Fiery serpents were sent among the people of God as a result of their complaints. God gave them a solution for the bites. A bronze serpent lifted up on a pole. Those who beheld that pole were healed just as those who behold Christ and His Cross are saved. (Numbers 21:5-9; John 3:5)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Justin Schaller
6:30 PM on 10/17/2021
P. Schaller –
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look! Look! Look! Behold! Look! Okay. What’s the meaning? Like we are people
and many times we do this. We look inside. Look at my life, my stuff but we are the Body, the
Body of Christ and we help each other by looking, looking at Jesus and seeing Jesus. Look
again. Look again. Again, look. Again. Have you ever looked at something ugly? Alright. Turn to
your neighbor and say, no. No, I haven’t. Never. Have you looked at something like the Jewish
– P. Roger was preaching in York, Pennsylvania today. Let’s see. P. Shibley was in Silver
Spring. Let’s see. Justin in Federal Hill. P. Wright in Havre de Grace. The brothers in Frederick.
Then other places. And we gather in Jesus’ name and look! Look! Look unto Jesus. Look unto
Jesus. Actually, when you first look at something, it may not be attractive, like Jesus. Isaiah 53,
there was no beauty that we would desire him, but look again. Look again. Wow. Our church.
Somebody could – first impression. No. Parking lot. I got a problem with the parking lot. No. The
people. I got issues. No. No.
Look again. How about your own life, what a disappointment. Look
again. Look again. How about your conversations with people? Kind of go dud. They’re duds.
They go blank. They’re banal. They’re morose. They are plain, bland, nothing there. But look
again. These are my brothers. These are my sisters. This is Jesus’ body. These are the people.
We are looking. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. There it is.
That’s all I wanted to say. It’s a good word, isn’t it? Like just take your time when you look and
kind of get your focus on God because God is here and I knew it not Jacob said. Because God
is here every moment. God is for you every moment. God is speaking to you. God is helping
you. God is comforting you. Look! Look! Look! Look! Look! I like it! I like to say that. Look! Look
at, look at God has blessed us. God has honored us.
God has visited us. God is with us. Wow! Isn’t that a good word? When we assemble in his name, there am I in your midst. When John went to heaven and he saw the candlesticks and Jesus walking in the candlesticks, and the
Scripture said the candlesticks are the churches of God. They are the churches and who’s
walking? Jesus is walking there. Maybe he’s very close to every one of us here tonight. Maybe
he has word for every one of us. Maybe we reach out and touch him. Maybe as we listen we get
help and we get conscious of God. That’s what the world needs. They are conscious of
themselves and they are not looking at anyone except themselves and their stuff. Amen. Okay.
Pray with me, please.
P. Justin Schaller –
Good evening. Okay. Just going to share something short this evening.
How’s everybody doing? We had a great day today. Very good day. We live in amazing times,
don’t we? We are blessed people. If you want to open to John 7. I just want to go to a few
different places in the book of John. (Prayer). John. 7:1, this is the feast of tabernacles. The last
couple weeks I have been preaching from the book of John. The book of John was written,
gives us a summation of why he wrote the book. It’s really to show the deity of Christ, the
humanity of Christ and the deity of Christ and also so when we finish the Gospel, we would
believe. So you see both in the book of John. You see the humanity of Christ and the deity of
Christ. In John 7, the feast of tabernacles was celebrated every year. It’s actually, I think it gets
around now. Has it already passed? It’s passed. It’s September to October on the Jewish
calendar. I believe it was the last feast that they had.
Jesus was there. The feast was, the point of the feast was to celebrate the provisions of God. When the Jews were in the wilderness for those years, those decades, God was providing manna from heaven and water. The priests on
every day of the feast the priests would go to this pool, the pool of Siloam, and he would take
from that pool water. They considered this living water. When Jesus met the woman at the well
and he was speaking of living water, he was speaking of in the Jewish mind this pool, which
was coming from a spring which was outside of the walls of the city. But they dug a channel that
brought the water from the spring into the city and then it went into this pool, the pool of Siloam.
Every day of the feast, the priest would go in and they would take this water and they would
bring it before the people of Israel.
The people of Israel would celebrate. It was a joyous festival. They would celebrate by pouring the water out to show that this was them responding or acknowledging the fact that God had provided for the Jews in the wilderness with water. Now Jesus took this occasion to make this declaration on the last day of the festival that would not do
that act of pouring the water out. But Jesus decided to take that occasion to come out and make
that statement that he was the living water. Jesus in vs. 37-38. Jesus was saying that the water that was provided in the wilderness was coming from him and now he was saying during this festival, this festival is actually pointing to me. On the last day I will stand up and make a declaration that if you drink of the water from the priests, you will thirst again, but if you drink of this living water you will never thirst again. In John. 9, Jesus is in Jerusalem and he’s stirring up
even more trouble because in John 8:58 he says to the Pharisees that before Abraham he was.
He was declaring his deity and in verse 59 they picked up stones to stone him.
Jesus went out of the temple. This is the amazing thing about Christ. If you thought, if you think about it, if
someone is saying they are going to kill you, what would we do? We would flee for our life. This
is what Jesus is doing because it wasn’t his hour yet to die. But even in the face of death, Jesus
still has compassion and grace and mercy for people. On the cross, he’s about to die, Philippians 2, he
could look on his own needs, but instead of looking on his own needs he first looks on the
needs of others. Even in the face of death, Jesus was still showing compassion, grace and
mercy and he poured it out on the thief of the cross. In John. 8:59 Jesus is being run out of the
temple to be stoned and John. 9:1. Isn’t that amazing, he’s going to be stoned but then he sees a
blind man there at the temple gates. He’s not thinking about his own death. He’s thinking about
this man. That’s an awesome picture of Christ. This man who is a beggar. Beggars, they went to
the temple because beggars are always going to go to a place where there is a lot of traffic, foot
They’re going to go to a place that is populated by people. They’re also going to go to a
place where people are going to try and be good people in a religious system. And the
Pharisees and the rabbis did teach when you go to the temple you should pay your alms, so a
lot of times they would pay their alms to these beggars. This man who was a blind man was
there and he was blind from birth. His entire life never saw. vs. 2. the Jews had this theology
that was incorrect. Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus? The rich man was living.
He was living a high life and he felt that he was blessed by God. And there was a man who was
a beggar outside of his house. His name was Lazarus. And in the Jewish mind and it dates all
the way back to the book of Job, that your life, your blessing or cursing is based on your sin.
Job’s friends were always trying to find what sin Job had that he would endure so much
suffering. They couldn’t understand that Job was a righteous man. Why would he suffer? And in
the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man didn’t help Lazarus because he saw
Lazarus as being cursed by God.
Jesus told that story to the Pharisees to uproot their false theology which was if I’m rich in this life, I must be blessed by God. If I’m poor in this life, it must be the sin that is in my life. And Jesus told that story to the Pharisees, and he said that the rich man ended up in hell and the poor man ended up in heaven. So his disciples have that false
theology here. They said to Jesus, who sinned? Jesus answered this theological debate very
quickly in vs. 3. Case closed. There’s no one that sinned that caused this man to be blind but
that the works of God shall be made manifest in him. vs. 4. Speaking of, – the amazing thing in
this is Jesus said “I must work the works of him that sent me.” He says previously, a few
chapters earlier, that my father does work and I do work with my father. In this verse in vs. 4, he
is including his disciples in this. Whenever he spoke of day and night, he spoke of a life span.
The light of day was life on this earth and night was death, and he left and departed this earth.
He is saying while I am here in this life I must do this work.
The night comes when no man can work. vs. 5-7. Two points I want to make just in this: #1 the man was in utter darkness. He did not know who was speaking to him. He could not see who was speaking to him. He did not stop
the man who was walking past him to heal him, but rather it was a man who was in absolute
darkness and blindness who had no help or no power to save himself and God by his grace and
his mercy at the point of actually being stoned, poured out his grace and mercy on this man.
And all he said to this man was that he spat on the ground and he put mud on the man’s eyes
and anointed his eyes. He’s not yet healed. If you think a blind man and a stranger walks up to
him and puts mud on his eyes and spits on the dirt and puts mud on your eyes, why would this
blind man obey Jesus? He doesn’t see Jesus. He doesn’t know who he is. But the man does not
hesitate. In obedience, he goes to this living water in vs. 7. What did he see? He saw the power
of God. He saw the glory of God. He saw Jesus.
And one last story, if I can sum it up this way is in John 3 there’s a man whose name was Nicodemus. And just follow this with me very brief. In John. 2, Jesus did many miracles in Jerusalem, and there were many people that believed on him. Jesus did not believe in their faith. One of those men was Nicodemus. Nicodemus was the third
richest man in Israel. The teacher of all teachers in Israel. Part of the Sanhedrin, one of the
seventy. He was at the pinnacle of his religion and he still couldn’t sleep at night because he didn’t know if he was going to get into heaven. And Jesus said to Nicodemus – he doesn’t say
this to anybody else, but he says it to the man whose life is perfectly in order. Nicodemus, the
only way you can enter into the kingdom of heaven is if you start your life all over again. Like
Paul says in Philippians 3, if anyone should be proud about their merit list, it should be me. I was the
Pharisee of all Pharisees. But to me I count it dung to win Christ. And Jesus says this very
interesting thing to Nicodemus. Let’s just look at it to correlate it with what we just said. John. 3:3,
5, he’s saying to Nicodemus, you are the teacher of all teachers. How do you not know this? He
says this, vs. 5. Now Nicodemus being the teacher of all teachers knew the Old Testament
backwards and forwards.
He knew Psalm 51, cleanse me with water. He knew Ezekiel 36:24, with
the sprinkling of the water, cleanse me from my sin. He knew that cleansing power came from
above. But in vs. 9. Nicodemus goes how can these things be? I built my entire life on the fact
that if I was the Pharisee of all Pharisees, I would inherit the kingdom of God but he still couldn’t
sleep at night. Look at this. John. 7, Nicodemus shows up again, and now in front of the
Pharisees, he defends Jesus. Zane said this to me that was very good that Jesus says to
Nicodemus in vs. 14, “Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of
man be lifted up.” We don’t know what happened to Nicodemus. We only know this. Are you
ready? In John. 7 which is about a year after John 3, something happened that Nicodemus is
defending Jesus. Then on crucifixion day in John. 19, Nicodemus is probably seeing Jesus being
lifted up on a cross.
And the Holy Spirit’s work is doing this work in Nicodemus where all the
things that Jesus is speaking about in the Old Testament is starting to come to fruition in his
own mind and he’s seeing Jesus as the Savior. And then we see in John. 19, no disciple, no
follower of Jesus but two men: Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus are bearing a dead corpse
in a tomb. Nicodemus at the end of Jesus’ life is there and the Holy Spirit is showing him that
Jesus is being lifted up and it’s not anything to do with him being the Pharisee of all Pharisees. It
has nothing to do with the fact that he was the wealthiest man in Israel, the third. It had nothing
to do with the fact that he was part of the Sanhedrin. It had everything to do that the water from
heaven came out and opened his eyes when he was spiritually blind to see that Christ was the
Messiah. History books say Nicodemus lost everything in his life. He was kicked out of the
Sanhedrin. He lost all of his money. He was kicked out of Jerusalem and he lived in a very
remote part of Israel poor but happy.
He was the man that found the treasure in the field and sold everything like Paul said in Philippians 3. I gladly sell that whole sheet that says I can earn heaven so I can gain Christ and Christ alone. Our eyes have been opened by Jesus touching us and giving us new eyes. There’s no reason. There’s no logic. There’s no intellect that can find
God. It’s hidden from man, but God has opened our eyes to see that Christ is the answer, that
Christ has saved us. And at the end of that story with the blind man in John 9, what does he do?
He comes back and he worships. That’s all we can do. We have seen our Savior risen, glorified
and we are people saying we were once blind but now we can see and it’s simply by the grace
of God that he has done that for us. Amen? Amen.
P. Schaller –
Wow! She can belt it out, can’t she? And the tone, the voice quality reminds me of
P. Shibley! Yes! It’s so good. Would you stand for a moment and minister Christ to your
neighbor and say, Jesus is here. Jesus is here! Praise the Lord! Okay. You may be seated. It
was a real blessing to see P. Dan Cergione this morning who is recovering from covid. Wow!
That was such a great testimony of answered prayer. The message we just heard we didn’t talk
before but it goes a long with what I want to say. So this will be ten minutes I think. Short.
Numbers 21, it had to do with my opening comments about looking unto Jesus. Having a focus
on him. Looking unto him. Being occupied with him. Out of our belly, will flow rivers of living
water. That message was really John 7, 3, 9, you see how much we love Jesus. How much we
love him. How much we can be occupied with him and see him and believe in him. One brother
told me at lunch time in the cafe, he said I watched the message online but I was so hungry for
the fellowship that after the message I ran over here just to hang out with the Body, just to hang
out with people.
Watched it at home and then he came – that’s one way to do it! I want to see
Jesus. Have any of you ever had someone encourage you to take a psychology test to find out
what kind of person you are? Has anyone offered you that? I have been offered but I’ve refused
because I don’t want to know about that. I want to know about Jesus. I already know too much
about myself. I want to know about Jesus. Have you ever wondered what kind of personality
type Jesus had? I think it was off the grid. He was out of the box. You never knew was he going to be angry? Was he going to be weeping? Was he going to be quiet? Was he going to be
angry? Was he going to be highly motivated at this day for this reason? What was going on with
Jesus? What do you think? Great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh,
seen of angels, believed on in the world and received up to glory. That’s the story of our lives.
It’s a great mystery. I don’t want people to put me in a box.
Paul said I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Well, you’re not qualified to this. Your personality type isn’t – it’s like I’m not interested. And this is why: Numbers 21:9, the people spoke against God and against
Moses. vs. 5. We really hated the manna. We really hated. The question is: was the problem
with the bread or was the problem with your taste buds? That’s a good line for parents at the
breakfast table, dinner table. vs. 6. Complaining can bring demons. I think of the serpents as
demons because he became a serpent, the devil. I think of the serpents that way and the
complaining brought them. Maybe the demons gravitate to the complaining people and maybe
that can happen and we can suffer more because of our complaining. Why is everything going
bad and why is always happening to me? Why is my life this way? Well, we’re very glad that you
and I are at that place to say where is Jesus? Where is he? You know. I need him. Where is
Jesus? Go to vs. 7. Yes, that’s good. Come down front for prayer.
Call the office or P. Jason’s team visits you, prays for you. Come on. Come on. Boy, I like this. This is beautiful. I think it
means a lot to us. How much do you want to know yourself, know your situation and talk about
it? How much do you want to see your problems and relate to them and talk about them and
think about them and just live in that. That cannot happen to us. That cannot happen to us.
There’s got to be some better way. I’m telling you. I believe it with all my heart. There’s no
difference. All of us have the same stuff. It’s just how do you relate to it. We all have something.
We all have something. We all have. And also our personalities and our histories and failures
and everything. We all have it. Our limitations and our stubbornness and our sin nature. We all
have it. Everyone of us and we can just become the most miserable, negative people you ever
met. Every one of us. I’m not. I’m not. And you’re not. I’m not. I’m not that way. I learned. I’m not
that way. That was my choice. I learned. Isn’t that a good message? It is.
Catch on to it because it’s almost over. Okay. It’s amazing what a few words – I learned it in Bible college. You can
frown but there are more muscles in your face to frown than to smile, so why not smile! You’re
talking day and night, why not talk about Jesus and why not build up yourself in the faith? Why
not turn it around? It’s your choice. It’s your call. It’s your decision and you can develop a habit
of doing what it says here. Look at vs. 8. You guys are great. Okay. Okay. Alright. You’re
perfect! Alright. You guys are great. You are awesome. And you are here and it’s so good. I
mean honestly, but we’re learning. vs. 8. e is bitten. It’s a real bite. It really hurts. It’s really
swelling up. My hand or my foot. It’s a real thing. Are we denying that? No. Are we denying
these things? No, we’re not denying them. But there’s something more in life. Look! Look! Look!
Look! Yeah. Jesus is here. How about getting up in the morning and just kind of
looking even up toward the ceiling and just say Jesus is here and the angels are here and
heaven is here and my heavenly Father is for me and I’m looking. I’m looking down at my hand
and there is a snake bite and that’s a real thing. But I’m looking. I’m looking. It’s a very – I have
a short list here. It’s a very common thing in psychology that we analyze our snake bites and
talk about them even for hours and days and weeks and write about them on social media and
so on. I mean, it’s very common. I’m not into it. I can’t do it. I don’t want to live there. I want to
have a good time. I want to rejoice always. I want to look unto Jesus. I don’t care about that.
God can heal me. He can fill me with the Spirit. Make the Holy Spirit my way of life and have
love and joy and lift up my eyes to look at the fields for they are white and ready for harvest.
And there’s other people that have snake bites and they need to meet you and be with you. He
mentioned Nicodemus looking up. Maybe that’s true that he heard.
Looking up at the cross he saw and he took the body. They took the body down and they buried it. What did he see? What was he looking for. #3. The disciples could easily look at each other. And often, at least twice
they were talking about which of them was the greatest. I’d like to say a couple of you and have
you act out on the spot how the disciples were talking about whose the greatest. Does anyone
want to do it? No, the message has got to end. It’s ending. Who is the greatest? Why are you
talking? Remember James and John? They went to Jesus and they said we want to ask you
something. We want to ask you to do something for us, like for us. Isn’t that like – the disciples
got angry about it. It says that. They were angry at James and John. You want special favor
from Jesus? What did they ask him? Could I sit on your right and left? Hey, let’s go to the top.
Let’s get the whole enchilada! Come on! We’re going for it. They were angry with them. You
know, all of us in rehab when somebody has an addiction they may have a confession time: “My
name is Brian. I’m an alcoholic.” And that’s what they talk about, the snake bite. That’s okay if it
helps you. I’m all for you getting help, but I want to give you a better message: “My name is
Brian. I’m looking unto Jesus who heals me of my snake bite and teaches me how to think with
him.” I’m no longer my sin. I’m forgiven, washed clean. I’m following him. And out of my belly
flows a river of living water. He is for me. I have found him. And then lastly, when you go to a
foreign country, sometimes in a foreign country, the people feel inferior or the people they feel
like, who are you? Why are you here? And sometimes they have a thing about them in their
culture and maybe they feel like somehow that’s strange but you teach them look unto Jesus on
the pole and you will be healed.
Then when you are with them, nobody is greater. Nobody is less, but you are aware of him who has healed us. That’s a blessing. That’s a blessing. There’s a work of grace that happens when we look unto him. Let’s finish with vs. 9. that’s our message tonight. Learn to look unto that serpent of brass and you will live. That healing is our new man,
our new life. That healing is Bible doctrine and truth in the Spirit. That healing is Body life,
encouragement. I’m not my sin. I know no man after the flesh, not even me. Not even me
myself. I don’t know myself after the flesh for in him I am crucified with him but I live but not I.
Christ lives in me. When you have a whole group of people who are living like that, our
conversation is different. Our spirit is different. Our purpose is different. We are not sitting
around in our inferiority or our habits or our personal problems, analysis. We are sitting in
heavenly places with a living God who has said I heal you. I take care of you. I lead you. I guide
you. Leave the stuff. Leave it alone. Do not study it. Do not analyze it. Do not be occupied with
it. But study him and look unto him and you’re good to go.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.