Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
Thesis: God's salvation begins to unfold.
Introduction: Up to this point in our consideration of Luke's perspective of Jesus, we have been exposed to preliminary information. All of chapters 1-3 and the first thirteen verses of chapter four were stage-setting information so that we would have a legitimate "context" for the record that begins in 4:14. At this point, Luke actually begins to record what we have been conditioned to call "the ministry of Jesus". This "ministry" has to do with Jesus' impact upon people as He acts and teaches. This "ministry" record is heavily prejudiced for us by Luke's preliminary information in which he sets forth the facts of God's activities prior to the beginning of Jesus' actions and teachings so that we will understand that God has done what He has done in order to get us to understand that Jesus came into our world to be the Central Issue of "Life" for us. The "big" issues are two: He was sent to bring us salvation in terms of redemption; and He was sent in the form of a kinsman so that He could do that. From this point on, the record is of the actions and teachings of Jesus so that we might be able to enter into God's salvation. This is no "Four Spiritual Laws, Pray the Sinner's Prayer" approach to the complicated issue of man being able to experience what it means to be redeemed. Instead, it is an extensive, detailed, presentation of Jesus so that men might come to grips with Him by means of His Truth.
July 30, 2006
- I. Our Text as a Presentation of "Initial Issues".
- A. The beginning of Jesus' ministry was a "return".
- 1. Of the 35 uses of the word translated "returned" in the New Testament, 32 of them are found in Luke's writings (and of the 18 uses of the foundational verb in this word, 10 are Lukan).
- a. If the other three recorders of "perspectives of Jesus" were able to accomplish their task without referring to any "returns", why could Luke not do that?
- b. Apparently, it was a fundamental part of Luke's "perspective" that Jesus represented the truth that is "packed" into the concept of "returning".
- 2. The fundamental concept of "returning" is that of one leaving a setting wrapped up in its norms (standards and practices) and going somewhere for a somewhat abnormal experience and then returning to the original setting, bringing the impact of the abnormal experience into the norms of that setting so as to bring that setting further into the plan of God.
- 3. In the large picture that Luke has painted thus far, the major issue is God's "return" to the "Adam" issue.
- B. The beginning of Jesus' ministry was a "spiritual power" issue.
- 1. When the foundations were being laid, Luke indicated that Jesus was characterized by a growth in wisdom and favor with God and men.
- 2. As that foundation was further developed, Jesus was identified as the Son of God to whom was given the Spirit of God.
- 3. Then, being filled by that Spirit, Jesus was shown to be more than a match for the original nemesis of the original Adam.
- 4. Now, Jesus "returns" to Galilee in the "power" of the Spirit of God.
- 5. Given the fact that Luke's "mentor", the apostle Paul, made man's relationship with the Holy Spirit the absolute key to "Life", we can hardly ignore Luke's presentation of the Second Adam's actions and teachings as the outworking of the "power of the Spirit".
- C. The beginning of Jesus' ministry was a "widespread fame" issue.
- 1. The "widespread fame" issue was succinctly caught in Paul's statement in Acts 26:26.
- a. The issue is man's exposure to God's truth in such a potent way that he does not have the luxury of simply ignoring it, or dismissing it.
- b. This does not mean that men won't ignore it or dismiss it; it simply means that if he does, he does it without excuse and without any legitimate complaint when the inevitable consequences descend upon his head.
- 2. The "widespread fame" issue is also a testament to the declared desire of God that all men come to a knowledge of His saving truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
- D. The beginning of Jesus' ministry was a "teaching" issue.
- 1. Luke's reference to the "power" of the Holy Spirit was a deliberate reference to the works of Jesus by which He obtained His "widespread fame".
- 2. Luke's reference to the "teaching" of Jesus in their synagogues was a deliberate acknowledgement of the fact that miraculous deeds are insufficient for man's "Life".
- a. The phenomenal attracts attention -- a necessary first-step in the communication of "life".
- b. But the "teaching" is the only way the phenomenal can be properly grasped so that "life" is the result.
- 1) Witness the progressive destruction of the significance of the awesome power of God in creation by the teaching of fallen man.
- 2) Witness also the progressive experience of "Life" in the experiences of those who come to an "exact truth" through the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
- E. The beginning of Jesus' ministry was an issue of "glory".
- 1. The majority of the people were "accepting" of His explanations of the significance of His deeds (Mark 9:39).
- 2. This was, however, an "initial splash" issue that looms significantly in Luke 8.
- a. Invariably, the initial exposure is just that: an initial exposure that does not press very far into the real issues of "Life".
- b. At some point, the "pressure" begins to develop and then one has to decide whether he will go any further or not (John 6:67).
- 1) At this point, what happened to Jesus in the wilderness happens to every man: he must face the question of what he really wants.
- 2) Those who want redemption, press forward; those who want their own way, cry "deception" and flee.