Luke 22:47-53 Jesus is the Son of Man: Judas Betrayal/ Jesus Arrest

Luke 22:47-53

Jesus is the Son of Man

Judas Betrayal/ Jesus Arrest

          All right! Please turn in your Bibles with me to Luke chapter 22. As always, if you do not have a Bible or are in need of a Bible, please come see me after the service.

So, previously in Luke Chapter 22; Judas goes behind the back of Jesus and the rest of the disciples and makes a deal with the chief priests to turn over Jesus to be arrested.

Jesus knew this and still had the Passover meal in the Upper Room with all 12, including Judas. He predicted Judas betrayal without naming names to the group. He predicted Peters upcoming denial. He instituted the New Covenant with the sacrament of communion. He prayed for the disciples and then they left the Upper Room. At some point when they were in the Upper Room, after communion, Judas left to do what he was going to do.

Jesus and the rest of the disciples left Jerusalem and went to the Mount of Olives where they were staying. We went out into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to the Father\, knowing what was coming. He was agonizing over the wrath of God that was about to be poured out on him.

And the section we looked at last week, Jesus came back from praying and the disciples had fallen asleep, and Jesus said to them, Wake up! Pray that you do not fall into temptation.

And that’s where we pick up in this morning’s sect, Luke chapter 22, verses 45 through 53. So, I will be reading out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to follow along in your preferred translation. The key point being to read for yourself what the Word of God says.

Luke 22:47-53, Luke writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit:

 

 

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant[h] of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Word

 

 

So, while Jesus was speaking to the disciples, and specifically the inner three, Peter, James and John, He would have known that Judas and the temple guards were coming right up to arrest him. Maybe he heard the clanging of the metal, the swords and the chain mail, or whatever was used as armor then. Maybe he saw the glint of the torches or lanterns through the trees as Judas lead them to the secluded spot.

And maybe that’s why Jesus left his prayer area and came back to the disciples.

But he gave those last instructions to the disciples and here comes this crowd, this group. They were isolated from the crowds and the people, outside Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, in the Garden of Gethsemane, an olive grove.

There was no one else around. It was after dark, late in the night. The people who were around Jesus during the day in the temple, whom the chief priests were afraid of, they weren’t there that night, couldn’t do anything to stop Jesus from being arrested.

 

And here comes Judas, who had agreed to betray Jesus, leading this group. They had arranged ahead of time a signal so that the guards knew, without any mistake, without any doubt, exactly which one was the guy who they were supposed to arrest. Judas was the one who would give that signal.

He knew Jesus. He knew where they would be. He knew where they were staying because he had been staying there too. He knew Jesus’ routine, where he went to pray, because he was with him each night. He knew where to lead the group to meet and Find Jesus.

This group was a mix of temple guards, under the authorization and command of the Sanhedrin and the chief priests, and some Roman soldiers from the garrisons stationed in Jerusalem.

They came up to where Jesus and the disciples were and Judas approached Jesus and greeted him with a kiss, both a common custom of respect, but also the signal that Jesus was the one they wanted.

Jesus calls him on that. “Really, Judas? That’s how we are going to play this?” I knew you were going to betray me, that you had made this deal, but to greet me with a kiss as you do so is the ultimate in disrespect.

 

 

The Disciples saw what was starting to happen. They saw where things were headed. And they remembered what Jesus had said, just a few verses ago, likely a few hours ago in real time, about going out and buying a sword, again, completely missing the point that Jesus was making.

During this confrontation, “one of them,” Luke doesn’t mention who. Luke is very polite and politically correct with the disciples. “I don’t want to mention who, get anyone in trouble… *cough* Peter *cough*”

John knows who, he was there after all, and he names Peter in his Gospel. Peter jumps into action, without waiting for Jesus’ advice or waiting to think, as is his personality, and he cuts off the ear of one of the high priest’s servants. One of the asides we see in this, is that unlike what he said back in verse 33, Peter is not actually prepared to go to prison for or with Jesus.

We see Jesus respond and as we do, I feel his response. It feels like a father. Kids, knock it off! The kids, the disciples are acting in ways they knew they weren’t supposed to. They were doing things with out the permission of Jesus. And he stops them in their tracks.

Enough!

 

And he gently, fully, quietly heals the servant’s ear.

The last miracle he performs before his crucifixion. He heals the ear of one of the men sent to arrest him and bring him towards his death.

And this is where we see that Jesus comments in v 36 & 37 about bringing swords are to be taken as symbolic instead of expressly literal.

One thing we have seen history prove, is that Christianity cannot, should not and will not be spread by the sword. But Christianity is and will be spread by the preaching and the hearing of the Gospel, and by the lives and example of those who follow it.

Historically, Christianity works against itself when it attempts to spread the Gospel by force. J.C. Ryle wisely says:

The Sword has a lawful office of its own. It may be used righteously, in the defense of nations against oppression; it may be positively necessary to use it, to prevent confusion, plunder and rapine upon earth: but the sword is not to be used in the propagation and maintenance of the Gospel. Christianity is not to be enforced by bloodshed, and belief in it extorted by force. Happy would it have been for the church if this sentence had been more frequently remembered! There are few countries in Christendom where the mistake has not been made of attempting to change men’s religious opinions by compulsion, penalties, imprisonment and death.  And with what effect? The pages of history supply an answer. No wars have been so bloody as those which have arisen out of the collision of religious opinions: often, mournfully often, the very men who have been most forward to promote those wars have themselves been slain.

 

          Faith comes from fear.

 

No.

 

Faith comes from vigorous moral and intellectual debates.

 

No.

 

Faith comes from trying to escape death, imprisonment, punishment.

 

No.

 

Faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God. Faith comes from hearing the Gospel, the Holy Spirit changing hearts to accept the Gospel and respond to it. Faith comes from the grace of God as a gift from God by the preaching of the Word.

 

 

Back to the story here. Jesus stops the disciples and heals the servant because he knew that this had to happen. He knew where this was going, and he knew that it needed to be done.

And so, he was telling the disciples, Stop trying to get in the way of my purpose! This was the same thing Peter was doing way back when, when he confessed Jesus as the Christ and then said that he would not let Jesus be killed in Jerusalem. Jesus called him Satan for trying to prevent the will of God

This is where the application is difficult when we say, not our will, but Gods will be done.

Our will, in this case the will of the disciples, and, if we are honest, the will of many of us today, only a slight change in context, is Jesus to reign over our national country, national Israel then, to expel and destroy Rome, democrats and socialists today if you listen to many churches, and to sit on a physical throne and rule as King like David.

But Lord, not our will, but your will be done. Your will, going to the cross as the Passover fulfillment. Your will, to shed your blood and dying for the forgiveness of sins. Your will, to absorb the necessary wrath of God. Your will, to resurrect from the dead, defeating death and sin. Your will, reigning spiritually right now, over spiritual Israel, all believers, in all time, called the church with a future inauguration of the physical and eternal kingdom of God.

 

Not our will, but LORD, your will be done.

 

Jesus turns and speaks to the leaders of the group coming to arrest him.

He asks them, Why the swords? Why are you acting like you are expecting violence? You are treating me like a violent criminal and all I’ve done is talk.

Again, Jesus knew this, remember he said that he would need to be identified with the transgressors.  They were seeing him as a violent insurrectionist. They were placing him in those categories that categorically did not fit.

They wouldn’t touch him during the day. They wouldn’t touch him when the crowds were there. They wouldn’t do anything when they were in the temple and there were witnesses around.

 

But nothing good happens after midnight, right?

Jesus says that darkness suits them perfectly. Darkness covers up people’s ability to see sin. It allows sin to hide. It allows sin to fester. Satan loves the dark, loves shadows, loves things to be hidden. But Light drives out darkness. And Jesus has said in many places that everything that is in the dark will be brought to the light, everything that is hidden will be made seen.

Jesus tells them, this is your hour. You are at home in the dark, at night. This is appropriate for your spiritual darkness to take action in the dark. And this is your hour, where it appears you have won.

This section, starting today, and through the rest of this chapter and through chapter 23 of Luke’s Gospel, this is the darkness. This is the section here it appears that Satan has won. This is the section where the chief priests, the Sadducees, the pharisees, and whoever else, all can start relaxing and thinking to themselves, “We got him!”

It is always darkest before dawn. The darkness that is falling on Jesus and Jerusalem will not stay.

Post Tenebras Lux. Out of Darkness, Light. The motto of the reformation.

Jesus knows and is actively allowing it to happen. Not just passively. Not sitting back and letting whatever happens to happen. But actively allowing it to happen. Actively stopping the disciples from stopping what is happening. Knowing that this all has to happen in order for you and I to have our sins forgiven. For you and I to be freed from sin. For you and I have to experience life and life abundantly. For you and I to be saved from the wrath of God and to be reconciled to God.

And so, Yup, Satan, this is your hour. Chief priests, temple guards, all of you guys, this is your hour, enjoy it while it lasts, because it wont last.

Enjoy it while it lasts because the light is coming to drive out the darkness.

 

Enjoy it while it lasts because Sundays coming.

 

Let’s Pray.

Luke 22:39-46 Jesus is the Son of Man: Praying in the Garden

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus is the Son of Man

Praying in the Garden

 

All right let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 22. As we continue through this last night of Jesus life, we look both back at what has brought us to this point, and ahead to what is coming next. And of the group of people we are looking at, only Jesus knew what was coming.

Jesus had spent the evening with his disciples, eating the Passover Meal, showing them that what he would end up doing would be the ultimate and final fulfillment of the Passover.

He instituted communion, ushering in the New Covenant. He was teaching them and giving them last minute instructions. He reassured them that even when they sinned and fell, that he would be right there with them, and that they are still his. He showed Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed that next morning. And he especially warned them that hard times were coming, but that none of it would be a surprise to God and that he would be with them through it.

Jesus did all this already knowing that Judas had set in motion the events that would lead to his arrest and his crucifixion. Luke doesn’t record it, but Jesus ends his time with the disciples in the Upper Room with what’s called the High Priestly Prayer, which Frank read a part of this morning. I encourage you to go back and read John 17 when you get the chance, see his public prayer before he and the disciples leave, and we see this morning his private prayers to the God the Father.

So, let’s go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 22, verses 39 through 46. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:39-46, The Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record the following.

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[g] 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

So, Jesus and his friends leave the Upper Room, and they actually would leave Jerusalem itself as well. They weren’t actually staying the week in Jerusalem. Instead, as we saw at the end of chapter 21, they were staying just outside the city, as they lodged n the Mount called Olivet, or the Mount of Olives.

So, they left the mean and their time in the Upper Room, and they made their way out of Jerusalem. This, unlike they location of their Passover meal, was not a secret. Judas, of course, knew where they would be headed, and we will see that next week. This is where they would go each and every night.

One of the things we can see in this, not the main point of course, but something that is modeled to us here is that Jesus has a routine. He has a regular way that he did things, when he was able. HE was orderly, scheduled and followed a routine.

There were things that he would not let fall by the wayside. Things that were too important to let things (even good and important things) get in the way of.

We see in scripture, that for Jesus, and there fore should be for us, that he makes a priority and makes sure is part of his routine is prayer time with God the Father. And not only public, group prayer like we see in John 17 before they leave the Upper Room, though of course, that is important and good, but uninterrupted, undistracted, specifically set aside time with the Father.

As they got to the Mount of Olives, Jesus went to pray. He went into the Olive Grove, and this seems to be something that he had done often this week. I think it’s a safe presumption to think he did this each night.

Every night when they returned from Jerusalem, he went to the place, the Garden of Gethsemane, to spend time with and pray to God the Father.

In verse 40, he tells the disciples, and the other Gospels make it clear that he is specifically talking to the inner three, Peter, James and John. He tells them Pray so that you do not enter into temptation. And we see, not for the last time, that Luke is focusing much more on Jesus and his prayer than on the disciples and their failings.

Jesus then goes a short way off and prays by himself. In those days, most people stood as they prayed. Here, Jesus, showing the solemnity and seriousness of the moment, kneels and prays. And he prayed hard. Its entirely possible that one of the reasons he kneeled was because of the physical exertion that the prayer was taking.

Now, Jesus had a full, complete Human Nature. But He also had a full, complete Divine Nature. That Human Nature was praying about what was going to come next.

He knew the sacrifice that was coming. He knew the physical pain that was about to happen. He knew the wrath and the separation of God that was on its way, just for him. He knew, as many commentators call it, “The horror of the cross.” He knew what was coming and his human nature did not want to go through it.

God, if there were any other way that we could accomplish what I came to accomplish. If there were any other way to atone for the sins of the chosen. If there were any other way to purchase forgiveness for those who have saving faith. Father, if there were any other way, please let this cup pass from me!

 

But Jesus, in his God Nature, knew the plan from the beginning, because he was part of the planning, as one third of the trinity, the persons, one God. As that, he knew there was no other way. He knew that what was more important than the wants of his human nature & will was Gods nature & will.

This is very easy for those of us who are Christians or have grown up in the church, learning this often, it can be easy to know this intellectually. That more important than our will and nature is Gods will & nature. But it can be so hard to apply, as we see here.

Our human nature & will are at war with Gods will and nature. They have been since in the first garden. Adam’s will overcame what he knew God wanted for Him.  His Will “won.” And with sin now as a part of our nature, it has been at war with Gods nature & will ever since.

We know how God calls us to live.

We know what God calls us to do.

We want to do those things and, ideally, live that way.

But that often means stepping out of our comfort zone.

It may mean upsetting our family, telling them the truth.

It may mean losing friends, changing who we used to be.

It may mean offending others, refusing to go along with everyone else and keep the peace.

Instead, it’s a lot easier to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, being faithful to God without doing those things he has clearly told us to do. “I’m the exception.” “God knows my heart.” “If you knew my situation…” “He hasn’t called me to that…” “I’ve already done it so I might as well keep doing it…”

 

IF we truly desire and are committed to His will, it means not our will. It means we die to self. It means we live for his desires, not ours. If we truly desire it, he will help us.

It won’t look the same in every person or every circumstance, but he will help us.

We see in verse43 how he helped Jesus that night. This moment, which is only recorded in Luke’s Gospel, shows an angel coming down and strengthening Jesus, helping him to seek Gods will first, to help him, like he told the disciples in verse 40, “not enter into temptation.”

This angel giving him strength does not make it easy, it helps make it possible. How and when he helps us, it will not be to help make it easy, but to help us be strong enough to move forward and to make it possible.

We see, even after the angel comes down, Jesus is still in agony. Such agony that his sweat was like great drops of blood.

Now, two things. First, Jesus’ agony. Let’s be clear. The word itself, in the original Greek, Jonathon Edwards says, “implies no common degree of sorrow, but such extreme distress that his nature had a most violent conflict with it, as a man that wrestles with all his might with a strong man.”

So where is Jesus’ agony from or directed towards?  The Puritan, Richard Baxter wrote, “His agony was not from the fear of death, but from the deep sense of Gods wrath against sin; which he as our sacrifice was to bear; in greater pain than mere dying.”

Of course, Jesus wasn’t afraid of dying, in and of itself. He knew what was on the other side. He also knew that it would not stick. But he knew what it was going to take. He knew what was in his cup. He knew the full wrath of God was going to be poured down on him and him alone.

He alone knew what that meant. We can hear that and think, ok, that’s not going to feel good, but we have no actual sense of what Gods wrath will be like. Jesus knew. And it was causing him agony.

To the point where Marks Gospel says his soul was very sorrowful, even to death. To the point where Jesus was sweat was like great drops of blood.

There is a real, documented medical condition where a human body can be under such extreme stress that the veins near the sweat glands burst and so the human body does in fact, literally sweat blood. That’s what it appears happened this neat to Jesus in the garden while praying to God.

The language is not crystal clear if it was this or that he was sweating in in a way that made the sweat thick and pouring out of him as blood would.

 

As Jesus was agonizing through his prayers, we see, especially in the other gospels, the disciples couldn’t stay awake. They couldn’t stay focused. They didn’t know what was at stake or what was going to happen. They couldn’t be bothered to pray as Jesus instructed because that was not their priority.

Verse 46, Jesus reiterates his command to them, pray to avoid temptation. Again, as I said earlier, we see Luke’s emphasis and focus are on Jesus and his prayer instead of the disciples and their failings.

 

But in that, in the glimpse of the disciples’ failures, combined with Jesus’ prayer and agony, we see so much. Jesus knew what was coming for him. And we have no idea. We get only glimpses of the wrath of God in scripture and in our lives.

Trust, no matter how bad it’s been, and some people have it incredibly bad, it is nothing compared to the wrath that Jesus willingly took and that awaits those who refused to turn to him in faith.

Jesus took the wrath, absorbed it all and do so because the love of God is all encompassing and love covers a multitude of sins. He willingly absorbed the full wrath of God so that those who believe, who may be called sons and daughters of God may be spared the wrath of God. He took the wrath we so justly and rightly deserved so that we may experience eternal communion with him and the forgiveness of our sins, past, present and future, once and for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Spurgeon, preaching on this passage said this:

“Since it would not be possible for any believer, however experienced, to know for himself all that our Lord endured in mental suffering and hellish malice, it is clearly beyond the preacher’s capacity to set it forth to you. Jesus himself must give you access to the wonders of Gethsemane: as for me, I can but invite you to enter the garden.”

 

We can’t know what Jesus went through, not completely and not in any real sense. But its important to know, as much as we can. Because that’s the only way that we can truly know and appreciate everything that Jesus did.

As one commentator writes:

Its not just that Jesus died for me, but that he died this horrible, damnable, God-forsaken death that no one would ever want to die. He died this death because there was no other way for sinners to be saved, no easier road to redemption, no alternatives to the cross. Jesus thus volunteered to do what the Father willed, choosing to do the one thing that would bring the most suffering to his body and soul”

It is not that Jesus died for us. IT is not that we should feel bad for what he went through. It wasn’t that God was touched and moved by Jesus sacrifice that he magically decided, “Ok! Sins are done!” None of that. The garden is not a prescription to pray harder and want it bad enough and God will send an angel to strengthen us.

I’m going to finish with a quote on this passage from Phillip Ryken:

 

This must always be the main lesson we learn whenever we go to the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke does not show us the agony of Jesus to arouse our pity, primarily, or simply to remind us of our Savior’s humanity, but to help us see the love that Jesus has in dying for our sins. We will never have to suffer what our Savior suffered in Gethsemane, or at Calvary, for the very reason that everything he suffered there was in our place, on our behalf. The first response we make to Jesus should always be faith in the saving work he did in suffering and dying as our substitute. The lesson of Gethsemane in not that Jesus suffers with us, but that he suffered for us!

 

 

 

 

I lied; I’m actually going to finish with Romans 5:8-11. Paul writes:

 

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

 

 

 

Let’s Pray.

 

 

 

Luke 22:24-38 Jesus is the Son of Man: The Future is not what You think

Luke 22:24-38

Jesus is the Son of Man

The Future is not what You think

 

          All right! Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 22. As always, if you do not have a Bible, or are in need of a Bible, please see me after the service and I will work to get one into your hands.

So are in the last hours of Jesus’ last day before being crucified. Jesus and his disciples, the Twelve to be specific, are eating the Passover meal in an Upper Room of the home of one of Jesus followers. Hence, this section of teaching by Jesus is called the Upper Room discourse.

Luke doesn’t share as much about this discourse as some of the other Gospel writers, but there is a lot there, a lot here to unpack. Last week we saw Jesus institute the first communion and show that he was the final and ultimate fulfillment of the Passover.

Because of the importance of this section of teaching, Jesus made sure that they would not be interrupted during this time. Jesus knew that Judas was planning on betraying him and had in fact already made the plans with the chief priests. He was planning on turning Jesus over to the religious leaders when there were not crowds of people around to cause a stir and to do something to the religious leaders. The Passover meal would have been a perfect time, but Jesus made sure that this wouldn’t happen, as he Peter and John make the plans and preparations in secret. Jesus had much too important things to do, to teach, to say to be interrupted this evening.

With that, lets go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 22, verses 24 through 38. As always, Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version though I encourage you to grab your own, preferred translations and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:24-38, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke records the following words of Jesus:

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter[e] said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus[f] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

 

Thus says the Holy Word of God.

So, the last thing we saw Jesus say last week was that one of the twelve, one of the ones that were there with them, one of them would betray Him. The text says that the disciples began to question one another which it would be.

I believe that discussion, or questioning, or whatever, directly led and helped cause this first part of the text this morning. The disciples start arguing, at some point that evening, over who is the greatest. Again, I believe this stems directly from “Who’s going to betray Jesus? Certainly not I? probably Him…”

And you can just picture the ridiculousness of this.

“I did this so I’m greater!”

“I led more people to Christ so I’m greater!”

“I gave more money so I’m greater!”

“I baptized more people so I’m greater!”

“I led worship or served in this capacity so I’m greater!”

And so on and so on…

Its amazing how quickly we fall back on our base human nature. This is not a new argument between these guys. It has happened at least twice before that we have recorded in Luke’s Gospel, back in chapters 9 & 10. We do the same thing, going back time and time again to the same sins, the same temptations, the same weakness come back to haunt us.

If we have a conflict with someone, we can see that through our life, we often keep coming back to that same conflict. It may be years in between. Both you and the other person may genuinely believe that it is all behind you both, but then something strikes the match and it flairs right back up again.

That’s what we are seeing in the disciples with this argument right here. And of course, this is natural, human nature, sinful attitudes. Striving to be seen and known as the greatest. I am better than…
Jesus, of course, rebukes this attitude. He says this is how the world thinks. This is how the world acts. The unbelievers and the unregenerate. This is how the worldly Kings act and live. I’m better than everyone and so they must serve me. They sit on their throne and make everyone do everything for them. And then, get this! They act like they are doing it for the good of the people they are ruling over! Doesn’t sound modern or timeless at all…

And of course, we know, as Jesus has told, in a variety of ways, their reward is here and now. Don’t be like them. Don’t be wrong in the way that they are wrong. Don’t settle for earthly, temporary rewards. Don’t act spoiled, entitled, don’t act betta’ then.

Is Jesus acting that way? The Messiah, The son of God. The Christ, God in the Flesh. IS he acting this way? If he is not acting like this, why would we? If he is not acting this way, why would the disciples? Instead, act and lead and serve with humility, with true humbleness.

Jesus continues, and he says, don’t worry. I see you. I see your faith. I see your service. I see your loyalty. And though you may not see here and now your rewards and the benefits, I see you and I have rewards waiting for you in Heaven as you will serve in the Kingdom of God. You will be eating, drinking, sitting, serving at the wedding feast of the King and you will have responsibilities and authority then.

 

Then Jesus turns to Peter and says his name twice. Simon, Simon. This emphasizes the importance of what he is about to say. Jesus says that Satan has been asking, demanding to have you.

Two things here. First, this is a crystal-clear allusion as well to Job chapter 1, Satan wanted to have Job. And again, Satan has to ask or demand, he cannot just do or take. He has no power except what God allows or grants.

Second, the word Jesus uses here when he says you is the plural. Not to try and make light of it, but how we would understand it is that Jesus said Satan demanded to have y’all, or you all. He wasn’t talking individually to Simon Peter. He was talking to all the disciples.

But Jesus is talking to Simon Peter individually in verse 33. Jesus prayed for him, that his faith would not fail and that he would learn from his failings and use those to encourage and build up his brothers.

Jesus has a hold of Peter. Those he has a hold of, those who are in Christ and with him will never be taken away, will never be without him and will never lose him. WE will see over the course of this chapter that Peter will fail. He will sin, he will deny Jesus three times as Jesus will tell him in a moment.

But Jesus says, once you have turned again, once you have repented, once you have turned back away from sin, and turned back to follow Jesus, use that. Use it to strengthen and build up your fellow believers. Use it to teach and enrich each other’s faith and walk. Use it to encourage and edify your brothers.

Simon Peter was hearing what Jesus said and was probably still thinking about Jesus saying that one of them would betray them. HE responds to Jesus, “I will follow you to prison or to death, no matter where, no matter what, no matter the cost!”  He says, Ill follow, Ill I’m committed, I’m loyal. Don’t worry about me Jesus!

Jesus tells him, I know who you are. I know what you will do. I know that you will fail, you will sin, you will let me down. I know when, I know where and I know how.

Remember this, Jesus already knows. We should be worried about our sin. We should feel bad about it. We should feel convicted of it, and we should work to change it. Our sin is a big deal, and it is, as we focused on last week, what nailed Jesus to the cross. But we also remember what Romans 8:1 says, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Our sin does not take Jesus by surprise. IT does not change his mind. It is finished and already forgiven. That of course does not excuse our responsibility, but it is important to remember that Jesus already has it dealt with. He knew what we would do. He knew what our sin would be. When, how often, all of it. And he still chose to go to the cross for the forgiveness of that sin.

Jesus tells Peter, you will deny me three times before the sun rises, specifically before the rooster crows. Three times, you will deny that you are a follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus returns to talking to the whole group of the disciples. He reminds them of some of the times that Jesus has sent them out to spread the word and to share about Jesus. One such example was back in Luke 10:1-12.

HE asks them, when I sent them out, did you lack anything? I hear their reply as them answering tentatively, No…

Jesus tells them, its not going to be that easy anymore. You are going to have to be prepared for what is to come. The individual items that he mentions are principals and examples, not the literal items themselves. And we will see this play later on in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus is being arrested.

But these items Jesus lists are representative of the disciples being prepared, of them being aware of the obstacles and the dangers that will arrive. It is so that the disciples will look ahead and not be taken by surprise. Again, none of it will be a surprise to Jesus and he is trying to warn his friends. They are not only to be harmless as doves, but also, remember, as wise as serpents. The going is gonna get tough, no doubt, and that’s what Jesus is trying to communicate to them.

And Jesus tells them the reason for the change. He says I will, and I must fulfill what it says in Isaiah 53:12. He was numbered with the transgressors.

Jesus was incarnated, was God made flesh, in part so that he could identify with sinners. This would be the hardest thing he would have to do. When he hung on that cross, he was hung with two criminals, two transgressors and when he gave his spirit up, the father looked down and counted him as a sinner, poured his wrath out on Jesus. Jesus identified with us so that he could absorb that wrath that was justly meant for us.  Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

          Now, the disciples continue to be who they are and help us to not feels as bad as we could. They entirely miss the point in the moment of what Jesus was saying. They tell him, look, look, we not only have a sword, but we have two swords!

They are, of course, referencing the figurative statement Jesus made a few moments ago about selling their cloaks to buy swords. But, I believe, they are also saying to Jesus, we won’t let them “number you with the transgressors. We will stop them with force if needed.

Jesus “It is enough.”

Jesus is not saying that those two swords are enough, or even that their dedication or attitudes are enough. Instead, what he was saying is that this is enough of that sort of talk. Colloquially, “I give up.” That’s how much the disciples were missing his point.

Jesus didn’t want to spend this time arguing with his closest friends. He didn’t want to spend this special time trying to explain and convince them of something they wouldn’t understand.

Instead, Jesus was going to focus on going to pray, which is what we are going to see next week.

Now, I want to go back for a moment. Back to Jesus quoting Isaiah 53:12, saying that he would fulfill what it says, that he would be numbered with the transgressors. That statement is followed by two more statements in Isaiah as well. First, that he bore the sins of many. Second, that he makes intercession for transgressors.

That’s three things we see right there that Jesus came to do and did do. He came to identify with sinners, of whom I am the chief of all sinners. He atoned for the sins of all who believe. We looked at this last week, that his blood shed, his body broken, to deliver us form the bondage of sins and to purchase forgiveness for sin. And He would be our intercessor. He prayed for Pater He prayed for all the followers that The Father gave him. He bridges the gap between God and us. As Paul writes, there is one mediator between God and man, the LORD Jesus Christ.

We don’t need animal sacrifices. We don’t need priests to intercede on our behalf. Jesus already did it. Jesus paid it all. He reconciled our broken relationship between us and God.

And as we looked at last week, that’s what we remember when we celebrate communion. That’s what communion represents. Jesus, God become man. Came to this world, as a human baby, number with transgressors, willingly gave himself up to be crucified, shed his perfect and sinless blood. Broke sins grip on us. Died, was buried, was risen from the dead. Defeated death through that resurrection. The new covenant, that all who believe, by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in in Jesus Christ, the son of God, the Messiah, the way, the truth and the life, alone. TO those who believe he gave new hearts, he gave forgiveness, and he gave eternal life in the Kingdom of God, adopted as sons of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit, co heirs to the kingdom with Christ.

Communion is done in remembrance. IT is not salvific. It is not magic. IT does not impart righteousness, forgiveness or salvation. It is done, for believers, for Christians, to remember what Jesus did for us. TO remember what it cost God to restore that relationship with us. To remember how big of a deal or sin is.

In that vein, we do ask, that if you are not a believer, if you are not a Christian, because of the importance if this, please don’t partake. IF you want to believe, if you have questions, we would love to talk to you after the service and pray with you, but this act of remembrance is for those who have received the forgiveness that Christ purchased on the cross.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26:

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[f] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[g] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

 

So, what we will do is have Mike and Frank come up and we will pass out these cups which contain both the wafers, representing Christs body and the juice which represents Christs blood. After they are passed out, one of them will pray over the wafer and we will take that together as a church family, as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Then the other will pray for the juice and we will do the same.

 

Let’s celebrate communion together.

 

         

         

 

 

Luke 22:14-23 Jesus is the Son of Man: Last Supper, First Communion

Luke 22:14-23

Jesus is the Son of Man

Last Supper, First Communion

Grab your Bibles if you will and open with me to Luke chapter 22.

So, as we continue through Luke 22, we see that all the pieces have been put in place. These are the last days, even the last day in the life of Jesus. The divine, eternal plan was coming to fulfillment and everything was taking shape.

Jesus and the twelve were in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Jesus had been teaching and rebuking and correcting the scribes and the chief priests and all the other religious leaders and the they were fed up, after three years of this. They were ready to kill him. So Judas went to them and made plans to betray Jesus. Jesus sent Peter and John to secretly prepare the Passover meal. Now, the Passover meal was ready for Jesus and the twelve. Nobody knew where they were meeting so Jesus would not be interrupted before or during the meal.

And that brings us current so far in Lukes Gospel. So now, lets go ahead and look at this mornings passage, :uke chapter 22, verses 14 through 23. I will, as always, be reading out of the English Standard Version. I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along so that you are reading the Word of God for yourself.

Luke 22:14-23, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit records:

 

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you I will not eat it[b] until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.[c] 21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

 

May God Bless the Reading of His holy and inspired Word.

 

 

So we pick up with Jesus and his disciples at the Passover dinner and ready to enjoy the company and food. Jesus reclined with his disciples. How they would do this in those days is that they would lean forward on their left elbows, with their feet behind them and their heads facing the table and they would eat with their right hands.

Jesus tells them that he “earnestly desired” to have this meal with them. He strongly wished. He needed this to happen. And the disciples wouldn’t have quite understood this because they would have shared Passover meals before. They didn’t realize what this meal would become, what it represented or that this was the last meal they would share together.

This was the last chance that Jesus would have to share a meal with his closest friends. This would be the last chance that Jesus would have to fellowship with them as a family, as a group of close friends. This would be his last chance to teach them, warn them, train them. And this is why he took such great pains to make sure this dinner would take place and that there would be no interruptions.

This was the was the last Passover meal before Jesus death and resurrection that would be the fulfillment of the Passover. Jesus was what the Passover was looking forward towards.

Jesus is the unblemished and spotless lamb that would be sacrificed once and for all for the forgiveness of sins.

It is Jesus blood that covers us so that the wrath of God passes over us.

It is His fulfillment of the Passover that frees us from the bondage of and slavery to sin, and allows us to enter the promised land that is the kingdom of God.

This is what much of the Old Testament is pointing towards. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Messiah. The Son of God.

This is what they had all been waiting for. This night is when, in my opinion, we see the birth of the church of Jesus Christ. Many will say that happened at Pentecost, but tonight is the night that Jesus institutes the New Covenant.

The rest of what the Old Testament was pointing to is Christ’s glorious Second Coming. This is one of the key differences between Passover and Communion. The Passover is looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah, the promised savior. Communion remembers the first, commerates it and look towards his second coming. Jesus here is looking forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb, as its put in Revelation 19:9.

So, after the Passover meal, Jesus explicitly sets up what we call communion. This is a fully communal thing. This is not an individual thing, but is intended and instituted to take place among the church family, among fellow believers, fellow Christians, not alone and not amongst or including the general public. This is also not for the “worthy,” the put together, or the perfect Christians. This is for all believers, warts and all.

 

Jesus and these disciples have spent three years together. Traveling, sharing meals, sharing lodging, sharing ups and downs. Jesus specifically has been sharing His power, his knowledge, the Kingdom of God. Now, this night, he is sharing his blood and his body. Nothing is being held back, not even Jesus’ life.

And Jesus here uses symbolism and figurative language.   And he does so in order to help us understand what communion is and what it represents.

He tells the disciples, the bread is my body. Like this bred will be broken apart, Jesus body will be broken on the cross. Like this bread will be shared with the disciples, his body and sacrifice will be shared with all believers. This bread is given to the disciples by Jesus, just as his life and his broken body on the cross are given over by Jesus.

The bread does not become his body. Jesus is not physically present in the elements, like some claim he is. But the bread represents what he did, what he gave and what happened to him.

Jesus says, do this in remembrance of me. Remember, not just his life, not just his resurrection, not just his ascension. Remember what happened on the cross. As one commentator points out, this shows “the centrality of the cross to the Christian faith.”

And you may ask, Why do we have to continue to be reminded time and time again? Of course, as a Christian, of course I wont forget what Jesus did for me!

But we do. We do forget. If not completely, then practically and we take it for granted, at times. And so Jesus tells us to do this often, is remembrance of him. To intentionally focus and refocus to ground ourselves and remind ourselves exactly what it means that Jesus died on the cross. What it means that he did it for us. What it means that he gave himself up for us and what the results of that are.

And then Jesus takes the cup of wine, remember the cup is often associated with Gods wrath. Jesus takes the cup and says that the wine symbolizes His blood. Jesus blood absorbs Gods wrath. Jesus blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Scripture make it clear, New Testament and Old that the wages of sin is death. Blood needs to be shed for the forgiveness of sins.

The most important day in Old Testament Israel, and maybe today as well, arguably even more than Passover, was the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16 gets into the details, but the gist of it is that one day a year, the people would have the wrath of their sins put upon one goat, whose blood would be sprinkled throughout the temple and the Most High places, and the alter and so on. And then another goat would be brought in, still alive, and the priest would symbolically place the sins of Israel upon this goat and release him into the wilderness.

Again, the point being that it takes blood to cover up and atone for sins. And that’s what Jesus did for us. He shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins. This si the cup of the New Covenant.

 

So, what is the difference between  the Old and the New Covenant?

Exodis 24:3-8 tells us the Mosaic Covenant, the convenant that God made through Moses to the people of Israel. IT reads:

Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules.[a] And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

 

          This was dependent on the people following the rules that God laid out. And the people could not keep those rules for even one day, just like we cant either.  The New Covenant was completely and totally dependent on the work of Christ.

The Old had the laws, the rules of God written in stone, physically written done for people to read. THe New has the law written in our hearts, as the Holy Spirit changes our heart.

The Old was a type, was a shadow, it pointed towards the new. The blood, the sacrifices, all of it, pointed directly at what would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The Old was not salvific. The sacrifices were made time and time again, over and over.  The sacrifices were animal blood and so therefore were not able to atone for human sin.

The Covenant is salvific. Jesus was sacrificed once and for all. He shed his blood; human blood, and he had lived a perfect and sinless life so that he could indeed atone for human sin, the sin of all humanity, or at least the sin of all who would believe.

Jesus fulfills all of the promises, foreshadowing, prophecies and so much more that appears in the Old Testament and the old Covenant.

GotQuestions sums up the differences this way:

the Old Covenant was governed by a law that prescribed correct behavior and that the people continually broke. It contained a sacrificial system that only temporarily removed sins. The sacrifices were administered by priests who represented the people of Israel to God, but the people could not enter God’s presence themselves.

The New Covenant is governed by a law that is internalized by the people of God and energized by His Spirit. The sins of the people are forgiven and removed once and for all by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the people of God have direct, intimate access to Him. Finally, Gentiles who believe are included in the New Covenant.

 

 

          After Jesus set this up, he tells the twelve, one of you, one of you 12 right here, one of you is going to betray me. Thing about this. You are a group who are closer than family. One of these guys, one of this family, who have been thorough thick and thin together, who have been through good times and bad, who have thorough easy times and hard. One of them will betray that trust and that bond that has been forged.

Jesus makes it clear, I already know all this. I Know its going to happen. I am not surprised by this. Its factored into the plan and I am allowing this to happen.

However, that does not excuse the guilt or responsibility of the one who will be doing the betraying. This does not alleviate the sin that will be and is being committed.

This statement, that one of them would betray him, shook the disciples. They started questioning amongst themselves who it might be. I imagine it was probably equal parts self reflection, thinking, Could I be capable of doing what He is saying? And blame passing, I bet it will be Peter, Jesus did just call him Satan not too long ago…

The truth is that each and every one of us is guilty of betraying God. Everytime we sin we betray his love. RC Sproul says :

Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself.

 

All of us are guilty of committing treason against the King, of betraying him. Jesus gave his life for those who betrayed him. We showed us the epitome of loving your enemies. We, the church, the universal church, all believers, we are a church of forgiven betrayers.

And that’s one of the things that we are to remember. Jesus gave himself, shed his blood, purchased forgiveness, for us and for you, if you believe, as much as he did for the disciples he was talking to that very night. He loves you enough to allow the wrath, the justly deserved wrath of God Passover you and I and all who believe. That is what we celebrate and remember at the Lords Supper, the sacrament that he instituted that very night as communion.

 

 

Luke 22:1-13 Jesus is the Son of Man: Laying the Groundwork

Luke 22:1-13

Jesus is the Son of Man

Laying the Groundwork

All right! Please grab your Bibles with me and turn to Luke chapter 22. IF you do not have a Bible or ae in need of a Bible, please see me after the service.

 

Now, if this were a movie, this would be that brief calm interlude before the action and drama ramps back up for the climax.

Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem, and they have been since Luke 19:28-40, where he made his triumphant entry. The previous 2 & ½ chapters take place over the course of, about a half a week.

The Passover, which this week’s passage will be setting up takes place Thursday night and A Lot will take place over the course of the next 24 or so hours.

Today’s passage lays the groundwork for it all. It is getting all the pieces and all the characters in place to play their part and to show that God knows what he is doing and that He has it all planned. None of the next 24 hours would come as a surprise or would be God reacting to what was happening.

So, lets go ahead and jump into this morning’s text, Luke chapter 22, verse 1 through 13. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along as we read the Word of God.

Luke 22:1-13, the Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record the following:

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus[a] sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” 10 He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters 11 and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” 13 And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

So, I figured we would start with a bit about why everyone is in Jerusalem to begin with. The custom of the day was for the Jewish people to go to Jerusalem for the festival of unleavened bread and the Passover, which took place of the first day of that feast.

They went and would go to the temple and have their Passover lambs sacrificed in the temple where sacrifices were supposed to take place. Some estimate that the population of Jerusalem would temporarily swell to over 2 million people during the Passover.

Passover, in terms of cultural importance and impact of the spiritual lives of the Jewish people was kind of like combining Christmas and Easter for us. This was the celebration of Gods saving providence.

God was unleashing the ten Plagues on Egypt and the last one was the death of all First-born males. In order to save his people, he told the Israelites to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and to wipe the blood over the doorway so that the angel of death would “pass over” that home.

Long story short, God spared the faithful Israelites and told them to celebrate and remember this every year thereafter. There was a specific meal involved, the sacrifice and eating of an unblemished lamb and teaching the children in order to remember.

That day was now upon them. And we see that the chief priests, the Jewish religious leaders who help some amount of political power, they were seething with hatred against Jesus, and they were looking for the right opportunity to take him out. They would, as one commentator puts it, “lead the final opposition against Jesus.”

Now, its obvious why the religious dint like Jesus and hadn’t for years. Why was it coming to a crux, to a pinnacle hear and know? Listen to what Philip Ryken writes:

Their hatred grew to its most furious intensity during the last week of Jesus’ life. By then it was not just the party of the Pharisees who wanted to get rid of him; it was the whole leadership of the temple in Jerusalem: the priests, the scribes and the elders. These men hated Jesus. They hated him for his condemnations of their hypocrisy and for claiming that he was God the Son. They hated seeing him teach in the temple. They hated how much influence he had on the people, especially during Passover, when so many people were there to influence. In their hatred they challenged his authority (Luke 20:2), tried to get their hands on him (Luke 20:19), and sent spies to trap him (Luke 20:20). In a word, they were seeking to destroy him (Luke 19:47). Maybe this explains why Jesus left the city every day before nightfall: it was too dangerous for him to be in Jerusalem after dark.

 

So, they wanted to get ahold of Jesus and have him killed. But they had to be smart about it. The people wouldn’t have stood for it, for sure. They dint know what the people would do, but it wouldn’t be good for the religious leaders. And so, the chief priests were looking for the right opportunity and the right plan to make it happen.

The next character is this drama that we see is Judas Iscariot. He was a close friend of Jesus. He was one of the twelve disciples. He was the treasurer of Jesus and the disciples. When Mary poured perfume on the feet of Jesus, Judas was the one who threw a fit, saying that the money that perfume sold for could have been used to help the poor, although John 12:6 tells us: He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.

And so, he was not some innocent bystander who was taken over by Satan and made to work against his will. He was already corrupted by sin and working against Jesus before this.

One commentator reminds us of Ananias and Saphira in Acts 5:3 to show that when the scripture says Satan entered into Judas, it is not referring to possession, but to a strong influence. Some may want to excuse Judas from the guilt of his actions, but scripture leaves no such opportunity.

So, Judas went out and he sought out the chief priests.

I picture one of those scenes where the chief priests are sitting around in a circle, brainstorming, looking like Winnie the Pooh, think… think… think…

“I know, we need someone on the inside, an inside man!”

“How are we going to get that? They are all loyal to him!”

 

*Knock, knock*

 

Judas: Hi guys! I’m an answer to your prayers!

 

That’s probably not how it happened, but…

 

Either way, Judas seeks out the chief priests and they figure out a plan. They also figure out what the price of that betrayal and that plan will be. Again, we see that the chief priests didn’t have to seek out or pressure or wear down or convince Judas to do any of this. He sought them out.

So, they agree on the price, and it is staggering how ordinary a temptation it was that allowed and caused Judas to betray Jesus. It was just a little bit of money. 30 pieces of silver. And it makes me see just how much of Judas there is in each and every one of us, every time we sin.

Often, its simple, plain, seemingly ordinary temptations that cause us to sin. It’s not usually that I all of a sudden get a temptation to murder someone. Its not that I suddenly get a temptation to go out and cheat on my wife. The end result, the sin itself is often bigger than the temptation that led us to it. Judas did not go out and get tempted to kill Jesus. But a chain of events and a chain of growing temptations, seemingly starting with the love of money, led him directly to that point.

And we also can’t tell by looking at someone one whether they are genuinely regenerated and saved or not. You can’t tell by their education in the bible. You can’t tell by their position in the church. You cannot tell what darkness lies in their hearts. People are good at playing roles and putting on facades. No one would have ever expected Judas to betray Jesus, especially for a relatively small amount of money, and yet, here in the Gospels, we see it written in black and white.

Now, again, why are we in Jerusalem right now? Oh yeah, the Passover. This passage from Luke 22, verses 7-13 feels a lot like as Jesus was getting ready to enter Jerusalem in Luke 19:29-34. Go do this and this and this is what you will see, right where I tell you and the person you meet will do exactly what I say he will.

Jesus tells Peter to take care of the preparations for the Passover meal. Go and find the guy with the water jug. This would have been unusual because for the most part, the woman had the water jugs, and the guys carry waterskins. Go find him and follow him and tell him I said so and he will let you use the upper room in his home.

Jesus didn’t just like ordering Peter around. He wasn’t just lazy and not doing it himself. There was a reason for all the cloak and dagger and the secrecy. Judas. None of the disciples except for Peter knew where the Passover dinner would take place. If Judas had known where it would be he could have set up the betrayal and Jesus’ arrest for during or before the diner.

Jesus was not going to let anything get in the way of his last meal his close friends, his family. He was not going to let anything get in the way of the Passover meal. And so, Jesus did what needed to be done to ensure privacy and security for this meal that we are going to be looking at over the next couple of weeks.

So, at this point, all the pieces are in place. The chief priests, Judas, Jesus and the Disciples, a Passover meal prepared and ready to go. The storm clouds are gathering. Bad things are going to take place over the next 24 hours or so of real time.

Satan and his work were coming to a pinnacle. He had been working since Adam and Eve to prevent the Son of Man from crushing him. He had down everything in his power to stop the line of Christ.

And that invisible war was coming to its climax. It would reach its climax with Jesus crucified on the cross. When it seemed that Satan had won and defeated the Son of God, when Jesus was dead, and the earth shook, and the sun went dark. And then on Saturday, Jesus buried in the tomb, it continued to look like Satan had won.

But these things did not just happen to God. They did not happen to Jesus. These things didn’t just happen. God and Jesus did not “react” to what was happening.

Acts 2:23 & 24 tell us that Jesus was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it”

All that happened to Jesus was a part of the divine and predetermined plan that was orchestrated by the Trinitarian God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, before the beginning of time.

God was orchestrating this all. Moving all the pieces into place. Showing his complete and total sovereignty, his complete and total control over all of creation.

RC Sproul writes: In Judas’ case, a heinous evil action was committed. But from a different perspective, the most glorious deed that ever was performed on our behalf was the betrayal of Jesus Christ, because through that work, God orchestrated by Gods sovereignty, our salvation came to pass. Judas was willing; he had his own intentions. His purpose was to strike Jesus. Gods purpose was to redeem us through this very same act.

 

In Genesis 50:20, Joseph, talking to his brothers who sold him into slavery, for the same amount that Judas took to betray Jesus, had this to say:  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[b] should be kept alive,

 

God is on control. Even when it doesn’t look like it. Even when bad things are happening. Even when things are at there darkest, God is in control. He is sovereign. And all things work together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

IF you are called according to his purpose, trust in him, look to him, have faith in him in and for all things. He will bring through all these things and the dawn is always brightest after the darkest of nights. Things are going to get dark, for Jesus as we will see, and for us in life. But Jesus rises on the other side and is control of it all and he has promised to never leave us or forsake us, and he has won the battle over Satan and the forces of darkness and sin. Amen.

 

Let’s Pray.

 

 

 

 

Luke 21:29-36 Jesus is the Son of Man: Pay Attention

Luke 21:29-36

Jesus is the Son of Man

Pay Attention

All right let’s grab our Bibles and turn with me to Luke chapter 21. As always, if you do not have a Bible, or if you have need of a Bible, please see me after the service and we can work on getting one into your hands.

This week is going to be a kind of extension on last weeks message. The passages are inextricably connected, and some would say that this week’s passages are the application of sorts on last weeks passages.

Maybe, maybe not.

But it is definitely connected, so let’s review just a bit from last week.

Jesus started talking about some of the things to come in the future. He talks about the signs and the warnings in specific regards to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D as a judgment from God on the unbelieving Jewish nation.

His focus was that bad stuff is going to happen. Remember to look to me, focus on me. He says, I will return and those who believe in me, will be eternally saved, eternally forgiven and eternally alive. He says, look to me, look up for I, your redemption draws near.

Now, some of you may have been wondering after that passage, what do we do with that?” Jesus partially answered that, and he will answer it deeper in the passage this morning.

Now, as a warning, Jesus is not going to give a feel good, “Its all-good guys! Nothing bad will happen!” message. Instead, Jesus is going to deal with reality, both earthly, temporal reality and heavenly, eternal reality.

So, lets go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 21, verses 29 through the end of the chapter, verse 38. I’ll be reading out of the English Standard Version, and I encourage you to read along in your preferred translation, so that you see for yourself what the Word of God says.

Luke 21:29-38, the Gospel writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, records these words of Jesus:

 

And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. 38 And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

So, Jesus starts by reiterating how we are supposed to hear and read last weeks passage. At the time, this would have been a continuation of the same conversation and discussion. And so, in the parable of the fig tree, Jesus reiterates that there will be signs, and signs mean things. Signs are a natural part of things. And specific to this conversation, when you see the signs that Jesus pointed out that we looked at last week, when you see these signs then you know that the kingdom of God is nearby.

Jesus makes it clear in the Gospels that He is here to inaugurate the Kingdom of God. And He does, Jesus like, his incarnation, God made flesh, along with his death, his resurrection and his ascension mean that Satan has been defeated and the Kingdom of God is here, at least in part.

And Jesus that this generation will not pass away until all has taken place.

Everybody in history has a different idea of what this means. And how we interpret this all depends on what the word generation means when Jesus says it.

There are three historically and biblical feasible things that generation can mean in this case.

The first is the way that we use the word generation today. This would be all people alive who were born in a specific period of time and will die within a specific period of time. We have had the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Gen Z, Millennials, and so on.

If this is the case, then Jesus is specifically referring solely to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and nothing else.

We have also seen the bible use generation to refer to a specific race of people. We see Jesus referring to the time of the Jews and the time of the Gentiles and so this is a valid interpretation as well. Again, in this case, the time of the Jews started ending when the Kingdom of God is brought by Jesus and completely finished when the temple is destroyed and then is transferred to the time of the gentiles.

The one that I softly lean towards is that the word means what we often see in Luke, and we also saw in the Old Testament as well, referring to a specific wicked and unrighteous group. The people on earth that God wipes out in the flood were a wicked generation. And Jesus references this generation when he overlooks and laments over Jerusalem.

No matter what, Jesus tells the disciples, Trust what I tell you. And recognize the difference between this temporal and temporary world and the troubles of heaven and earth that come with this life. Between that and the eternal, the Kingdom of God, the Word of God and the eternal life that is offered.

Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my Words will not pass away. Jesus is putting his words on par with scripture. He is calling back to Isaiah 40:8, The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

And so, as sure as the things that he has said will take place in the next 40 years, and we see in history that they all did take place. As sure as those things will happen, so too will his second coming take place exactly how and when he says it will, and exactly how and when God has predetermined it.

And so next Jesus tells us how we are to deal with all he has said. First, there will be bad stuff happening. He’s not saying don’t worry about it, though in certain ways, he says that elsewhere, but what he is saying is that you know it’s going to happen, you know the reason for it, don’t ignore it, don’t drown yourself, don’t get depressed, don’t become despondent, don’t get discouraged and don’t get drunk.

If I don’t think about it, it won’t happen. Hakuna Matata… Drown out the pain. Those are the things Jesus says not to do. Those are who pretending it won’t happen, will be the most surprised when it does. Its like when a mouse trap springs. IF you know its coming, it still makes you jump but it’s not bad. But if you don’t know the mouse trap is there, it comes as a huge surprise.

One of the takeaways is that when all of this happens, there will not be time to react. The time to act will have already passed. There will not be time to change your minds or change sides. Once it happens, it happens.

And Jesus says, make no mistake, it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Don’t trick yourself that it won’t happen. Don’t not believe Jesus as if he can speak falsehoods. Don’t ignore it as if its way off in the distant future that has no effect on you.

IT will happen to all. Either wrath or grace. Either Judgment or forgiveness.

So, what should we do? Stay awake and pray. Not literally stay awake and not sleep. Be vigilant and stay focused. Be prepared. Acknowledge and know what is coming. Knowing it could be anytime. Staying watchful in all times.

This call to vigilance and prayer is universal to all Christians in all times.

Pray, pray without ceasing. Not how he phrases it, but still. Now, again, the context. The immediate setting of this is the lead up to 70 AD. He is saying to pray that you will have the strength to escape all the things that are going happen.

We saw this last week as He told his followers, as time is getting close to the siege and the surrounding of Jerusalem, don’t flee to the safety of the walled city, but flee to the mountains. And he went into what was going to happen. And its going to be bad.

Jesus does not say to pray to avoid the bad but instead to pray that you will get through it and will stand before the Son of Man. Now, God does not, as a rule, spare his people form pain, wrath, disaster, not as a group anyway. The Flood, Egypt, the wilderness, the philistines, Babylon, Assyrians, Rome and so on. And I don’t see biblical evidence of that changing. I personally don’t see God taking his people out before the world gets worse.

What we do see is that individually, as believers and followers of Jesus will be brought through all of this by Christ. He promises those who believe in and follow him eternal life, eternal safety and eternal escape from wrath and judgment. He promises that we will stand before the Son of Man on the other side of all this. That s a phrase signifying salvation at the last day, the day of judgment.

Now, the last two verses here are just simple logistics. Jesus spent all day, everyday teaching in temple. People would come very early in the morning to the temple to hear Jesus teach and speak. But in the evening, he would go back out of the city proper and stayed on the Mount of Olives.

I saw one commentator write that this helped us identify with Jesus because just as we commute to our jobs, so too did Jesus’ commute here in and out of Jerusalem. That is not the way to apply this text, just to let you know.

This world is going to end. The world as they knew it ended in 70 AD. Jesus says to stay awake, stay prepared and pray. Everything he promises has come true and will come true. Everything in history is moving forward and it is headed directly towards Jesus. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is God. He is the one that will judge the living and the dead. He is the one that we are to focus on, believe in and turn our eyes upon.

And in that vein, I want to leave us with just a couple of scriptures about Jesus and who he is.

Colossians 1:15 & 16:

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

 

Titus 2:11-14:

 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

 

1 John 3:2 & 3:

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

 

Let’s Pray.

 

Luke 21:5-28 Jesus is the Son of Man: The Destruction of Jerusalem

Luke 21:5-28

Jesus is the Son of Man

The Destruction of Jerusalem

 

          All right! Grab your Bibles with me, if you will and turn to Luke chapter 21. If you do not have a Bible or are in need of a Bible, please come see me after the service so we can get one into your hands.

Jesus of Nazareth, whose life we have been following in Luks Gospel, is and was the Messiah, the long awaited, long prophesied Christ.  He showed this through his teachings, through his miracles that he preformed and through the Old Testament Scriptures.

But the people of Israel, specifically the religious leaders of the day, who, by the way, knew scriptures backward and frontward, they knew scriptures better than any of us here today.

And they looked through their own lens and they saw scriptures and interpreted them through their very specific lens. With that, they had come to have a very clear set of expectations from how they read the scriptures. And this Jesus fella didn’t meet those expectations, not even a little.

Well, neither did what he was about to say. Let’s go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 21 verses 5 through 28. I will, as always, be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your Bibles and read along in your preferred translation.

 

Luke 21:5-28, He, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, records these words of Jesus:

 

And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

 

10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers[c] and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

 

 

Thus says the Word of God.

 

First, we see that the temple in Jerusalem is being admired. Marks Gospel specifies that it is the disciples that are doing the admiring. And the temple was well worth the admiration and awe that were giving it. In addition to a religious meeting place and a house of worship, it was a tourist attraction. It was an architectural marvel. And it was at the center of everything God related to the Jewish people. This was where God dwelt among them. It was a symbol of his greatness and his presence, and sadly, of the greatness of the Jewish people.

And it was beautiful. Even in the middle of a 50-year renovation, it wouldn’t be finished until 63 AD, it was s sight beyond any thing else in the ancient world. The ancient historian, Josephus described it this way:

The whole of the outer works of the temple was in the highest degree worthy of admiration; for it was completely covered in Gold Plates, which, when the sun was shining on them, glittered so dazzlingly that they blinded the eyes of the beholders not less than when one gazed at the sun’s rays themselves. And on the other sides, where there was no gold, the blocks of marble were of such pure white that to strangers who had never previously seen them (from a distance) they looked like a mountain of snow.

 

 

The temple was the epitome of grandeur and of security. It was 4 football fields wide and 5 football fields long. Its no wonder the disciples were marveling and wondering at the temple…

Part of the issue was that the Jewish people, the physical nation, the physical seed of Abraham thought that solely and simply because of that, they would be eternally and continually blessed and that they deserved Gods blessing and protection and that they deserved it simply because they were born into Israel.

Because of that, they had no need of Jesus as a savior. Not an eternal, soul savior. They wanted a national, military savior. They were already saved in the spiritual sense.

Jesus is speaking against that hubris here. That hubris was a direct reason why they rejected Jesus. Jesus tells the disciples, this temple, as great and grand as it is, as large and well built as it is, as wonderous and glorious as it is, it wont stand forever. The Nation of Israel wont stand forever. The day will come when the temple will be destroyed and not one of these stones will be left on another. The destruction will not only be total, but it will also be complete.

 

This would have been a complete and total shock to those who heard it. Borderline heresy or blasphemy. As we see in other Gospels, the Disciples were so shocked at this that they take Jesus aside and try to get some alone time with him so they can figure out what he is talking about. So, they went to the Mount of Olives and were basically looking over Jerusalem, overlooking  the temple itself.

And from there, the disciples ask Jesus about this destruction of temple that He mentioned. When is this going to happen? What are you talking about? What should you we be looking for? How will we know this thing is imminent?

 

This is important because what we need to remember is that this is the very immediate context that most of what Jesus is about to say. From verses 8 through 24, Jesus is speaking of the not to distant future. Many people also think that he is weaving in looking at the distant future as well, as in our days and the end times, but there is no indication in this section of Jesus changing tone or subject as he is talking.

Jesus starts by warning against false teachers. And false teachers of two very specific veins. He is warning the disciples of those who will claim to be the returning Christ. Don’t listen to them. The other group is those who will claim that Jesus has already come back. We have seen a lot of both of these groups through out history and the first century was no different. We even see Paul writing to the Thessalonians because some thought that they had missed Jesus’ return.

Jesus says to mark and avoid these false teachers that will be popping up all over the place.

Wars and armed conflicts will be present, and they need to be present before this will take place. But that doesn’t mean that the end is near. This is just life in a fallen and sinful world. I saw one researcher who said that of all of thousands of years of human civilization, there has only been something like 238 years of peace in the world. So, to Jesus’ point, the fact that there are wars is not, in and of itself, a sing of the end being near.

And Rome was, by its nature, a nation of war. Peace through tyranny. They fought and conquered in their quest for peace. A state of war was a way of life. Even if not active warfare, the Jewish people were living under military occupation and so were constantly aware of the chance of war and military action that could break out any day. And it did on occasion.

As Jesus continues, what we see in verse 10 through 17, nation against nation, earthquakes, persecution, both from the Jewish religious leaders and from the Caesars, and the Roman military, all of this stuff, all took place in history after Jesus’ ascension and before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

Rome was fighting against other nations. There was a massive earthquake in what is now Turkey in 61 AD. Pompeii famously erupted two years later.

We talked a few weeks ago about the relationship between Israel and Rome was becoming increasingly volatile. Their conflicts were increasing and becoming more intense.

This, combined with the fact that the first Christians were Jewish and were going to cause national trouble by refusing to worship and bow to Caesar, meant that Rome was going to continue to persecute and come down hard on Israel and this new sect of Judaism, as they saw it. This would especially show itself during the reign of Nero in the 60’s.

Jesus also warns his disciples that they would face persecution, as He is as he says this, from the religious leaders, the Sanhedrin and the like. We see this in the book of Acts with how often Peter and John especially get brought before the Jewish courts, with Saul leading the stoning of Stephan, and Paul himself and his imprisonments.

Things are going to be and look and feel very bad. Things are going to occur which can be and will to those who have no hope, be very scary.

But God knows and uses all of this. Trouble for the church will always mean the opportunity to bear witness of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Jesus says, its gonna get bad in this physical world, but I will be with you and the Holy Spirit will be with you.

You might have physical trouble sin this world when all this is going on, when you are persecuted, when the wars take place and when natural disasters happen, but through your faith in Jesus Christ, you will have eternal life that will never be able to be taken from you.

 

Now, essentially, all that Jesus said so far was in the lead up to what he says in verses 20-24. All of the previous parts were to take place between Jesus’s ascension and the destruction of Jerusalem, which he starts describing here, in 70 AD.

The Roman military laid siege to Jerusalem, they would surround Jerusalem and cut them off from all outside goods, services, food and water. Early Christians remember Jesus’ warnings and would flee Jerusalem before they got cut off. Because Jerusalem was cut off, there was no food, to the point that cannibalism was taking place and nursing mothers had no milk to feed their babies.

Eventually, the Roman military, led by the General Tacitus, invaded Jerusalem and laid waste to the entire city. Jerusalem was trampled by the Gentiles. And enough destruction was done to the temple that, when they went to try to gather all the gold plating and what ever else they could, the gold had melted down into the walls of the temple. So, they completely took apart very stone off of every stone, as Jesus prophesied, in order to get the gold.

 

All of this occurred in 70 AD, less than 40 years after Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension. 7 years after the renovation of the temple. This was not some far off, one day, at the end, type of thing. This is biblical history and recorded extra biblical history.

And in telling the disciples that this was coming, he had told them 4 Don’ts. While looking for and experiencing these things.

Don’t be led astray.

Don’t Be afraid.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness.

Don’t Give up.

 

Now, here, Jesus does transition the time that he is referring to. Starting in verse 25, He transitions to the end. The temple in Jerusalem was a type that was looking forward to Jesus. As well, the temples destruction was a type pointing forward towards the final judgment.

Jesus tells his disciples, without giving specifics, very purposely, that stuff is going to happen, there will be major universal signs and then, all of a sudden, He will return. The Second Coming will be instant. It will be glorious. It will be powerful. And it will be unmissable.

Jesus is clear here, and in Mark 13 and every time he speaks of his return, don’t focus on when. Instead focus on Me. Focus on how you respond to what’s going on around you and persevere through it.

Kent Hughes writes: We also see that Jesus was not interested in giving date setting details but in encouraging his own to be steadfast and faithful until he returns.

          And that’s the whole key to this whole section of scripture. Jesus in verse 28, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Focus on Jesus, look up and look to him. He gets you through it all and he brings you through it all. He is your redemption.

One note on the word of redemption I read says: This word means deliverance on payment of a price. Jesus paid the price at Calvary, and here he looks forward to the final fulfillment of what that deliverance means.

         

So, the reason for the events of Verses 6 through 24 is the rejection of Jesus as the Christ. Israel, as a Corporate and National group, which is how they expected to receive their salvation and blessing, they rejected Jesus as the Son of God, so God rejected them.

 

But all, as individuals, will have a chance to accept Christ.

Jesus is the person, the place, the thing in which we place our trust and our hope. The temple in Jerusalem, what had been the dwelling place of God, is destroyed and no longer exists. It no longer matters. Instead, God sent Jesus, who is the true and eternal temple.

Jesus points this out when he talks about destroying the temple and then rebuilding it in three days, and obvious allusion to his death and resurrection. This gives eternal life to every individual, Jew or Gentile, who believes in him.

He is your redemption, and he draws near.

Charles Wesley, the famous hymn writer, writes:

 

Lo, He comes with clouds descending

Once for favored sinners slain.

Thousand thousand saints attending

Swell the triumph of his train.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

God appears on earth to reign.

 

          Now, the fall of Jerusalem is Gods wrath poured out on those who rejected him. God has promised wrath on those who reject his Son. And he has promised that all who follow Christ, all who trust him, all who are His, will not face the wrath of God.

However, in the words of Philip Ryken:

There is one exception, however. Once there was a godly man who trusted in all the promises of God, but still suffered the full weight of Gods Wrath against sin. On the night he was betrayed, Jesus asked if there was any way that he could avoid the cross where he suffered Gods curse against our sin. But there is no other way—no way for us to be saved except through Jesus, there was no way of escape from the wrath of God. He suffered what we deserved so that we could be safe in him.

 

          We are in his hands because we have responded by faith to his death on cross and resurrection. God grace poured out on those covered with his blood, the blood of the lamb, come to take away the sins of the world. He instead he spares us from the wrath of God.

He condescended from Heaven, still God, was born a man, a human baby and lived the perfect, sinless life that we needed to and were unable to live. HE paid the penalty, paid the wages for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God. He paid that penalty with his life. In an act of pure, perfect love, Romans 5:8 says:  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Before he did this, Jesus told us to remember this and to celebrate it as often as we get together. We do this in a monthly basis, we celebrate communion as a church family.

We remember and we follow the commands of Jesus that he gave his disciples during the Last Supper.

Luke’s Gospel records the Last Supper, and he writes of Jesus telling his disciples in chapter 22, verses 19& 20: He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after super, he took the cup, saying, “This is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” 

We do this in remembrance of Him. Paul speaks about communion in 1 Corinthians 11 and before we get into it, I have one thing to share that Paul tells us, first, communion is for believers. It is in remembrance for what he has done for us. It is us obey his commands by our faith in him. Communion itself does not save. It does not forgive sins; it does not impart righteousness or cleanse your soul. If you are not a follower of Christ, we just ask that you pass the elements along and then, if you have any questions or want to take that step, you can talk to myself or one of the deacons after the service.

 

We have individual cups that contains both the wafers, which symbolize Jesus’ broken body on the cross. His Death that pays the penalty for our sins. It also contains the juice, symbolizing the shed blood of Christ, which purchases our eternal life in Christ, through faith.

First, we will take the wafer together. Afterwards, we will take the juice together and we will be united together under the cross and blood of Jesus Christ. I will pray and we will come to the LORDs table.

 

Luke 20:45-21:4 Jesus is the Son of Man Beware the Hypocrisy

Luke 20:45-21:4

Jesus is the Son of Man

Beware the Hypocrisy

 

All right let’s turn in our Bibles to the very end of Luke chapter 20. If you do not have a Bible, if you are in need of a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work on getting one into your hands.

So, to sum up Luke chapter 20 is to say that the religious leaders have been challenging Jesus. They have been challenging his power, his authority and his influence.

Jesus has been rebuking them and correcting them each and every time. He has been doing so by bringing them back to a correct understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

And one of the things we are seeing in these religious leaders, one of the things that we see throughout the scriptures, is that head knowledge without heart application means nothing. That’s not to say that head knowledge means nothing. Knowledge is important. But without it changing the heart and without us applying it, it is nothing.

We are going to see a stark example of that here this morning.

Let’s go ahead and read Luke chapter 20 verse 45 through chapter 21 verse 4. I will be reading out of the English Standard Version, and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along in the text. IF you do not have a Bible, it will also be posted up on the screen.

Luke 20:45-21:4, The Holy Spirit inspires Luke to record:

And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

 

Chapter 21

Jesus[a] looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins.[b] And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

 

 

May God Bless the Reading of His Holy Word.

 

 

After this chapter worth of the scribes, pharisees, Sadducees and elders publicly attacking Jesus and him defending himself, he turns the tables on them. He makes a public example of them.

Hey guys, these guys how have been attacking me, beware of them, avoid them, they are a bunch of hypocrites.

He points out what is already pretty well known at this point. They desired to look good in the eyes of the people.

Jesus addresses this in a number of times and in a number of ways, especially in Matthew 6. Look first in verses 5 & 6:

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

These men are presenting themselves as pious and holy. They are presenting themselves as righteous and with a direct line to God. They are showing everyone that they are smarter than everyone and that they know better then everyone.

Their dress, their attitude, their behavior, all of it is shouting, Pay attention to Me! Respect Me! Show deference to Me! Look at me as I do all these good things. Look at me as I walk around, and other people see how good I am. Look at me and see how much I give. Look at me and see how holy my prayers are. Look at me!

Jesus says, Hypocrites!

Beware of them. DO not follow them. Do not listen to them.

 

Many of these criticisms, unfortunately, can be levied against men in my profession. Men who claim to have a calling and a passion for the LORD. Men who are living unholy lives, whether in public or in secret. Men who are in it for the money, the fame, the publicity, the prestige. Men who are swindlers, preying on the old and the poor and the desperate.

Do Not Follow Men Who Are Living Unholy Lives!

 

Now, this, of course, does not mean that you can only follow someone who is perfect and sinless. None of us are. Paul wasn’t, Timothy wasn’t, James, John and Peter weren’t. Billy Graham wasn’t. RC Sproul wasn’t.  John MacArthur isn’t. Charles Stanley isn’t. Alistair Begg isn’t.

I certainly am not.

 

But we look to what scripture says and what are Pastors and elders supposed to be. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,[c] not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise[d] must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.

 

 

This is what religious leaders are supposed to hold to. To fail in these areas is called a disqualifying sin.

 

Blatant Hypocrisy.

Misuse and twisting of Gods Word. (That doesn’t not mean disagreeing with their teaching or interpretation)

Stealing or skimming money, misusing church funds.

Manipulating and abusing.

Sexual Sin.

Out of control anger and abuse.

Exorbitant and lavish lifestyles.

Those who compromise Biblical truths in order to have more influence in the world, a bigger audience, better book sales, people to like them more.

 

These are things that Gods Word says make one unqualified to be a spiritual leader. Do Not Follow them that do these things.

By the way, do not do these things either. These codes of conduct are not only for pastors, elders and the like. They are for all believers. The problem is that these are all natural human temptations. That’s why Jesus says beware!

We would love to have someone in authority tell us that giving in to those temptations is ok. That they do it so we can to. We want someone to justify our sins, to say that they are not really sins, or that its perfectly natural.

We also naturally want to look our best in different scenarios and environments. Even if looking our best in that environment means lying about who we are or pretending we don’t do or believe certain things, pretending that wrong is right. OR, as the scribes described here, having the appearance of godliness, holiness, righteousness, morality, when it is only an outer façade.

Paul, again, describes the people that Jesus warns about. This time 2 Timothy 3:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

 

 

Having the appearance of Godliness but denying its power.

 

Avoid such people.

 

These people will think they are winning, they are successfully tricking people into thinking they are who their façade shows. Jesus says here, they will receive their condemnation. James echoes this when he says:

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness

 

 

 

Jesus is much, much more than an example for us. So much so that when people say that he is an example, I get very cautious. Many have said that in context like what we looked at last week. This definition of who He is, is all of who he is. So, when people say Jesus was an example for us, because some say that’s all He is an example, and some say that means we can do everything that He did, including the miracles, I get defensive.

But the fact is that Jesus is an example for us to follow. We should seek to model our lives after him. And when we look at Jesus calling out the scribes and their blatant hypocrisy and pride and showmanship, the contrast could not be any clearer.

One commentator says: How far this is from the example of Jesus Christ, who did not seek a place for himself, but set aside the glory he deserved to serve us to the very death.

          This is straight from scripture. Paul writes in Philippians 2:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

 

Jesus is clear. Beware of being like these guys. Don’t be like these guys. Don’t follow these guys. Be better. Follow me. Be like me.

 

And then, as we move into Chapter 21, There just happens to be, luckily enough, coincidently, an example of the scribes, pharisees, Sadducees, the religious leaders manipulating and taking advantage of those under them.

Whew! Jesus sure was lucky that happened right at that time!

 

They were in one of the courts of the temple. That’s where all the teaching would take place. And in that court were the offering boxes. There were 13 of them and each one had written on it what the money gathered would be used for.

The rich, well off, the religious leaders, they made sure they were seen giving. Remember Jesus talked about them tithing on their mint and dill. They wanted to make sure they showed how successful and well off they were because it showed the other people that God was pleased with them. It also made them look good, showing how generous they were.

And Jesus directly contrasts their unholiness and outward piousness, with a poor widows sacrifice and faith. The word in the original language is extremely poor. This was much poorer than any one in this room. This was extreme poverty.

She was giving two copper coins, the lowest valued coins that existed. Our pennies are made from copper, this was their equivalent. Mark, as he told this story, remarked that together they would make 2 pennies.

She gave literally her last coins. She now had no money to buy food or anything. She sacrificed more than any of the hypocrites ever would. Her giving was worth more to God than theirs.

Now, we have all heard many sermons and teachings on this passage, and we are not going to get too deep into the normal aspect of it today. In addition to the truths that are usually taught, we see that this widow is being exploited by the religious leaders. The religious leaders were not fulling their duty as James 1 tells us, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

          Jesus told us at the end of Luke 20 that they devoured widows’ houses. Commentators aren’t sure what exactly that refers to, many of them give a thought, but the point is clear. They are taking advantage of and exploiting those whom they are tasked with taking care of.

The widow, of course, had an obligation to give. That’s not in doubt or in question. She was to, as we all are, give in and with faith and to be a cheerful and sacrificial giver.

But the religious leaders had an obligation to make sure she wasn’t exploited, and she wasn’t guilted into giving her literally last penny. They were bleeding her dry so that she didn’t have any thing left to live on.

We see a financial and generosity example of this principle here: God does not compare our giving with what the person next to us is giving. He compares our giving to what we have and what we give. Just like he doesn’t compare our sins with the person next to us, or to the people who are (in our mind) much worse than us. He takes and looks at our sins by what we do and what we are called to do.

 

 

True faith in Christ means living a life of Christ. The Bible is clear what those principals and some of the specifics look like.

How are you treating the poorest among you? Again, James tells us to take care of the widows and orphans and to keep oneself unstained form the world. Paul tells us that our giving should be cheerful and sacrificial, how much or however little it may be. Live with humility and love. Ephesians 4 says to preach the truth, but also to preach it with love. Jesus tells us that they will know we are Christians by our love.

We are to strive for and live a life of holiness, avoiding hypocrisy. Not in order to gain favor with God or to avoid punishment from him.  We can’t do either of those things. Not us, not on our own. Favor in Gods eyes and salvation from the wrath of God is from one way and from one source only. Its is solely by the grace of God alone who gives the faith, and it that faith alone in His Son, Jesus Christ alone that does it.  And Gods love and Jesus’ sacrifice changes us.

The Holy Spirit changes our heart of stone to a heart of flesh, we are brought from death to Life. This is the fruit of the spirit being made evident in our lives. This is a lifestyle that flows from the Holy Spirit, fruit from a true, saving faith.

Hypocrites, those hypocrites Jesus points out, the hypocrites that are obvious today, even the ones that are not so obvious, like us unless we repent. They will receive their condemnation.

But Romans 8:1 tells us that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us, if you love me, keep my commandments. Trust in him, repent of your sins, and show your love for and faith in him by living a life modeled after him and obeying him.

 

Let’s Pray

Luke 20:41-44 Jesus is LORD Jesus is the Son of Man

Luke 20:41-44

Jesus is LORD

Jesus is the Son of Man

 

All right! Please grab your Bibles and turn with me to Luke chapter 20. If you do not have a Bible or if you need a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work on getting one into your hands.

So, in Luke chapter 20, we see that religious leaders of all kinds, different denominations, different political parties, different viewpoints, they are all different in many ways, but they are united in one area. They are united against Jesus of Nazareth.

He and his teachings were a threat to their power, their religious power, their political power, their people, cultural power. And so, they combined to challenge him. They sought to undermine his power, his authority and his influence.

Jesus’ response to them was clear and firm. He kept bringing them back to scriptures. He kept focusing on the Word of God. Even when they wanted to use the Word of God against Him, he would use the word of God to correct their misunderstandings and show them what they and been missing in the Word.

Jesus continues that in this section this morning. We are going to read just a couple of verses here, Luke chapter 20, verses 41-44. I’ll be reading out of the English Standard Version, which will also be on the screen, though I encourage you to grab your own Bible, in your preferred translation and read along for yourself out of the word of God.

Luke 20:41-44, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke records the Words of Jesus:

But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
43     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

 

Thus says the Word of God

          Now, we saw at the end of the passage we looked at last week that Jesus answered their questions so well, so forcefully, with so much authority, that they didn’t dare ask him any more questions. They figured, this is the wrong tact to use, lets regroup and try something else, we can’t trick him with our questions.

And so here, Jesus flips the script and asks them a question instead. Again, he is looking to correct a simplistic, incomplete, misunderstanding about the Word of God, and therefore, about himself, that the scribes, and other religious leaders hold to.

Jesus cut at the expectations that the religious leaders had for who the Messiah was supposed to be and was going to be. The long awaited, long promised, longed for Messiah was prophesied to be a descendant of David. He was to be a Son of David and he was to sit on the throne of David.

In some ways, they were expecting the Messiah to be kind of a David part 2, a David Jr.

And so, the whole focus was on comparing him to the expectations that David’s reign as King had set. David, as King, unified the twelve tribes of Israel, united them back into a singular nation. He brought about a free and strong Israel. David provided, under his leadership, military and political power, and freedom and protection against their neighboring countries, historical enemies. He made Israel great!

As Jesus stood before the Jewish leaders, Israel was, again, a nation divided. Judah, Israel, even Samaria. Ever since they divided in the OT, stemming from a lack of leadership and godliness under the reign of Kings after David. They were also an occupied land and an occupied people.

And so, the Messiah had some very specific things to do, tasks to accomplish and prophecies to fulfill in the religious leaders’ eyes. He was to militarily and politically overthrow Rome and send them away from Israel. He would unite the three states of Israel and make them united and unified once again. He was going to sit upon David’s throne, a physical king, over a physical land, the country of Israel. He was going to Make Israel Great Again.

That was what was expected. They are what they were looking for. That is what they thought that God was sending them. The promised Messiah, the Son of David.

And yet…
You say that the Messiah will be the Son of David, and yet, in the Psalms, David says that He will be, He is David’s LORD. David holds him in higher regard than you guys do.

That last point is important, because in those days, in that academic and religious setting, those who came before were regarded as much more wise than present generations. This is why the leaders and teachers were so dependent on what previous rabbis said and taught. And so, again, using consistent, internal logic, they should have deferred to what David thought and believe and wrote.

Jesus is telling them; you have a very myopic view of who the Messiah will be. They were only looking at information, only looking for things that would confirm what they already believed, and they want to believe. The same way that we watch the news today, the same way we talk to people today, that same way our tendency is to read the Bible today.

They were looking at things through a very specific and particular lens. Kent Hughes cuts through it all and puts it very pointedly, writing:

 

The problem with these scribes is that they had a studied ignorance of God’s Word and a practiced inability to think beyond rabbinical traditions. They read the Word through a political lens that reduced the Messiah to a mere man on the analogy of David. We do the same with our lenses- an economic lens that turns every scripture into advice for financial wellbeing, a racial lens that not too long ago edited out the scriptural teaching on ethnic equality, a feminist lens that interprets and rejects the Scriptures as a tract for patriarchal dominance, a postmodern lens that subjectivizes Holy Scripture into “what it means to me.” We all have our lenses, and our lenses blind us to the glory of God’s Word. We must try to read Gods Word for what it is. And we must humbly seek the Holy Spirits help in bowing to what we read.

 

          Now, are there scriptures about how to rightly handle finances? Yes. Are there scriptures on Gods design for the family and head of the Households? Yes. Some lenses that we look at scripture through, there are parts of it that are valid. Some are not, but some are. And that makes them even more dangerous, because we look through those lenses and we focus only on what we see through that lens.

So, are there scriptures that say the Messiah will be the Son of David? That he will be a physical descendant of David? Yes, there are. But that’s not all of who He is.

We also see that He will be God. A part of who the Messiah will be is deity.   David, in Psalm 110, uses the English word Lord, twice, but that’s two different words in Hebrew. So, David is saying, “Yahweh said to my Adonai…”

Yahweh is the personal name of God. Adonai means my sovereign LORD. When every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, it won’t be at the name of Jesus, or Yeshua. It will be that Jesus is Adonai. David is saying that the Messiah will be sovereign overall. David will bow, submit to Him, call him LORD. He will be Son of God.

And we see him titled the Son of Man as well. Daniel especially uses this title and Luke does as well to harken back to Daniel and show that Jesus is who Daniel was looking forward to.  We see in the Gospels, specifically Matthew and Luke that Jesus was born a human baby. He lived a human life. He would die a human death.

And yes, in addition to Son of God and Son of Man, he would be a Son of David. He would be born in the lineage of David. This would be to help confirm whether those claiming to be the Messiah were or were not Legit. Luke is clear to confirm multiple times that Jesus is a descendant of David, (1:27,32,69, 2:4, 18:38)

 

As Son of David, the Messiah is not less than David. Just as, as Son of God, The Messiah is not less than God.  The Messiah is LORD. He is David’s son, but he is David’s LORD. He is Caesars LORD. He is your LORD, and he is my LORD.

We don’t have the right to have a myopic view of who the Messiah is. We don’t have the right to see him as only the Son of David, or only the Son of God, or the Son of Man, for he is all of these and more. The only box we can put the Messiah in, the only way for us to define who the Messiah is how he himself defines himself and the box he himself puts himself in. Namely, the Word of God.

We, as humans, have a lot to say about God, about Jesus. He is like this or like that. He would do this or would do that. He wouldn’t do this and wouldn’t do that. And most of the time, the things we say have no biblical basis. They are our wants, our desires and our human nature pouring out. IF there is any biblical Ness in it, it’s not contextually, comprehensively, biblically based.

Now, the question Jesus is asking the scribes, how can the Messiah be the Son of David if David calls him LORD? And what was Jesus’ answer?

One commentator writes:

What was the answer? There is no record in any of the synoptic Gospels that Jesus bothered to explain it to the scribes that day. The answer lies in the two stages of the Messiahs history. First, by birth, he became the “son” of David. Second, by his death, resurrection, ascension, and position at Gods right hand he reigns as David’s “LORD.”

Another commentator says that this riddle is solved only by Messiah being both God and Man.

And that man is none other than Jesus himself. There is no one else in history that can be the Messiah. There was never meant to be any one possible except Jesus.

He, and only He can define who He is. He and only He can show us who he is.

Son of Man, Son of God, Son of David

Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father.

Immanuel

Lamb of God

Alpha & Omega

Bread of Life

Redeemer

The Word Made Flesh

Beloved Son

Good Shepard

Master

Rabbi

Christ.

He is the King of Kings and the LORD of LORDs

 

All of this from the scriptures. All of this is who Jesus is. All of this is who the Messiah is. Not any one of these. All of these. And more.

He is our salvation. He is exclusive. He is the Way, the truth, and the Life. He came to be a ransom for many. And it is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone in Jesus alone that we receive salvation, that our sins are forgiven that we have our eyes open to who he is and what the Bible says, that we were blind and can now see, that we were dead but are now alive, that are able to be called children of God and that we are clothed in Christs righteousness.

 

Who Jesus is is the single most important question that we have to answer in this life. And He is the only one who has the authority to answer it. And he does answer it, right here in scriptures.

          Jesus and Jesus alone gets to who we say He is and who he is is worthy of all honor and glory and praises.

 

Let’s pray.

Luke 20:27-40 Jesus is the Son of Man: One Bride for Seven Brothers

Luke 20:27-40

Jesus is the Son of Man

One Bride for Seven Brothers

 

All right! Please turn in your Bibles with me to Luke Chapter 20. If you do not have a Bible, or you have need a Bible, please see me after the service and we will work on getting one into your hands.

SO, we continue through Luke’s Gospel, and we see in Chapter 20, that Jesus continues to be verbally challenged by the religious leaders of the day. And we don’t often think about it but there were numerous groups of religious leaders in that day. It was not just the Pharisees. Very similar today to the political leaders of our country, there are both Democrats and Republicans, not just a single group.

And Jesus is telling them, you have no right to Heaven. You can’t earn your way to Heaven. The only way to get to Heaven is through grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. He tells them, you are not going to trick me. Obey those over you, all those whom God has placed over you. Because that is all under the umbrella of obey, submit to and trust in God and to give every piece of you, every aspect of your life, nothing hidden, over to God.

So, we are going to go ahead and read this morning’s passage, Luke chapter 20, verses 27 through 40. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I encourage you to grab your preferred translation and follow along the true, inspired, inerrant Word of God. We will also have it up on the screen in case you forgot your Bible or don’t have one.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Luke writes:

 

There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man[f] must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”

34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons[g] of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” 39 Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question.

 

Thus says the Word of God.

 

So, you know when both Democrats and Republicans agree and team up against a cause, or a person, or whatever, you know its either really, really, bad or really, really good. And that’s what we see here with Jesus. Both the Sadducees and the Pharisees, who wouldn’t agree on much and would team up even less, and yet they were united in regard to standing against Jesus of Nazareth.

So, we talk about and mention the Pharisees often, but we don’t talk a lot about the Sadducees. Who are they and how are they different from the Pharisees? Let’s ask GotQuestions.org:

The Sadducees and Pharisees comprised the ruling class of Jews in Israel. There are some similarities between the two groups but important differences between them as well.

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were both religious sects within Judaism during the time of Christ. Both groups honored Moses and the Law, and they both had a measure of political power. The Sanhedrin, the 70-member supreme court of ancient Israel, had members from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through a couple of passages of Scripture and through the extant writings of the Pharisees. Religiously, the Sadducees were more conservative in one doctrinal area: they insisted on a literal interpretation of the text of Scripture; the Pharisees, on the other hand, gave oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God. If the Sadducees couldn’t find a command in the Tanakh, they dismissed it as manmade.

Given the Pharisees’ and the Sadducees’ differing view of Scripture, it’s no surprise that they argued over certain doctrines. The Sadducees rejected a belief in the resurrection of the dead (Matthew 22:23Mark 12:18–27Acts 23:8), but the Pharisees did believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees denied the afterlife, holding that the soul perished at death, but the Pharisees believed in an afterlife and in an appropriate reward and punishment for individuals. The Sadducees rejected the idea of an unseen, spiritual world, but the Pharisees taught the existence of angels and demons in a spiritual realm.

Socially, the Sadducees were more elitist and aristocratic than the Pharisees. Sadducees tended to be wealthy and to hold more powerful positions. The chief priests and high priest were Sadducees, and they held the majority of seats in the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees were more representative of the common working people and had the respect of the masses. The Sadducees’ locus of power was the temple in Jerusalem; the Pharisees controlled the synagogues. The Sadducees were friendlier with Rome and more accommodating to the Roman laws than the Pharisees were. The Pharisees often resisted Hellenization, but the Sadducees welcomed it.

 Because the Sadducees were often more concerned with politics than religion, they ignored Jesus until they began to fear He might bring unwanted Roman attention and upset the status quo. It was at that point that the Sadducees and Pharisees set aside their differences, united, and conspired to put Christ to death

So, Jesus was finally in the Sadducees cross hairs. The Pharisees and the scribes had their opportunities to work against Jesus and take care of the problem he was causing. And now the Sadducees come and have an idea about how to trip up Jesus.

The Sadducees were open about what they believed and didn’t believe. They believed thy had sound logic and scripture backing them up. They did not believe in life after death. They did not believe in a resurrection. They focused their scriptures on the 5 books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Any thing after those 5 books was a man made add on. In those 5 books, they didn’t see scriptural basis for the afterlife or the resurrection.

And so, they challenged Jesus on this particular doctrine, and they believed that scripture back up their argument. They were using a form of argument referred to as reductio ad absurdum.  This is the logical fallacy of appealing to the extreme. Showing how a position is wrong by trying to walk it out to its extreme conclusion. If you believe this, then you must, necessarily believe and condone this extreme absurdity.

And so, the Sadducees laid out this absurd example, trying to show their impeccable logic. Scripture says this point, from Deuteronomy 25:5-10, essentially God told Moses that if a man marries a woman and they don’t have kids and he dies, the next brother should marry her and give her a child so that she may have an inheritance through her son and have someone to take care of her as she gets older. This was how people were taking care of when they got older, by their family and especially their children.

And in this, we see that one-off, not the only, but one of the purposes of marriage was for procreation. To deny that God made marriage for this is to deny the Word of God. Again, its not the only purpose, or even the single main one; that’s to point to the relationship that we are to have with Jesus and God the Father when we get to Heaven. It’s a type that shows the communion and camaraderie and the love that will be shared between us and Him at that time. But procreation was an important part of Gods design for marriage.

Now, that was Gods point in the command in Deuteronomy, that was not the Sadducees point here. Their point is that if this is the law, which it is, and there is an afterlife, which they thought there was not, then what happens in this ridiculous scenario?

Their point was, look at our impeccable logic. Look at us using scripture to back up our point. Their point is one we often mistakenly make. “If only they would read the Bible, they would see it all right here, in black and white…”

We all have those views, those beliefs, those subjects and those doctrines that are crystal clear when we read the Bible, but in reality, and less than black and white, and much more gray.

We might be right. We might be wrong. But its not an issue that determines salvation. To me, scripture is clear that A is true. To you, scripture is clear that B is true. The truth is that both positions are valid Christian beliefs. That doesn’t mean that both positions are right, but that both positions are valid ways for Christians to believe and still be Christians.

How many arguments and how much division does it cause when we concretely and steadfastly say that ours is the only way? The only way to respond. The only way to think. The only way to believe.

Now, of course, there are some things that scripture is crystal clear on. There are some things that are required to believe in order to be a Christian.

Jesus is God. Jesus is Man.

Jesus was born without sin and life a sinless and perfect life. He died for our sins. He was dead, he was buried, he was resurrected, he ascended. He will come again. All things that are required, biblically, historically, to believe, that the Bible is clear on, on order to be a Christian.

Some more things; We must worship on Sunday mornings in Suit and ties and long dresses. Communion must be every week and with wine. We must Vote republican.

Oh wait, no…

Christians can have biblical reasons why they believe and disagree on communion, on baptism, on methods of worship and song styles, on what Bible translation to use, on what the end times are going to look like and when it’s going to take place and in what order.

We all have our views. We believe the Bible backs up our view and we should be able to point to where and why the Bible backs us up. And ours is the only logical, correct way. If someone disagrees with us, they must be disagreeing with the Bible.

That’s what the Sadducees brought to Jesus right here. “What do you say to that, Jesus?”

This is a story that is recount in the other gospels as well. Jesus initial response to the Sadducees in Matthew 22:29, Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

Then he answers the Sadducees, and he tells them, you really have no idea what the after life will look like, nor can you know what it will look like. The way that things work in this world are not the way things will work in the next world and thank goodness for that! Jesus tells them that they cannot use earthly logic, no matter how valid, to understand what Heaven will be like.

RC Sproul reminds us beautifully: Whatever is or isn’t in heaven, one thing we know now: in heaven there will be no sin. Everything that profanes human relationships will be gone. No sin. No deceit. No death. No sickness. No sorrow. How that occurs in the resurrection, we don’t know. We must trust God at his Word that whatever we experience in heaven will be wonderful and will be nothing but gain.

There are three things that Jesus lets them know as he is responding to the Sadducees. First, there is a heaven and an afterlife.  And those who are the Sons of God are who will be in it. Those who are considered worthy is how my translation outs it. The original language makes it clear that it is to be “counted worthy” or “made worthy.” It is not something we do, but rather something God does for and too us, by his grace and through our faith in his Son Jesus Christ.

Second, the afterlife, heaven, wont look like whatever it is that we expect it to look like. We get some hints and glimpses in scriptures, but as Paul says elsewhere, now we are looking through a glass darkly, but then we will see clearly.

Third, there will be a resurrection of the dead. Judgment will take place and we will be placed in our eternal destination based on whether we are made worthy by God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.

And then, in specific answer to their question, almost as an afterthought, he says that in heaven, we will be like angels. Not that we will be angels. We won’t be sprouting wings and playing harps, which is not what angels actually do either, but we do not turn into angels. Instead, in the context of the Sadducees question, there will be no marriage in heaven. Again, the purpose of marriage is to point to heaven and God, and when we are there, we won’t need to point to where we already are or what we already have.

And Jesus tells shows them from scripture where the resurrection is shown. He says, you don’t see it in scriptures, lets open our Bibles, lets turn to the passage about the bush. That’s how they referred to passages of scripture then, they didn’t have chapters and verses, but every person listening would have known exactly what Jesus was referring to.

That’s the passage I had Mike read this morning. Moses is talking to God, or rather God is talking to Moses and God tells him, I AM the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, The God of Jacob. He is saying, among other things, I am the God of these men who are dead. They died, and I am still the God of them, because they are living with me now. Those who have died are still living.

Jesus didn’t say, because I said so, which he could have. He had that knowledge and that authority. He didn’t quote psalms or proverbs or the prophets, which he could have, those books were and are scripture and they have the authority. Instead, he referenced and quoted Deuteronomy, which the Sadducees recognized as scripture, and showed from within there the truth.

Now, as is usual for human beings, when faced with the truth that goes against what we think, we don’t accept the truth, we don’t acknowledge it. We either keep arguing against it, or we go away and fight another day.

That’s what the Sadducees did here. They say, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” They say it, not because he convinced them, but because they knew they were not going to be able to win any points or arguments or trick him or anything. They were conceding the confrontation, but not being convinced of the truth of it.

So, of course, we see in this passage, affirmation that there is a resurrection, that there is an afterlife. We see Jesus clearly state who will be there and remind us that Gods ways and wisdom are greater than our wisdom and logic.

Speaking of our logic. The other thing we see in this, what I really saw this week is that we are not to trust our own opinions. Lean not on our own understandings. Instead, trust the Bible. Trust Gods Word.

Be careful how you interact with and disagree with those around you, especially fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. You may have biblical reasons for your views. But recognize that other people can have biblical reasons for what they believe, and it can be different from what you believe.

Again, that doesn’t mean that both are right. There is only one right answer to many of these issues. And in this specific context, we are not talking about arguments without or outside of Christianity. We are not talking about arguments about what things historically, biblically make one a Christian. We are talking about inter family disagreements.

IF Gods Word is trusted. If Gods word is the foundation. If God is glorified. IF we hold these things in their place, not unimportant, but clearly secondary, if we treat each other as family, as brothers and sisters, then we can disagree. We can put aside differences and we can unite underneath the thing that brings us together. Stand side by side, hand in hand, with different beliefs and conclusions and we can raise our hands are sing Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty. We can sing together In Christ alone. We can sing together On Christ the Solid Rock I stand. WE can and should and are commanded to worship together, to love one another and to praise God in and for all of it.

Let’s Pray.