From Luke 19:1-10. In this passage we see a man named Zacchaeus who had a planned but yet unexpected encounter with Jesus. Zacchaeus might have wished to be anonymous but upon encountering Jesus he dropped his guard and became totally honest with the Lord. It changed his life forever – honesty with God always produces change.
From John 8:1-11. Surely forgiveness is the most remarkable divine demonstration of grace that anyone can imagine or experience. John 8 tells a story of this remarkable gift from God, a gift that is the epitome of Jesus’ life and teaching. Divine forgiveness is wonderful, but to be fully appreciated it must be fully embraced – it requires both offer and acceptance.
From John 3:1-17. At least one thing is clear from Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus – knowing about God is not the same thing as knowing God. Being religious is not the same thing as having a relationship with God. We’ve heard Jesus’ words, “you must be born again” so many times, but sometimes familiarity eclipses the meaning of words. Let’s go back to that encounter and try to understand it again.
This is the first message in our fall 2015 series Encounters With Jesus. John the Baptist has several encounters with Jesus, the first coming while he is still in the womb of his mother. All these various encounters with Jesus tell a story of faith. As we consider John’s encounters with Jesus we realize that faith is not a static reality but a life-long experience.