God Is… Aware

This morning, we continue to commit to know God by diving into the depths of who He is.
Many times throughout our lives, we feel as if though we are all alone.  We feel as if though no one can relate to us or fully understand our struggles.  We feel as if though no one knows about our challenges or cares about us.  Our perspective becomes skewed and self-focused and we become a bit like this:
* The Office – Michael Scott – Perspective *
 
However, we know that these are all lies.  There is One who knows exactly how we are feeling and what we are thinking and He cares for us tremendously and would never leave us nor forsake us – Jesus!
Deuteronomy 31:8 
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
This morning, we are reminded that God is aware.
One theological truth that we recognize throughout scriptures proves exactly this, that God is aware.
We refer to this theological truth as God being omniscient; literally meaning that God knows all things.  There are many scriptures which indicate this truth, but one of the clearest ones regarding us personally is this:
Psalm 139:1-4
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
How awesome is God?  He knows everything that there is to know about me, even my very own thoughts.  God is aware.  Now, for those living faithfully to God, that is a reassuring and comforting truth.  To those still trying to overcome things in their lives, that can be an uncomfortable and convicting truth.  No matter where you are at in your growth and maturity in Christ, take heart that God is for you and not against you.
In fact, Jesus knew full well the challenges and dangers that we would face as we live as His disciples.  In Matthew chapter 10, He gave His twelve disciples authority to go throughout Israel.  In the same way, He has also sent us, His disciples, to go throughout all of the world with this commission:
Matthew 10:7-8
7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
He also warns us that as we go, that our very lives may be at stake.  However, in the midst of this warning, Jesus also reminds us:
Matthew 10:29-31
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
We are worth so much to God.  We are worth so much that God was even willing to give up His very own Son so that we could be redeemed and become righteous in His sight.  He gave up everything to make a way for us to be with Him forever!
With Easter quickly approaching, we now take a look at a time in the life of Jesus when we realize just how full aware He is and how He chooses to respond in light of the truth that He knows everything.  We find this dark time in Jesus’ life in Matthew chapter 26.
Jesus is aware of:
1. His Death (vs. 1-13)
Matthew 26:1-13
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the festival,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Jesus is aware of His death.
Jesus is aware of:
2. His Friend’s Betrayal (vs. 14-25; 46-56)
Matthew 26:14-25;46-56
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

Then, of course, Judas did later betray His friend, Jesus.Matthew 26:46-56
46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Jesus is aware not only of His friend’s betrayal, but also aware of how it feels when all of your friends abandon you during the time that you need them most.  Jesus was alone.
Jesus is aware of:
3. His Friend’s Denial (vs. 31-35; 69-75)
Matthew 26:31-35
31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:“‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Despite Peter’s determination and commitment to never disown Jesus, we find that he did later disown Jesus.

Matthew 26:69-75
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.

70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”

73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”

74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Jesus is aware of His friend’s denial.
Jesus is aware of:
4. The Weakness of the Flesh (vs. 36-45)
Matthew 26:36-45
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.

Jesus is aware of our struggles and how weak our flesh can be.  Jesus didn’t want to take on the cross, but He was willing to. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
After all, how many times have we betrayed and denied Jesus ourselves?  How many times have we submitted to our flesh and turn our backs on Jesus?  How many times have we been ashamed to acknowledge Him before others?  How many times have we been too tired to do the simplest task for Jesus?
Here is the real kicker!  Jesus is aware of all of these things.  Jesus is aware of every single time that we have betrayed and denied Him and yet:
HE STILL COMMUNES WITH US!!! (vs. 26-30)
That evening at dinner during Passover, Jesus was aware.  Jesus was aware that Judas, reclining with Him, would betray Him to death.  Jesus was aware that Peter, reclining with Him, would deny even knowing Him three times.  Jesus was aware that all of His closest friends and disciples, reclining with Him, would abandon Him just hours in the future during the darkest time in history when He would need them most.  Aware of all of this, Jesus chose to commune (or hung out) with them.
Matthew 26:26-30
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus was aware and yet He chose to commune and worship with them.
This morning, we are all reminded that God is aware.  God is aware of our betrayal and denial.  God is aware of all of our sin and shame.  God is aware of our loneliness and longing.  God is aware of it all, yet God chooses to commune with us.