Sermon Preview: Looking at Christ..or What snake handlers and Bigfoot teach us about Jesus

August 24, 2012

Sermon Preview: Looking at Christ..or What snake handlers and Bigfoot teach us about Jesus


In life, clarity is key. Taking a risk by settling for something that isn’t clear can have plenty of consequences. The trouble is, if what you are looking at or communicating is shaky, out of focus or otherwise unintelligible, how can you think of it as truth. In order for us to truly grasp the important things in life, we have to be able to see them clear. We have to be able to take a good look at them.

I can think of no other group of people that would love a good clear image than...sasquatch research. Yes, I am talking about Bigfoot. The most popular and best example of sasquach footage is the 1967 Patterson Gimlin film.


The problem with bigfoot videos is they are all blurry. I once heard a comedian say "maybe bigfoot really is blurry." Because of a lack of clarity...all people can do with Bigfoot is speculate.

Clarity matters to Jesus. Clarity also mattered to the people he spoke with. Our scripture today is one of the most beloved passage of scripture. Let’s read about this meeting Jesus had with Nicodemus in John chapter 3.


John 3

New Living Translation (NLT)

3 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. 2 After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

9 “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.

10 Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? 11 I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. 12 But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

In this passage, Nicodemus seeks to find answers. He wants clarity. He wants what is currently fuzzy and shaky to be clear and stable. This is a story many of us have read, pondered and prayed through many times. We can recall it in our minds.

What Jesus offers to us, found in vs. 14 and 15, is a call to pursue clarity by awareness and exposure to what has been lifted up as the agent of our salvation.

Come worship with us at 9:45 on Sunday Morning to hear the rest of this message. St. Paul's is located at 1901 Lexington in Monroe. We would love to have you join us.