Journey to the Light | Journey to Jesus

Do You Know Jesus Or Do You Only Know About Jesus?

Steven Roberts
Dec 12, 2021    1hr 16m
Do you know Jesus or do you only know about Jesus? Knowing about Jesus and knowing Him is not the same. After the wise men met Jesus, they were no longer the same. When we know Him, our lives change. Our journey to Jesus begins with us realizing we need change. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Steven Roberts: [00:00:00] Amen. Good morning, Journey Church. How are we doing? Oh, man. Can you believe how amazing of a pastor we have? I mean he got into a car accident. He fractured whatever fancy term you want to put it on. It broke his neck. And then came here last Sunday and preached three services to you. He came here with a broken neck. Now that was before we knew it was broken. But he came here and sat right here and preached three full services in pain and with a broken neck. That's how much of a heart he has so that we, everybody at Journey, everybody online can find their way to the light, find their way to Jesus. Man, so Pastor, I know even though you're at home, you can't help but to have a heart here and to be here with us. So I know you are watching. Man, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for showing me the type of leader that I need to be. Thank you for trusting me with your platform this morning. Thank you so much, Pastor and Mrs. Debbie. Real quick, I just want to pray for Pastor James. So we could bow our heads. Lord God, we just, we lift up Pastor James to you right now. We lift up Mrs. Debbie. Father, we lift them to you, for they are our trusted leaders that you have given us, Lord God.

Steven Roberts: [00:01:20] We pray right now in boldness because your Word says to pray bold, to be bold. So we are going to pray for a supernatural healing right now, Father, that as he goes to the doctors, Lord God, that we would get a good report. In your holy and precious name. Amen. Hey, man, my name is Pastor Steven. I am the children's pastor here at Journey Church, and I love every single minute of it. It is a huge blessing. I am happily married for quite a few years now to my beautiful, my sexy wife. Am I allowed to say that? I already said it. My beautiful and sexy wife Miranda. I believe it because it's true, man. She is an incredible mother and incredible wife, just a fearless pursuer of Jesus. And as of this Wednesday coming up, she will officially be pinned because she just finished nursing school. So proud of you, baby. I love you. I love you. Together we have a beautiful daughter, little Allie. She's not here because she is exactly where she needs to be in the children's department. Man, and I say that because we teach Jesus back there. Guys, we're not a daycare. So we are teaching Jesus at the level developmentally that's going to make sense for her. So speaking of children's department, I believe we have the best children's department in the state, and I'm not saying that because I'm the children's pastor.

Steven Roberts: [00:02:58] I'm saying that because we have just an incredible, incredible team back there that are just loving your kids. And as a matter of fact, most of them are sitting right here in the front row right now because they believe that if they are not learning and growing Jesus, how are they going to learn and grow your kids? So let's give it up for them. Amen. Amen. That was my intro so now I'm going to dive into it. All right. We got a lot to cover this morning. So but one thing is when I read Scripture, I make a common mistake sometimes. So I read it as a Christian. And what I mean by that is I know how the story ends. So no matter what I read in the Bible, I know exactly how that story is going to end. And a lot of times, I miss the whole point of the story because I'm like, oh yeah, that was cool. Oh, Jesus was a cute little tiny baby. And then He gets out of the manger and He goes and saves my life. And I miss the whole purpose of what God is trying to teach me in the moment of Him telling us about the three wise men, King Herod. So this morning, I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you. This whole series is called Journey to the Light. It is not let's hang out in the light.

Steven Roberts: [00:04:18] So this morning I want to read this Scripture as a little bit of darkness. We haven't found the light yet. Can we do that, Journey? Okay, cool. So this morning as we read it, let's forget that Jesus gets off the manger. Let's forget that Jesus goes to the cross. Let's just live in the moment. And we're going to start in Matthew 2 verse 1, and we're going to read a little bit this morning. So if you have your Bibles, pull it out. If not, it's going to be up on the screen. So Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea during the reign of King Herod. About that time, some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem and they were asking, where's the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose up, and we have come to worship Him. King Herod, and I love this part, King Herod was deeply disturbed over a baby. King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, and as was everyone else in Jerusalem. Man, he called a meeting and all the leading priests, all the teachers, the religious law, and they ask, hey, where's the Messiah going to be born? And they all replied in Bethlehem, in Judea, they said, for that's exactly what the prophet already told you. And the prophet wrote, and you, oh, Bethlehem in the land of Judah are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come to you who will be the shepherd of my people in Israel.

Steven Roberts: [00:05:57] Then Herod called for a private meeting, and he met with all the wise men. And he learned from them the time of when they first saw the star because that's important to the story. And then they told him, go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that way I can go and worship him too. That sounds cute, pretending we don't know the rest of the story. After the interview, the wise men went their way, and the star they had seen in the East guided them to Bethlehem and it went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. In verse 10, when they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house. They saw the child with his mother, Mary, of course, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests, and they gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Man, that's a lot. And we're going to unpack it all. So let's go to God real quick. Lord Jesus, I just pray, Father, that you would open our eyes and our hearts to this message that you have given us, Lord God. We pray, Father, that you would just begin to do a work in our hearts so that we can learn from you. In your holy and precious name. Amen.

Steven Roberts: [00:07:18] So it's easy to read this Scripture when you already know the end, right? It's easy to say, I know that King Herod is an evil guy. I know that three wise men were cool dudes. I know that Jesus was born. Everything was safe. He was healthy and then He grew up and He did His ministry. But when we actually take that away and when we dive into it, man, this is a crazy scene, right? We got a whole bunch of players in this, and the first is obviously Mary, Jesus' mother. Well, she was like really pregnant. And I don't know if any of you guys have hung out with a really pregnant woman before. The last thing that they probably want to do is hop on a donkey and travel. The last thing I would want to do is hang out with a really pregnant woman while we travel to the desert while she was sitting on a donkey. So that's kind of crazy in and of itself. The second player that we have is Joseph. Joseph's wife is having a baby with another man, right? And I know we know it's God's baby, which is kind of intimidating in and of itself as well. But Joseph is going by faith at this point, right? There's no paternity test that you could prove this is God's baby. So he's going off of a dream that he had where God tells him, hey, don't worry, that's my baby.

Steven Roberts: [00:08:55] And he goes by faith. So I could promise you right now if my wife shows up pregnant tomorrow and she tells me he's God's kid, girl, come on. But the last two players that I want to look at were the Magi, the wise men, three kings from Orient, whatever you want to call them. Other than that, we don't really know all that much about them. Most people living disagree how many of them there actually were. We know there were three gifts. We know they were obviously wise men. They were rich. They were super rich dudes. They were kings. They were from the East. They were Orient. So that's important because they were not Jewish. And I think that's a part that we often miss is they were not Jewish. So the Jews would have called them gentiles. Christians would have called them pagans. Whatever you want to call them, they weren't Jewish. They weren't chosen. They weren't God's people. They were just philosophers. And so for argument's sake, they were rich dudes who like to read books, and they read a book about a potential messiah. Then they saw a star and they said, hey, that's exactly what we just read.

Steven Roberts: [00:10:19] Let's go after that. Let's chase it. The other player, and this is King Herod, which in what we just read, I don't know. He seemed pretty cool. He wanted to come and worship Jesus too at this point in the story, right? But what do we actually know about King Herod? Well, we also know he was super rich as well. So I mean we got a lot of money in this story. Hollywood's already got a huge budget. So let's make it. King Herod was super rich because he was appointed as king under Rome. So he was a great politician and he had Rome, the richest empire as his back. So he's a great politician, heavily backed. And the important part is he was Jewish. So he was the richest guy in the Jewish kingdom who was Jewish. And now he had access to every single Jewish leader, every single priest. Matthew 2:3 says, hey, where is the Messiah going to be born? And I find that to be the most interesting part. So we have the guy who has all of the prophecies. He's got all of the people who keep the prophecies hanging out with him in his court. And it takes a bunch of pagans to let him know when the prophecy is coming true. And this is the important part, right? He had access to literally everything that would tell him about Jesus, but he was too religious to have a relationship with Jesus.

Steven Roberts: [00:11:58] Let me say that again. See, he let his religion and he let his money and he let his power get in the way of actually having a relationship with Jesus. So think about that. Jesus wants one thing and one thing only from you this morning. And that's for you to have a relationship with Him. And the one guy who should be the easiest to have a relationship with Jesus let everything else get in the way. And then he became fearful. He became jealous, and he did the craziest thing. We see it happen decent times in the Bible. But to me, especially being a children's pastor, the grossest thing I've ever read. He had every child under two killed. So he killed every male under two, and that number is kind of important because he teamed up, he held company with people who said, I don't know, I guess the Messiah is probably about two because that's when these pagans said that they saw the star. So the company he held allowed him to kill every male child under two. And this is what's important, right? So King Herod then knew about Jesus, knew about this messiah guy. But what you need to realize is knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus are not the same thing. And truthfully, so King Herod and the Magi at this point, they didn't actually know Jesus. They never met him, right? Neither one.

Steven Roberts: [00:13:40] But what we do see is both of them had an opportunity to know Jesus, and they responded in two completely different ways, right? So the wise men? They read it. They saw the star. They saw a sign. They were given an opportunity. And what did they do? They got up. They gathered a whole bunch of gifts, a whole bunch of men. So the interesting thing is we know that there were three gifts. A lot of people believe there were probably upwards of 12 wise men, 12 rulers. And on top of that, do you think rich dudes are going to travel by themselves? No. So they believe that he brought probably upwards of 300 people, a whole caravan. So these wise men had an opportunity to meet Jesus. And they got up, got everyone that they were responsible for, and then spent a lot of money. I know how much it costs to feed, you know, 200 kids. I couldn't imagine how much it would cost to feed 300 grown men, guards, servants. But they had to feed them. They weren't going to let them go starve. And then they got up and they traveled over a thousand miles by foot. Three hundred people herding animals, donkeys, pack mules. I don't know. I made up the animal part, but I assume so. And how did King Herod respond? Well, King Herod, man, he responded with so much joy.

Steven Roberts: [00:15:10] He was so happy that the Messiah was coming. He threw a huge party, spent half of the money that he had in his bank account, wrote some cheques, was just throwing it all out. And they just had a crazy party. It was like the prodigal son. That's not true, right? Okay. That would have been good if he would have responded that way. But how did King Herod respond? Well, he responded with jealousy, responded with fear. And I'll be the first one to tell you, man, when you have unchecked jealousy in your heart, it causes you to do some really irrational things. For King Herod, it caused him to kill a lot of innocent children. For you and me, what's it causing you to kill? Your relationships, your marriages, friendships? You know, we may not actually be taking a sword to somebody's neck, but unchecked jealousy, I can guarantee, it's going to kill something in your life. What I want you to realize this morning as we're realizing the story of the light is you are not where you should be in your relationship with Jesus. And I know you're saying, well, how can you stand up there and how can you say that so boldly and so truthfully? And I can say that because if you were where you should be in your relationship with Jesus, you would be changed.

Steven Roberts: [00:16:39] So in Matthew 2:12, we're going to finish out this story in 2:12, it says, when it was time to leave, they, they is the wise men, the wise men returned to their country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to go back because Herod wasn't as chill as he seemed to be. And I paraphrase that last verse for you. But this is what's cool, right? They felt a tug in their heart. So starting from the beginning, they were reading these books. They were studying. They were philosophers. And then God started to touch their hearts, right? And God said, look up. They didn't know what that meant, but they looked up and they saw the sign, right? So they saw the sign. They felt a tug in their heart. They saw the sign. They got everyone up, and they started to move and they were walking one way. They were walking one way. And then God, Jesus came into their life, created a relationship with them, and they said, hey, that path you're walking down, stop it. Go another way. See, when Jesus comes into your life, when Jesus comes into your heart, you change. And Jesus said to them, hey, every path that you were walking on, that path of destruction, the drugs that you were doing, the immoral relationships you were having, you do not have to go back to that.

Steven Roberts: [00:18:00] Jesus says, you're walking this way, and you have death in a valley, in your relationships back there and you do not have to go. Hey, somebody, somebody, somebody needs to hear this today. Jesus says, hey, you are walking this way, and you do not have to lay your head in that grave any longer. You can have a relationship with Jesus, and He can change your life and He can give you a new way home this morning. Give me an amen. Give God an amen. Man, I got a little fired up there because I think it's so amazing that at this point of the story, Jesus is still a child, and He just saved 300 people right off the bat physically just by saying, hey, you don't want to go that way. King Herod, the priests, the scribes, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, they went back to living the exact same life that they were living. See, King Herod didn't change. And as a matter of fact, the son of King Herod, he was on the board that voted to kill Jesus. His son stood trial with Pontius Pilate and said, let the criminal free and kill the Jesus. You see, King Herod responded in fear. He killed innocent children. He refused to repent. He refused to change the path he was on, and he imprinted a generational curse on his family. The same fear that he then imprinted on his children is what led Herod Antipas, which is this child, to co-conspire against Jesus a mere 30 years later. You know, Matthew 7:20 says, therefore, by their fruits, you will know them. Your fruits will always bear what's in your heart. And that that doesn't mean when you meet Jesus and you create a relationship with Jesus, you're going to be perfect. That's not what that means. But I know for me, I'm not where I want to be. I'm not where I know I should be. But I can guarantee you I am not where I was. And that's what that relationship is. It's about changing the moment God comes into our hearts, turning and repenting from that path we were on. And God guarantees us a safe way home. Home. You know, what I want you to realize this morning is that one of God's greatest gifts is the gift of giving. And we are in the greatest season, right? And in verse 11, it says they entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him. The very first thing that they did when they created a relationship with Jesus is they gave their time, they gave their worship, and then they opened their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. You know, one of our core values here at Journey is you can't outgive God.

Steven Roberts: [00:21:46] And what do we mean when we say that? We mean you can't outgive God in your time. You can't outgive God in your finances. You can't outgive God in your relationships. You can't outgive God in your servanthood. You can't outgive God in literally anything. And that is because God generally funds His entire mission by what we give to Him. You know, you don't get a journey to the light, light event without a whole bunch of guys giving their time to set up all the lights, without a whole bunch of people giving their finances to afford the lights. You don't have these things. So when we say you can't outgive God, it's because whatever you give God, God is going to bless and give right back to the community. So the wise men, which is interesting, you hear myrrh, frankincense, and gold. And you're like, what is that? A bunch of essential oils? Is he a Youngs dealer? I don't know. But then somebody a lot smarter than me went in and did the math. And those three gifts, they were all symbolic, by the way. They all meant something, which is why they gave them. But today, they would be worth millions of dollars. So if there were worth millions today, imagine how much they were worth then. So unknowingly, these three wise men, they came, they gave their time, and then they basically funded Jesus's entire ministry. And they didn't even know it at the time. They just saw the sign.

Steven Roberts: [00:23:30] And Jesus changed the life and the path that they were on. So as I begin to close, one of my favorite passages, you know, the light of Jesus shines on the darkness. And then what happens to the darkness? It flees. It can't stay when Jesus shines the light. The whole point of this journey to the light is because when Jesus is the light and when Jesus is there, the darkness has to flee. But that Scripture reference, it doesn't say it's a comfortable time. It doesn't say it's an enjoyable time getting the light shone on you. And if you're as pale as I do, you know, sunshine, it's not comfortable the next day for me. That conviction, though, these three wise men, right? They saw the sign. They felt the imprint on the heart. That light represented a conviction in their heart. And then they had to get up. They had to gather everybody. They had to walk over a thousand miles. They had to give their time. And we kept using child instead of baby because they think Jesus was actually around two years old by the time the wise men actually got there. So how long did it take them to find Jesus? How long were they away from their kingdom? How much money did they have to spend feeding these people to finally find their way to Jesus? They had to go a completely different path home to avoid certain death.

Steven Roberts: [00:24:59] It's not a comfortable time. But I can guarantee you that the conviction when God convicts your heart, it is to get you out of bondage. You know, it's uncomfortable. But without the conviction, we live in condemnation. So don't fear the conviction. So realize that, hey, there's some area of your life God wants you to change. Maybe some of you guys, you're feeling that right now. You're feeling it in your heart. Own that conviction. Let God bring you out of the condemnation because the light does not condemn. It just convicts, man. You know, are you sitting there this morning, are you sitting there online, are you're sitting there in a chair, and are you willing to make the commitment to Jesus? To own that conviction, to change that path? And maybe some of you guys are sitting there. Do you even know Jesus? Or do you just know of Jesus? Man, in just a few moments, we're going to open up our altars. Online, we have people. We have counselors. We have pastors who want to talk to you right now. We want to help you guide to that light that Jesus is promising, man. And maybe some of you, you're just sitting there and you're not even using the gifts that God has already given you.

Steven Roberts: [00:26:23] Maybe that's something that you need to start doing today, whatever that gift looks like. Are you giving your gifts back to the greatest gift giver that ever lived, that ever walked this earth? So why don't you stand with me? And if that's you, if you're feeling that conviction, if you want to know Jesus, man, when we say amen, I encourage you to just come down. Pastor Darrell is going to lead a great team. There's a next step card. Go ahead and fill it out. I can guarantee, I promise you, somebody from our team is going to reach out to you, and we're going to help you, guys, whatever that looks like to get to that next step. So if that's you this morning and you're saying, I want to know Jesus and not just know of this messiah guy, as we bow our heads, I encourage you to just pray after me and then come tell somebody, guys. Lord God, we just, we come to you this morning, Father, as we take this journey to you, Lord God, this journey to your light, Father. And we just invite you, Father, into our hearts, Lord God. We want you to change our path, and we want you to give us a safe passage home, Lord Jesus. We love you so much, Lord God. And we pray that your continued conviction, Lord God, in our lives would bring us out of eternal condemnation. In your holy and precious name. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:27:54] On behalf of Pastor James, I want to say thank you for joining our online experience this morning. Y'all, what an amazing week two to our new series, Journey to the Light. Y'all, this has been an amazing series so far for the month of December, and I can't wait for it to continue. If y'all need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby that if you click the link in the description, someone will get with you right away. But again, I hope to see y'all next week as we continue our series, Journey to The Light. Thank you.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360