Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090415.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XXV: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Righteous Evaluation Of Individual Hearts
Lesson: Jesus ELEVATED John's TRUE VALIDITY and CRITIQUED the FALSE EXTERNALISM of the religious leaders, revealing He is the Creator God's true Savior of the world.
- If Jesus is indeed the Creator God's true Savior of the world, we should expect His evaluation of the hearts of individuals to be completely righteous opposite the flawed evaluations of sinful men.
- This righteous kind of evaluation about Jesus is recorded in Luke 7:24-35, with relevant lessons for us:
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Righteous Evaluation Of Individual Hearts, Luke 7:24-35.
- Jesus countered the lure for onlookers to think John's questions meant his ministry was errant, 7:24-29:
- After John the Baptist had sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask if was the Messiah, or if the nation should look for another, Jesus began to instruct the onlookers about John and his ministry, Lk. 7:22-24.
- The rhetorical questions Jesus asked about John show He defended John's spiritual greatness to the crowd that might think otherwise from hearing John's questions of doubt on Jesus' identity, 7:24-29:
- Though John had told the people of Israel that Jesus was the Messiah and God (John 1:29-34), after being imprisoned and about to be martyred (Luke 3:19-20) opposite his expectation that the Messiah would present His kingdom in His first coming, a view easily held by Old Testament saints (1 Peter 1:10-12), John had sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah, Luke 7:18-19.
- Jesus had directed John in his trial of faith to believe the Old Testament prophecies about Him even if John did not understand God's timeline involved, Luke 7:22-23 with Isaiah 35:4-6 and 61:1.
- Knowing onlookers might question John's validity from overhearing his questions of doubt, and that it might lead them to question John's past true claims about Him, Christ asked rhetorical questions to teach John was not weak and vacillating, but much more than even a prophet, Luke 7:24-26.
- This teaching reveals Jesus knew John did not doubt He was from God, but struggled theologically due to the lack of knowledge that all Old Testament prophets had experienced, cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12.
- Indeed, Jesus said John was the Forerunner of Messiah in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1, Luke 7:27.
- However, even though John was the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus announced that those who were least in the Kingdom were greater than even John of the Old Testament era, Luke 7:28!
- This announcement edified the crowd that had submitted to John's baptism, Luke 7:29!
- However, Jesus corrected the Pharisees and scribes who thought they were upright, Luke 7:30-35:
- Christ's exaltation of John's ministry offended the religious leaders who rejected his baptism, Lk. 7:30.
- Jesus then exposed how sinful were these religious leaders who should have realized from their use of Scripture the way John's ministry fulfilled Old Testament prophecy, Luke 7:31-35 (with 7:22-23):
- Christ used an illustration of the religious leaders to indicate their evaluation of both John and Jesus had been superficial rather than Biblical due to their errant spiritual outlooks, Luke 7:31.
- These leaders, like children playing in the marketplace who were enamored by externalism, had failed to be entertained by either the more subdued externals of Old Testament John's ministry or the jubilant externals of Christ's ministry Who came presenting the fulness of the Kingdom, 7:32-34.
- Yet, Jesus indicated through His proverb about wisdom's children that it was not the externals of the ministries of Jesus and John that discipled people in Israel, for the externals of John's and Jesus' ministries had sharply contrasted; rather, it was the truth both had taught that had discipled! (7:35)
Application: (1) May we believe in Christ as the true Savior of the world as evidenced by His correct spiritual evaluation of the hearts of men. (2) If we or fellow believers are under DURESS, we must NOT CONDEMN the pressured party of being evil or immature due to DOUBTS either we or they have, for every human displays limitations given enough DURESS -- even the greatest of believers! (3) However, if we or others express a FALSE EXTERNALISM and a DEPARTURE from SCRIPTURE if NOT under DURESS, the party has a FALSE spirituality, and it must repent!