Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20090902.htm
THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part XLIII: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Preference For Scripture Above Miracles
(Luke 11:16, 29-36)
Lesson: Jesus' miracles were performed to FULFILL SCRIPTURE, thus AUTHENTICATING Him as being God's Messiah and not Satan's messenger. Accordingly, if onlookers sought OTHER miracles from Jesus that did not fulfill God's Word, performing them actually became counterproductive since there was no way for such folk to discern if any more miracles by Jesus would be of God or of Satan! Thus, Jesus REFUSED to perform any more miracles in His ministry before such unbelievers!
- Satan can perform miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9), so for Jesus to be God's True Savior and not a false messenger from Satan, He should have exhibited a marked preference for God's Word above miracles.
- We have such evidence in Luke 11:16, 29-36, and we view it for rich applications for today (as follows):
- Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Preference For Scripture Above Miracles, Lk. 11:16, 29-36.
- After Christ had exorcised a demon from a dumb man in Luke 11:14, some faithless onlookers tested Him, seeking another miracle that indicated He had come from heaven and not from Satan, Luke 11:16.
- Christ replied to this in Luke 11:29-32 in its context, showing His preference for Scripture over miracles:
- Introducing His discourse in Luke 11:29-32, Jesus' comment to the woman who had pronounced a blessing on His mother for producing Jesus highlighted the import of heeding God's Word, Luke 11:28.
- Building upon this emphasis of heeding God's Word, Jesus answered the onlookers who sought from Him another attesting miracle, claiming they were evil for looking for such a sign, Luke 11:29a,b.
- Indeed, Jesus added that the only other sign that He was from God would be the sign of Jonah, for as he was a sign unto Nineveh by his preaching without any accompanying miracle, Jesus would be a sign by His preaching of God's Word without more miracles, Lk . 11:29c-30; Bib. Kno. Com., O. T., p. 236.
- Jesus then alluded to the Queen of Sheba, saying she would rise up in judgment against His generation in Israel that sought for another authenticating sign because she believed at merely hearing the wisdom of Solomon, but that He had greater wisdom than Solomon had in his words from God, Luke 11:31.
- Also, the Gentiles of pagan Nineveh who had heard Jonah preach would rise up in judgment against Jesus' generation in Israel to condemn it, for the men of pagan Nineveh had repented at the mere preaching of Jonah, and Jesus was a greater preacher than Jonah, Luke 11:32!
- Jesus then described the spiritual condition of His critics, urging His listeners to respond to His Word because of its intrinsic truthfulness versus faithlessly seeking for more attesting miracles, Luke 11:33-36:
- The Lord noted that when someone lights a candle, he does not intend for its light to be put into a secret place or hidden so that its light is not evident, but that it openly illuminate a specified area, Luke 11:33. By this parable, Jesus meant that through His preaching and attesting miracles performed in fulfillment of God's written Word, God had intended to show Israel that Jesus was indeed His True Messiah and Worldwide Savior, that Jesus was not from Satan, Luke 7:18-22; Isa. 35:4-6; Isa. 61:1-2a.
- However, there was a problem in the eyes of some of Jesus' beholders, so Luke 11:34-36 illustrates this problem: Christ's critics had not relied on the Word of God, so they had not discerned that the miracles He had already performed before them had fulfilled God's Word to signal that He was from God. These folk knew Jesus had performed miracles, but they judged Him to have done them in Satan's power due to their blindness to the fact that those miracles had fulfilled Old Testament prophecy!
- Hence, Jesus stopped performing any more attesting miracles before such folk: their failure to check His past miracles by Old Testament prophecy left them unable to discern if any future miracles by Him would be of God or Satan, so performing more miracles would only be counterproductive! (Lk. 11:29)
Application: (1) May we believe that Jesus is God's true Savior and not a messenger from Satan by relying on Scripture to see that His miracles were of God and not of Satan! (2) May we heed Scripture above miracles as God calls us to do in Deut eronomy 13:1-4. (3) If a party is occupied with experiential and miraculous emphases versus heeding Scripture, they are into evil, and we should be wary of them!