Meet the King - Spot the king -

This is a family service talk by - from the Riverside Church service on 6th July 2008.

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Talk Part II/  Puppet Sketch


[Sam appears during the Guess Who activity ]


Me:  Well let’s have a round of applause for Bryony and for Bart Simpson. 

Sam:  Bart Simpson.   

Me:    Yes.  Did you guess it then. 

Sam:  Whatever.    

Me:    So that’s a no then. 

Sam:   Corse, I guessed it.  Who do you think I am, Homma or something?

Me:  So you watch the Simpsons then. 

Sam:  [Looking around nervously]   Maybe

Me:  What do you mean, maybe?

Sam: Whatever.   

Me:    Whatever.  So you mean sometimes. 

Sam:  Well my dad won’t let me watch it?

Me:    Ahhhhh!  Let’s have a big Ahhhhh.  Why not?

Sam:   He says that [in a mic-taking dad-impersonating voice]  “Bart’s not a helpful role model for those with impressionable young minds like me”.

Me:  Which means what?

Sam:    Which means, I have to watch it in my bedroom when he’s not looking.   


Me:  Sam. 

Sam:    Don’t you start on me.  I heard you saying earlier that a vicar friend of yours watches it.  So it can’t be that bad can it?

Me:  Oh, well if a vicar does it then it must be OK!!    So speaking of Bart, have you ever had to stay in after school and write lines. 

Sam:   No

Me:   What, never. 

Sam:  Not this week?    But I might have to next week?

Me:  Why? 

Sam:  Well we’re doing a bit of guess who project at school ourselves. 

Me:  Sounds great.  So who’s the mystery guest at school?


Sam:  well it’s not really a mystery.  We all had to choose someone famous who’d done  some big time stuff in history.

Me:  So who did you go for?

Sam:  The Wright brothers

Me:  Great choice.  What made you pick them?

Sam:   Dad.  It was all his idea. 

Me:  So what’s the problem then?


Me:  What kind of stuff?


Sam:  Well I don’t know nothing about them do I?


Me:  OK. when’s the project due in?


Sam:  Whenever?


Me:  Whenever, like when?

Sam:  [defensively] Tomorrow. 

Me:  And when did you get the project set? 

Sam:   [defensively]  The other day. 

Me:   The other day since ….? 

Sam:  The other day since  [mini pause]  Easter.

Me:   Right.  And when did you get started? 

Sam:    [looking away – mini pause]  After Euro 2008!

Me:  What you mean last week!

Sam:  Whatever.

Me:    OK, what have you come up with then? 

Sam:  Well Wilbur Wright was born in 1867.  And Orville Wright was born in 1871. 

Me:  And.

Sam:  Their mum and dad were called Milton and Susan.  Dad was a vicar like you?

Me:  A vicar like me, right!  Well my mum was called Susan, but I’ve only got 2 children, not 4. 

Sam:  You know about the Wright bothers then.   

Me:  A bit.

Sam:  Yeah, they had 2 older brothers.  They always worked in suits, even when they were in the workshop.  They didn’t get married and they never smoked.     

Me:    Ok, so you’ve worked out who they were.  But so what?  What did they do that made them famous.  How did they contribute to history? 

Sam:  Dunno.


Me:  What do you mean, you don’t know?

Sam:  I told you I needed help.   

Me:  You need help alright. 

Sam:  Are you taking the Mick?

Me:   Never.  I’m winging it. 

Sam:  What? 

Me:  The Wright brothers.  They invented wings.  They invented the first aircraft.  That’s why they’re famous.  Not just because of who they were.  But because of what they did.  They invented the aeroplane. 

Sam:  Wicked, man.  

Me:    Well maybe in terms of global warming. 

Sam:  What?

Me:  Never mind.  I tell you what you do.  When you get home, type ‘the Wright bothers’ into Google and see what the internet comes up with.  

Sam:  Eh – never though of that - I owe you one. 

Me:  Don’t mention it. 

Sam:  [already descending into the pulpit]  I’m out of here.  Check it out.  

Talk  [flowing straight on]

I meant after the service but never mind. 

He’s so last minute and he always in such a rush, that he misses the point.  Sam knew who the Wright Brothers were.  He knew their names.  He knew about their parents.  But he’s missed the point. 

Because the point about the Wright brothers, is that they invented the first plane.    If they hadn’t invented that plane, then the chances are, nobody would remember them.    There’s something really obvious about the Wright brothers that Sam had missed.

And that's what the disciples were like with Jesus. They'd been with him for about three years. As we’ve seen over the past few months, they'd seen him do all sorts of amazing things. They'd seen him healing people with all sorts of diseases. When he talked, everyone listened, because Jesus had authority. They'd even seen Him forgiving sins. They'd seen him calm the wind and the waves... and they were saying, “Who is this … Even the wind and the waves obey Him.”

Now imagine if you met someone like that.  It would make you wonder too, wouldn't it? All around the country, people were talking about Jesus. “Who do you think this Jesus really is?”

J is a real person. He's doing and saying some amazing things.  So who is he?  People were investigating who Jesus was.  [Banner 6 up]

Which is what the man in this month’s banner is doing:  he’s investigating who Jesus is. 

Then one day Jesus and his disciples were walking along the road near a town called Caesarea Philippi.  And as they were walking along, Jesus asked them a question. “What are people saying? Who do people say I am?”

I wonder if you can remember what they said?    [pause/  engage]

“Some say you're John the Baptist or the prophet Elijah come back from the dead. Others think you're another one of the prophets.” Everyone's talking about you. 

“But what about YOU?”, said Jesus. “Who do YOU say I am?”

They'd been with him for three years. And they'd been watching him. And they'd been listening. But until now, they hadn't worked it out. Just like Sam the Cam and the Wright brothers.  He knew about them.  But he didn’t really know who they were— did he?  But finally, Peter gets it.  What did he say?  Who did Peter say Jesus was? 

That's right;’  “You are the Messiah”.  I get it, says Peter.  You’re the Messiah, the Christ. 

And that's this month’s memory verse:   [Mk 8:29 mem verse up + learn]

Now the word ‘Christ’ has a very special meaning.  Because in the OT, the Messiah or the Christ was a king.  And not just any old king.  A special king in the line of King David.  A king who would restore the fortunes of His people.  And a king who would rule the world forever with justice.  Jesus being the Christ, means Jesus is the King.   

But what sort of King would Jesus be?  Was he born in a palace like King Herod?  Did he boss people around like King Herod?  No.

Jesus is the Christ;  Jesus is the King.  But he was going to be king in a very different way.  What do you think the disciples and other people thought the coming Messiah King should be like?  What sort of king were the people looking for?    [pause—  Interact with congregation?]

[Well they were looking for a strong ruler;  they wanted a king who would boot the Romans out;  they wanted their land back and they wanted to be a free nation state.]

Peter and the other disciples were just the same.  They wanted a strong king.  One who would sort the Romans out and make Israel strong again. 

But I wonder if you can remember what Jesus said was going to happen to him?

[pause]   As soon as the disciples had worked out who he was, Jesus started to teach them about the sort of king he as going to be.  He started to teach them about what his main job was going to be.  That he was going to suffer many things, be rejected by the top religious people of the day and then be killed. 

And what did Peter make of that?  Was Peter impressed?

No.  Peter began to tell Jesus off.  If you’re the Christ you can’t be killed.  It’s not right.  Peter thought he knew better than Jesus about as the King's job.  And people are still doing that today. Even if people believe that Jesus is the Christ, they sometimes don't like talking about His death.  They prefer to think of Jesus as just a good religious teacher or whatever. 

I wonder if you can remember back 2 years to all the fuss about the Da Vinchi Code?    At the time it was a big thing.  But now it’s been and gone.  Even the film was a flop.  There's been books like it in the past and, no doubt before long, another book will come along recycling the same old stuff.  

It’s nothing new:  people have being denying who Jesus is and inventing conspiracy stories ever since the beginning.  But it’s no joke;  being wrong about Jesus really is a matter of life and death.  It’s very important to get the right answer about who Jesus is.   

It’s so important, that Jesus had a right go at Peter.  Get away from me Satan, He said to Peter.  You see, it’s not good enough to recognise who Jesus is.  We need to accept Him as the kind of king he told us he was going to be.  A king who would die to save His people from their sins.    We can’t invent our own kind of Jesus.    We have to accept the Jesus of history.  The Jesus of the Bible.  The god-man who died to save us from our sins.

You can’t have Jesus as your king, unless you have Jesus on the cross.  Jesus on the cross dieing in your place taking the punishment you deserved for all the bad things you've done.  Because that’s how Jesus is the king. 

And if Jesus really is your king, then you’ll want to trust and obey Him in every area of your life.  And that means getting to know Him and finding out how he wants you to live.  It will mean getting into the Bible and finding out more.

So “Who do you say I am?”  That’s the question Jesus is asking each of us this morning.   Who do you say I am?     And your answer really is a matter of eternal life and death.  What do you make of Jesus?   Is all this stuff about Jesus really true? 

And if you’re not sure, then as Sam the Cam would say:  you need to check it out.  And if you need help checking King Jesus out, then why not visit the Information Stand [and bookstall] after the service where you’ll find free books and leaflets for adults and children to help you be clear about the basics of the Christian faith.  If you want to get into reading the Bible regularly, then there’s also some free leaflets to help you with that too.   

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