Andrew Fountain - Replacing your Inner Bully with the Gentle Voice of Jesus

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Full sermon notes - Replacing your Inner Bully with the Gentle Voice of Jesus

  • When I was at school, the most common thing for teachers to write on my report was “could do better”

1. The Inner Bully

1. The Inner Bully

  • Most of us have a voice inside us that is saying:
    • You’re not doing as well as you could be
    • You’re a failure
    • You don’t measure up to what you could be
    • You could do a lot better if you worked harder
    • You’re a mess
  • Can you add some for me ??
  • Where do these voices come from?
    • Generally from authority figures in our lives
    • We take their voices, and bring them inside us
    • They may be gone or far away but they’re still talking

Our Parents

Our Parents

Image source: Kim Scarborough

Our Teachers

Our Teachers

Image source: LBJ Library

The Boss

The Boss

Image source: worldbank

Religious Figures

Religious Figures

Image source: Breen, A. E. (Andrew Edward)

One More

One More

Image source: konradfoerstner

Source: the Voice of Authority Figures

  • Who would those authority figures be?
    • Parents
      • Even the best parents are very imperfect (they are probably copying what their own parents did).
    • Teachers
    • The Boss at work
      • not your best interests at heart
      • unfeeling
      • unfair
      • harsh
      • exacting standards
      • demands perfection
    • Religous figures in our lives
    • One more, which I will come on to shortly
  • How we react to it?
    • perfectionism
    • distraction
    • give up
    • rebellion

Other Source: the Voice of the Law

  • The problem is that we really are flawed
    • We are imperfect, make mistakes, do wrong things
  • More than that, our characters are flawed
    • we treat others badly
    • put our own interests first
    • lazy and irresponsible

2. The Gentle leader

Three parts to passage:

  1. Reversal between God’s greatness and his humbling himself to speak to children
  2. Jesus is the only revealer
  3. His revelation brings rest (and is about rest)
    • And in this he’s revealing the true nature of the Father

Matt 11:25-30

  1. At that time, answering, Jesus said:
     
    I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth
          because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned
          and have revealed them to little children,
    26Yes Father, for thus it was well-pleasing before you.
  2. All things to me have been delivered by my Father
          and no-one knows the Son except the Father
          nor the Father does anyone know except the Son
    and to whom the Son might choose to reveal
  • Very common form of speech ABBA
    • pleasingly symmetrical, almost poetic
    • Father - hidden - revealed - Father
  • contrasts:
    • Lord of heaven and earth – little children
    • hidden – revealed
    • Jesus’s pleasure – Father’s pleasure
    • these things? (Jesus has been talking about his ministry in general)
      • All of his teachings, but particularly the one he is about to bring!
  • Now he picks up on the “things”
    • The son has exclusive knowledge and is the exclusive revealer

Matt 11:25-30 cont’d

  1. Come to me all who are toiling and overburdened
          and I will give you rest.
  2. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
          for gentle I am, and humble in heart,
                and you will find rest for your souls.
  3. for my yoke is easy
    and my burden is light.
  • Key Words/Concepts
    • toiling overburdened
    • rest
    • gentle, humble in heart,
    • easy, light
  • Contrasts in vs.28–30
    • Burdened -> rest
    • My yoke -> rest
    • My yoke -> easy
    • My burden -> light
  • This is the revelation of the Father!!!
    • He is humble and gentle
    • Only the children get to know this, not the proud

Yoked oxen plowing

Yoked oxen plowing

Image source: Petr Kosina

What are our burdens?

  • not about physical work: Jesus doesn’t take that away
  • Speaking about the Pharisees, Jesus says in Matt 23:
  1. “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,
    and lay them on people’s shoulders,
    but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.”

Samaritan High Priest

Samaritan High Priest

Image source: Keystone View Company

  • Next time: The Heavy Burden of Law
    • Gal 3:23-4:7

Replacing the Bully with Jesus

  • “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11
  • Hearing “Well Done”
    • You’ve done a great job, I’m really pleased with you.
  • What did Jesus actually say to people after the resurrection?

What did Jesus say to people?

  • John 21: to Peter “feed my lambs”
  • Acts 7: Stephen “stood as Stephen was dying”
  • Acts 18:9 to Paul “Do not be afraid... for I am with you”
  • Acts 23:11 to Paul: “Take courage...”
  • Heb 11 only praised the good things about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Gideon etc.
  • Rev 2&3 Seven churches
  • Active replacing

W. Hendriksen, Commentary on Matthew, 505-6

In the study of this marvellous passage (verses 28-30) one fact is generally passed by in silence. It is this:

The authoritative advice Jesus gives is not only good for the soul; when heeded it also greatly benefits the body. The rest—peace of heart and mind—which Jesus here provides is the very opposite of the aggravated mental stress that sends so many people to doctors, hospitals, and death. Absence of peace, whether in the form of anxiety or of rancour and vindictiveness (the lust to “get even”), may lead to ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, heart attacks, etc.

The teachings of Christ, if taken to heart, have a curative effect on the entire person, soul, and body. He is a complete Saviour!

Replace the Voice of the Bully

  1. Come to me all who are toiling and overburdened
          and I will give you rest.
  2. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
          for gentle I am, and humble in heart,
                and you will find rest for your souls.
  3. for my yoke is easy
    and my burden is light.
  • Understanding Jesus as Gentle is what gives us rest.
  • Taking Jesus’ yoke == learning from him
  • All this depends on Jesus being your master!
    • You can’t have the benefits of a gentle and kind master, without him actually being your master.
    • To do this, you have to actually take his yoke, which means coming to him and learning from him.
    • Jesus invites you to do this, to become his follower and take his voice as a replacement for the voice of the Bully.

Updated on 2015-03-30 by Andrew Fountain