What Will You Do With Jesus?

Title: What Will You Do With Jesus?

Bible Book: Matthew 27

Author: J. Mike Minnix

Subject: Christmas; Jesus



We are going to look at a passage today that is not really a Christmas passage, but within it you will see an important question that is appropriate at all times, even on the day Jesus was born. What will we do with Jesus? He came into the world and from that moment forward everyone in the world has been forced to make a decision - what will I do with Jesus?

A man who was riding a bus from Chicago to Miami had to stop over in Atlanta. Sitting at a lunch counter, a woman came out of the ladies' restroom carrying a tiny baby. She asked the man, “Will you hold my baby for me; I left my purse in the restroom and need to go get it.” He did. But as the woman neared the front door of the bus station, she darted out into the crowded street and was immediately lost in the crowd. The man couldn't believe his eyes.

He rushed to the door to call the woman, but could not see her. What should he do? Put the baby down and run? When calmness settled in, he went to the Traveler's Aid booth and they soon found the real mother. The woman who had left him holding the baby was not the baby's mother. She had taken the child, perhaps to satisfy a motherly urge to hold a child. The man breathed a sigh of relief when the real mother was found. After all, what was he to do with a baby?

In a way each of us is in the same situation as that gentleman. We are left with the question, “What will we do with the baby?” Have we really come to terms with the fact that this baby is not simply extraordinarily gifted, but that He was and a gift from the heart of God?

In fact, this question has never changed. Even after Jesus had grown to manhood and had entered His ministry, the question loomed large. Pilate was faced with this question as recorded in our text tonight. What should he do with Jesus? The question has not changed, it is the same today. Of course, by the time Pilate dealt with the question as to what he would do with Jesus, our Lord was approximately 33 years of age. But, the question was the same. It was the question on the night Jesus was born. It was the question for those who met Him while He was on earth. It is the question down through the ages. What will we do with Jesus?

Decision making is generally not easy for us. We can find ourselves in difficult circumstances when trying to make decisions. Maybe you heard about a girl who said to her mother, “Mother, please tell me if I should accept Joe's proposal.”

The mother replied, “Why don't you ask your father? He made a much smarter decision in marriage than I did.”

Seriously, the decision about Christ is the most important decision in life. Look at the choices available concerning Christ - then and now!

I. Forget Jesus

As Jesus stood before Pilate, the procurator wanted to forget Him. He wanted more than anything to simply wash his hands of the entire issue of Jesus. Pilate wanted most of all to disregard Christ. Pilate wanted to do this because he was in a dilemma. If he let Jesus go, the Jews wwere prepared to turn on him; on the other hand, if he put Jesus to death, it would violate his own conscious; after all, he admitted that he found no fault in Jesus. So, he tried to wash his hands of Christ. But that is something you cannot do.

Three frogs were sitting on a log. One of them decided to jump off the log. How many frogs were left? If you said, “Two,” you are wrong. I said the frog decided to jump; I did not say that he jumped. I believe that Pilate decided to do the right thing, but he did not do it. He sought and easy way to carry out his decision, but it failed and so he let circumstances take control.

There are people today who would love to forget Jesus. When our Lord was born, there were those who didn’t really want to hear about it or to deal with it. I want to tell you something that you cannot do. You cannot wash your hands of Jesus. You will have to deal with Him at some point. You see, if you don’t deal with Him here, He will deal with you later!

There are people who want to have Christmas without Christ. They spell Christmas as Xmas in order to forget Him. But, Jesus is not going away. When Jesus was born, a star pointed the Magi to the place where He could be found. The star that shone in the sky long ago is gone, but the Real Star of Bethlehem, the Light of the World, Jesus, will never stop shining. He is an eternal light. You can’t forget Him no matter how hard you try.

II. Finish Jesus

As Jesus stood before Pilate, the crowd wanted to finish Him. They wanted Jesus dead and ought of sight.

You will recall that when Jesus was born, Herod sent soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to kill all the male babies under two years of age. Herod wanted to finish Him.

When Satan tempted Jesus, he urged the Lord to jump from the pinnacle of the Temple. I stood at the pinnacle described here in the Bible, and beleive me, it is a dramatic sight. The drop to the ground below is so far that no one can fall from that height and live. Satan wanted to finish Jesus.

Finish Jesus? What a foolish thing to even imagine. You can’t finish the One who started everything and holds it all together. You can’t finish the One who holds the Universe in the palm of His hand. You can’t finish the One who rose from the grave, held the keys of death and hell in His hand, and said, “I am alive forever more.”

More and more the Christmas cards of our day leave out the name of Jesus and the word Christmas. They don’t want the name “Christ” to appear at all. They wish people a Happy Holiday or a Warm Winter Season. But, Jesus is not mentioned. They want to finish Him.

Recently, more and more theologians deny that Jesus was the Son of God. They try to destroy the faith of people in Him as Lord and King of heaven and earth. Why, the head of the religion department at the University of North Carolina is an atheist. Yes, you heard me correctly. Bart Erhman is the head of the religion department and he is an atheist! Don’t you see, the world wants to finish Jesus? Don’t feel sorry for Jesus! The foolish ideas did not trouble the Lord. He is ALIVE! He lives evermore. You can try – but you can’t finish Him!

So, so try to Forget Jesus and some try to Finish Jesus, but some try to ...

III. Forsake Jesus

Sadly, there are some who are so-called disciples who forsake Him. You will remember that on the night our Lord was betrayed and arrested, His disciples deserted Him.

I’ll tell you something you can do – you can forsake Him. You must never think that you are above forsaking our Lord. Peter forsook Him and He was in the inner circle of the disciples. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)”

There could be someone listening to me right now and you have been moving away from Jesus. Perhaps it is indifference that has gripped you. You came to this service because it is a tradition to come to church during the Christmas season. But, you know that you have not been living for the Lord. Why will forsake Jesus? Maybe you have gotten into some sinful habits and now your Christian life is just for show. You are not living as you ought to live for the Savior. He hasn't forsaken you, but you are forsaking Him. Trust me, one day you will have to deal with the issue of Jesus and your devotion to Him. He will bring your sin to light. You can try to cover it up and He will reveal to everyone, or you can uncover it to him and He will cover it with His blood. But, you must deal with sooner or later. When Peter denied Jesus and ran out into the night, there was really no place dark enough for him to hide from the Lord The best time to deal with your love for and devotion to Jesus is right now!

Listen to me carefully. Jesus will never forsake you – so, why will you even consider forsaking Him? Be sure of this - a true Christian can never fully forsake the Lord. When we sin, Jesus doesn't let us go, He just grips down tighter on us. He chastises us. So, face your dark heart and get back into a right fellowship with Christ this very day.

Let me conclude with what each of us should do this Christmas…

IV. Follow Jesus

You could decide to follow Jesus! That is what the Magi decided to do. That is what the Shepherds decided to do on the night He was born. Even the disciples turned back to the risen Lord and repented of forsaking Him. They followed Him and served Him.

Jesus calls us saying, “Come, follow me.”

Ira Stamphill penned the hymn entitled “Follow Me:”

“I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care,

The burden on my weary back had bowed me to despair,

I oft complained to Jesus how folks were treating me,

And then I heard Him so so tenderly,

’My feet were also weary upon the Calv'ry road,

The cross became so heavy I fell beneath the load,

Be faithful weary pilgrim, the morning I can see,

Just lift your cross and follow close to me.’”

”’I work so hard for Jesus,’ I often boast and say,

’I've sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way,

I gave up fame and fortune; I'm worth a lot to thee,’

And then I heard Him gently say to me,

’I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,

My hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross,

But now we'll make the journey with your hand safe in mine,

So lift your cross and follow close to me.’”

”’Oh Jesus if I die upon a foreign field someday

T’would be no more than love demands, no less could I repay,

No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die,’

These are the words he gently spoke to me,

’If just a cup of water I place within your hand

Then just a cup of water is all that I demand,"

But if by death to living they can thy glory see,

I'll take my cross and follow close to thee.’”

What will you do with Jesus?

Will you follow Him? Will you do so no matter what the cost? He loved you enough to pay the supreme price for your sin; He paid the price of laying down His life at Calvary for you. So, we have a decision to make. What will we do with Jesus? Will we try to Forget Him, Finish Him, Forsake Him - or will we Follow Him?


Christmas comes around every year. When we were young, it seemed as if it would never get here. As we have grown older, Christmas seems to come on wings – flying faster and faster. But, one day we will celebrate our last Christmas on earth. It will be too late to make a decision concerning what we will do with Jesus then. Let me tell you a story I read about once a number of years ago. I don’t know every detail, but this is the gist of the story.

Evangelist D.L. Moody preached a sermon on the very text I have spoken on today over 100 years ago - in fact it was on October 8, 1871. When he came to the end of his sermon, he told people to go home and think about what he had said. He told them to consider what they would do with Jesus. Moody did not ask people to respond to an invitation, but rather asked Ira Sankey, his song leader, to lead the people in a closing hymn. Sankey reportedly sang these words:

“Today the Savior calls

For refuge fly

The storm of justice falls

And death is nigh.”

As they were singing, their voices were drowned out by clanging bells of the fire wagons. You see, Moody’s church was in Chicago and the great Chicago fire had begun that very evening. Many people died that night, some of them who had, no doubt, been in that very worship service died in that horrible Chicago fire. Moody called it the greatest mistake of his life - not to have offered a chance for people to make a decision for Christ before that service ended.

I don’t want to make that mistake today. I don’t want us to leave here without giving you an opportunity to come to Jesus. As we approach Christmas, will you decide to Follow Jesus?

Some of us need to recommit our lives to the Savior. While the world is trying to Forget Him, Finish Him or Forsake Him, let us rise and Follow Him. Now we will pray and then sing a hymn, and while we are singing, come to Jesus. Trust Him as your Savior and Lord. Come to Him, even if you are already a Christian, and bow down like the Magi and give Him the gift of your renewed commitment.

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