Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 7
Thesis: There can be no true "sight" as long as a solid commitment to "self-respect" exists.
Introduction: In our study last week we zeroed in on the claim that Jesus came to restore sight to the blind. This seems to be Luke's "core" focus in respect to the ministry of Jesus. As we said, even if Jesus does everything that Justice demands for the forgiveness of sins, there will be no forgiveness of sins for those who "just can't see it".
God founded the forgiveness of sins upon the vicarious propitiation of the requirements of "Justice" by the Innocent in the place of the guilty, but He exclusively reserved that forgiveness for those who "believe" in His Son. The foundation served to retain the principles of justice and righteousness in the God of the Kingdom, but the reservation serves to retain those principles in the Kingdom of God. In other words, not only must God's "glory" be maintained in the face of the reality of sin, but the heirs of His Kingdom must have that same "glory" if there is to be a Kingdom. And that same "glory" cannot be possessed by anyone who does not "believe" everything that He says.
But, how does one come to "believe" what God says when one's thinking is hopelessly corrupt? This is the issue of the restoration of sight to the blind. Just as the "problem" of the physically blind is the total inability to see, so also the problem of the spiritually blind is the inability to understand any truth in terms of its contribution to a godly life.
If, as Luke seems to be insisting, the point of Jesus' life on this earth is to bring both sight to the blind and the blessings that restored sight provides, it seems that he would give clear indication of just what the issue(s) of "sight" are. And he does... . This morning we are going to look into Luke's record in order to see just what is involved.
September 10, 2006
- I. Luke's Focus in Luke 4:20.
- A. First, there is a focus upon Jesus.
- 1. It is difficult to read 4:20 and not come away with a sense that Luke is deliberately pulling our attention to Jesus.
- a. He tells us that Jesus "sat down".
- 1) This is not a problem to the casual reader of stories who typically thinks that the multiplication of words is the way stories are told.
- 2) This is only a problem for those who are hung up on Jesus' teaching that every jot and tittle have profound, time-controlling, force and that that "force" is directed in the direction of "Life".
- 3) So, the question that we face is this: what need has anyone to know that Jesus "sat down"?
- b. He also tells us that Jesus did two other things before he sat down.
- 1) He says that Jesus had "rolled up the scroll" of Isaiah from which He had selected His readings.
- 2) He also says that Jesus had "handed the scroll back to the attendant".
- c. And then he tells us that "every eye in the synagogue was fastened upon Him".
- 1) Remember the context...
- a) Jesus had been raised in Nazareth and had been in that synagogue for thirty years.
- b) Jesus had been gone from Nazareth long enough to have said and done enough attention-getting things that most of Galilee was eager to flock to wherever Jesus was said to be.
- 2) It is no marvel that Jesus had everyone's undivided attention.
- 2. Given this difficulty, it is not hard to "see" Luke's point.
- a. First, Luke deliberately used the "every eye in the synagogue was fastened upon Him" phrase in the specific context of his arrangement of Jesus' words so that "blindness" is the issue.
- b. Second, if Luke intends to show us that Jesus can restore sight to the blind, it should go without saying that such "restoration" will require a very fundamental thing.
- 1) The Bible calls this "very fundamental thing" by many names and phrases, but the most pertinent to our study this morning is that one which says we are to be "looking unto Jesus".
- 2) This is exactly what Luke is portraying in his record: every eye in the synagogue is "looking" at Jesus because of Who He has become in their hearing and of what He is doing in their synagogue.
- a) Even if we cannot "see" the specific points of Jesus' actions, we can see this: that He is deliberately getting their attention.
- b) This is the beginning of the recovery of sight: no one ever sees who does not turn his blind eyes to Jesus.
- B. Second, there is a focus upon the people in the synagogue.
- 1. The big issue here is the synagogue.
- a. This was the place where the light of Truth was supposed to exist most clearly.
- 1) If one had difficulty "seeing", the teaching of the synagogue was supposed to be the solution.
- 2) God has always ordained that His Word and the teaching of that Word would be the "eye-opener" for those who cannot understand.
- 3) As the synagogue transitioned into the "church", we read that Paul told Timothy that the church was supposed to be the pillar and ground of the Truth -- so the focus is still upon the instrument of teaching for the clarity of the Word of God.
- b. The problem is that there was little to no light there.
- 1) The problem was not that the Scriptures were ignored or disregarded.
- 2) The problem was that the Scriptures were being twisted continuously to make them fit the "theology" of self-exaltation.
- 2. This is Luke's second major point: there is no sight for those who will not jettison the demand that they be pampered and exalted.
- a. The Nazarenes had fought their humiliation rather than embracing it.
- b. They were not going to let even Jesus get away with anything humiliating.
- II. The Recovery of Sight.
- A. Jesus did not expect anyone to recover their own sight.
- B. Jesus did, however, not only expect, but demand, that any who wished to "see" would have to adopt the mindset of a "supplicant".
- 1. There are only two real blocks to blindness.
- a. One is the refusal to admit it.
- b. The other is the refusal to turn to the Maker of the Eyes.
- 2. A "supplicant" is a person who does both.
- C. The very commonly heard command in the Gospel is the word "repent", and it sums up the entire issue of how one regains his sight.