Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XIX: Certifying That Christ's Authority Extended Over Traditionalism
(Luke 5:27-6:5)
  1. Introduction
    1. When the Early Church began to expand to include not only Jews, but Gentiles, a debate circled and had to be settled in Acts 15 on whether or not the Gentile believers had to conform to Jewish rituals, Acts 15:1.
    2. This matter deeply affected Gentiles. They needed assurances regarding their status if God indeed was going to accept them without their becoming proselytes to Judaism, and the strongest Source of such assurance would be that of Jesus Himself.
    3. Luke 5:27-6:5 shows the thoughts of Jesus Christ regarding His authority versus the authority of traditions so that all believers in the Church era would be sure of which authority to mind -- Jesus or traditions.
  2. Certifying That Christ's Authority Extended Over Traditionalism, Luke 5:27-6:5.
    1. Luke's purpose according to Luke 1:3-4 was to give assurances to a Gentile named Theophilus that what he had heard about the Christian faith and Christ's life was valid.
    2. In doing so, Luke included a section revealing Jesus' authority over Jewish traditionalism so that he would know in no uncertain terms that Jesus considered allegiance to Him to take precedence over traditions .
      1. Rubbing the traditionalists, Jesus called a despised publican caught in the very act of performing His wicked deeds of financial abuse to be one of His 12 disciples, Lk. 5:27-28.
        1. Jesus encountered Levi, a despised publican actually sitting at his haunt of abusive wickedness, the receipt of custom, levying taxes with great injustice, Luke 5:27a,b.
        2. In this location and caught in the act of sinning, Jesus nevertheless rubbed contrary to the wishes of any well-meaning Pharisee of His day and called Levi to be one of His close 12 disciples, Lk. 5:27c!
        3. Levi immediately became converted, leaving his wicked occupation and resources to follow, 5:28!
      2. Going further to rub against the traditionalists, Jesus accepted an invitation to dine with publications and people of a class the Pharisees dubbed "sinners", and with whom they would not eat, Luke 5:29-30:
        1. The Ryr. St. Bib., KJV ftn. to Mtt. 9:10 notes that "'Sinners' were those whose daily occupations rendered them ceremonially unclean and not, in Pharisaic eyes, to be associated with."
        2. As for publicans, other Jews viewed them as men "who betrayed" the nation for the sake of money as they took money from Jews to give to their Roman overlords, Romans who were not only Gentiles, but who then did not have to work, Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 217.
        3. Thus, when Jesus ate with a group of such people, the Pharisees naturally objected, Lk. 5:29-30.
        4. Jesus responded that He came to call such people who were in need to be saved, explaining His right to use His authority to rub against Jewish traditionalists in mingling with these needy people, 5:31-32
      3. Yet, going even further to rub these traditionalists, Jesus showed His authority over their traditions:
        1. Jesus showed His authority over their traditional lifestyles of prayers and fastings, Lk. 5:33-39: (a) When asked why Jesus' disciples broke with the lifestyles of prayers and fastings followed not only by the Pharisees, but also by Jesus' supportive movement in John the Baptizer's disciples, Jesus responded to justify his break, Lk. 5:33-34. (b) He noted that as the Messiah-Bridegroom, His followers appropriately rejoiced by eating and drinking where the pre-Bridegroom people of Isr ael were often disposed to fastings and prayers in suffering before He came, Lk. 5:34-35. (c) He noted that the Old Testament economy people were already too deeply engrained in their traditionalist practices to accept His change, so he didn't press John's disciples to adopt His new lifestyle, 5:36-39. Yet, He still had authority and the full intention to present the new lifestyle free of the old traditions!
        2. Jesus showed He had authority over even the Sabbath -- that as David could violate the technical restrictions of the Shewbread to save human life in 1 Sam. 21:1-6, He certainly could let His disciples violate the traditions of the Pharisees and pick ears of grain on the Sabbath Day, Lk. 6:1-5.
Lesson: All traditions are subject to CHRIST'S authority. Thus, we are obliged and liberated to run all of our practices and habits through HIS clearance before making judgments on traditions in ourselves or others! In acc ord with Colossians 2:20, if we be identified with Christ in His death, we should not be subject to the extrabiblical traditions of man as our rule or authority of faith and practice.