Editor’s Note: This resource supports preachers and congregations in the use of the book 42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions by Carl Medearis. You can visit the 42 Seconds Resource page at justinrossow.com to see more.
The Big Idea
Jesus is absolutely unique. And, in the power of the Spirit, you are absolutely like him.
That the hearers recognize the places they are not like Jesus so that they more fully embrace their vocation of “being Jesus” to the people around them.
The Big Problem
We claim Jesus without knowing Jesus. We think of Jesus’ activity as being beyond us. We have the Spirit, but don’t think, talk, act, pray, believe as if Jesus were present in us for the world.
The Big Promise
Jesus, the unique Spirit-bearer and Lamb of God, uniquely restores your relationship with God, so that you now also receive and bear his Spirit for the sake of others.
Jesus “actually invites us to the same kind of deep, connected knowing of himself that he had with his father” (124). “We will follow (Jesus) right into the humility of dependence” (137).
Readings for Worship
Joel 2:28-32 The Pentecost promise of the Spirit.
Ephesians 3:14-21 The Spirit causes Christ to dwell in you by faith.
John 14: 8-20 In dependence on the Father, Jesus promises the Spirit and sends the disciples.
Sermon: Comparison/Contrast Structure
The directive to “be Jesus” automatically sets up a kind of comparison between Jesus and the people who are asked to talk, think, live, and love like he did. The Comparison/Contrast structure lets the sermon address ways we are not like Jesus in order to help the hearers see the ways in which we are. In this case, the sermon moves from part to part, rather than from whole to whole; the ways we are like and not like Jesus are considered one at a time rather than all together.
The images used in the sermon develop the comparison/contrast structure rather than providing the shape of the sermon itself. In other words, the dynamic of comparison and contrast drives the sermon forward; the images add depth along the way. For more on the Comparison/Contrast structure see: https://concordiatheology.org/sermon-structs/thematic/comparisoncontrast/.
A. Jesus receives the Spirit (and so do I)
Like Jesus at his baptism and the disciples at Pentecost, I receive and carry the Spirit, although Jesus is uniquely the anointed Messiah.
B. Driven by the Spirit, Jesus brings the Kingdom in intimate dependence on the Father (and so do I)
The foot washing is just one example of Jesus serving in the power of the Spirit and under the authority of the Father. Jesus invites us into intimate knowing as well as active dependence.
C. Jesus lives the human life the way God intended humans to live (and so do I, except …)
Jesus lived his life as a human being filled with the Spirit. Jesus was in a human culture and crossed cultural divides, like with the woman at the well. I also live out my calling as a Spirit-filled human, though imperfectly.
D. Jesus is the sinless atonement for all sin (and I need that)
As true God and true man, Jesus’ unique job description at the cross was to be the Lamb of God and carry away my sin in a way I never could. Discipleship also includes bearing your cross daily, but not as payment for sin.
Conclusion: Jesus is absolutely unique and, in the power of the Spirit, you are absolutely like him.
Prayer for the Week
Holy Spirit, Spirit of Jesus, fill me again today. Drive me back to dependence on Jesus; cultivate in me a longing for his word; make Jesus present to me, and make Jesus present through me to the world around me.
Lord Jesus, pour out your Spirit on me again today. Share with me the same kind of intimate connection you have to the Father. As you were sent out, send me out; as you served with humility, invite me into the humility of dependence.
Heavenly Father, hear the prayers of your Spirit for me again today. Expand your kingdom and glorify your name in me and through me. As your cherished child, I commit my day to your service and to your glory. Amen.
The full manuscript is available here, or you can watch the sermon, below.