Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980902.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part L: The Credibility Of Christianity Though Christ Was Incompatible With Most Men He Encountered
Lesson: Though Christ yearns for people to trust Him that He might save them, their PERSISTING in UNBELIEF will lead even to HIS ETERNAL, devastating refusal to FELLOWSHIP with THEM.
- Amazingly, most men who met Jesus on earth not only did not believe in Him, but He in turn eventually would not WANT their fellowship! There came to be a mutual wall of incompatibility between them!
- With this mutual incompatibility, one might wonder how Jesus could be God's loving and hence true Son!
- To understand this amazing fact and how it does not obstruct the credibility of Jesus' identity as the Son of God who so loved the world, and so that we might find helpful application for today, we view Lk. 13:22ff:
- The Credibility Of Christianity Though Christ Was Incompatible With Most Men He Encountered:
- Luke's Gospel was written to show the credibility of the Christian faith to Theophilus, Luke 1:3-4.
- Well, Luke 13:22-35 explains the presence and reason for the presence of a great and mutual relationship barrier between Jesus and most men he met, and how this does not undermine His Biblical credibility:
- As Jesus journeyed and taught in Israel's towns en route to the cross in Jerusalem, one of His disciples apparently noticed that not many were responding to Him, and that troubled him. Accordingly, this disci ple asked if only a few were to be saved for the Kingdom, Lk. 13:22-23 (B.K.C., N.T., p. 241).
- In response, Jesus revealed that a mutual incompatibility gulf stretched between Him and most people:
- On the one hand, Jesus urged His listeners to strive to enter the narrow gate of justification by faith which many were refusing to accept, Luke 13:24a; Jn. 5:24. This reveals that many were not very impressed by Jesus and had neglected to enter His salvation and find life for God's coming Kingdom.
- On the other hand, Jesus revealed that He did not accept people unless they believed in Him: (a) Christ revealed that one day, when their eternal welfare was on the line, many would try to get into the Kingdom but wouldn't be able to as they had refused to enter before by faith, Lk. 13:2 4b-25. (b) In fact, Jesus revealed that people who recalled having eaten and drunk at dinner with Jesus and who had heard Him teach in their city streets would use those experiences as evidences of fellowship, and He would still reject them to eternal damn ation, Lk. 13:26-28. (c) Finally, Jesus revealed that Gentiles outside of Israel who would believe in this life would be accepted by Christ into His kingdom in contrast to many in Israel who had failed to believe in Him, Lk. 13:29-30.
- To illustrate how such a mutual incompatibility gulf could arise between men and Jesus, Luke records a revealing disagreement between Jesus and the theologically conservative Pharisees, Lk. 13:31-35:
- The same day Jesus revealed this incompatibility gap between others and Himself, the theologically conservative (Mtt. 23:1-3a) Pharisees warned Jesus to flee the area lest Herod kill Him, Lk. 13:31.
- However, Jesus rejected this warning, stating that He would keep ministering to Jerusalem and perish there quite the opposite of the suggestion of these Pharisees, Luke 13:32-33.
- Apparently the Pharisees knew of His prophecies to reach Jerusalem, and their warning was a ploy to get Jesus to flee so they could discredit His prophecy about reaching Jerusalem, Lk. 13:22; Lk. 9:22.
- Now, Christ's fleeing Jerusalem would have meant His avoiding the cross and man's redemption, Rom. 3:24-26. That was unthinkable, so Jesus took a strict stand against the Pharisees, noting that Herod's cunning behind their warning was a very wicked, anti-God entity worth opposing! (13:32a)
- Then, He revealed that though He had often wanted to save Jerusalem and give her God's blessings, her unbelief instead led to God's judgment, and her incompatibility gulf with Him, Lk. 13:34-35.
Application: (1) If we have not yet done so, BELIEVE in Christ for salvation. Postponing this action until it is too late will lead to God's REJECTION of US, Lk. 13:24! (2) In line with John 15:18-21, GODLY believers should expect to expe rience Christ's MUTUAL incompatibility with others to develop as ungodly people reject their beliefs! Thus, don't feel guilty when that strained gulf rises, but see it as an INEVITABLE result of CHOICES each man makes, either FOR or AGAINST the truth!