise up a generation who says Jesus is enough for us. 
  2. Jesus is worthy of all our plans and dreams. Jesus is saying that when you follow Him, you have an obligation, a responsibility, a plan, a dream, an ambition that supersedes all other obligations, responsibility, plan, dream or ambition in this world to go and proclaim the word of God. We live in a world of over 7 billion people. The most liberal estimate puts the world at 1/2 christian. That’s people who claim to be christian. Even if we assume all of those are followers of Christ, that still leaves approximately 4 1/2 billion people who are without Christ, and if nothing changes, are on a road that will lead, inevitably, to an eternal hell. We do not have time to waste our lives, coasting out in casual, comfortable christianity. We have a master who demands radical sacrifice and we have a mission that warrants radical urgency.
  3. Jesus is worthy of our affections. Jesus said, „No one who puts his hand to the plow looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”, In other words, you don’t look back. When we follow after Jesus, we’re not just some people that have been captivated on an urgent mission. We’re a people who have been conquered by a superior affection. This, I am convinced is the key issue. I ask you tonight, over and above everything else, „Does Jesus have your heart?Is He the center of your affections?” More than your family, more than your friends, more than anyone and anything. Everything changes when Jesus becomes the sole object of your love and affections.

David Platt from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.

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