Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090617.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XXXIV: Christ's Identity As The World's Savior By His Commitment To Humble Greatness
Lesson: Jesus exemplified and taught His disciples that to be truly great, the believer must become truly humble, for even Jesus would taste of the cross in humility before gaining His Messianic crown.
- Jesus had to go to the cross before attaining the throne, implying there is humility in His greatness.
- Humble greatness must be true of all believers, and Christ exampled it for us in Luke 9:37-50 as follows:
- Christ's Identity As The World's Savior By His Commitment To Humble Greatness.
- Jesus revealed in a healing event followed by a prophecy that He would submit to humble mistreatment before attaining His throne in the Messianic Kingdom, Luke 9:37-44:
- After revealing His coming glory in the transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36), Jesus exorcised a demoniac that His disciples could not heal, causing onlookers to be awed with His divine power, Luke 9:37-43:
- When Jesus had descended from the mount of transfiguration with Peter, James and John, a desperate father met Him, appealing to Jesus to cure his tragically demon-possessed son whom Jesus' disciples had been unable to heal, Luke 9:37-40.
- Jesus rebuked the faithless and perverse generation that had led to such a crisis, and urged that the people bring the traumatized boy to Him, Luke 9:41. [This teaches that unbelief and twisted morals fuel demonic problems, and that faith in Christ and personal holiness checks them.]
- The Lord then rebuked the unclean spirit, healing the child that the demon was physically harming, causing the onlookers to marvel at the mighty power of God in Jesus, Luke 9:42-43a.
- However, immediately after this event, Jesus again solemnly announced He would be delivered in humility into the hands of men to be crucified, Luke 9:43b-44.
- The disciples did not understand this statement, especially with their Judaistic background that never held that their Messiah would be slain by men, and they were afraid to ask Him about it, Luke 9:45.
- Jesus revealed in a second event that His disciples had to become humble to be truly great, Luke 9:45-48:
- With their failure to understand Jesus' humility in His greatness that He had just illustrated, the disciples began to argue (NIV, ESV) as to which of them was the greatest, Luke 9:46.
- This argument could easily have been the result of Peter, James and John having seen Christ's glory in the recent transfiguration that the other men had not witnessed, with these three asserting they were greater than the rest! ( Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 231)
- Jesus responded by teaching the need for the disciples to become humble to be great, Luke 9:47-48:
- Jesus perceived the thinking of His disciples, and thus took a child and stood him next to Him, 9:47.
- Then, the Lord said that whoever received that child in His name received Him, and whoever received Jesus received the Father Who had sent Him, Luke 9:47a,b. Thus, every believer needs to be careful how he treats the least believer, for that one is an ambassador of the Lord!
- This was to teach the disciples that they needed to become as the least of them to be great, 9:47c!
- Jesus revealed in a third event that His disciples had to become humble to be truly great, Luke 9:49-50:
- Connected with the Luke 9:47-48 conversation was an interaction between John and Jesus regarding another party the disciples had seen exorcising demons in Jesus' name, Luke 9:49a; Ibid.
- John reported that the disciples had forbidden the party from his exorcism practice, for he had not been following with the other disciples in their band, Luke 9:49b.
- Jesus replied that the disciples had no right to forbid the party from his practice: if he was not against the Lord and the disciples, he was not to be viewed as a competitor, but as a supporter, Luke 9:49c.
- The point in the context is clear: the disciples were not to have a self-centered, competitive view of the ministry when it came to others, but humbly to view all who were not against them as being with them!
Application: (1) May we avoid the FALSE view that GREATNESS results from SURPASSING others, and adopt the TRUE view that GREATNESS results from HUMILITY. (2) If we wonder what IS true humility, recall that in JESUS' eyes, it means viewing one's self as a CHILD in comparison to others!