Jesus is Not Sitting at the Kiddy Table
Ephesians 1:18–19 (CSB)
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.
Ephesians 1:20–23 (CSB)
20 He exercised this power in Christ by raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens—21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given,, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he subjected everything under his feet, and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
“imagine this question. There was a human being in the first century who was called “Divine,” “Son of God,” “God,” and “God from God,” whose titles were “Lord,” “Redeemer,” “Liberator,” and “Savior of the World.” Who was that person? Most people who know the Western tradition would probably answer… Jesus of Nazareth. And most Christians probably think that those titles were originally created and uniquely applied to Christ. But before Jesus ever existed, all those terms belonged to Caesar Augustus. To proclaim them of Jesus the Christ was thereby to deny them of Caesar the Augustus. Christians were not simply using ordinary titles applied to all sorts of people at that time, or even extraordinary titles applied to special people in the East. They were taking the identity of the Roman emperor and giving it to a Jewish peasant. Either that was a peculiar joke and a very low lampoon, or it was what the Romans called majestas and we call high treason.”
- The people of Ephesus were, first, people of their world.
- Before some believed in Jesus, they worshipped the Emperor and the goddesses Diana and Artemis.
- Many made their livings from crafting idols.
- The worship of other gods was a focal point of their life and their city.
- It is a fallacy, a lie, that a person can separate their religion from the other parts of their life.
- Our worship is always intertwined with our business, the way we raise our family, our politics, and our play.
- Who we really worship will be demonstrated in and throughout our lives.
- There is no middle ground in Ephesus.
- No one understood this better than the people in Ephesus.
- The lives of the Ephesians changed when they heard about Jesus.
- At first, it was the story of a man in Israel who was crucified and arose from the dead and ascended.
- Then they learned that He was actually the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and not the Roman Emperor.
- Quickly they had to decide to stop worshipping other gods, because there was only One God, manifest in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
- Now they had to decide: Was Jesus worthy of all their worship?
- Just like the Israelites coming out of Egypt, the Gospel in Ephesus demanded a relinquishing of old gods and the acceptance of Jesus alone.
- For the Ephesians, the call to follow Jesus meant their weekends would never be the same.
- Where they earned their livings would have to change.
- When their city gathered at the temples, they would stand out from the crowd.
- The call to follow Jesus was the trading of one life for another.
- But was it worth the trade?
- Paul thought so.
- The saints in Ephesus agreed.
- Therefore, Paul uses exalted language to paint a picture of how much greater Jesus is over everything and everyone else.
- For you and I today, we still must decide if we will give Jesus the place in our life that He deserves.
- When we watch the news, and see the horrors, do we still believe that Jesus is above all else?
- When the bad report comes, or a difficult situation arises, do we still lean upon the name of Jesus that is above every name?
- Are there words, diagnosis, or situations that tempt us to bring Jesus down to our level and elevating the problem to an unholy place?
- The words of Paul help remind us EXACTLY where Jesus belongs.
Today, notice how Paul reminds saints like us of Jesus’ power, victory, and place in the universe.
1. Toward us who believe, there is the immeasurable greatness of his power. Vs. 19
- Time and again, we are told that there is power in and through Jesus.
- To the pastor of Ephesus, Timothy, Paul wrote that God did not give us the spirit of fear but of power…
- To the saints of Ephesus, Paul reminds them that God makes known his immeasurable power to them through Jesus.
- For believers everywhere, we are reminded that Jesus is not the God of the wimps, but the God who is the source of all power.
- Not only does God have this power, but He demonstrates that power in and through us.
- Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “and you shall receive “power” after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
- Christ’s victory over sin and death is our victory too.
- Jesus never intended to hog all the power and victory, but desires to pass that power and victory to those who Believe.
- Jesus’ victory is our victory too.
- For example: Some of you here today have fought to for your sobriety.
- By doing so, you are not just fighting for your victory but for your kids and grandkids.
- You victory isn’t just for you but for those who come after you.
- Christ passes His victory onto us.
2. The Father exercised this Power by raising Jesus from the dead.
- The resurrection and ascension of Jesus are two of the most important events in the New Testament.
- “To Paul, and in the New Testament generally, the cross, the resurrection and the ascension are considered as three parts of one great act of God.”
- The message of resurrection and ascension is not only for the Easter season, but it is for every season.
- That’s because the same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in us!
- The New Living Translation of Ephesians 1:19–20 (NLT)
- 19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
- Paul told the saints in Rome:
Romans 8:11 (CSB)
11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
- “Thus the resurrection and ascension, as well as indicating that the work of Christ on earth was finished, express the measure of the Father’s power made available to humanity.” 
- It’s important that we do not separate the crucifixion from the resurrection and the resurrection from the ascension.
- Jesus’ resurrection and ascension is meant to impact our everyday life.
- It is through this power, we overcome sin.
- It is through this power that the saints will be raised from the dead.
- It is through this power that we can live in victory on this Earth, not defeat.
- In Ephesus, Rome had the power to bring death, but she did not have the power over death.
- Think of it this way: Rome was merely a tool of death.
- Rome knew how to use and be used by death to bring to terror and destruction.
- But Jesus defeated death and passed that power on to us.
- Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
3. Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.
- Because all power belongs to Jesus, and because He conquered death, He is elevated to the right hand of the father.
- This was not a new position for Jesus.
- Jesus is not created.
- He is eternal, with no beginning or end.
- Before the world began, Jesus was sitting at the right hand of the Father.
- The right hand is the position of power, authority, and privilege.
- This was Jesus’ original seat.
- But when Jesus submitted Himself, and came to Earth as a baby, and put on human flesh, He temporarily gave up that seat.
- But when the Father, through the Spirit, raised Christ from the grave, and Jesus ascended to heaven, He took over his seat.
- And now, He is seated far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given.
- The ancients understood something that we miss:
- There are real, spiritual influences in this world.
- Every civilization and every culture has manifested these real influences in some way or form.
- In Ephesus, they worshipped the Emperor, which gave them Roman privilege.
- They also worshipped Artemis which gave them sexual pleasure and promised fertility.
- Today, the activity of principalities, powers, and the supernatural is just as real.
- Have you ever wondered why every culture has a fascination with the supernatural, paranormal, and the occult?
- It isn’t limited to the continent of Africa or majority world countries, but even here in America we are fascinated and affected by these powers in heavenly places.
- Test me in this: Just pay attention to the entertainment and focus upon this month here in the US, and you will see a great interest in the supernatural.
- Furthermore, where do you think the ideas for mass-murder come from?
- The same spiritual forces that we read about in the Bible are still active today.
- And they will be until Jesus returns.
4. The Good News: Jesus is not sitting at the kiddy table.
22 And he subjected everything under his feet, and appointed him as head over everything for the church,
- Everything is Subjected everything under his feet.
- This phrase is bold ink in most translations.
- The bold means this is a direct quotation from the OLD Testament.
- Psalms 8:6 and Psalm 110.
5 You made him little less than God,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
Psalm 110:1 (CSB)
1 This is the declaration of the Lord to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
- The picture here is of the ancient practice of stepping on a defeated enemy.
- Both the books of Joshua and Isaiah describe times when the vanquished foe would be brought before the leaders.
- The victor would either step on the neck of the enemy, or…
- They would cause the enemy to lie down and walk from one point to the next on top of their bodies.
- The Psalmists and the Apostle depict Jesus as both putting the enemy under His feet AND anticipating the enemy becoming his footstool.
- There is an element here that is “already, not yet”.
- The result is already: It’s done, and guaranteed and secure.
- Yet, there is still coming a day in the future when the enemy is completely, utterly defeated and cast out.
- So Jesus’ victory is already, and still yet to come.
- Let this be confirmed by these two passages:
Hebrews 2:5–9 (CSB)
JESUS AND HUMANITY
5 For he has not subjected to angels the world to come that we are talking about. 6 But someone somewhere has testified:
What is man that you remember him,
or the son of man that you care for him?
7 You made him lower than the angels
for a short time;
you crowned him with glory and honor
8 and subjected everything under his feet.
For in subjecting everything to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. 9 But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God’s grace he might taste death for everyone—crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death.
1 Corinthians 15:20–27 (CSB)
20 But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. 22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he abolishes all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he puts all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished is death. 27 For God has put everything under his feet., Now when it says “everything” is put under him, it is obvious that he who puts everything under him is the exception.
- What does this mean?
- First, we have nothing to fear.
- It is very easy for us to give into fear because fear is the primary language of the enemy.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, do you not notice how consistent the message of fear is today?
- But we do not have to give into this message, because Jesus is victorious.
- Jesus has the victory, and we are partakers in that.
- Christ’s power guarantees victory, not ease.
- Second, when we forget who Jesus is, we forget who we are.
- I’ve covered much Scripture today.
- Perhaps this message has been less “practical” than usual.
- But what if we aren’t called to walk in the practical, but instead we are called to walk in the presence and power of Jesus?
- For the saints in Ephesus, the power and presence of Jesus was practical because, without it, they could not live or survive.
Notice22 And he subjected everything under his feet, and appointed him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
5. Jesus is the head over everything.
- Paul was adamant: Jesus is the head, we are not.
- Jesus is the boss, the leader, and the priority.
- Through Christ the church has everything it needs from God to be what it is called to be. Victory over these hostile forces will not only come one day; it is possible now, whatever they throw the church’s way, provided the church draws on the enablement Christ gives.
- The way for us to live in this victory is by remembering that Jesus is the head, not the tail or feet.
- We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Paul says that we all have parts in the body, but we are never the head.
- When we forget that, we get in trouble.
- “When your feet are over your head, something has gone wrong.”
- The way for you and I to live in victory, and to experience this victory in our world, is by keeping Jesus in the rightful place.
6. There are a lot of names vying for our attention.
- Daily, you and I must decide whose name we are going to worship.
- There are still various voices, calling for our allegiance.
- It may not be an Emperor or a goddess, but there are still lesser gods crying for our attention.
- That which has our attention has our worship.
- But there is only one King, and One Lord, and in Him we find fullness and joy, peace and provision.
- This morning, I know many of us find ourselves in storms.
- Storms at work and at home.
- Storms attacking our bodies and our families.
- All of these storms have two voices:
- One voice calls us to focus on our self or on our problem.
- The other voice calls us to Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father, the Head of the Church, systematically making his enemies footstools of His glory.
- Today, is a great time to reprioritize through prayer.
- A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the benefit of coming to the front for prayer.
- By coming to the front, we express our belief in Jesus and we express our love and need for the saints.
- In just a moment, I’m going to ask any who will to come to the front for a few moments to pray and to be prayed for.
 Crossan, John Dominic. God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now (pp. 28-29). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
 Bock, Darrell L. 2019. Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary. Edited by Eckhard J. Schnabel. Vol. 10. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. London: Inter-Varsity Press.