Summary: The Bible frequently refers to Jesus as the "Son of Man" (even more than it calls Him the Son of God) Why was He called the "Son of Man", and what can mean to us?
OPEN: In the late 1700’s, the manager of Baltimore’s largest hotel refused lodging to a man dressed like a farmer because he thought this fellow’s appearance would discredit his inn. So the man left. Later that evening, the innkeeper discovered that he had turned away none other than then Vice-President Thomas Jefferson! Immediately he sent a note to the famed patriot, asking him to come back and be his guest.
Jefferson replied by instructing his messenger as follows: “Tell him I have already engaged a room. I value his good intentions highly but if he has no place for a dirty American farmer, he has none for the Vice President of the United States.”
APPLY: That hotel manager hadn’t realized that it was Thomas Jefferson who wanted lodging. He turned away the Vice-President of the United States because he didn’t know who he was looking at.
I. In the Gospel of John we’re told of some Greeks who approached Philip and said: “Sir, we would see Jesus!”
That’s a great statement. Entire sermons have been built upon that single phrase from this Gospel.
ILLUS: In the first church I served, someone had taken a “label makers” and had created a label that they placed on the face of their pulpit. And as I stood in the pulpit every Sunday Morning I would look down on that phrase: “Sir we would see Jesus!” When I first stepped into that pulpit I said to myself “ALRIGHT! I’m going to do everything I can to help them see Jesus!”
But there was a problem at that Church. This church ran through preachers faster than my flashlight runs thru batteries. Preachers usually stayed only 2 or 3 years on the average.
When I first thought to apply for that church, I asked my dad and my preacher. They both knew about that congregation’s reputation… and they both said “No… I don’t think you’d better.”
So I didn’t. I worked in a fiberglass factory and sold real estate for the next couple of 3years. But then the pulpit came open again I supply preached for them. They like me and asked me to apply as their preacher. So, again I asked my preacher and dad what they thought and THIS TIME they both said: “We think you might be ready now.”
Now initially I was too ignorant and innocent to realize what had bothered my dad and preacher. But, what I discovered about that church was that while they had that wonderful saying on their pulpit “Sir we would see Jesus!” they really didn’t want to see Jesus all that bad.
That’s part of the reason they ran through preachers so often. Every preacher that had filled that pulpit had tried to show Jesus to those leaders… but the Jesus of the Bible that wasn’t the Jesus they were looking for.
(pause…) The Gentiles approached Philip and said: :Sir, we would see Jesus!”
But I don’t think those Gentiles knew WHAT they were asking for. I don’t think those Gentiles knew WHO Jesus really was. And – as a result – the Gospel writer never tells us any more about THEM. As soon as Philip and Andrew report their request to Jesus, Jesus launches into a sermon that basically says: The Jesus you see may not be the Jesus you want.