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

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XXIV: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Reliance On Scripture For His Credibility
(Luke 7:18-23)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus Christ is indeed God's true Savior of the world and not some false messiah, there should be a great transparent reliance in Him on the written Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
    2. Such is the case, and Luke 7:18-23 documents this fact as follows:
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Reliance On Scripture For His Credibility, Luke 7:18-23.
    1. After John the Baptizer had baptized Jesus, John was imprisoned by Herod the tetrarch, Luke 3:18-21.
    2. This imprisonment was upsetting to John's faith, for he held that such an imprisonment contradicted the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom he had believed (as a typical Old Testament saint) was imminent with the Messiah's first (and presumably only) appearance, cf. Bible Know. Com., New Testament, p. 222.
    3. Accordingly, since John was in danger of being martyred rather than ruling with Jesus in the long-sought Messianic Kingdom, he began to doubt if Jesus might be the Messiah, that he might have been mistaken in believing he himself was even the Messiah's Forerunner.
    4. Thus, when John's disciples told him Jesus had healed the centurion's servant from a distance (Luke 7:1-10) and had resurrected the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), a miracle exceeding in power those resurrections performed by Elijah and Elisha (last week's lesson), though he knew Jesus was at least a Prophet, John wondered if He was ONLY a prophet and NOT the Messiah, Luke 7:18-19.
    5. John thus sent some disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the long-anticipated Messiah, or if the Jews were to look for another, Luke 7:19. John trusted that Jesus was a messenger of God or he would not have sent his disciples to ask Him this question, but John wondered if he had made an identification error!
    6. Jesus' reply revealed He relied ultimately on Old Testament Scripture for His identity, Luke 7:20-23:
      1. When John's disciples arrived and asked Jesus John's question (Luke 7:20), He was practicing a variety of miracles, curing many people of disease, evil spirits, and giving sight to the blind, Luke 7:21.
      2. Having performed such miracles, Jesus summarized for John's disciples hat they had witnessed, Luke 7:22: they had seen Jesus heal the blind, cause the lame to walk, cure lepers, make the deaf to hear and preach the gospel to the poor and afflicted.
      3. Of note, each such act was predicted in the Old Testament Scriptures regarding Messiah's ministry:
        1. Isaiah 35:5-6 predicted that the blind and deaf would be healed and that the lame would leap as a deer when Israel's God and Messiah had arrived, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1085.
        2. Isaiah 61:1-2 that Jesus had already proclaimed He was fulfilling in His hometown synagogue at Nazareth added that Messiah would preach the gospel to the oppressed, cf. Luke 4:18-19.
      4. Thus, Jesus expected John to take what his disciples had seen and heard that had been predicted in the Old Testament of the Messiah to believe Jesus was the Messiah based on God's Word regardless if other issues did not fit John's theological presuppositions! They had to trust Scripture over their own theological presuppositions or what they had been taught by others to the contrary!
      5. Accordingly, Jesus pronounced a blessing on anyone who relied on God's Word about what He was doing and was not offended in Him due to their theological presuppositions to the contrary, Luke 7:23!
Lesson: When asked by John and his disciples if He was the Messiah due to doubts John had over his Old Testament presuppositions, Jesus had them test if He was fulfilling Old Testament Scripture as taking precedent over all their presuppositions. Jesus thus had implicit trust in Scripture for His credibility, revealing He was God's true Messiah. (cf. Isaiah 8:20)

Application: (1) May we believe Christ is God's true Savior by His resort to Scripture for His ultimate credibility, and (2) may we like Him rely on Scripture as our final source of reality! (3) This may mean realizing SOME of what we have come to believe or what we have been taught is in ERROR since it COUNTERS God's Word; however, may we always subject all our beliefs and presuppositions to the test of written SCRIPTURE!