Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 4 Study # 5
Thesis: God will invariably get around to addressing our "loyalty" issues; part two.
Introduction: As we looked last week into Luke's record of Jesus' behavior at the Passover of His twelfth year, we saw the Father's dissatisfaction with the prayerless life that is lived on the basis of unexplored suppositions. Over the three cycles of exposure to the wisdom-challenging contrasts of four that Jesus had gone through to get to His twelfth year, He had come to a kind of wisdom that stunned those who knew enough about the Word of God to be stunned. As He was being taken through those "paces" by His Father, His earthly parents were apparently drifting along under the general dominion of the pattern of the years. The record before us tells us that they "supposed" (presumed) that they knew how Jesus would "behave". That Jesus, Himself, declared that His behavior was Father-instigated (John 5:19) meant that Joseph and Mary had both lapsed into a kind of blind presumption that they knew what God would do on any given day. And the presumption led to a kind of innocuous prayer life that gave them nothing more than a mollified conscience. And that approach to life left them completely unprepared for Jesus' uncompromising loyalty to His Father.
This morning we are going to look a bit further into what Luke wrote to Theophilus. The "big" thesis of this paragraph is Jesus's qualifications to be God's Redemptive Lamb (the record is focused upon the Passover of Jesus' twelfth year). The "big" issue in "qualifications" is the issue of the "loyalty" of love and faith. No one can be the qualified Redeemer who does not understand that every detail of living must be subjected to the Father's wisdom. Among the issues of the "every detail" thesis is the commitment one has to talking things over with the Father -- something Joseph and Mary had, apparently, not cultivated. Another of the issues of the "every detail" thesis is the commitment one has to doing the Father's will when that will is going to seriously upset the "family". This morning we are going to explore the "loyalty" thesis as it touches upon the "tender spot" of "family". What are we to do when a "family" member is unwilling to be loyal to God and they want to apply the pressure of their own disloyalty to us? Jesus, in this paragraph, as a twelve-year-old, shows us.
October 16, 2005
- I. The Larger Context.
- A. The Genesis Three reality.
- 1. Eve had to decide what to do when "another" wanted her to be disloyal to God.
- 2. Adam had to decide what to do when the "other" was his most valuable human companion.
- B. The Job connection.
- 1. The book of Job is the Word of God's fundamental presentation of the "loyalty" issue: is God more valuable than any "other"?
- 2. In that book, Job rejected his wife as a "fool" (Job 2:9-10).
- C. Jesus's own teaching.
- 1. The "problem" with "kinsmen" is two-fold.
- a. On the one hand, if you frustrate them very significantly, they will turn on you like a wolfpack with a white pup in its midst (Luke 21:16).
- b. On the other hand, regardless of where you "fit" in the group, the tendency will be to discount you significantly if you are "too 'fanatical' about the will of God" (Mark 6:4).
- 2. The "solution" with this "problem" is one: Mark 3:33-34.
- a. One must be clear beyond clear as to who it is that makes up "family".
- b. It is not, not, not, not those in whose veins the blood of a common gene pool flows (blood may be thicker than water, but loyalty to God had better be thicker than blood).
- D. Jesus' own experience.
- 1. With His "own", He rejected their opinions and, as long as they held them, He rejected them (Note John 1:11).
- 2. With Jesus, the "know it all's" used their familiarity with Jesus to reject Him as God's Redeemer (Note John 6:42 and Mark 3:32 and following, compared with 3:21). The extremely sobering thing about this is that Jesus responded to them according to what they did to Him: He rejected them as "family". Those who walk with God in harmony with His Word will invariably be discounted and persecuted by those who wish to live a life of unexamined suppositions.
- E. The "typical" excuse; you live your way and I'll live mine, will not work because it is impossible for entertwined lives to not bring pressure to conform to bear.
- II. This Specific Record.
- A. It begins with the record of Jesus as the Redeemer.
- B. It goes immediately to the context of Passover/Unleavened Bread.
- a. This context is about the Father's level of commitment in Passover.
- b. This context is also about the Son's level of commitment in diligently rejecting all leaven as a component of life.
- C. It then deliberately focuses upon the "leaven" issue of "family pressure to conform to the life of unexplored suppositions".
- a. Joseph and Mary are clearly the "foil" Luke has chosen to use to address the Redeemer's qualification of absolute loyalty to the One Who deserves it.
- b. The "supposition" issue is the central thesis of "cause" in this event: without their "supposing", none of this would have happened.
- c. It cannot be, therefore, that Luke is not addressing the fault of living in the wasteland of the superficial, unexamined, religious life.
- d. Nor can it be possible that Joseph and Mary were not exerting a subtle pressure upon Jesus to "conform". It is impossible to live without exerting the pressure of one's life and choices upon those most closely linked to that life. Likewise, it is impossible that Jesus's twelve-year-long loyalty to His Father was not making its own presence felt, but that presence was being stymied by the "loyalty" of the family to its own agenda. How is it that none of Jesus' brothers believed in Him until after the resurrection?
- D. It then moves directly into a "confrontation" setting.
- a. Jesus, under His Father's direction, creates a breakdown of the "suppositional life".
- 1. He does not do an "easy" thing. There are six days of significant difficulty involved.
- 2. He deliberately creates the "loyalty" test.
- b. Jesus was not the only one in that family who was supposed to be "about My Father's things".
- 1. The "lesson" goes unlearned -- at least partially (see 2:51, but compare it to the record of Mark 3).
- a) Joseph is never heard of again as a living participant in the on-going record.
- b) Mary is presented as coming to the issues with difficulty.
- 2. It is incumbant upon every child of God to give the Father the place He deserves to have if life is going to result.
- 3. The bottom line: no one can be a loyal son without deciding that even family members do not have the right to determine that we will not do the will of God.