Who's Your One - Part 5
Series: Who's Your One
November 03, 2019
Whose Your One - Week 5
The Bridge Over the River Kwai is a critically acclaimed WWII movie set in early 1943, and it’s about British POWs who arrive by train at a Japanese prison camp in Burma. The camp commandant orders all prisoners to work on the construction of a railway bridge over the River Kwai to connect Bangkok and Rangoon.
One of the prisoners, senior British officer Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, drives his men hard to complete the bridge because he wants to raise moral and highlight the ingenuity of the British over against the poor work of his captors. Plus it takes their minds off the situation of being imprisoned.
Under his superior leadership, they construct a beautiful, sturdy, engineering masterpiece in the jungle that is the bridge over the river Kwai.
Col. Nicholson didn’t know it, but his superiors in England dispatched commandos to sneak in and destroy the bridge to prevent it from being used to carry supplies to the enemy. Just as the bridge is completed the Col. Finds himself actually fending off those commandos — his own people — trying to blow up the bridge. Watch this clip of that fateful moment he realizes something and look for one of the most famous movie lines in history...
That famous line: ”What have I done?" It says it all. Col. Nicholson was so focused on his goal–building the bridge– he forgot the larger mission, the bigger picture, of winning the war. So much so he almost helped the enemy!
That exact same thing happened to a guy in the Bible named Peter.
Matthew 16:21–27 (ESV) — 21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”
We can’t blame Peter for feeling this way. He was part of something big. Jesus’ ministry of healing and teaching was blowing up. Thousands were coming to hear the Master preach. Lives were being changed. Miracles were happening, literally. And Peter was all about keeping that going. Why wouldn’t he? Why wouldn’t anyone. These weren’t just good things happening, they were GREAT things.
And on top of all that Peter knew Jesus was the Messiah, the long awaited Savior of God’s chosen people. Look at what happened just moments before what’s happening in our text this morning, the contrast is ironic...
Matthew 16:13–19 (ESV) — 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
One scholar comments here...
Peter, speaking for them all, has just told Jesus that as far as they’re concerned he is not just a prophet, he’s God’s anointed king, the Messiah. Their natural next move would be to sit down and plan their strategy: if he’s the king, and if his people are going to be like the house built on the rock, then they must figure out how to get rid of the present kings and priests who are ruling Israel (or, more accurately, misruling it).
The obvious solution would be this: march on Jerusalem, pick up supporters on the way, choose your moment, say your prayers, fight a surprise battle, take over the Temple, and install Jesus as king. That’s how God’s kingdom will come! That’s how ‘the son of man’ will be exalted in his kingdom! That, we may be sure, was something like what they had in mind.1
So when Jesus started talking about being killed, about the movement stopping, Peter went off on him! His pure motives though, weren’t well received by Jesus...
23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Jesus didn’t day, “Aw shucks, Peter, I didn’t know you cared so much. I’m so proud of you!”
1 Wright, T. (2004). Matthew for Everyone, Part 2: Chapters 16-28 (p. 10). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
He said, “Not today, Satan!”
Ten seconds earlier Jesus had called Simon blessed. Now he calls him the devil. Why? Peter got so caught up building the bridge he lost sight of winning the war and almost helped the enemy. Imagine if Jesus had succumbed.
There was a bigger picture Peter needed to see...
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
For a time, it was Jesus’ mission to minister healing and teaching, and one day he would return to set up his kingdom on earth, but he had come to fulfill a much greater purpose at that time: to save the world and that required the ultimate sacrifice. That was the bigger picture Peter didn’t get.
It happened to Col. Nicholson, it happened to Peter, and it can happen to christians and and churches.
If we’re not watchful we’ll lose sight of the bigger picture and that bigger picture is expressed by Jesus in two of his most famous statements:
The GREAT commandment and the GREAT commission
The Great Commandment
Matthew 22:37–40 (ESV) — 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
The Great Commission
Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV) — 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
From these two statements we get the bigger picture of why we’re here as Christians and why we’re here as a church, a local community of believers:2
As Christ-followers, those called to take up our crosses and follow him, we are about...
Loving the Lord passionately — worship.
Going and making disciples — evangelism.
Baptizing those disciples — fellowship.
Teaching those disciples to obey — discipleship.
So the purpose of the church, our church, is to foster growth through worship, ministry, evangelism, fellowship, and discipleship.
To phrase it the way Rick Warren does, our purpose, our bigger picture is to grow...
Warmer through fellowship Deeper through discipleship Stronger through worship Broader through ministry Larger through evangelism
This is why we’ve focused on the Whose Your One campaign. This is why we’ve challenged you to prayerfully seek to influence someone for Jesus leading up to our big day next Sunday.
This is also why we’re going to two services and two group times starting November 17, as difficult as it will be. I’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Conclusion: This would be a good time to revisit something we adopted a few years ago, our purpose statement. It’s kind of our bigger picture reminder and it encapsulates all five purposes of the church...
We are here to lead people on the journey to authentic faith by loving God, loving people, sharing Jesus, and growing in grace together.
It sounds easy, but it really isn’t. For one reason the whole world is set up against it.
But the greatest hindrance is much more subtle and dangerous. If we’re not careful we’ll get too comfortable, too relaxed, too self-centered, too focused on details in doing church while slowly drifting away from living out the bigger picture of our purpose.
This is just as possible if not more likely in a growing church like ours as it is a church in decline.
To live out our purpose requires sacrifice, being inconvenienced, flexibility, a positive attitude, a willingness to put others before ourselves. I’m glad that typifies our church.
I’d like to leave us all with a question to pray over:
What am I doing to contribute to leading people on the journey to authentic faith by loving God, loving people, sharing Jesus, and growing in grace together in the community of faith called PVFBC?
The answer to that can be as simple as getting involved in a group, signing up to serve in ministry (or being faithful to serve after you sign up), inviting someone to church, investing in someone’s life with a view of influencing them for Jesus, giving generously, and things yet to be discovered as we all find out how we fit into God’s plan for us.
Let’s look back one more time at what Jesus told his disciples in response to Peter’s missing the big picture...
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his
cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
We don’t want to get to the end of our time on this earth and think, “What have I done?”
Content Copyright Belongs to Pleasant View First Baptist Church