Can Jesus Relate to Me? | Real Encounters Week 2

Have you ever felt utterly alone? Who do you turn to when you’re in pain? Jesus can relate. This week, we investigate the Wilderness, and how Jesus overcame the same struggles we’re facing today.

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    The Jesus Myth.
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    A pilgrimage to the most controversial places on earth.
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    Investigating ancient stories of Jesus.
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    Separating the myth from the truth
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    and discovering what it means for you today.
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    The third season of Real Encounters with God.
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    All new on location in Israel.
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    New places, new people, new encounters.
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    Real encounters with God: The Jesus Myth.
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    Hey, welcome to Real Encounters with God.
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    I'm Brian Tome, the founding and senior pastor at Crossroads.
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    We're going to get to Israel in a moment,
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    but I've just got to tell you,
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    it is crazy how we filmed this over a month ago,
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    and yet the things that we said are so relevant today.
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    I think you're going to find some hope, some peace,
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    and maybe even some joy today.
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    It's also joyful to say last week we gave away our offering,
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    which just kind of crazy to do.
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    It's the kind of things that people of faith do.
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    We gave away our offering, $230,000 came in
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    to help aid medical workers who have child care issues.
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    That is amazing. That's what a church does.
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    I just want to remind you that if you're a part of Crossroads' team,
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    we've always got to be concerned about the mothership.
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    It's the daily bread and butter, day to day ministry
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    that enables all these great things that happen.
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    So I hope that you're able to be faithful,
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    if God's been faithful to you and you still got a paycheck,
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    you can go to Crossroads.net/give to be involved
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    in the things that God is doing through what we're doing
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    here in our country.
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    So enough of that, let's get on with our episode.
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    Welcome to Real Encounters with God: The Jesus Myth.
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    We're going take a pilgrimage to find out who He was
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    and what took place in His life.
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    Have you ever thought, "What can a guy who lived 2000 years ago
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    before we had a handheld devices possibly tell me about life?
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    I mean, wasn't this guy just some thinker, some teacher,
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    some guy who just kind of walked around in a high class Birkenstocks?
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    What could He possibly have to do with my life today?
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    How could He possibly understand?
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    How could He speak to me?
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    Was He just a little a lowly carpenter?"
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    We're going to start our pilgrimage going to
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    one of the harshest environments on the planet
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    to shine some light on exactly who He is.
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    Have you ever felt alone, maybe even weak.
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    Weak relationally, like your friends are just not doing it for you?
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    You might be married by now and you're not married
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    or if you are married, it's just not going well?
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    You ever felt weak emotionally, like you just --
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    you just can't hold your emotions together?
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    You just can't hold your feelings together,
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    they're getting out of control?
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    You ever felt weak physically?
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    Like you just can't perform the way you want to perform?
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    You can't do the things you want to do?
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    You can't keep up with other people?
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    You ever felt that kind of weakness?
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    How about spiritually?
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    Have you ever felt weak spiritually?
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    This idea of spiritual growth or prayer
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    sounds like a really great idea,
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    until it comes to actually doing it.
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    It's hard, it's difficult.
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    If you can identify with any of these things,
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    Jesus can identify with you because He felt alone,
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    He felt weak at times.
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    The Book of Hebrews, it says this:
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    He's been alone, too.
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    He gets you.
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    He can empathize with those feelings.
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    In fact, He's been alone right here in the wilderness.
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    Our crews set up the camp in the wilderness
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    while I spend some time away from their campsite
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    in solitude, imagining what it was like to be alone,
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    all alone out here.
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    All right. I am here in the wilderness.
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    Alone. Very, very alone.
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    It's like a deafening sound in your ears when everything is silent.
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    It's actually kind of nice.
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    It makes me think about, hey, I need to be doing this more often.
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    Of course, I haven't been out here for 40 days,
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    but nonetheless, it's -- it's good,
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    it's actually refreshing and probably healthy for me.
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    I think of things I normally wouldn't think of.
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    Just kind of decompressing, you can feel it.
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    So, I don't know how I would do this for 40 days,
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    but I"m glad I've done it for a little bit here.
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    Jesus is strong. How strong?
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    He can go 40 days and did go 40 days without food.
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    That was really tough. None of us could do that.
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    But He does something else that none of us have probably done,
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    at least in memory, He goes 40 days being by himself.
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    When is the last time you went 40 days being by yourself?
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    We can't go four minutes without checking our devices
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    and staying connected.
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    He goes 40 days.
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    At the end of that 40 days, as if that's not bad enough,
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    He has a special visitor.
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    His name is Satan, or the adversary or the tempter
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    or Lucifer or whatever you want to call him by.
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    And he gives Him three enticements.
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    They're named the Three Temptations of Christ.
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    The first one he gives Him at the end of this 40 days
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    when He's hungry is he says, "A stone, huh?
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    It looks kind of like a piece of bread does it?
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    Oh, Jesus, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.
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    Don't You want this to be turned to bread and satisfy Your hunger?"
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    This is a test.
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    A temptation has two angles to it.
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    One is the enticement angle, and this is what Satan is doing.
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    He's enticing Him to have this turned into bread,
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    to use His strength, to use His power, to meet His needs
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    in a way that God is not ready to have Him meet His needs.
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    Because, number two, the second thing about it
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    is a temptation can also be a test.
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    It's something that God uses to make a stronger.
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    As strong as Jesus is, He's actually getting stronger
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    as a result of these things.
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    I don't know about you, but for me, education was difficult.
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    Being in school was difficult.
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    Tests were very difficult.
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    And I can tell you for sure,
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    I would never have learned anything were there not a test.
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    I would've never crammed for a test.
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    I would have never stayed up late.
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    I just wouldn't have.
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    That doesn't just ring true in education,
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    it rings true for everything in your spiritual formation.
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    Unless there's some difficulty,
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    unless there's some squeezing of you,
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    unless there's some denial,
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    unless there's something that doesn't come natural to you,
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    you're not going to grow.
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    You're not going to get spiritually stronger.
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    And this is what God wants.
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    He doesn't want you to exist on this earth, on this planet.
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    He wants you to be stronger.
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    He wants you to be like His Son.
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    He wants you to have capacities that you wouldn't have had
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    had you not step in to the test,
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    had you not stepped into the difficulty.
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    The problem is, as soon as we have difficulty,
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    we try to escape.
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    We try to medicate ourselves.
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    We try to create bread out of all kinds of things
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    that are trying to fill us up that can never fill,
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    as Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, said,
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    "That God shaped hole that is inside of us."
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    We have all kinds of fake bread.
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    This is not intended to be bread.
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    This was a stone.
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    And Jesus wasn't going to fall for it.
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    I'll tell you what else isn't intended to be bread,
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    your workaholism schedule.
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    That's not intended to be bread.
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    That's not intended to satisfy you.
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    Your and my endless climbing for more notoriety
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    and more fame or more success at work,
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    tThat's not to be the bread that satisfies us.
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    Or pornography or use of pornography,
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    that's not supposed to be the bread that satisfies.
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    In fact, it never satisfies us.
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    We never get to the end of doing that,
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    or the other things to go, "Whoo, man.
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    I feel closer to God right now."
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    It doesn't doesn't work that way.
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    I can just go on and on and on and on and on here
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    about the things that we do, try to consume,
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    trying to turn things that aren't ever going to satisfy us
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    into making us feel right.
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    Friends, God wants us to be strong.
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    He wants you to be strong.
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    That means He's going to allow you to be enticed
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    by things that are very difficult
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    and sometimes feel like you are alone
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    and you're never going to get away from it.
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    Here's the thing: Jesus, He proves His strength,
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    He increases His strength because He passes the test.
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    This is the same with all of us.
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    There is a test that God may be facing you with right now,
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    whatever it is, any of the things I just mentioned,
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    or a reaction to somebody who's giving you grief,
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    a reaction to are you going to forgive somebody
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    who is even asking for forgiveness?
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    A reaction to something.
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    Our ability to withstand the temptation
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    is going to be the thing that dictates our strength.
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    It's going to be the thing that gets us closer to God
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    or draws us away from God,
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    because Jesus said, "Man doesn't live by bread alone."
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    Whatever those things they are, we live by the very Word of God.
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    Anyone who can live survivor man style
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    in a harsh condition for over a month has my immediate respect.
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    I mean, I don't know if Jesus has knives, if He needs them or not.
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    Knives are just kind of fun to play with,
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    but He's by himself in a very incredibly harsh environment.
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    And there's so much that's going on here.
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    This is one of things that is so unique about Jesus
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    versus other high religious figures, spiritual figures
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    in other forms of religion and spirituality,
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    is the book of Hebrews says He was tempted in every way.
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    Whatever you've experienced, whatever you've been tempted with,
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    He's been tempted with that.
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    You might say, "Oh, certainly, He has been tempted to--"
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    Oh, yeah. He's been tempted to do that.
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    He's been tempted in every way, yet without sin.
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    He understands the pain that you and I are going through.
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    He gets it.
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    And the neat thing, too, about His life
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    relative to our life is the difficulty.
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    We've got difficulty. He's got difficulty.
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    It says at the end of the temptations
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    and after the devil left Him,
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    the angels came and ministered to Him. After.
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    Now I'm thinking, boy, angels would have been nice
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    like maybe around day 10,
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    maybe around day 39 it would have been really nice.
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    But it's after.
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    Here again, we can learn from Him.
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    Jesus had to go through the difficulty,
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    and then He got some spiritual relief.
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    Sometimes we're in spiritual difficulty right now
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    and we're crying out to God,
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    "God, would you please send me some spiritual relief."
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    And He might be forming you right now
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    the way He couldn't form you if He sent you some spiritual relief.
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    Friends, just hang on.
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    Sometimes all you can do is survive and fight the temptation,
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    but eventually angels will come.
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    Eventually relief will come.
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    We can learn from Him and apply it to our lives.
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    So let's make a pilgrimage to where Jesus grew up:
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    The town of Nazareth.
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    We went to the Church of Nutrition,
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    a place where twelve essential minerals and vitamins
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    are contained for all spiritual pilgrimages of all time.
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    I just think that's an amazing: The Church of the Nutrition.
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    You just get your vitamin C every time you walk in there.
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    But nonetheless, this church is right over top of what
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    we are very confident is the early childhood home of Jesus.
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    It's one of the greatest modern archeological finds.
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    Great, great reasons we believe this is the place
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    where Jesus grew up under Joseph's tutelage, His father,
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    and under Mary's tutelage, His mother.
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    It's kind of on lockdown.
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    We were hoping to do an entire episode right in there,
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    but we couldn't get permission on that.
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    So we stuck some shots with our iPhones.
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    So Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.
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    He was a guy who developed
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    and this is likely the place where he was developing.
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    His dad teaching Him how to make a door.
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    His dad teach Him how to make a room.
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    Growing His muscles, growing His wisdom
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    and having intensive spiritual conversations right here in this area.
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    This is a relatively recent archaeological find.
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    It's absolutely the first century, absolutely, the first century.
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    It's a very, very high likelihood that this was Jesus's home.
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    We can't know for sure, but I tell you it's pretty special being here.
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    Well, so the theory is that Jesus and the brothers
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    they had actually made this for Joseph.
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    That's a pretty impressive thing, you know,
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    thinking and He could have just hewed this out with his own hands.
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    So, yeah, literally maybe standing where Jesus stood
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    and feeling things and touching things that He touched.
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    Pretty intense.
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    This trough for water was very well made
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    by Jesus and His father.
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    And that tomb where he was placed, I could just imagine
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    Jesus and His brothers as they were burying His father,
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    creating a tomb, bawling, weeping,
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    tears running down their face.
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    No one wants to bury their own dead,
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    somebody who is affected their life so much.
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    Jesus was the Son of God, but Joseph, His adopted father,
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    was an amazing man.
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    If I was God, I would want to make sure that my son
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    grew up where there was a great father figure.
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    And we're very confident that that was Joseph.
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    And I can just sort of feel the emotion here
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    of what Jesus might have felt throughout His whole life
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    and at the end of Joseph's.
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    I'm here on the hillside around Nazareth,
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    where you see this kind of stuff all the time.
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    It's basically an old quarry where they've chopped up stone.
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    Nazareth was the place -- it was the place if you wanted rock.
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    It wasn't a very respectable place,
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    that's why they always say Jesus of Nazareth.
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    They're kind of jabbing at Jesus a little bit,
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    like you come from this nowhere town
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    where all they do is pound rock.
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    But that's where He was.
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    That's the midst of His town.
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    That's the history of His background.
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    Everything about Jesus's life was difficult.
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    Maybe that's part of how He got so strong
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    is He went through such difficulty.
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    That's how we get strong, right?
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    If you want to get stronger muscles,
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    you have to break down your muscle fibers
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    to get stronger muscles.
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    You want to have a stronger mind?
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    You've actually got to break down your mind
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    and take classes you don't want to take to get a stronger mind.
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    Jesus went through this process.
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    In the Book of Luke it says that
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    Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature.
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    Obviously He came out of Mary as a wee, wee, wee, wee little guy
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    and He grew in stature, but it also says there
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    that He grew in wisdom, He got more wise as time went on.
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    He saw more insights.
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    He learned how to do Rubik's Cube.
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    He learned how to see His way through problems.
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    He grew in wisdom and stature.
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    And He understands where you and I've been
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    because he had an incredibly difficult life.
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    We're not talking about just difficult like
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    walking miles at a time to get anywhere He was.
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    He was a very, very rigorous guy,
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    but we're also talking about a very emotionally difficult life.
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    He was regularly hounded and accused of being a bastard.
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    People would say, "Oh, yeah, you're born of God."
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    Actually, even towards the end of His life,
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    He gets into Jerusalem and a religious leaders are saying,
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    "We know who your dad is, or we don't know who your dad is."
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    They're accusing Him of this all the time.
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    This plagued His life.
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    He was made fun of and ridiculed regularly
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    for having a family of questionable origin.
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    God was His father and God gave Him
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    an amazing earthly father who's name was Joseph.
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    We don't know much about Joseph at all after the age of 12.
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    There's a story that's in the Bible about Jesus when he was 12.
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    And then somewhere between 12 and 30 when Jesus comes public,
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    Joseph dies inside of there.
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    He's an amazing dad, I believe.
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    If I was God, I would want to have an amazing dad for my son.
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    In that process, he dies someplace.
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    When did he die? When Jesus was 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 22?.
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    I don't care who you are, man, when your dad dies,
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    especially at a young age, it's tough. It's tough.
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    This strengthened Jesus and it also put a wound on Jesus
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    that He had to grow out of.
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    Whatever, I don't know what your pain is.
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    I don't know what your difficulty is.
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    But I do know this: Jesus can understand it.
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    Whatever it is, He's been there.
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    He's felt the brunt of stones falling on Him.
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    The Book of Psalms 18:2, it says this:
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    Jesus's classroom wasn't a classroom.
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    Jesus's classroom was the hard knocks of life.
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    His classroom, how He grew was by walking a lot of miles
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    and getting emotionally sometimes abused.
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    That's how he grew in wisdom and stature and strength,
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    but He never forgot where He came from.
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    He never forgot what it was like to be in need,
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    what it was like to have difficulty in His life.
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    And this is why this verse makes so much sense for Him.
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    It says He's a shelter. He's a rock.
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    Right here, it's blowing in here pretty significant right now.
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    Wind, you can't tell it as much because
  • 00:21:03
    I've got a shield from this wind right here in the rock.
  • 00:21:07
    And I come in here and it's really warm.
  • 00:21:10
    This is -- this is what Jesus is like. He's a rock,
  • 00:21:13
    He's a shield, He's a fortress, He's a foundation.
  • 00:21:18
    There's a protective nature to Jesus.
  • 00:21:23
    Have you ever allowed Jesus to bring His strength
  • 00:21:25
    and His protective nature to your life?
  • 00:21:28
    It's what He wants to do, you know.
  • 00:21:30
    He understands your difficulty; He's been there.
  • 00:21:34
    He understands growing pains; He's felt them.
  • 00:21:37
    Jesus knew loss. All of us know loss. I know loss.
  • 00:21:41
    Not too long ago a person who was
  • 00:21:42
    a rock in my life in many ways, Kathy Beechem.
  • 00:21:45
    She ran all of our sites.
  • 00:21:46
    She was on our senior leadership team.
  • 00:21:48
    She had experience in just about every walk of life.
  • 00:21:51
    Kathy was just a strong, strong woman.
  • 00:21:54
    And I once said to God one time, I said, "God,
  • 00:21:57
    she's one of the people, man, just don't take her from me."
  • 00:22:00
    And what do you know, He did.
  • 00:22:02
    He took her from us, anyone who knew her.
  • 00:22:04
    And I felt in many ways like a rock was gone from under my life.
  • 00:22:08
    I felt incredibly vulnerable.
  • 00:22:12
    And that's when God really reminded, Kathy --
  • 00:22:15
    Kathy's not my rock.
  • 00:22:17
    As impressive as she was and as wise as she was
  • 00:22:20
    and as just rock solid, being able to bring any wisdom
  • 00:22:24
    at any moment in any meeting and just being tough as nails
  • 00:22:28
    and always -- and also being jovial and lighthearted
  • 00:22:31
    and just amazing every which way.
  • 00:22:34
    As much as I thought there's no way
  • 00:22:36
    I could do my job without her, God just corrected me.
  • 00:22:40
    "Kathy is not your rock. I'm your rock.
  • 00:22:44
    I'm your foundation."
  • 00:22:46
    God wants to be your rock and foundation.
  • 00:22:47
    He doesn't want anything else to be a rock and foundation.
  • 00:22:50
    Nobody else can be your fortress as well as He can.
  • 00:22:56
    That's what He does.
  • 00:23:02
    Well, I hope you're enjoying our episode.
  • 00:23:04
    You know, we are a church and we're about much more
  • 00:23:06
    than just watching things, we're about doing things
  • 00:23:09
    and responding to people.
  • 00:23:11
    If you need some social interaction,
  • 00:23:12
    if you need someone to pray for, need somebody to talk to,
  • 00:23:16
    we'd love to interact with you.
  • 00:23:17
    You can go to Crossroads.net.
  • 00:23:21
    My friend Kyle talked to a guy
  • 00:23:22
    who found a way through fear thanks to Jesus.
  • 00:23:25
    For many of us who are fearful right now,
  • 00:23:27
    I hope this is an encouragement that Jesus can be
  • 00:23:30
    right there next to you, just like this story.
  • 00:23:34
    - I'm here with my friend Otis.
  • 00:23:37
    We're in an airplane hangar, Otis.
  • 00:23:39
    Why are we here in this airplane hangar?
  • 00:23:42
    - Well, we are here in this airplane hangar
  • 00:23:45
    because I've had a cool encounter with Jesus
  • 00:23:49
    through aircraft and jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.
  • 00:23:54
    - OK. Tell me about that story.
  • 00:23:56
    - So when I was growing up, I had literally terrified of heights.
  • 00:24:00
    There would always be this exploration that stopped
  • 00:24:04
    because of fear, you know.
  • 00:24:06
    And so then I joined the military.
  • 00:24:09
    And when I was on active duty,
  • 00:24:11
    I had an opportunity to apply to go to jump school.
  • 00:24:14
    And I said, "You know what? I'm going to do it,"
  • 00:24:16
    because one of my philosophies is
  • 00:24:17
    whatever you don't face, we'll stay in your face.
  • 00:24:19
    So I signed up to go to jump school
  • 00:24:22
    and I was able to face my fear of heights.
  • 00:24:26
    - Oh, wow. So tell me about kind of you and Jesus
  • 00:24:29
    early on in your life as you're facing this fear,
  • 00:24:31
    as you're getting to jump out of airplanes.
  • 00:24:34
    - So I always was in a church environment,
  • 00:24:38
    but I guess my relationship with Jesus
  • 00:24:41
    didn't really start until I was actually in the military.
  • 00:24:45
    - It sounds like in some way the foundation of your life
  • 00:24:48
    is built on, at least early in your life, is fear.
  • 00:24:52
    What are some of the ways that that held you back?
  • 00:24:55
    - Just trying things, right?
  • 00:24:58
    Because fear always shows up.
  • 00:24:59
    And when it shows up and always ask a question.
  • 00:25:02
    And the question it asks is: what if?
  • 00:25:03
    And so, when I was jumping, what if your chute doesn't open?
  • 00:25:06
    What if you land wrong?
  • 00:25:07
    What if you break your leg?
  • 00:25:09
    So it's always this what if.
  • 00:25:11
    And those what ifs were the things that were holding me back.
  • 00:25:14
    Because I was like, man, what if that happened?
  • 00:25:16
    Man, yeah, that wouldn't be good.
  • 00:25:18
    So then I pump my brakes, right, and not go forward.
  • 00:25:22
    I felt Jesus had more for me than I was experiencing.
  • 00:25:25
    And this thing called fear was in the way.
  • 00:25:28
    And so my goal with Jesus was to deal with that monster
  • 00:25:33
    once and for all.
  • 00:25:34
    And what better way to do that, right,
  • 00:25:36
    than jumping out of a perfectly good airplanes?
  • 00:25:39
    - I still get afraid and the difference is,
  • 00:25:43
    I know now that Jesus is walking with me. Right?
  • 00:25:47
    Right there I firmly believe there are a lot of people
  • 00:25:49
    who are stuck and not fulfilling the call of Jesus because of fear.
  • 00:25:54
    - What's an example of maybe where Jesus helped you
  • 00:25:56
    go from fear to the other side and get the strength?
  • 00:25:59
    - I was a member of Toastmasters International
  • 00:26:02
    and I was blessed to win their championship,
  • 00:26:05
    their world championship of public speaking.
  • 00:26:08
    And so after winning that, I felt the call from Jesus
  • 00:26:11
    to go out and start a company that speaks
  • 00:26:15
    and trains and all those kinds of things.
  • 00:26:17
    And I was a banker at the time.
  • 00:26:19
    I put in my two weeks notification, my resignation.
  • 00:26:22
    So week one goes by and I'm nervous,
  • 00:26:25
    but I'm still kind of hanging on.
  • 00:26:27
    Week two comes and I'm like, you know what?
  • 00:26:29
    Maybe I really didn't hear from Jesus.
  • 00:26:32
    Maybe I should go and ask for my job back. Right?
  • 00:26:34
    I'm literally getting ready to go Wednesday
  • 00:26:38
    and ask my boss can I stay.
  • 00:26:41
    And I hear clearly in my spirit, "Hold."
  • 00:26:44
    And then I just turn and act like I was going somewhere else.
  • 00:26:46
    So I get home that night.
  • 00:26:48
    There's a voicemail from a gentleman
  • 00:26:50
    who owns a communications company
  • 00:26:52
    and he asked me to come work for him.
  • 00:26:54
    I decided to do that.
  • 00:26:56
    We met on Thursday. Did all that.
  • 00:26:58
    I called him on Friday, which was my last day at the bank.
  • 00:27:00
    And man, it's been up and to the right ever since, right?
  • 00:27:04
    - So if you step back from your life,
  • 00:27:05
    what has had to die in you and what's come alive?
  • 00:27:09
    - Dying is the death of fear and it's a daily death,
  • 00:27:14
    right, it's putting that thing down daily.
  • 00:27:16
    And what's come alive is courage.
  • 00:27:19
    I've been through so many tests with Him,
  • 00:27:21
    so many fearful things with Him that He's brought me through.
  • 00:27:24
    I clearly hear His voice and I'm like, "He's got me."
  • 00:27:27
    - That's awesome. Hey, man, thanks for your service.
  • 00:27:29
    -Oh, you're welcome.
  • 00:27:30
    - It's been awesome. Thank you.
  • 00:27:31
    - All right. No worries.
  • 00:27:32
    - You're welcome.
  • 00:27:34
    - Jesus is starting to feel more flesh and bone maybe to you.
  • 00:27:39
    Maybe He's starting to feel more relatable.
  • 00:27:41
    He grew up, He had an actual childhood.
  • 00:27:45
    He skinned His knees.
  • 00:27:47
    He had highs and lows of His days.
  • 00:27:51
    He was an accomplished builder.
  • 00:27:55
    And as He was building and going about His life
  • 00:27:57
    in an occupation that all of us could understand,
  • 00:27:58
    because all of us have occupations.
  • 00:28:00
    Yes, He had an occupation.
  • 00:28:02
    As He was going about it, we continue to learn
  • 00:28:04
    more things about Him and maybe ourselves.
  • 00:28:06
    We'll learn from my friend, Tsuriel Bar David,
  • 00:28:10
    an amazingly insightful and spiritual guide
  • 00:28:13
    who's going to help us in our pilgrimage.
  • 00:28:29
    So where are we right now?
  • 00:28:31
    - We're hearing Galilee.
  • 00:28:32
    We're on top of a hill, which is about 900 feet above sea level
  • 00:28:36
    in a place called Sepphoris, in Hebrew tzippori,
  • 00:28:39
    which is tzippor is abird.
  • 00:28:41
    So this hill, which is not very high,
  • 00:28:44
    but still it's higher than all the valleys around it.
  • 00:28:47
    So it controls this region and that's why it's got its name.
  • 00:28:50
    And this city from the 1st century B.C.
  • 00:28:53
    turned to be the capital of Galilee, the most important city.
  • 00:28:57
    - So this is, at the time of Jesus this thing is here?
  • 00:29:00
    - Right. Everything that you see over here, around you,
  • 00:29:02
    all those buildings and streets and things
  • 00:29:04
    are from that time also of Jesus.
  • 00:29:06
    Jesus lived in Nazareth about four or five miles away from here.
  • 00:29:11
    And He would probably come with His father to work here.
  • 00:29:14
    Of course, wherever you have big cities, wherever you have people,
  • 00:29:18
    there is jobs and people would come there.
  • 00:29:20
    - He's got a very small city where He is in Nazareth.
  • 00:29:22
    Not enough work there. They're coming here regularly.
  • 00:29:26
    Pretty confident that He was working
  • 00:29:28
    on houses here as a builder. Agree?
  • 00:29:30
    - Yes, of course.
  • 00:29:31
    Even today, you know, we say it's four or five miles,
  • 00:29:34
    so it seems as if it's a long distance to walk.
  • 00:29:36
    - Yeah.
  • 00:29:37
    - But even today, the builders in Israel,
  • 00:29:39
    they wake up at around 3:30 in the morning
  • 00:29:41
    and they spend around 2, 3 hours
  • 00:29:43
    to get to the places where they work.
  • 00:29:45
    We read in the Bible that people would walk.
  • 00:29:47
    You know, David will send by his father, Jesse,
  • 00:29:50
    to see what's going on with his brothers 20 miles
  • 00:29:53
    he had to go just to bring them some lunch
  • 00:29:55
    and to check what's going on.
  • 00:29:56
    Joseph, we'll send by his father, Jacob,
  • 00:29:58
    something like 70 miles to walk and see where are his brothers.
  • 00:30:02
    - We don't even want our kids
  • 00:30:03
    walking to the bus stop on their own.
  • 00:30:05
    We don't want them walking them down the block
  • 00:30:07
    on their own we're so freaked out.
  • 00:30:08
    Miles and miles.
  • 00:30:09
    - We are spoiled.
  • 00:30:10
    Back then, they were tough, that's for sure.
  • 00:30:13
    - Jesus, that's a good point about Jesus though,
  • 00:30:15
    that had to have a level of rigor to His character.
  • 00:30:18
    He had to be a pretty tough guy.
  • 00:30:19
    - Yeah. And imagine that Jesus is coming to a city
  • 00:30:22
    and He enters into people's homes to build things.
  • 00:30:26
    I mean, this is what He would do.
  • 00:30:27
    It's in a personal level that you see how they live,
  • 00:30:30
    how they speak, what do they have, which things inside.
  • 00:30:33
    It's a very personal thing.
  • 00:30:34
    It's not that you are a farmer, that you go outside.
  • 00:30:36
    It's not that you are a shepherd,
  • 00:30:38
    that you are out in the mountains.
  • 00:30:39
    It's in people's homes.
  • 00:30:40
    He saw everything. He knew exactly what people think.
  • 00:30:42
    - That's fascinating, because one bigger stress points
  • 00:30:45
    we have is when we have contractors come in our house
  • 00:30:47
    because they see our stuff, they see our junk.
  • 00:30:49
    It's a little weird to think like,
  • 00:30:51
    "What if Jesus came in my house
  • 00:30:53
    and was building out an addition or something like that?" Really?
  • 00:30:56
    - Would there be things that I'm hiding?
  • 00:30:58
    - Yeah. Right. Would I not want Hime to see
  • 00:31:00
    what's on my counter or hanging on the refrigerator
  • 00:31:02
    or whatever it is?
  • 00:31:03
    That's really fascinating.
  • 00:31:04
    So the resourcefulness and the strength of Jesus
  • 00:31:08
    we really see here at sites like this.
  • 00:31:10
    - Yes, it's exactly. This is the places that Jesus would be,
  • 00:31:14
    this is what He would experience.
  • 00:31:15
    And this is how it would look like.
  • 00:31:17
    - That's good stuff.
  • 00:31:24
    As we saw in Nazareth, a lot of rocks, a lot of rocks everwhere.
  • 00:31:27
    It was a quarry. It was a rock town.
  • 00:31:30
    Did you see a lot of trees there?
  • 00:31:32
    No, I didn't see a lot of trees there.
  • 00:31:34
    That's the problem, because many of us believe
  • 00:31:36
    and have been taught that Jesus was a lowly carpenter.
  • 00:31:39
    What do you need to be a carpenter?
  • 00:31:40
    Well, you need a lot of wood, for starters.
  • 00:31:42
    Not a lot of wood there.
  • 00:31:43
    Secondly, carpenters aren't lowly.
  • 00:31:47
    The only reason you'd call a carpenter lowly
  • 00:31:49
    is because you don't know what you're saying.
  • 00:31:50
    Most of us don't work with our hands any longer.
  • 00:31:52
    You wait until you need to build something
  • 00:31:54
    and then get your carpenter and ask him if he's lonely or not.
  • 00:31:57
    Not only are carpenters not lowly,
  • 00:31:59
    but here's the crazy thought, just consider it.
  • 00:32:03
    Jesus wasn't even a carpenter.
  • 00:32:05
    No, He wasn't a carpenter.
  • 00:32:08
    There is mention of him being a carpenter in the New Testament,
  • 00:32:14
    but the word that is used there specifically is the word tekton.
  • 00:32:17
    Tekton means master craftsman or builder.
  • 00:32:21
    It is material agnostic, if you will.
  • 00:32:25
    Jesus would have been building with the stuff
  • 00:32:27
    that He had at His disposal, which is stone,
  • 00:32:29
    which is what He did.
  • 00:32:30
    And more than that, if you think about the things
  • 00:32:33
    Jesus talked about, we talk about the things that we know
  • 00:32:35
    and we have experience with.
  • 00:32:36
    He doesn't talk a lot about wood, one metaphor,
  • 00:32:39
    not judging somebody, not taking the speck out their eye
  • 00:32:41
    until we take the huge beam out of your eye.
  • 00:32:44
    But man, stone metaphors galore.
  • 00:32:47
    He talks about counting the cost before you build a tower.
  • 00:32:49
    Why? Because as a builder, He would have been building a tower.
  • 00:32:53
    The scripture speaks of him of being a chief cornerstone.
  • 00:32:57
    He has passages and teachings
  • 00:32:59
    about what your life should be built on.
  • 00:33:01
    And clue, it's not being built on pressure treated wood.
  • 00:33:05
    It's being built on stone.
  • 00:33:07
    Here is how He teaches it:
  • 00:33:42
    Jesus talks about what all of us
  • 00:33:43
    who've worked in construction know,
  • 00:33:46
    the most important thing is the foundation,
  • 00:33:47
    and it really needs to be stone.
  • 00:33:50
    One of the construction jobs I led as the GC
  • 00:33:53
    was an addition on the side of a house and it was on a hill.
  • 00:33:58
    As we put peeled away the dirt we noticed that
  • 00:34:03
    on the side the house where there should have been a footer,
  • 00:34:05
    a concrete foot, they had just taken the block
  • 00:34:08
    and they had set it on dirt.
  • 00:34:11
    And on top of that there were these huge gaps
  • 00:34:15
    in the foundation underneath the dirt
  • 00:34:17
    that you could stick your fist through.
  • 00:34:18
    And then we realized, oh, that's why this house is stucco,
  • 00:34:22
    actually Drivit.
  • 00:34:23
    They just covered over all this stuff.
  • 00:34:24
    So the first thing we had to do is go in
  • 00:34:27
    and peel back all the stuff with a shovel.
  • 00:34:30
    I was peeling back the dirt underneath the block
  • 00:34:32
    and then doing forms and pouring concrete in underneath it.
  • 00:34:36
    You know, Jesus is not a philosopher.
  • 00:34:38
    One of the myths is He's a good teacher.
  • 00:34:40
    It's for many of us teaching is about philosophies.
  • 00:34:43
    Woo, that's a new thought I hadn't had to.
  • 00:34:45
    You know, here's a clue:
  • 00:34:46
    Jesus didn't come to give you a new thoughts.
  • 00:34:48
    He didn't.
  • 00:34:49
    He comes to build your life and he says here,
  • 00:34:53
    if our life isn't built on rock, and specifically on Him,
  • 00:34:57
    and what's the Bible call Him? The chief cornerstone.
  • 00:35:01
    There it is again.
  • 00:35:02
    If our life isn't built on Him, whenever pressure comes
  • 00:35:06
    and tension, we're gonna be buffeted
  • 00:35:08
    and we're gonna be blown down.
  • 00:35:09
    We're going to literally slide down a hill.
  • 00:35:13
    That's not good when that happens.
  • 00:35:15
    This project I did, once I did that,
  • 00:35:18
    the house starts sliding a little more for a little bit.
  • 00:35:21
    And then people got really upset.
  • 00:35:23
    And then my project was in the local paper
  • 00:35:26
    and it was called a, quote, Rape of a Hillside.
  • 00:35:29
    That was that was a great day in my construction career.
  • 00:35:33
    Jesus wants to build your life.
  • 00:35:34
    And if you have anything built on anything other than Him,
  • 00:35:39
    you're in danger.
  • 00:35:40
    Why are elections so stressful for us?
  • 00:35:43
    Why are politics so fever pitch for us?
  • 00:35:45
    "Oh, I hope the right president gets it."
  • 00:35:47
    Because we're building our life on
  • 00:35:50
    a presidential candidate who can only be there four.
  • 00:35:52
    maybe eight years anyway.
  • 00:35:53
    We're building our life, some of us,
  • 00:35:55
    on a vision for America that might not be God's vision
  • 00:35:59
    and won't last.
  • 00:36:01
    America is shifting sand.
  • 00:36:04
    We're gonna be excavated someday.
  • 00:36:07
    Jesus, His teachings still abide.
  • 00:36:10
    His life still works because it works.
  • 00:36:12
    You will build on something.
  • 00:36:14
    Your body beautiful and it will shift and you will age.
  • 00:36:16
    Gravity is a bummer.
  • 00:36:18
    Your mental capacity, someone is going to come along
  • 00:36:21
    smarter than you at some point
  • 00:36:22
    and get the career that you want to have.
  • 00:36:25
    What is your life is built on?
  • 00:36:27
    I want you know that Jesus wants you to have a great life
  • 00:36:31
    and He wants to build your life, but that means
  • 00:36:34
    you and I have to choose to be built on Him.
  • 00:36:47
    Well, we've seen that Jesus handled
  • 00:36:49
    all the temptations that you and I have handled.
  • 00:36:51
    He's understood how to be isolated.
  • 00:36:55
    He's been tempted.
  • 00:36:57
    He's grown up in a home with probably
  • 00:37:00
    a lot of emotional stuff happening at home like you and I.
  • 00:37:03
    He's lived an incredibly rigorous life
  • 00:37:07
    in every way, shape and form.
  • 00:37:09
    I don't know about you, but I want to be more like that.
  • 00:37:11
    I want to experience what He's experiencing.
  • 00:37:13
    So we found out about a site that's quite a hike.
  • 00:37:18
    We grabbed the crew and went in search of
  • 00:37:20
    to a place where even our guide Tsuriel had never been to,
  • 00:37:24
    but to get there it was going to be a slog.
  • 00:37:27
    It was going to be a true adventure.
  • 00:37:32
    So we're trying to find the original Cana,
  • 00:37:37
    which was the place where Jesus did His first miracle.
  • 00:37:39
    There's a big city, Kanna, that everyone knows,
  • 00:37:42
    but it's not the original city Cana.
  • 00:37:44
    The original city of Cana is just,
  • 00:37:46
    I understand there's some ruins. There's a hill.
  • 00:37:49
    Very few people have ever seen it, let alone found it.
  • 00:37:52
    We're trying to find it with some off road maps
  • 00:37:55
    and we're having some difficulty
  • 00:37:57
    But we're going to try to press on
  • 00:37:59
    and get to the actual location.
  • 00:38:01
    - We're going to celebrate with wine if we get there.
  • 00:38:12
    - (speaking foreign language)
  • 00:38:18
    - All right.
  • 00:38:20
    So we're going to go on a little exploration.
  • 00:38:23
    We see what's before us.
  • 00:38:25
    We're going to go up there and see what we find.
  • 00:38:27
    And it's pretty windy and pretty cold,
  • 00:38:29
    but former Israeli special forces can take whatever comes our way.
  • 00:38:35
    - Where he be?
  • 00:38:37
    - I know where he is, let's go.
  • 00:38:42
    - So we're here in Galilee a few miles north,
  • 00:38:47
    northwest, let's say to the known Kanna,
  • 00:38:53
    which is also a modern village today,
  • 00:38:54
    an Arab village in Israel.
  • 00:38:56
    So there are some that suggest that
  • 00:39:01
    the hill that we are climbing right now,
  • 00:39:04
    is the original Cana that was here 2000 years ago.
  • 00:39:07
    We are still in a --
  • 00:39:09
    - You've been here before?
  • 00:39:10
    - No, I've never been up here.
  • 00:39:11
    - Oh, I get to something for the first time that you do.
  • 00:39:14
    So, actually, I'm the expert.
  • 00:39:16
    If you've never been here, I can --
  • 00:39:18
    Can I just pretend like I'm the expert?
  • 00:39:19
    - You can say whatever you want.
  • 00:39:21
    - The wind, guys, is really -- these are maybe
  • 00:39:24
    the most extreme conditions I've experienced in Israel
  • 00:39:29
    the number of times I've been here.
  • 00:39:30
    It is cold, it is windy.
  • 00:39:33
    We might get dumped on with rain.
  • 00:39:35
    It also makes you wonder like,
  • 00:39:37
    was everything that they wore, was it all cotton or wool?
  • 00:39:40
    Like what, did they have anything for rain?
  • 00:39:42
    Would they oil the cloths or anything?
  • 00:39:45
    - Goat's hair is a waterproof.
  • 00:39:48
    - Yes. Yes. That's why for example
  • 00:39:52
    they're all made of goat hair
  • 00:39:55
    and it's protected during the wintertime.
  • 00:39:58
    - Something's been living here.
  • 00:40:01
    - Yeah. Someone was cutting those stones, cutting inside.
  • 00:40:06
    It can be, you know, a small quarry even,
  • 00:40:09
    that they dig stones in order to build their houses.
  • 00:40:12
    And this is already some ruins.
  • 00:40:15
    And again, we're talking about a site
  • 00:40:18
    that had people living here for centuries
  • 00:40:21
    already during the second temple period
  • 00:40:25
    and all the way through the Byzantine and even
  • 00:40:26
    probably Crusaders were here building some of their stuff.
  • 00:40:32
    - Wow.
  • 00:40:33
    - Oh, look, what a great view from up here.
  • 00:40:35
    - My goodness. I see a view. I see no cave.
  • 00:40:39
    We've been walking around trying to find a cave.
  • 00:40:42
    - For half an hour.
  • 00:40:43
    - We're going up and over.
  • 00:40:45
    All we had to go on was an image of a cave
  • 00:40:47
    from an archeological friend of mine named Bob.
  • 00:40:50
    We split up to search the hill.
  • 00:40:52
    It was definitely not an easy find.
  • 00:40:57
    - Wow, there are some kind of base it appears here around.
  • 00:40:59
    - It absolutely is right here.
  • 00:41:01
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, I see cave.
  • 00:41:06
    I see hole. -
  • 00:41:08
    - Perfect. Let's go inside and see it.
  • 00:41:17
    - So I'm no -- I'm no archaeologist.
  • 00:41:20
    My archaeologist friend tells me the cave and if this is it,
  • 00:41:25
    it's hard to say because they said they blocked it off.
  • 00:41:27
    As the story goes, this was a chapel that
  • 00:41:31
    they had excavated from, what was it, 100, 200 A.D.
  • 00:41:35
    or something like that, which would've been --
  • 00:41:36
    - Animistic pro Byzantium, I understand. Right?
  • 00:41:39
    - Right. Exactly. And they had a place
  • 00:41:42
    where there was indentations for jars
  • 00:41:44
    that were supposedly memorializing
  • 00:41:47
    where the jars were water were turned into wine.
  • 00:41:51
    Those holes, that wasn't the actual place they put the thing,
  • 00:41:53
    but it was memorializing which is again
  • 00:41:55
    why many people think this is --
  • 00:41:58
    this archaeologist thinks this is the Cana.
  • 00:41:59
    This is Cana, this is where the miracle took place is this region.
  • 00:42:02
    - We definitely know that people used to live here
  • 00:42:06
    when Jesus is in Nazareth. That's for sure. This is 100%.
  • 00:42:09
    - This has been great.
  • 00:42:10
    Seriously, this has been a highlight for me.
  • 00:43:21
    I just -- I just love this scene.
  • 00:43:24
    I don't mean just the scene of this. I love this.
  • 00:43:26
    I love the scene that's painted in that scripture.
  • 00:43:29
    He decides to honor His mom
  • 00:43:30
    and decides to do the bold, strong move.
  • 00:43:32
    He takes water that's in these stone jars.
  • 00:43:35
    Maybe, maybe somewhat like this, except chiseled out.
  • 00:43:39
    And He takes it and He turns it all into wine.
  • 00:43:43
    And let me say it is real legit wine.
  • 00:43:46
    We know it's real legit wine because, of course,
  • 00:43:49
    a real legit wedding often has real legit wine.
  • 00:43:52
    And the wine steward, the person who's in charge
  • 00:43:54
    of all the celebrations to make sure everyone celebrating right,
  • 00:43:57
    when he tastes the way he says, "Oh, my goodness,
  • 00:43:59
    normally people wait for the cheap wine later,
  • 00:44:02
    but you brought the best wine."
  • 00:44:04
    He wouldn't say that about Welch's grape juice.
  • 00:44:06
    The best wine.
  • 00:44:07
    Sometimes. Sometimes the best stuff that God brings
  • 00:44:11
    is at the very end.
  • 00:44:12
    We want it right at the beginning.
  • 00:44:14
    We don't want to wait for it.
  • 00:44:15
    We don't want to be patient for it.
  • 00:44:16
    We don't want to have to be in any sense of tension.
  • 00:44:18
    But sometimes He waits to the end.
  • 00:44:21
    Man, some of you, God's not given up,
  • 00:44:22
    you're just going to have to wait a little longer.
  • 00:44:24
    It's part of the spiritual formation process
  • 00:44:27
    that He works with us.
  • 00:44:28
    He makes us stronger while we wait for Him
  • 00:44:32
    to bring His strength.
  • 00:44:33
    And when He brings it, friends, I'm telling you, He is not cheap.
  • 00:44:39
    Ephesians 3:20 says that
  • 00:44:41
    He can do exceedingly more abundantly,
  • 00:44:45
    exceedingly more abundantly than you could possibly imagine.
  • 00:44:48
    This is what we see with this wine.
  • 00:44:50
    He brings a thousand bottles of wine. A thousand.
  • 00:44:54
    That's how this all translates into, a thousand.
  • 00:44:56
    I tell you what, I'm sure there wasn't a thousand people there.
  • 00:44:58
    I'm very confident of that.
  • 00:45:00
    He gives overflowing, abundant wine.
  • 00:45:03
    I just want tell you, man, if you're hurting
  • 00:45:04
    and you need the strength of God,
  • 00:45:06
    you might be right on the precipice of meeting the strong one.
  • 00:45:11
    If you're right at the end of the term
  • 00:45:12
    and you're staring at another final
  • 00:45:15
    and you're low on energy and you need to --
  • 00:45:18
    you're right in the position where the strong one can come
  • 00:45:23
    and give you wine.
  • 00:45:24
    If you're right at the end of your infertility treatments,
  • 00:45:27
    if you're right at the end of your patience
  • 00:45:29
    for whatever the medical thing you're dealing with,
  • 00:45:31
    you're right at the place where oftentimes
  • 00:45:34
    the strong, abundant one shows --
  • 00:45:36
    If you're right at the end of your business
  • 00:45:38
    and you're not sure how I'm going to hit payroll,
  • 00:45:40
    oftentimes this is the place that God has been waiting
  • 00:45:42
    for you to get to a place of desperation
  • 00:45:44
    where He wants to come and bring something
  • 00:45:47
    beyond what you can expect that helps you know
  • 00:45:50
    that He's completely strong.
  • 00:45:51
    When you are at the end of whatever it is you're doing,
  • 00:45:54
    friends, this oftentimes is the place where the wine comes,
  • 00:45:58
    the real wine, and it comes from God, it comes from Him
  • 00:46:01
    instead of us and our own stuff.
  • 00:46:03
    I'm telling you, friends, the God of the wine is for real
  • 00:46:07
    and He's a strong wine
  • 00:46:09
    and He knows what's happening in your life.
  • 00:46:10
    Let me pray for you right now.
  • 00:46:11
    God, I pray for all of us who are at the end of our rope,
  • 00:46:16
    we're on our last nerve, we're on the last step,
  • 00:46:19
    w're at the end of the line.
  • 00:46:21
    We need Your strength.
  • 00:46:24
    Would You come, would You visit us?
  • 00:46:25
    God, bring the wine. Bring it.
  • 00:46:27
    Bring it in abundance.
  • 00:46:29
    Do for us what we can't do for ourselves,
  • 00:46:31
    what we have been waiting for.
  • 00:46:34
    Jesus, thank You for being the kind of God that does care
  • 00:46:37
    and has resources to spare and is a God who blesses
  • 00:46:41
    and enables the party to go on.
  • 00:46:43
    I pray these things according to your name, Jesus. Amen.
  • 00:46:57
    Well, I hope seeing that Jesus is just as relevant,
  • 00:46:59
    just as strong, and just as generous as He's always been.
  • 00:47:03
    We don't want to just sit and passively receive,
  • 00:47:05
    we also want to be engaged in all kinds of ways.
  • 00:47:09
    Two ways you can engage right now.
  • 00:47:11
    One, if you want to be part of the Crossroads team,
  • 00:47:13
    we'd love your help to be able to keep building into people.
  • 00:47:16
    You can go to Crossroads.net/give.
  • 00:47:19
    Secondly, we're gonna sing right now.
  • 00:47:21
    You can sing along to a screen.
  • 00:47:22
    And for those of us who have guitars,
  • 00:47:25
    we're actually going to put the chord sheet on it.
  • 00:47:27
    You can actually strum along or try to strum along if you can.
  • 00:47:31
    So let's do that right now.
  • 00:58:16
    Man, I love -- I love that song, I love that verse.
  • 00:58:19
    I want to make sure that we all understand
  • 00:58:21
    exactly what we're saying here.
  • 00:58:23
    You know this means that, like, if I want to build my life,
  • 00:58:27
    I'm building on God. I'm not building it on America.
  • 00:58:30
    I'm not building it on a thriving economy.
  • 00:58:33
    I'm not building it on a Hallmark picture
  • 00:58:35
    of what my family's supposed to look like inside of my mind.
  • 00:58:38
    I'm not building it on my parents' expectations for my life.
  • 00:58:41
    I'm not building it on whatever my political preferences are.
  • 00:58:45
    I'm not building -- Oh, I'm getting personal now.
  • 00:58:48
    I'm not building anything except I'm building it
  • 00:58:51
    on God and His love.
  • 00:58:53
    That doesn't have to be what all of us are saying.
  • 00:58:56
    I know very few of us believe it,
  • 00:58:58
    but sometimes you've got to sing it to believe it.
  • 00:59:00
    And sometimes when you believe it, you just sing it
  • 00:59:02
    and you just take a sort of defiant fist in the air
  • 00:59:05
    and say, "No, I'm building my life on something different.
  • 00:59:08
    I'm not building my life on normal America.
  • 00:59:11
    I'm not building my life on the way life has been happening.
  • 00:59:13
    I"m building myself on God.
  • 00:59:15
    There are the greats of the faith that have gone before me
  • 00:59:17
    So let's say that to Him right now. Come on.
  • 01:01:21
    Man, that was good stuff' wasn't it?
  • 01:01:23
    Hey, we'd love to keep engaging with you.
  • 01:01:25
    You can go to crossroads.net.
  • 01:01:27
    We'd love to pray for you, interact with you any way we can.
  • 01:01:30
    We want to love our neighbors.
  • 01:01:32
    That doesn't stop right now.
  • 01:01:33
    Figure out a way to love your neighbor
  • 01:01:34
    and engage with them while having healthy social distance.
  • 01:01:39
    While we leave you, we're gonna give you a little taste
  • 01:01:42
    of what our Kids' Club crew have done.
  • 01:01:44
    A whole crew went over to Israel as well
  • 01:01:45
    to be able to build on your kids.
  • 01:01:47
    Check this out and we'll see you next week.
  • 01:01:52
    - This is Israel.
  • 01:01:53
    Israel is real.
  • 01:01:55
    It's a real country where the events in the Bible really happened.
  • 01:01:59
    Like the Judean wilderness.
  • 01:02:02
    Like the time a guy named Zacchaeus climbed a tree,
  • 01:02:05
    met Jesus and his life changed forever.
  • 01:02:09
    Even though thousands of years have passed
  • 01:02:12
    and even though a lot in our world has changed,
  • 01:02:14
    the truth is still: God is with us.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow Up.

  1. It can be easy to to talk about what we don’t have right now. So, let’s get that out of the way before we talk about what we DO have. What are you running low on right now? (Pasta? Toilet Paper? Patience? Books to read?)

  2. Jesus knows our struggles. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. He relates to our hardship & difficulty, whether it is feeling alone or feeling weak at some point in our life. Where have you felt pressure or weakness this past week?

  3. Our circumstances can change overnight. (Like this whole pandemic thing) That’s why Jesus invites us to build our life upon him, not things that are fleeting. Read Psalm 18:2. What does it mean to take refuge in God?

  4. Otis shared his story where he found strength in Jesus. He discussed the “what ifs” that fear whispered to him. What are the “what ifs” you are hearing now? How could you make them go away? ((How could you lessen their intensity or lessen the impact of those thoughts))

  5. Getting through difficulty takes hard work, but it’s worth it. We are going to jump around the bible so each takes turns reading one. Read Matthew 7:5, Luke 14:28, Ephesians 2:20, Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus wants to build us a new life. Which of those verses sparks a reaction in you? How might God be pointing out what he wants to work on with you, to give you the freedom we all desire?

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(This stuff helps us figure out how many fruitcakes to make come December)

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Mar 28, 2020 1 hr 3 mins 20 sec

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