Does Jesus Care About Me? | Real Encounters Week 3

Jesus is for EVERYBODY. Including you. From the beginning, he’s been followed by the rich, poor, men, women, elites, and outcasts.

  • 00:00:01
    The Jesus myth.
  • 00:00:05
    A pilgrimage to the most controversial places on earth.
  • 00:00:10
    Investigating ancient stories of Jesus.
  • 00:00:13
    Separating the myth from the truth
  • 00:00:15
    and discovering what it means for you today.
  • 00:00:20
    The third season of Real Encounters with God.
  • 00:00:23
    All new on location in Israel.
  • 00:00:27
    New places, new people, new encounters.
  • 00:00:31
    Real encounters with God: The Jesus myth.
  • 00:00:39
    Hey, before we get to Israel, my name is Brian Tome,
  • 00:00:42
    founding and senior pastor of Crossroads.
  • 00:00:44
    And this is Peanut.
  • 00:00:45
    Peanut is here with us today. She is excited.
  • 00:00:49
    And you know, oh, before I think --
  • 00:00:52
    I think I'll let Peanut down right now.
  • 00:00:53
    Before we get started, let me just tell you a little bit
  • 00:00:56
    about how I'm doing, maybe it's how you are doing.
  • 00:01:00
    I like animals, things have gotten so bad,
  • 00:01:03
    I've started watching this stupid show Tiger King.
  • 00:01:08
    Don't tell me how it ends. I'm only an episode in.
  • 00:01:12
    I feel sinful even watching it, but it is really interesting TV.
  • 00:01:17
    Why's that relevant?
  • 00:01:18
    I don't know about you, but it just got announced
  • 00:01:21
    where I live in Ohio we've got another month of lockdown.
  • 00:01:24
    And I am losing my freaking mind, utterly losing my mind.
  • 00:01:30
    What started off as something that was an interesting experiment
  • 00:01:34
    in how you live as a human outside of your normal norms
  • 00:01:37
    and those unique adrenaline,
  • 00:01:40
    because I had to tap into different things to do as a leader.
  • 00:01:44
    All that's gone. Now I'm just like in the grind.
  • 00:01:47
    It's just like unending day after day of Zoom calls
  • 00:01:50
    and everything else.
  • 00:01:51
    And I just find myself getting incredibly antsy,
  • 00:01:55
    and also, quite frankly, having a bit of an attitude.
  • 00:01:59
    I don't like what's happening at all.
  • 00:02:02
    I'm not even talking about the medical crisis
  • 00:02:03
    with where people are actually hurting physically.
  • 00:02:06
    I'm just talking about my woe is me,
  • 00:02:08
    first world problems of life isn't the way I like it to be.
  • 00:02:11
    I can't go to a gym.
  • 00:02:12
    I can't go out to eat.
  • 00:02:13
    I can't do -- And I know they're small problems.
  • 00:02:16
    For many of us, those are our problems,
  • 00:02:18
    they're first world problems, but nonetheless, they're problems.
  • 00:02:21
    It's tough. It starts to become a grind.
  • 00:02:24
    All that being said, really good news:
  • 00:02:26
    The reach of our church is extending across the country.
  • 00:02:30
    Thousands and thousands of new people
  • 00:02:32
    are following us on social media.
  • 00:02:34
    Tens of thousands of people are watching this on TV.
  • 00:02:38
    Our church is strong. We're reaching our communities.
  • 00:02:40
    We're loving our neighbors as best we can.
  • 00:02:42
    And financially, you've stepped up:
  • 00:02:44
    Our church is doing really, really well financially.
  • 00:02:47
    Metrics look really, really good, but it's not about numbers.
  • 00:02:50
    Every number has a name and every name has a story behind it.
  • 00:02:55
    And we're interested in your story and you getting closer to God.
  • 00:02:58
    We're going to trust that that's going to happen today.
  • 00:03:11
    The cool stuff that I get to play with. Amazing.
  • 00:03:16
    Hey, I'm Brian Tome. I am your guide.
  • 00:03:20
    Today we're gonna be looking at: Who is Jesus for?
  • 00:03:23
    Who is He for?
  • 00:03:25
    Is He for me only if I'm poor? Is He for the poor?
  • 00:03:28
    Is He for me only if I'm rich? Is He for the rich?
  • 00:03:32
    What if I'm a woman? Is He for women? Is He for men?
  • 00:03:35
    Is He for people who have no religious background?
  • 00:03:38
    Is He for people who've never been to church?
  • 00:03:39
    Is He for people who don't understand
  • 00:03:41
    the vocabulary of weird church people that they use?
  • 00:03:45
    Who is He? What is He about?
  • 00:03:49
    Jesus was known as a rabbi.
  • 00:03:52
    From age 30 on He spends time in this Galilean region
  • 00:03:57
    and He's called again and again Rabbi. Rabbi.
  • 00:04:00
    He's called rabbi because according to
  • 00:04:02
    the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament,
  • 00:04:04
    once someone was 30 they were eligible to be a rabbi.
  • 00:04:07
    And people are looking up to who Jesus is
  • 00:04:09
    and what He's teaching, because He's incredibly smart,
  • 00:04:12
    He's incredibly wise.
  • 00:04:14
    And in this region is where most of His teaching happens.
  • 00:04:18
    And He goes from town to town.
  • 00:04:20
    We're going to go to that region with our tour guide Tsuriel,
  • 00:04:24
    and we're going to see the things that Jesus saw.
  • 00:04:27
    We're going to hear about the things that Jesus said
  • 00:04:30
    in the environment in which He said them.
  • 00:04:32
    We're going to see if something starts to make sense to our lives.
  • 00:04:50
    So Mary Magdala, early follower of Christ,
  • 00:04:53
    like in His inner circle, walking with Him,
  • 00:04:56
    she comes from this place; doesn't she?
  • 00:04:58
    - Right. We are right now at a place called Magdala.
  • 00:05:01
    And the Greek name for that place was Taricheae,
  • 00:05:04
    which is the place where you salted the fish.
  • 00:05:08
    And this is what made this city to be famous.
  • 00:05:11
    It was a very big city. Many people used to live here.
  • 00:05:14
    It is located just on the western side of the lake,
  • 00:05:17
    the Sea of Galilee, and it attracts a lot of people.
  • 00:05:21
    Of course, also, you would have your many wealthy people
  • 00:05:23
    in a big city would always have wealthy people
  • 00:05:25
    who live here and great industry known all over.
  • 00:05:28
    And Mary was probably from here.
  • 00:05:30
    That's why she called Mary Magdalene,
  • 00:05:32
    like Jesus from Nazareth; right?
  • 00:05:33
    So it's the same concept.
  • 00:05:35
    She was named by the place that she came from.
  • 00:05:38
    You can see over here those ruins.
  • 00:05:40
    And these are shops and little aquariums where they would store
  • 00:05:43
    and they would have those fish that were brought here
  • 00:05:46
    by the fishermen, probably Peter and the Sons of Zebedee
  • 00:05:48
    and the others, they were all fishermen
  • 00:05:50
    bringing their products over here to that city.
  • 00:05:52
    - So they were known for their salted fish.
  • 00:05:53
    It was also a place for people to get on boats and go around.
  • 00:05:56
    There's a lot of commerce here. A lot of wealth.
  • 00:05:58
    - Right, the central road from Galilee.
  • 00:06:00
    If you are coming from Cana, from Nazareth, from Sepphoris,
  • 00:06:03
    if you're coming from Galilee over here to the lake,
  • 00:06:05
    you first of all, enter to this city.
  • 00:06:07
    That was the most important, the station number one,
  • 00:06:09
    here around the western side of the lake.
  • 00:06:12
    And you can see those streets and things were excavated here.
  • 00:06:15
    It's an amazing site in that sense.
  • 00:06:18
    - So this came about in 2009.
  • 00:06:23
    I just think this is fascinating how when people are digging,
  • 00:06:26
    the more we dig up around here,
  • 00:06:28
    the more we find that validates Jesus
  • 00:06:30
    and what validates in the Bible.
  • 00:06:32
    - Right. It's an amazing site, because when you're looking around you,
  • 00:06:36
    you know, we see archaeology all over Israel.
  • 00:06:38
    But over here, 11 years ago,
  • 00:06:40
    when they were about to build a hotel here,
  • 00:06:42
    they were excavating and suddenly they exposed
  • 00:06:45
    that part that was never known.
  • 00:06:46
    The city itself was known, but that part was never known.
  • 00:06:49
    Actually, we're speaking about a city that in the year 66
  • 00:06:53
    they have decided to rebel against the Romans
  • 00:06:55
    as part of the Great Revolt.
  • 00:06:57
    And the local people here in the city,
  • 00:06:59
    they were fortified to get with many zealots
  • 00:07:01
    that came and entered to the city,
  • 00:07:03
    thousands of people, according to Josephus.
  • 00:07:04
    they were fortifying that city, building a wall.
  • 00:07:07
    And there was a synagogue that was left outside the walls.
  • 00:07:10
    So they, the local people, they decided to put it down,
  • 00:07:13
    to use those stones in order to barricade
  • 00:07:15
    and build some parts of the wall, to cover it with dirt,
  • 00:07:18
    believing that after the revolt,
  • 00:07:21
    they would be able to rebuild their city,
  • 00:07:23
    or I would say the synagogue.
  • 00:07:24
    But it never happened for the past 2000 years.
  • 00:07:26
    And that's why we have a synagogue who is 2000 years old
  • 00:07:30
    from the 1st century.
  • 00:07:31
    - Where Jesus would have taught.
  • 00:07:34
    - I would say 99.9% that Jesus was entering through that entrance.
  • 00:07:39
    You know, He was spending 3 years of his public ministry
  • 00:07:41
    mostly around Galilee, going from one city
  • 00:07:44
    and village to the other,
  • 00:07:45
    entering into those synagogues, teaching the people.
  • 00:07:47
    And this is the real thing.
  • 00:07:49
    - Yeah, but we don't we know a Magdalene was in His inner core.
  • 00:07:53
    We know He was all for all people.
  • 00:07:54
    We know who he's going around with.
  • 00:07:55
    So you say -- Here's what He does. 99.9% only because
  • 00:08:00
    the Bible doesn't record on this day
  • 00:08:02
    the GPS coordinates said that Jesus was here.
  • 00:08:05
    Let me just make it simple, folks.
  • 00:08:06
    We're literally walking in the footsteps of Jesus right now.
  • 00:08:11
    Lterally walking a place where He went and taught.
  • 00:08:14
    And the more that's dug up around the Middle East,
  • 00:08:16
    the more it's dug up around here,
  • 00:08:17
    the more we find truth about Him
  • 00:08:19
    and verification for His living. It's amazing.
  • 00:08:22
    - It is. It is.
  • 00:08:34
    - This town had all the accoutrements of modernity
  • 00:08:38
    back in the first century. It had running water.
  • 00:08:40
    It was a rich city.
  • 00:08:45
    One of the reason why Jesus was here, I believe,
  • 00:08:48
    is because there was the rich in this location.
  • 00:08:51
    The Book of Luke says this:
  • 00:09:19
    These women are in His inner circle.
  • 00:09:21
    There's the one 12 that we all know of,
  • 00:09:23
    but then there's also women who are also exposed
  • 00:09:26
    to the same material taking the exact same journey.
  • 00:09:29
    Women were in His inner core and specifically
  • 00:09:32
    an especially wealthy women.
  • 00:09:35
    There's this weird class warfare that happens
  • 00:09:38
    in our culture right now where the poor demonizes the rich,
  • 00:09:43
    the rich demonize the poor.
  • 00:09:45
    And this is just not good. This is just not healthy.
  • 00:09:48
    It seems like right now the poverty mindset people
  • 00:09:52
    have the corner on the Jesus market.
  • 00:09:53
    I hear things about Jesus only being for the poor,
  • 00:09:56
    Jesus being homeless.
  • 00:09:57
    No, that's not true.
  • 00:09:58
    Jesus was not only for the poor.
  • 00:10:00
    We have here wealthy people who are actually in His inner core.
  • 00:10:04
    He wasn't homeless.
  • 00:10:06
    He was for 3 years as he went from town to town.
  • 00:10:08
    He was doing things around, but He was not in poverty.
  • 00:10:13
    Jesus is for the poor. He has a heart for the poor.
  • 00:10:16
    The poor in his inner circle.
  • 00:10:17
    And He is for the rich.
  • 00:10:20
    He has the rich inside of His inner circle.
  • 00:10:22
    And how does he have these people?
  • 00:10:24
    He's got these people because He goes after them.
  • 00:10:28
    I'm so glad He goes after them.
  • 00:10:29
    For ancient rabbis you would try to woo yourself
  • 00:10:34
    or apply to get into rabbinical school
  • 00:10:36
    or under a rabbi's tutelage.
  • 00:10:38
    For Jesus, He actually goes after people.
  • 00:10:43
    He comes after people like you and I,
  • 00:10:45
    People who live in America, people who are rich.
  • 00:10:50
    And know most of us don't like to think we're rich,
  • 00:10:51
    but anybody who lived in this rich town
  • 00:10:54
    would have looked at your life and my life,
  • 00:10:55
    and they'd say, "Oh, my goodness, that person's rich.
  • 00:10:57
    Wait, they have running water to their individual house,
  • 00:11:00
    all of them?
  • 00:11:01
    They buy new clothes just because they like
  • 00:11:03
    how some other clothes look?
  • 00:11:05
    Wait, they buy shoes before their last ones have actually worn out?
  • 00:11:10
    They have extra food in their house that could last them?
  • 00:11:13
    They have HVAC? What is -- Netflix? AmazonPrime?"
  • 00:11:18
    You and I are rich.
  • 00:11:21
    I'm glad that Jesus is for the rich.
  • 00:11:24
    I'm glad that He's for the poor.
  • 00:11:25
    The rich and the poor are all welcome around His table.
  • 00:11:28
    And He goes after the rich and the poor.
  • 00:11:31
    Wherever you are on the economic spectrum,
  • 00:11:33
    wherever you are in the spiritual spectrum,
  • 00:11:35
    you make the cut. You make the cut.
  • 00:11:38
    He's come for you. He's coming for you.
  • 00:11:41
    He's not waiting for you to just, oh, get in a long line and apply.
  • 00:11:46
    Jesus comes to you, people who actually
  • 00:11:48
    would have lived in modern day Magdala.
  • 00:11:56
    Jesus is for the poor and the rich.
  • 00:11:59
    So many homeless ministries and soup kitchens
  • 00:12:01
    have Him as their inspiration, and they should
  • 00:12:04
    because he was for the little guy and is for the poor.
  • 00:12:07
    He was also for the rich.
  • 00:12:10
    He also loved and had a heart for the rich.
  • 00:12:13
    Rich and poor, Jesus has a place for you.
  • 00:12:16
    He wants to be involved in your life.
  • 00:12:18
    I think that might have been part of why
  • 00:12:21
    He gave a good bit of his time to people who had wealth.
  • 00:12:24
    He knows a guy by the name of Joseph of Arimathea,
  • 00:12:27
    who is so wealthy and so connected he talks to Pilot,
  • 00:12:32
    and gets Jesus's body when he dies later on,
  • 00:12:34
    gets Jesus's body given to him
  • 00:12:36
    so he can put it into his Richie Rich tomb.
  • 00:12:41
    Jesus comes for everybody.
  • 00:12:43
    When I started to understand who Jesus was,
  • 00:12:46
    my life started to change.
  • 00:12:47
    And I never thought that there would be anything
  • 00:12:49
    about Jesus that would mesmerize me.
  • 00:12:52
    I think maybe the very first talk I heard about Jesus
  • 00:12:55
    is represented in the place we're about to see.
  • 00:13:00
    It was the story of how a woman touched the hem of Jesus's garment.
  • 00:13:05
    Being here for me is incredibly personal
  • 00:13:09
    because it's personal to my faith
  • 00:13:11
    where this story came alive for me decades ago.
  • 00:13:27
    Jesus is for women.
  • 00:13:29
    This is like my favorite Catholic church
  • 00:13:32
    here in the in the Middle East.
  • 00:13:34
    And upstairs, there's eight pillars,
  • 00:13:37
    seven of them commemorating a woman in the New Testament,
  • 00:13:41
    and one of them is open and empty so any woman
  • 00:13:45
    can put her name in the story of Jesus.
  • 00:13:48
    I love this because I'm a girl dad.
  • 00:13:50
    I've got two daughters
  • 00:13:52
    and I love when anybody fights for the rights of women.
  • 00:13:56
    The crazy thing about the scripture is again and again
  • 00:13:58
    and again and again, the Bible comes to defend
  • 00:14:01
    and to push forward who women are.
  • 00:14:04
    In the ancient world, no one valued women.
  • 00:14:07
    I the ancient world, no one would bring them
  • 00:14:09
    into their inner circle, as Jesus did.
  • 00:14:12
    But He does. Jesus is for women.
  • 00:14:15
    He's also for the hurting.
  • 00:14:18
    Those of us who are bruised. Those of us who are battered.
  • 00:14:21
    Those of us who actually may be bleeding.
  • 00:14:25
    One of the, personally for me, the most impactful stories
  • 00:14:29
    in the Bible comes from this location right here.
  • 00:14:33
    It comes the book of Luke 8:
  • 00:15:28
    This woman has been bleeding for years.
  • 00:15:34
    That's the Bible's nice way of saying
  • 00:15:36
    she'd been having a period for years.
  • 00:15:38
    I've never had a period,
  • 00:15:39
    but I've been around people who have had them
  • 00:15:41
    and it can be very, very difficult.
  • 00:15:49
    Very Difficult for years,
  • 00:15:51
    years and years and years.
  • 00:15:55
    It's not just been years and years of physical pain,
  • 00:15:57
    physical discomfort.
  • 00:15:58
    It's also been years and years of being shunned.
  • 00:16:01
    When you are bleeding in ancient Jewish culture,
  • 00:16:04
    you are known as what's being unclean
  • 00:16:06
    and you need to be away.
  • 00:16:07
    You need to be isolated because we don't want
  • 00:16:09
    your spiritual unclean this to hit us.
  • 00:16:11
    It's not just that, but she's also spent her money,
  • 00:16:17
    all of her means, it looks like, on her situation,
  • 00:16:21
    on doctors and still no change.
  • 00:16:24
    She's still hurting. She's still bleeding.
  • 00:16:26
    And she hears that there is a man in the area
  • 00:16:31
    that's been known to heal people, who does miracles.
  • 00:16:34
    And she thinks, "Maybe, just maybe, if I can get to Him
  • 00:16:39
    and touch Him, I'll be healed."
  • 00:16:43
    And it says that she reaches the touch --
  • 00:16:45
    the fringe of his garment.
  • 00:16:46
    It's the idea that she's just grasp -- she's reaching,
  • 00:16:51
    maybe she falls and she just hits it.
  • 00:16:53
    And Jesus stops and goes, "Whoa, who touched Me?"
  • 00:16:57
    Peter says, "Well, Jesus, there's a lot of people here,
  • 00:17:02
    a lot of people touching."
  • 00:17:03
    It might even be on this very road.
  • 00:17:06
    We're on street level right now,
  • 00:17:08
    bricks that were repurposed maybe,
  • 00:17:10
    maybe right here for all we know, we don't know.
  • 00:17:14
    And Jesus said, "No, no, I felt power go out of Me.
  • 00:17:18
    It's not just someone touched Me, I felt power come out of Me."
  • 00:17:22
    Now this woman didn't want any attention on herself.
  • 00:17:24
    She knows she's breaking the rules
  • 00:17:26
    being out in the midst of people, spiritual rules.
  • 00:17:28
    And now she's going to be she maybe thinks humiliated,
  • 00:17:32
    humiliated again.
  • 00:17:36
    And Jesus calls her out.
  • 00:17:39
    She says, "I touched you."
  • 00:17:42
    She says, "My bleeding stopped. It stopped."
  • 00:17:47
    Boom, as soon as she touches the fringe of His garment,
  • 00:17:50
    Boom, she is good.
  • 00:17:54
    This is an amazing story on so many different levels.
  • 00:17:59
    Because I know that we have bleeding people with us right now.
  • 00:18:03
    I know we've got bruised people with us right now.
  • 00:18:05
    I know we've got people who've spent a lot of money
  • 00:18:08
    to solve problems.
  • 00:18:09
    I know we've got people with us right now
  • 00:18:11
    who are at the end of the rope
  • 00:18:13
    and they're just wondering, "Would Jesus possibly help me?
  • 00:18:17
    Would He possibly break through my pain and do something?"
  • 00:18:26
    I think, yes.
  • 00:18:27
    But here's what also I know, I know that you've got to want it.
  • 00:18:31
    I know that you've got to be like this woman
  • 00:18:33
    and you've got to fight through the crowd.
  • 00:18:35
    You have to push through the masses that say things
  • 00:18:38
    like, "Well, all spirituality is the same."
  • 00:18:40
    No, they're not.
  • 00:18:41
    You've got to push through all the naysayers that go,
  • 00:18:43
    "Well, Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, whatever, they're all the same."
  • 00:18:47
    No, they're not.
  • 00:18:48
    You've got to push through things
  • 00:18:50
    and you've got to start doing things and being places
  • 00:18:54
    that other people aren't willing to be.
  • 00:18:56
    You've got to get around where Jesus is to touch Him,
  • 00:19:00
    to push through, to be aggressive.
  • 00:19:02
    Faith is not just having ideas that people think are stupid,
  • 00:19:06
    faith is moving, reaching,
  • 00:19:10
    maybe as you're falling on your face, touching.
  • 00:19:15
    You need to move. You've got to reach out.
  • 00:19:17
    What does that mean for us?
  • 00:19:18
    I know if Jesus was here, I'd reach out, but what do I mean?
  • 00:19:20
    You've got to move, like you've got to, like,
  • 00:19:22
    go to church. "(gasps) Go to --?"
  • 00:19:26
    Yeah, yeah, you need to move.
  • 00:19:27
    You need to reach out and get a new place every week
  • 00:19:30
    where you're going to be given something
  • 00:19:31
    you're not going to get from talk radio.
  • 00:19:33
    You need to if you're part of Crossroads,
  • 00:19:35
    open up the Crossroads app every day.
  • 00:19:38
    Read the scripture in there every day.
  • 00:19:40
    You need to get around people who have a similar heart for God.
  • 00:19:44
    You need to figure out, "When am I going to pray?
  • 00:19:47
    Oh, you mean don't put religion on me?"
  • 00:19:49
    I"m not putting religion on you, I'm telling you
  • 00:19:50
    if you're not going to pray,
  • 00:19:51
    if you're not going to talk to God and sit and listen to Him,
  • 00:19:54
    you're never going to get God.
  • 00:19:56
    You're not going -- You're not going to do that.
  • 00:19:58
    You've gotta move.
  • 00:20:00
    This woman is a hero,
  • 00:20:02
    not because she has her period stopped.
  • 00:20:05
    She's a hero because she fights through the crowd,
  • 00:20:08
    she moves, she falls, she's touching, she's healed.
  • 00:20:13
    You can too, but you've got to move.
  • 00:20:20
    Here's a story of a woman from our Crossroads community
  • 00:20:23
    who had a powerful real encounter with Jesus.
  • 00:20:32
    - It was just this constant battle with myself
  • 00:20:35
    because I didn't think I was good enough.
  • 00:20:39
    I've always had a good relationship with God,
  • 00:20:41
    until senior year of high school.
  • 00:20:47
    It started with me just wanting to lose weight
  • 00:20:51
    and be thinner and pretty
  • 00:20:54
    and just I never really thought I was good enough.
  • 00:20:57
    So I started working out a lot.
  • 00:21:01
    I would work out every day for hours.
  • 00:21:05
    When working out just wasn't good enough,
  • 00:21:08
    it wasn't doing the job,
  • 00:21:09
    I would eat something I would consider bad.
  • 00:21:13
    And after that, I would go to the bathroom
  • 00:21:16
    and I would throw up.
  • 00:21:18
    It got to the point where my family
  • 00:21:20
    started mentioning things to me like,
  • 00:21:23
    "We're starting to get concerned about the way you eat
  • 00:21:25
    and how often you work out."
  • 00:21:26
    And I would just shut it down and just say, like,
  • 00:21:29
    "You know, this is a part of my routine.
  • 00:21:31
    You know, this is just who I am."
  • 00:21:33
    With the help of my family, we sought help
  • 00:21:37
    and I got professional help.
  • 00:21:39
    And I was able to partially recover from bulimia.
  • 00:21:45
    But I say partially recover just because
  • 00:21:48
    although I was physically done making myself get sick,
  • 00:21:52
    the image that I had of myself was completely distorted.
  • 00:21:56
    I identified myself as this girl who had a food problem.
  • 00:22:00
    I wasn't -- I still wasn't good enough.
  • 00:22:03
    I was like that for a really long time
  • 00:22:06
    until I got the opportunity to go to India.
  • 00:22:11
    For me, it was, you know, my heart kind of
  • 00:22:14
    got stuck on the sex trafficking specifically in India.
  • 00:22:19
    My heart broke for those girls.
  • 00:22:20
    And ever since then, I've been passionate about
  • 00:22:24
    wanting to do something about it.
  • 00:22:27
    I went into this trip nervous because,
  • 00:22:30
    one, I had to worry about what I was eating.
  • 00:22:33
    I had to eat things that I wasn't used to.
  • 00:22:37
    I had to give up my workout routine.
  • 00:22:38
    I wasn't able to work out every single day.
  • 00:22:43
    So one day we got up really early
  • 00:22:46
    and hiked up this beautiful mountain.
  • 00:22:50
    And when we got up to the top, we sang Good, Good Father.
  • 00:22:55
    And as we were singing and I was listening to these girls sing,
  • 00:22:59
    I just heard God speak to me.
  • 00:23:01
    And He said, like, "Molly, can't you just see what I've --
  • 00:23:07
    what I've given you? Can't you see who you are?
  • 00:23:10
    You're not this girl was a food problem;
  • 00:23:12
    you're my daughter and you are free because I've given you that."
  • 00:23:17
    And he told me that I was worthy
  • 00:23:19
    and I was pretty and I was enough.
  • 00:23:23
    It was kind of scary, you know, because
  • 00:23:25
    I held this identity with me for years
  • 00:23:30
    and I convinced myself that this was who I was
  • 00:23:36
    and I lived by that.
  • 00:23:39
    Ever since then, I've been able to trust God,
  • 00:23:43
    not just with that part of my life, but with my whole life.
  • 00:23:46
    I've been smarter with my time.
  • 00:23:48
    I don't have to work out every day.
  • 00:23:50
    When I eat something, I enjoy it and I don't think
  • 00:23:52
    about what's going to come next after I do it.
  • 00:23:55
    God took my false identity and He completely threw it away
  • 00:24:01
    in an instant and He told me who I was.
  • 00:24:16
    - I've still got all kind of Peanut hair all over me.
  • 00:24:19
    Well, I hope you're enjoying this episode.
  • 00:24:21
    A few things for you.
  • 00:24:22
    First of all, hey, if you'd like to interact with someone,
  • 00:24:24
    we would love to interact with you right now.
  • 00:24:26
    We've got people on our chat line
  • 00:24:28
    in all of our different expressions digitally
  • 00:24:31
    real live flesh and blood person would love to interact with you.
  • 00:24:34
    If you're finding that there is a sense of hope
  • 00:24:37
    that you're getting from these episodes
  • 00:24:39
    and from these streams, we'd love for you
  • 00:24:41
    to be able to bring that hope to your neighbors.
  • 00:24:44
    If you want to be with us and engage and help us
  • 00:24:46
    financially and specifically for your spiritual health.
  • 00:24:50
    If you're a tither, let's keep doing that.
  • 00:24:53
    If you're somebody who's engaging with God financially,
  • 00:24:56
    that would be huge.
  • 00:24:57
    You can go to to continue to honor God
  • 00:25:02
    with the ways that He has blessed you and I financially.
  • 00:25:05
    Now, a couple weeks ago we did a huge, huge thing
  • 00:25:07
    we announced and we've given away $230,000 to help in our crisis,
  • 00:25:13
    specifically to help medical professionals care for their kids
  • 00:25:18
    in this crisis while they care for us
  • 00:25:20
    because they are overwhelmed.
  • 00:25:22
    So $230,000 has gone to local YMCAs who have pivoted
  • 00:25:26
    and are now caring for the children of health care workers
  • 00:25:29
    so that they can do their job.
  • 00:25:31
    And I know one thing for sure, I know --
  • 00:25:34
    I know those kids are going to love that program.
  • 00:25:37
    Why do I know that?
  • 00:25:38
    Because it's fun to stay at the YMCA!
  • 00:25:43
    We couldn't get approval to actually stream the song,
  • 00:25:46
    but I could sing it nonetheless.
  • 00:25:47
    So here's a little encouraging snippet
  • 00:25:50
    of what your giving has done to bless our communities.
  • 00:26:04
    - The YMCA program for health care professionals
  • 00:26:07
    right now has been so integral into our community
  • 00:26:11
    and getting our providers out there
  • 00:26:14
    to take care of patients and to take care of our community.
  • 00:26:17
    For me it has given me a safe place that I know
  • 00:26:20
    that my son is going to be well cared for.
  • 00:26:23
    He's going to have fun.
  • 00:26:24
    He's going to have a great day.
  • 00:26:26
    And I don't need to worry about him when I'm at work
  • 00:26:29
    and trying to take care of all my patients.
  • 00:26:32
    I think any working parent knows that probably
  • 00:26:34
    the biggest challenge that we face is finding child care
  • 00:26:38
    that we feel comfortable with.
  • 00:26:40
    And this just means the world to not only myself,
  • 00:26:44
    but to some of my colleagues that have utilized the program.
  • 00:26:47
    - I have to go to work. This is what I'm going to do.
  • 00:26:50
    Right now, this is our time.
  • 00:26:52
    This is when our community really needs us.
  • 00:26:53
    And again, you're still mothers, fathers,
  • 00:26:55
    aunts, uncles, grandparents.
  • 00:26:57
    But I also have small children.
  • 00:26:58
    So the Y is a safe place. It's more than a gym.
  • 00:27:01
    It's our community, it's our family, and a place we can--
  • 00:27:04
    our children can be cared for
  • 00:27:05
    while we're doing what we can to care for our community.
  • 00:27:08
    - Hey, I just want to take this time to thank
  • 00:27:11
    the Crossroads community for running to the front lines with us.
  • 00:27:15
    When we saw that we needed it, we had this need
  • 00:27:18
    to help support our first responders and our hospital employees,
  • 00:27:23
    we ran there knowing that we needed some help.
  • 00:27:25
    And you filled that gap perfectly.
  • 00:27:28
    Thank you so much for being the church.
  • 00:27:30
    - The community has been amazing supporting us.
  • 00:27:33
    And we want you guys to know that we see it
  • 00:27:35
    and we recognize it.
  • 00:27:37
    Our neighbors that have been at home
  • 00:27:42
    tirelessly sewing masks for the hospital employees.
  • 00:27:45
    And just that support is what's fueling us to keep going.
  • 00:27:50
    You know, we continue to pray every day
  • 00:27:52
    that we'll get past this crisis.
  • 00:27:55
    And honestly, this program here at the Y has helped us.
  • 00:28:00
    We prayed for child care so that we can continue
  • 00:28:03
    to take care of everybody.
  • 00:28:04
    And this was truly an answer to our prayers
  • 00:28:06
    and we are thankful for that.
  • 00:28:09
    So thank you to the community members,
  • 00:28:12
    including the Crossroads members,
  • 00:28:13
    for their donations to help fund the Y program.
  • 00:28:17
    We really appreciate the support that you have given the Y
  • 00:28:20
    so that they can support us
  • 00:28:22
    and in turn, we can continue to take care of our community.
  • 00:28:24
    We couldn't do it without you, so thank you.
  • 00:28:35
    - Just a few miles from Magdala,
  • 00:28:37
    we have what's known as the Church of the Beatitudes.
  • 00:28:40
    The Church of the Beatitudes is believed to be the place,
  • 00:28:42
    the region, the hillside where Jesus
  • 00:28:45
    actually gave the famous Sermon on the Mount.
  • 00:28:48
    It may be the exact place, can't know for sure.
  • 00:28:51
    I know one thing is for sure.
  • 00:28:53
    I don't want to go see another church right now.
  • 00:28:55
    I definitely don't want to go where all the masses are.
  • 00:28:57
    So we decided the blaze a trail on the hillside
  • 00:29:01
    just along the waterfront as well that very well
  • 00:29:05
    could have been one of the places
  • 00:29:06
    where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.
  • 00:29:08
    He actually gave it multiple times.
  • 00:29:11
    So I've taken groups over to the Holy Land before,
  • 00:29:14
    and I would love to be able to take a group of people
  • 00:29:18
    But I promise you, it can't happen.
  • 00:29:21
    No buss can get there, large or small.
  • 00:29:23
    No tour will be able to take the place we're going to go today.
  • 00:29:26
    Let's make it a little adventure.
  • 00:29:27
    Let's go see what we see.
  • 00:29:44
    I love going to new places, places I've never been
  • 00:29:46
    or maybe no man has gone before,
  • 00:29:50
    except maybe Jesus and His disciples, we'll see.
  • 00:29:53
    I understand that they've got some toenail clippers
  • 00:29:55
    at the top here from the time of Jesus.
  • 00:29:58
    No, I know nobody who's ever walked up this ever,
  • 00:30:03
    that's the way I like it.
  • 00:30:11
    It's a good hike.
  • 00:30:13
    This is exactly the kind of place that Jesus would've come.
  • 00:30:17
    It's the Sermon on the Mount
  • 00:30:19
    because He gives a sermon that's on a mount.
  • 00:30:21
    We know that he's in this region that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.
  • 00:30:27
    So this a cool spot.
  • 00:30:29
    There's a thing called the Church of Beatitudes,
  • 00:30:31
    a Catholic church that's on a place where supposedly
  • 00:30:34
    Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount
  • 00:30:37
    that I'm going to read in just a moment.
  • 00:30:38
    Maybe it was there.
  • 00:30:40
    It could've been anywhere on this hillside here.
  • 00:30:42
    But this was definitely the environment of the situation.
  • 00:30:46
    Jesus is overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
  • 00:30:49
    He's got people coming to him, masses,
  • 00:30:51
    people want to be around Him, they want to hear what he's saying.
  • 00:30:54
    And so it makes sense that He put a hillside
  • 00:30:56
    where they could see Him and make a little amphitheater
  • 00:30:58
    or a little bit of an auditorium.
  • 00:31:00
    And I also think it makes sense He'd pick a place
  • 00:31:02
    where there's rocks like this where people would sit.
  • 00:31:05
    Because when you're a communicator,
  • 00:31:07
    you want people to be able to hear what you're saying
  • 00:31:09
    and understand it and not be wondering about their achy knees
  • 00:31:12
    or their aching backs.
  • 00:31:15
    Jesus was a master, amazing communicator.
  • 00:31:19
    He was a communicator unlike I had never heard
  • 00:31:24
    in junior high, high school, grade school, all the kind of stuff.
  • 00:31:27
    My spiritual past, my religious past is a little bit odd.
  • 00:31:31
    My mom played the organ in the local church we were a part of,
  • 00:31:34
    my dad sang in the choir.
  • 00:31:36
    I was forced to be on the front row of the church
  • 00:31:38
    even before I could read.
  • 00:31:41
    As I aged, I would go back further and further in the church
  • 00:31:45
    until I got to the age of 15
  • 00:31:47
    and I'd be sitting on a folding chair in the back,
  • 00:31:51
    bored out of my gourd.
  • 00:31:53
    I don't even know what a gourd is, by the way.
  • 00:31:54
    Whatever was I was, I was outside of it and I was bored.
  • 00:31:57
    And I'd be looking around and I remember distinctly
  • 00:31:59
    seeing this guy who was about 60 years old,
  • 00:32:03
    a little overweight, sitting there
  • 00:32:04
    and he was nodding off in service.
  • 00:32:07
    And one part of me said, "Dude, I get it. I understand."
  • 00:32:10
    The other part of it was me as 15 year old self,
  • 00:32:13
    and saying to myself, "Why are you here, man?
  • 00:32:18
    You obviously don't want to be here.
  • 00:32:20
    I don't want to be here,
  • 00:32:21
    but I'm only here because I have to be here.
  • 00:32:24
    As soon as I don't have to be in a place like this,
  • 00:32:26
    I'm not going to be here."
  • 00:32:28
    Religion, spirituality, God, Jesus, all of it was
  • 00:32:31
    one big ball that was mashed up and was irrelevant to me
  • 00:32:36
    and utterly uninteresting to me.
  • 00:32:38
    Then someone asked me to go to this weekend experience
  • 00:32:43
    with an organization was called Young Life.
  • 00:32:45
    And I went to this camp
  • 00:32:48
    and I thought it was going to play football.
  • 00:32:50
    It was a little bait and switch.
  • 00:32:52
    And actually it was a hear about Jesus.
  • 00:32:54
    And I got over the bait and switch pretty quickly
  • 00:32:57
    because I sat in this in this meeting
  • 00:33:01
    and this guy talking about who Christ was.
  • 00:33:04
    I was mesmerized, man. I mean, I was dialed in.
  • 00:33:09
    I heard at that camp that story that I just gave.
  • 00:33:13
    I've been living with that story for decades.
  • 00:33:17
    And my life just start changing. It did.
  • 00:33:19
    I got to a place where I saw who Jesus was
  • 00:33:22
    and I started applying His words to my life.
  • 00:33:25
    And it just worked.
  • 00:33:27
    I went from there to wanting to get into student ministry.
  • 00:33:30
    So I went to a program during college where I live in this house.
  • 00:33:33
    The catch was, if you're going to be in this program,
  • 00:33:35
    you had to go to the church that was funding it.
  • 00:33:37
    And that church was Episcopal. I had to go to church.
  • 00:33:42
    I was like, "OH, man, I don't want to go to church.
  • 00:33:43
    the Episcopalians are worse than the Presbyterians."
  • 00:33:47
    That's where I came from, Presbyterians are generally low church,
  • 00:33:51
    means this low pomp and circumstance, low kind of frills
  • 00:33:56
    and stuff on walls and all the less formality.
  • 00:33:59
    High church there is more of that.
  • 00:34:02
    Episcopalians, Catholics, Anglicans are known as as high church.
  • 00:34:05
    So I walk into the first Sunday that I've got to be there
  • 00:34:10
    and I go, "Oh my goodness, this is gonna be bad.
  • 00:34:13
    This is going to be really, really bad."
  • 00:34:16
    And then people start singing,
  • 00:34:17
    as opposed to my previous church where people going (vocalizing)
  • 00:34:19
    That's how people would sing.
  • 00:34:23
    These people were like singing Hallelujah.
  • 00:34:25
    They're singing, I'm giong, "My goodness."
  • 00:34:27
    And then they get into these prayers that they're reciting.
  • 00:34:29
    And I don't know any of these prayers.
  • 00:34:31
    I've never sung out loud like this. I've never --
  • 00:34:34
    I don't know any of these prayers.
  • 00:34:35
    These people, they know when to sit.
  • 00:34:36
    They're actually kneeling in church.
  • 00:34:38
    I don't know when to kneel. I felt like an outsider.
  • 00:34:41
    And then I sit down. I sit down in the pew.
  • 00:34:46
    I'm going, "Okay, I can do this here. I can just listen."
  • 00:34:49
    I listen, and up on the stage comes the Episcopal rector.
  • 00:34:53
    And he's got all of the Episcopalian garb on
  • 00:34:55
    and his walks up these steps.
  • 00:34:57
    I'm thinking, "Oh, this is going to be bad, really, really bad."
  • 00:35:02
    And he opens up his mouth and I was riveted.
  • 00:35:07
    I don't know how long he went, for 20 minutes, 30 minutes.
  • 00:35:09
    I don't know, but I was just -- I was riveted.
  • 00:35:15
    He utterly opened up my heart, opened up my mind.
  • 00:35:20
    Jesus gives a sermon, He did that for folks.
  • 00:35:23
    In the Book of Matthew, here's how it's put:
  • 00:36:20
    Notice the first thing He says there is
  • 00:36:23
    blessed are those who are poor in spirit.
  • 00:36:29
    What this means is that the nation of Israel,
  • 00:36:34
    when they got the commandments of God,
  • 00:36:36
    Moses went up on the mountain
  • 00:36:40
    and he brought down the stone tablets,
  • 00:36:42
    the Ten Commandments of God., brought them down.
  • 00:36:44
    And different rabbinical schools,
  • 00:36:46
    rabbinical schools of thought, there's different rabbis
  • 00:36:49
    who have different leadership in Judaism.
  • 00:36:53
    And they also believe in the oral law.
  • 00:36:54
    There's the written law that we have the Bible
  • 00:36:56
    and there's the oral law, things that God told Moses
  • 00:36:59
    that didn't get written down.
  • 00:37:00
    And these are passed down orally from person
  • 00:37:02
    to person to person.
  • 00:37:03
    So there's all these different rabbinical schools
  • 00:37:04
    because all these different rabbis are saying,
  • 00:37:07
    "I've got the real information
  • 00:37:08
    that came from Moses, traces all the way back."
  • 00:37:11
    And this is what comes all the layering on of rules,
  • 00:37:14
    all the layering on expectations,
  • 00:37:16
    all the things that people say you should do
  • 00:37:18
    that aren't in the Bible,
  • 00:37:20
    but that's just the way it is. It's the oral law.
  • 00:37:23
    Jesus is speaking with people who aren't rabbis.
  • 00:37:27
    These aren't people who are going to seminary.
  • 00:37:29
    These are normal men and women
  • 00:37:31
    who are tending fields, who are doing sheep.
  • 00:37:33
    They have a heart for God, but God isn't their hobby.
  • 00:37:37
    All the religious systems aren't their hobby.
  • 00:37:40
    And He says, "Blessed are you who are poor in spirit."
  • 00:37:43
    Let me tell you something, I felt poor in spirit
  • 00:37:45
    when I was in that Episcopal Church.
  • 00:37:47
    I felt poor in spirit when I was a kid
  • 00:37:49
    in my Presbyterian church.
  • 00:37:50
    I today still feel poor in spirit because
  • 00:37:53
    I don't have as many Bible verses memorized
  • 00:37:55
    as some people think that I should have memorized,
  • 00:37:57
    given my, you know, my history.
  • 00:38:01
    I don't know if you feel poor in spirit
  • 00:38:02
    Do you feel poor in spirit? Like, I don't --
  • 00:38:05
    I haven't read the Bible cover to cover yet
  • 00:38:08
    or I don't know the answer that people ask me.
  • 00:38:10
    I know people, man, they know these theological terms
  • 00:38:14
    that I don't know or if I did know them
  • 00:38:16
    I forgot them because they just don't matter anymore.
  • 00:38:18
    People who are rich in spirit.
  • 00:38:20
    "Oh, all those theological terms matter."
  • 00:38:22
    The truth behind them matters, but sorry,
  • 00:38:24
    the term doesn't matter and this is just your hobby.
  • 00:38:28
    Your richness is in being religious
  • 00:38:31
    and having these words, OK. That's fine.
  • 00:38:34
    I'll let God deal with you, but God is dealing
  • 00:38:36
    with people like me and others who are poor in spirit.
  • 00:38:40
    Have you ever felt like you don't measure up,
  • 00:38:42
    you don't have the information that you need?
  • 00:38:44
    I think this is why many of us are afraid to speak up.
  • 00:38:47
    We feel I'm poor in spirit.
  • 00:38:48
    I haven't been around church very long.
  • 00:38:50
    I can't -- I can't speak to anything.
  • 00:38:53
    This is why some of us who have kids
  • 00:38:55
    don't build into our kids and don't talk to our kids
  • 00:38:57
    and maybe don't pray with our kids because
  • 00:38:59
    we feel like, "Um, I'm not qualified for that."
  • 00:39:02
    No, you're not, you're qualified. Just you're blessed.
  • 00:39:04
    Jesus calls you blessed.
  • 00:39:06
    Take what you know and instill it in your kids.
  • 00:39:08
    Some of us think, "I can't enter into a discussion
  • 00:39:11
    at the office about God or something comes up.
  • 00:39:14
    I'm just not qualified."
  • 00:39:15
    You are here. You may be poor in spirit,
  • 00:39:18
    not having the credentials that somebody else has
  • 00:39:20
    but if you've got a genuine walk with God,
  • 00:39:22
    you're qualified.
  • 00:39:23
    In fact Jesus says that you are blessed.
  • 00:39:25
    Take whatever He's given you, whatever you know
  • 00:39:28
    and know that confidently Jesus proclaims you as qualified.
  • 00:39:33
    He proclaims you as blessed.
  • 00:39:35
    Put into practice what you do have.
  • 00:39:38
    Say what you do know. You will be blessed.
  • 00:39:50
    And you thought Holy Land tours
  • 00:39:52
    were a bunch of old people on buses going to churches?
  • 00:39:57
    No, not on my watch. Not gonna do it.
  • 00:40:01
    No, we're not. We're not gonna do it.
  • 00:40:02
    We're going to go to other places
  • 00:40:05
    that are fascinating and interesting.
  • 00:40:07
    One of them is the City of Capernaum.
  • 00:40:10
    We actually did a deep dive on this of Season 1
  • 00:40:13
    in Real Ecounters with God.
  • 00:40:15
    Capernaum was a hometown that Jesus had adopted.
  • 00:40:19
    Actually were cities around the Sea of Galilee,
  • 00:40:21
    which is actually a massive lake,
  • 00:40:23
    where people would go to search for healing.
  • 00:40:26
    Capernaum became a hotspot because they heard
  • 00:40:29
    that there was this guy, Jesus, there who was healing people.
  • 00:40:32
    And they thought the magic words was:
  • 00:40:33
    Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.
  • 00:40:37
    Jesus stayed in Peter's home.
  • 00:40:38
    Today, it's memorialized by this giant spaceship church
  • 00:40:42
    that hovers over top of it.
  • 00:40:43
    As people are flocking to come to Him,
  • 00:40:45
    there's one guy who comes in who's
  • 00:40:48
    one of the most unlikely people you would ever think
  • 00:40:51
    would seek out Jesus.
  • 00:40:54
    To get to a place where this interaction likely took place,
  • 00:40:57
    we had to hop a fence
  • 00:41:00
    and get into an area that was a bit rustic.
  • 00:41:03
    Let's go there right now.
  • 00:41:12
    So after Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount,
  • 00:41:14
    He comes down the hill, kind of like I've done,
  • 00:41:17
    and He comes towards His adopted hometown,
  • 00:41:22
    the town of Capernaum, Capernaum means comfort.
  • 00:41:25
    This is a huge thing with Jesus,
  • 00:41:27
    He is constantly comforting people
  • 00:41:29
    who are in distress and have tension in our life.
  • 00:41:32
    If you've got any tension in your life,
  • 00:41:33
    Jesus wants to comfort you, all types of people.
  • 00:41:37
    One of the people He comforts is a very unusual person.
  • 00:41:41
    It's a Roman centurion who just outside
  • 00:41:45
    the city of Capernaum has a house.
  • 00:41:48
    Now in this area, this is a militarized area.
  • 00:41:50
    There's a -- there's political fighting
  • 00:41:52
    happening in different territories.
  • 00:41:53
    And so there would've been military all around here,
  • 00:41:55
    checkpoints coming in and out,
  • 00:41:57
    kind of like what the Middle East is right now,
  • 00:42:00
    on the other side of that body of water,
  • 00:42:02
    I don't know 20, 30 kilometers is Jordan.
  • 00:42:05
    There is a level of military presence that's here.
  • 00:42:09
    This Roman centurion makes his way into Capernaum,
  • 00:42:14
    Jesus's hometown, because he's looking for something.
  • 00:42:17
    He's looking for comfort. He's looking for help.
  • 00:42:20
    This is astounding.
  • 00:42:24
    Capernaum is a Jewish city,
  • 00:42:25
    it's only Jews who were in there.
  • 00:42:27
    And this Romans centurion, who would have had
  • 00:42:30
    a hundred people under his command,
  • 00:42:33
    a hundred people who are trained to kill at his command.
  • 00:42:37
    He ventures into Jewish occupied territory
  • 00:42:41
    where he doesn't belong, but he goes there
  • 00:42:43
    because he wants something from Jesus.
  • 00:42:45
    You need something he knows only Jesus can provide.
  • 00:42:49
    Here's what the story says:
  • 00:43:53
    This is an enemy of the Jewish state, an enemy of Jews.
  • 00:43:58
    Jesus is a Jew, an enemy who is thwarting the Jews
  • 00:44:04
    completely coming to Jesus, looking for comfort.
  • 00:44:08
    He's got somebody in his place that is hurting.
  • 00:44:12
    And when Jesus hears this gentile,
  • 00:44:16
    who is an enemy of the Jews in the Jewish city,
  • 00:44:20
    saying to him, "Hey, Jesus, I understand.
  • 00:44:22
    I understand your authority, because I get authority,
  • 00:44:25
    I'm under Roam, I get authority.
  • 00:44:26
    I've also got a hundred guys that are under authority.
  • 00:44:28
    They do whatever I tell them to do.
  • 00:44:29
    And I'm putting myself under your authority.
  • 00:44:31
    And I know that you can do something."
  • 00:44:33
    In fact, he says, "You don't even need to come to my house.
  • 00:44:36
    You can just say the word, I'll get it."
  • 00:44:37
    And Jesus goes, "Oh my goodness.
  • 00:44:39
    Okay, all you good little -- all you good little Jews.
  • 00:44:42
    let's understand this, all of us here,
  • 00:44:45
    this guy here, the faith that he has here
  • 00:44:48
    surpasses all of you. All of you.
  • 00:44:51
    Even though he's an enemy, he's come in here because
  • 00:44:55
    he has faith that my authority
  • 00:44:58
    is going to change his situation."
  • 00:45:02
    I don't know if you felt like an enemy before,
  • 00:45:03
    if you've felt like you were on the outside of God's plan,
  • 00:45:07
    if you felt like you were set against who God was.
  • 00:45:09
    Have you ever done anything you regret?
  • 00:45:10
    Have you ever done anything you wouldn't have done
  • 00:45:11
    if you knew you were going to meet God later that day?
  • 00:45:14
    Did you have any regrets in your past,
  • 00:45:15
    any dark areas, any skeletons in your closet?
  • 00:45:19
    Anything that you said that might, if you thought,
  • 00:45:22
    "If I was God and I said this,
  • 00:45:23
    I would flack me in the back of the neck"?
  • 00:45:26
    Have you ever felt that way? I have.
  • 00:45:28
    I have, and sometimes I still do.
  • 00:45:31
    The good news is that Jesus comforts even people like that.
  • 00:45:36
    In the Book of Romans, it says this:
  • 00:45:57
    Jesus comes and He wants to comfort even enemies.
  • 00:46:00
    He comes and He wants to do something in your life,
  • 00:46:04
    no matter what you've done,
  • 00:46:05
    no matter what side you've been on the past.
  • 00:46:08
    He wants to do something.
  • 00:46:09
    And this Roman centurion has such faith
  • 00:46:13
    that when Jesus says it's good, it's good then.
  • 00:46:16
    He goes back and the servant is healed.
  • 00:46:19
    This guy understood authority.
  • 00:46:21
    This guy receives the authority of Jesus.
  • 00:46:24
    There is authority.
  • 00:46:25
    I want to just tell you in all authority,
  • 00:46:27
    you can be forgiven.
  • 00:46:28
    You can be on the side of God.
  • 00:46:30
    You can have amended, redeemed, restored relationship
  • 00:46:34
    with Him right now.
  • 00:46:35
    It doesn't matter what you did in the past.
  • 00:46:37
    It doesn't matter what you might even do in the future.
  • 00:46:39
    What matters right now you need to know
  • 00:46:42
    He wants to comfort you.
  • 00:46:46
    I think He might comfort you right now if we pray together.
  • 00:46:50
    We're going to pray together in a different way.
  • 00:46:52
    We're not going to try to find the right flowery words.
  • 00:46:54
    We're going to use the multimedia theater
  • 00:46:57
    that God has given us, called our imagination,
  • 00:47:00
    called our mind.
  • 00:47:01
    He's wired it this way for us to actually
  • 00:47:04
    envision Him and talk to Him.
  • 00:47:06
    It's a part of what the imagination is for.
  • 00:47:09
    So be thinking right now of a place where you've gone in your life where you feel completely at home, you feel completely comfortable, you feel completely detached from the ways of this world.
  • 00:47:22
    Maybe it was a pine tree that you sat underneath when you were a kid.
  • 00:47:26
    That's a place I oftentimes go in the midst of my imagination.
  • 00:47:30
    Maybe it is railroad tracks.
  • 00:47:31
    I actually taught this technique to a friend of mine.
  • 00:47:34
    He went in a time of prayer to railroad tracks
  • 00:47:36
    where he went to and he was a little kid.
  • 00:47:38
    And as he was sitting there he actually
  • 00:47:39
    would smoke little cigars or cigarettes as a kid
  • 00:47:41
    in rebelliousness to his parents.
  • 00:47:45
    And he saw Jesus walking up to him in his imagination
  • 00:47:48
    in jeans and a red flannel shirt.
  • 00:47:52
    As He came up he had this cigarette
  • 00:47:53
    and he was trying to hide it, and Jesus said,
  • 00:47:56
    "Hey, can I bum one of those?"
  • 00:47:59
    It's such a great line.
  • 00:48:00
    Jesus said, "These weren't the things that killed me."
  • 00:48:05
    Now, maybe he was making that up.
  • 00:48:06
    Maybe that wasn't God, but he had a profound moment
  • 00:48:08
    nonetheless with God. You can have one right now.
  • 00:48:11
    If you can't think of place, just maybe imagine
  • 00:48:13
    yourself in beautiful wooded area like this.
  • 00:48:16
    We're gonna go to that place.
  • 00:48:18
    And I want you to sit in it.
  • 00:48:21
    I want you to remember the sounds of the birds
  • 00:48:24
    or whatever it is that you would hear.
  • 00:48:26
    I want you to take in the odors
  • 00:48:28
    of what the evergreen tree would smell like.
  • 00:48:31
    Go ahead and reach around your hands
  • 00:48:32
    and maybe you feel the leaves or whatever you're on,
  • 00:48:34
    a soft couch.
  • 00:48:36
    Just put yourself there right now
  • 00:48:39
    and we're going to see if God maybe doesn't speak to you
  • 00:48:44
    through your imagination.
  • 00:48:47
    And if you've never done before,
  • 00:48:48
    it may take you a little time to catch on,
  • 00:48:50
    but hang with it.
  • 00:48:51
    Spiritual disciplines sometimes take a little work.
  • 00:48:55
    The most significant things,
  • 00:48:56
    sometimes we have to practice them.
  • 00:48:58
    And let's just do that right now.
  • 00:49:01
    So God, here we are, Your children.
  • 00:49:04
    We're in a place where we want to hear from You.
  • 00:49:14
    As you're in that spot, just see
  • 00:49:16
    however you see Jesus coming up to you.
  • 00:49:19
    He's walking to you.
  • 00:49:22
    He's got an expectant look on His face.
  • 00:49:26
    He comes to you with tenderness and strength at the same time.
  • 00:49:32
    And He sits down
  • 00:49:33
    and He puts an arm around you
  • 00:49:39
    and gives you a squeeze.
  • 00:49:46
    Tell Jesus what you want to tell him right now.
  • 00:49:49
    You might say I'm afraid.
  • 00:49:53
    I'm stressed.
  • 00:49:56
    I'm confused,
  • 00:49:58
    or maybe even for some of us,
  • 00:49:59
    I'm invigorated right now. Tell Him.
  • 00:50:09
    What do you see Him saying back to you?
  • 00:50:18
    I think one thing He would say to you is,
  • 00:50:22
    "I understand how that feels.
  • 00:50:25
    I felt the same way before."
  • 00:50:33
    Ask Him for help.
  • 00:50:35
    Jesus says one time, a number of times, He says,
  • 00:50:38
    "What is it you want Me to do for you?"
  • 00:50:40
    He says that on a number of occasions.
  • 00:50:42
    He still says that to His children today.
  • 00:50:45
    Just look at Him, He looks to you and says,
  • 00:50:47
    "What is it you want Me to do for you?" Tell Him.
  • 00:51:10
    Now look at Him, say thank you.
  • 00:51:15
    You see His response.
  • 00:51:22
    And then He leaves.
  • 00:51:26
    Looks over His shoulder.
  • 00:51:30
    And we say, Amen.
  • 00:51:36
    Jesus still says yes to people.
  • 00:51:39
    And it's our decision whether or not we'll say yes to Him.
  • 00:51:43
    We're going to say yes to Him right now through music.
  • 00:51:46
    So let's join in this together.
  • 00:56:13
    You know, I think sometimes people get into churchy mode
  • 00:56:15
    and they just sing songs that are up on a screen
  • 00:56:18
    and we don't do anything with them.
  • 00:56:19
    It's like I'm going to sing that
  • 00:56:20
    just like a lemming goes over the cliff.
  • 00:56:24
    Let's make sure we understood what we just sung.
  • 00:56:26
    We sung that we're choosing something over something.
  • 00:56:31
    It says we choose joy.
  • 00:56:34
    You know what it means to choose joy.
  • 00:56:35
    It means you reject the doom and gloom.
  • 00:56:38
    "Oh, no. The economy's going, oh, no."
  • 00:56:41
    If you choose joy, you're rejecting doom and gloom.
  • 00:56:47
    If you choose peace, you're rejecting paranoia.
  • 00:56:53
    You choose that.
  • 00:56:54
    It's not that you automatically feel peaceful
  • 00:56:56
    or automatically feel joyful. You choose it.
  • 00:57:00
    If you choose goodness and kindness,
  • 00:57:03
    you are choosing to reject
  • 00:57:07
    taking more toilet paper off of the shelves.
  • 00:57:10
    You're choosing to reject hoarding.
  • 00:57:12
    You're choosing to reject that.
  • 00:57:13
    You're choosing to give and bless people.
  • 00:57:16
    When you choose hope, you're choosing to reject
  • 00:57:20
    this nihilistic thing that this is
  • 00:57:22
    the end of the world forever as I know it.
  • 00:57:25
    See, all these attributes, they're Fruit of the Spirit.
  • 00:57:28
    The Fruit of the Spirit is in the book of Galatians:
  • 00:57:31
    There's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control.
  • 00:57:35
    These things are the fruit of our lives
  • 00:57:38
    when God is rooted in your life.
  • 00:57:41
    And when God gets rooted in your life,
  • 00:57:42
    you choose to agree with Him on these attributes.
  • 00:57:45
    So if we really want that, let's sing this.
  • 00:57:48
    If we really want to get to step against
  • 00:57:50
    the tide of the negativity, the cynicism,
  • 00:57:53
    and the paranoia and the depression
  • 00:57:56
    and the hoarding of our culture, let's step in it
  • 00:57:59
    and let's sing it
  • 00:58:00
    and convince our hearts it's the right way.
  • 01:06:10
    - God, the power in the name of Jesus calls us to worship.
  • 01:06:19
    And we respond by just lifting our hands
  • 01:06:22
    and saying we surrender to the name of Jesus.
  • 01:06:27
    We thank You for the work that You do in our lives,
  • 01:06:31
    the way that you meet us
  • 01:06:33
    and that we can come together like this,
  • 01:06:39
    from thousands of homes across the country,
  • 01:06:42
    around the world, to lift up the name of Jesus. Amen.
  • 01:06:52
    - Well, I hope you enjoyed this week's episode.
  • 01:06:55
    Next week is going to be a first. It's Easter.
  • 01:06:57
    That's not a first, but what's a first for me,
  • 01:06:59
    this will be the first Easter in my life,
  • 01:07:01
    in my 54 years,
  • 01:07:03
    that I've not been in a church building on Easter.
  • 01:07:05
    No scratchy collars, no brand new dresses,
  • 01:07:08
    no daffodils, although not that Crossroads
  • 01:07:10
    ever has any of those things anyway.
  • 01:07:12
    But it's gonna be special nonetheless.
  • 01:07:14
    It's gonna be powerful, I think.
  • 01:07:16
    I think it's gonna be very hope giving and inspiring.
  • 01:07:19
    And we would love for you to be able
  • 01:07:20
    to partner with us to bring people to understand this hope.
  • 01:07:25
    You can go to
  • 01:07:27
    It's what those of us who are believers,
  • 01:07:30
    those of us who have the spiritual discipline
  • 01:07:31
    of tithing and giving, it's what we do.
  • 01:07:34
    So I can't wait to see you next week.
  • 01:07:36
    We've got a special one for you. We'll see you then.
  • 01:07:39
    - Easter promo take six.
  • 01:07:45
    - You're invited to a spiritual pilgrimage this Easter.
  • 01:07:49
    I'm in Israel, where millions of people for centuries
  • 01:07:52
    have been coming to have a more rich
  • 01:07:53
    and more meaningful life.
  • 01:07:55
    I believe you're meant for something
  • 01:07:56
    more rich and more meaningful.
  • 01:07:58
    And we're going to help you get there.
  • 01:08:01
    I'm in a winery right now.
  • 01:08:02
    Why would I be in a winery?
  • 01:08:04
    Because I had free wine today, that's why.
  • 01:08:07
    What does that have to do with anything?
  • 01:08:09
    You're gonna have to watch and see.
  • 01:08:15
    Easter at Crossroads April 11th and 12th, 2020,
  • 01:08:20
    live are streaming at
  • 01:08:27
    [ music ]
  • 01:09:07
    - This is Israel. Israel is real.
  • 01:09:11
    It's a real country where the events in the Bible
  • 01:09:13
    really happened,
  • 01:09:16
    like the Judean wilderness,
  • 01:09:18
    like the time a guy named Zacchaeus climbed a tree,
  • 01:09:21
    met Jesus and his life changed forever.
  • 01:09:25
    Even though thousands of years have passed
  • 01:09:27
    and even though a lot in our world has changed,
  • 01:09:30
    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. We’ve all made hard decisions. (Where to live, what friends to keep, what to freaking order in the Chick-Fil-A line.) What is a difficult decision you’ve made, and what were your deciding factors?

  2. Read Romans 12:9-21. To get closer to God and be in relationship with Jesus, we have to do some hard things. Of this (admittedly epic) list, which is the most difficult for you? Which comes the most naturally? Why?

  3. Brian talked about needing to move to get closer to God. That’s tough when you’re sheltering in place, but big moves can look like attending church online, reading scripture daily in the crossroads app, or getting in a group that meets virtually. How are you trying to move towards God right now?

  4. Molly shared her story of believing lies about herself and how that impacted her deeply. Through her journey she arrived at a place where she believes what God says about her more than anything else. Do you relate to her story? If so, which part resonates with you most?

  5. Brian led us through a prayer experience using our imagination to envision a conversation with Jesus in a comfortable, familiar place. Did God speak or show you anything through this experience? If so, what did you see and/or hear?

0 people are discussing these questions

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

You must include at least one person

Got it! Enjoy your discussion.

Apr 4, 2020 1 hr 10 mins 51 sec

Recent Series