A STUDY OF THE BOOK OF LUKE
A Sermon with Eternity in Mind
Luke 6 SCC 3/20/16
TRADITIONS MUST BE CHALLENGED DUE TO THEIR RELATIVE VALUE
Following Jesus is better than Sabbath keeping 1-5
Here is a controversy about picking grain on the Sabbath. The Pharisees complain about the disciples picking grain as Sabbath breaking v 1-2. Jesusí response was not to deny it, but to give an example where David did that which is not lawful v 3-4. The point is some values are lord over other values and the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath v 5. Jesus is greater than the Sabbath, so following Jesus is better than Sabbath keeping.
NB: Whatís interesting is that there is no evidence that the apostles kept a Sabbath day. Even if one assumes they met on Saturday or Sunday, there is no evidence they considered that a rest day. Jesus did not accommodate traditionalism because of its relative value. What is lawful/unlawful to do should be determined by the Word of God not tradition. We should be determined to know nothing more than the Bible knows. Tradition should not simply be modified by the Bible. That assumes tradition is the foundational authority.
Saving a life is better than Sabbath keeping 6-11
Jesus is healing in the Synagogue on the Sabbath v 6-7. Jesus, knowing the Pharisees were watching hoping to accuse him of wrongdoing said, I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it? v 8-9. So life saving is more important than Sabbath keeping. Jesus was especially irritating to the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath and the Synagogue. They put more significance in these than in theology and morality. This is probably why the Pharisees were filled with rage v 10-11. God was not supposed to hear sinners or Sabbath violators yet right in front of them God endorses this. At their wits end the Pharisees not sure what to do have the conviction that something must be done. Their mindless irrational plotting begins.
NB: The question Christ forced was, ďWho is Lord around here?Ē If tradition is lord, then follow it. If Jesus is Lord, then follow Him. But following Christ inevitably results in breaking tradition. Traditions have several values: (1) they create teachable moments and (2) they help bring chaos to order. But traditional values will also be: (1) polluted with worldly values, (2) limited in what they teach, and (3) competitive with the Bible. Unlike the Bible, traditions dull the senses and make people dull, complacent, and unmovable. Jesus did not go over well in synagogues. In Nazareth they tried to kill him. In Capernaum they tried to trap Him. But when He offended both the Sabbath and the synagogue, the Pharisees were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. Traditionalists value their traditions not for what they teach but who they controlóthe masses. So make another choice.
CHOOSE TO IDENTIFY WITH PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW JESUS NOT TRADITIONS
Jesus prays and decides 12-13
Before choosing the Twelve Jesus withdrew and spent all night in prayer v 12. Calling them disciples and then apostles indicates they were to function as his representatives and mouthpieces for the message of the kingdom v 13. The pattern was that the multitude chose to follow Him, but He chose the twelve apostles. Jesusí leadership responded to the crowd but initiated when it came to choosing leaders. Respond to the crowd and initiate toward potential leaders is Christlike.
Jesus identifies with the ordinary 14-16
Jesus brings into this important group a wide variety of ordinary men; a fisherman, a tax collector, a political revolutionary, a skeptical man who later wanted clear proof of Jesusí resurrection, and even a future traitor. The choice of Judas Iscariot is not an accident but itself was part of a series of events in which Godís hand was at work. †
Jesus continues to be popular 17-19
With Jesus team now assembled, Luke summarizes Jesusí work in the region and amongst the people. Jesus healing continues to draw people to him v 17-18. The crowd was also interested in his teaching. Luke continues to stress Jesusí power drawing people to him v 19. Some have come to him while others have rejected him. The division will grow only more intense and eventually more violent. Some will serve him for life and receive special instruction, teaching and authority from him. The leaders of the church age did not emerge by accident or vote but were hand picked.
NB: Be careful who you choose to identify with in the church. Traditionalists will always have additional agendas to obeying and following Christ. Their traditions keep people in bondage not freedom. Traditions are designed to initiate the masses for the purpose of controlling them by their agenda of power and influence. Christ offended the traditionalists with the truth. Understand the truth, orient your life around it, and expect the fury of traditionalists who will be offended by your Historical/grammatical reality.
THE BEST CHOICE IS TO EMBRACE JESUS AND HIS TEACHING NOT TRADITION
Pursue poverty and rejection 20-26
Jesus delivered the Great Sermon of Luke 6. The first thing He told the multitude who had gathered there was, Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven v 20. He went on to tell them they should consider themselves blessed if they were hungry, weeping, or hated for His sake because their reward would be great in heaven v 21-23. On the other hand, He said, Woe to you who are rich, well, fed fed, laugh now and when all men speak well of you v 24-26 because you are receiving your comfort in full. Jesus avoided, and taught believers to avoid, wealth and social acceptance, while favoring poverty and rejection for following Him. The reason was wealth and acceptance now is likely to be detrimental to rewards in heaven.
NB: We should consider ourselves blessed by God when we are poor, hungry, weeping, or hated for Christís sake because we will be blessed in heaven. Jesus said, be glad in that day and leap for joy (Luke 6:30). The point is, you want to enter heaven with the scales balanced against you in this life, as if life owes you something. So make sure you leave this life having given more than you received. If you give yourself all your rewards here, then you wonít receive any in heaven. The problem is we are from here not from heaven. We like to say this world is not my home Iím just a passing through but thatís hard because we are from here. We are leaving here and weíre not coming back.
Pursue loving your enemies 27-38
Jesus went on to tell the multitude that they should love their enemiesí v 27. This was a radical concept for Jews, who were taught all through the Old Testament to destroy their enemies. But in the Law, God spoke to Israel nationally. Jesus is speaking to people personally. Then he gives eleven examples of love your enemies in v 27-35: (1) Do good to those who hate you, (2) bless those who curse you, (3) pray for those who mistreat you, (4) whoever hits you on the cheek offer him the other also, (5) whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either, (6) give to everyone who asks of you, (7) whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back (8) treat others as you want them to treat you, (9) be merciful just as your Father is merciful, (10) Do not judge (unjustly attempting to balance the scales to bring justice personally) and you will not be judged, and (11) give and it will be given you (God is in charge of all outcomes and those outcomes have eternal consequences).
NB: The point is, love your enemies expecting nothing in return; and your reward [in heaven] will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High (6:35) That is be sure you leave this world having given more than you have received, be on the wrong end of justice. Leave having the scales of life tipped against you. There is no way this mentality came out of the middle east culture by the way. Where do you find this teaching in the Middle East cultures? You donít have to visit Israel and the West Bank very long to realize there is no way the Gospel came from these cultures. The Gospel and this teaching came from heaven!
Pursue the call to obey Jesus 39-49
Here are five short parables by which Jesus describes the importance of whom one follows: †
(1) A blind man like you are cannot guide a blind man for each is blind v 39 (2) A pupil like you is not above his teacher like Me (Christ) v 40 (3) the speck sin that is in your brotherís eye, vs. the log more obvious sin that is in your own eye which is why you canít follow each other v 41-42 (4) each tree is known by its own fruit v 43-45. Atheist philanthropists like a Fred Meijer in Grand Rapids is not producing good fruit because it is all for this life. He said he wanted to give back to the city which gave him so much. The city didnít give him squat. God gave him what he had and he refused to acknowledge that. (5) the house with a foundation v 47-49 the word of God, and the house without any foundation build upon other than a sufficient Bible.
NB: The point is, why do you call Me, ĎLord, Lord,í and do not do what I say? If one thinks through the options, it is obvious that the best choice is to embrace Jesus and his teaching. This is the only way there can be eternal dividends from oneís life.
1. Be willing to offend others who believe their traditions have equal authority to Godís Word.
2. Surround yourself with believers who believe that only the Bible is sufficient truth for life.
3. Determine to obey only Jesus teaching embodied with authority within the writing of the apostles.