Under Pressure 2: The Pressure of Ridicule and Loneliness
In this sermon, we discuss how to overcome the pressure of ridicule and loneliness. We discuss how peer pressure and fitting in pressures us to compromise our faith, and how our true fear is loneliness and ridicule. Here we examine how Nehemiah overcame this pressure and lived for God, and how we can too.
In this passage, we explore how Nehemiah overcame the pressure to stay in Susa with his life of comfort, authority, and worldly success and travel to Jerusalem as God called him. And how we can overcome the pressure to succeed in the World’s eyes and live for God.
One criticism of Christianity is that Jesus never claimed to be the Savior, the Christ, the Messiah. Some people argue it was Peter, Paul, and later Christians that made these claims for Jesus, but Jesus never claimed to more than just a Rabbi, a Teacher. One often used biblical proof for this argument is that Jesus on occasion told people to be quiet and to not share about who He is or what He did.
This actually begins with demons. In Mark 1:43-45, as Jesus is exorcising demons, the demons start to declare who Jesus is. Jesus tells them to be quiet or casts them out before they could speak and declare Him to be the Messiah. On another occasion, Jesus heal a man, but tells him not to tell people (Mark 1:41-44). He even raised a girl from the dead and told the family not to speak (Mark 5:43). Then in Mark chapter 8 when Peter declares Jesus to be the Messiah, the Christ, Jesus follows that bold declaration by telling the disciples to keep quiet about it (Mark 8:29-30).
What do we make out of Jesus the shusher? Does this means that Jesus did not see Himself as the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior? The answer to that is absolutely not. The idea that Jesus never claimed in the Gospels to be the Messiah promised in the Old Testament is just plain wrong. These shushings are not a denial. In fact, Jesus on several occasions quite boldly proclaimed who He is. Here are 5 times that Jesus did in fact claim to be the Messiah, the Christ. Fun Fact: Christ and Messiah are the same word in two languages. Christ is Greek and Messiah is Hebrew.