Christ: A Disturbing Teacher

Matthew 2:3


  1. The gospel requires one to move—“Arise, why are you waiting?”

    1. We often do not move unless we are first moved.

    2. An alcoholic stops drinking because his liver shows signs of failure.

    3. A smoker stops smoking because she has early warning signs of lung cancer.

    4. It’s like throwing a rock into a pond. It causes ripples—a disturbance in the water.

    5. As we see, being a disturbance is not necessarily a bad thing

    6. Ahab called Elijah a troubler (disturber) of Israel (1 Kings 18:17).

  2. Years ago, denominational leaders wrote articles on what was wrong with their respective denominations.

    1. A Presbyterian leader wrote that nothing was wrong with his church.

    2. He felt that was the worst thing to have wrong.

    3. It had become full of wealthy people and was more like a social club.

    4. Nothing disturbed their members.

  3. Jesus was first introduced as one who disturbed King Herod (Matt. 2:1-12).

  4. This began a lifetime of disturbing people and the status quo.

    1. Examples of His disturbing people.

    2. Explain these disturbances in a more general sense.


  1. His Disturbance Illustrated.

    1. Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4).

      1. He went to Samaria, a place Jews did not go.

      2. He spoke to a Samaritan woman.

        1. Jews did not speak to Samaritans.

        2. Men did not speak to strange women.

      3. He told her “all things that [she] ever did”—this disturbed her.

      4. He told her the proper place to worship, in spirit and truth.

      5. She went and told others about Him.

      6. She was disturbed, not over where to worship, but over His insight into her life.

      7. Nothing is hidden from God!

    2. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11).

      1. Jewish leaders were disturbed over this miracle.

      2. He was dead and began to decompose—such a stench!

      3. The miracle could not be denied; Jesus could not be denied.

      4. These leaders did not want Jesus to continue preaching to the people.

      5. They would be out of a job!

      6. They conspired not only to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus (John 11:53; 12:10).

    3. Jesus accused certain Jewish leaders that they were sons of the devil (John 8).

      1. They did not like being called the agents of the devil.

      2. He then identified Himself with eternity and God: “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

      3. He called out these leaders with the voice of God.

      4. These leaders were disturbed enough to seek Jesus’ life.

      5. Something like this also happened in John 10: “I and My Father are one.”

    4. Jesus disturbed the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:11-26).

      1. Pilate knew Jesus was an innocent man, so why did anyone want to kill Him?

      2. He put up Barabbas next to Jesus to release one for the Passover—the people chose Barabbas.

      3. His wife had a disturbing dream about Jesus (Matt. 27:19).

      4. He claimed innocence in putting Jesus to death.

      5. Pilate was disturbed because of the angry mob and lack of justice.

    5. Jesus was taught throughout the country after His ascension.

      1. Jews were disturbed at teachings of Apostles, Peter and John (Acts 4:18-21).

      2. Despite the warnings to cease preaching, they continued (Acts 5:27-29).

      3. This disturbed the Jewish leaders because of the teachings of Jesus.

      4. They had turned the world upside down! (Acts 17:6).

      5. Paul was in prison, too, under the Roman governor Felix.

      6. What he taught him disturbed Felix greatly (Acts 24:25 – “Felix was afraid”).

      7. He kept Paul in prison for two years.

      8. Paul was later seen by Agrippa; he preached the gospel to this king.

      9. Agrippa was also disturbed, but not enough (Acts 26:28-29).

    6. Jesus is still a disturbing force today! He came bringing a sword (Matt. 10:34; Heb 4:12).

  2. His Disturbance Explained.

    1. Type 1 of those disturbed by Jesus: One who pursues a life of total self-interest.

      1. They think only about what will make them happy/rich/etc.

      2. In order to convert, there must be a complete surrender.

      3. Repentance requires a renunciation of self.

      4. Christ is a picture of self-sacrifice (John 3:16).

      5. Our mission in life is not to do what makes us happy—that is selfish.

      6. Solomon writes that this is vanity and grasping for the wind (Eccl. 2:1-2).

I said in my hear, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?”

      1. Must not be obsessed with ourselves, Christians surrender this obsession (Eccl 12:13).

    1. Type 2 of those disturbed by Jesus: One who abandons guiding principles of Christ.

      1. All authority given to Christ (Matt. 28:18).

      2. Many people disregard His authority and the moral/spiritual principles He taught.

      3. They are disturbed at these teachings of Jesus.

      4. Our society encourages immorality, particularly among the youth.

      5. This is the voice of Satan, so convincing in his temptations and their brand of “love.”

      6. Such is deception.


  1. Christ’s message is true, and disturbing to many.

  2. It disturbs us until we make the changes necessary so that He is at the center of our lives.

  3. The good news is such a disturbance is necessary in order to convert them—how many of us were converted because we heard something we didn’t like before discovering it was true?

  4. Christ’s Word leads us to make these necessary changes.

    1. Become a Christian.

    2. Continue to obey Him faithfully.

  5. If Christ means anything to you, He must mean everything!