Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 5 Study # 4
Thesis: Jesus' commitment is to destroy Sin and its impact upon people.
Introduction: It is fitting that, as we are meeting on the last day of the year, our text points us to the beginning of a new day. Our text this morning points us to a contrast with the setting of the sun, and it points us to the issue of "resolution". In an earlier study we saw that Luke's point in telling us that the people waited until the setting of the sun to pursue health and deliverance was that there was something significantly wrong with those people. Their theology would not work in real life but they did not have the courage of conviction to throw it over and replace it with a legitimate way of relating to God. In our study this morning we will see that Jesus began the new day resolutely . It is ironic that hosts of people approach the New Year in a context of "resolutions" that will, for the most part, not last and that Jesus faced the reality of the new day with a resolution that carried Him to the right hand of the throne of God. What does this tell us about Him?
December 31, 2006
- I. The Baggage This Text Brings to the Table.
- A. The context is decisive.
- 1. There is an irony in the wisdom of God.
- a. The demons knew what the people needed to know.
- 1) The text tells us that they knew that Jesus was the Christ.
- 2) The content of the concept of "Christ" is absolutely crucial.
- a) It begins with the issue of absolute authority.
- i. No one can oppose this authority and win.
- ii. All who oppose this authority die the death.
- b) But it is filled out by the issue of how that authority is exercised.
- i. The demons are resolutely committed to authority as the means of life by dominion.
- ii. But Jesus' authority is invariably used to block that exercise of authority.
- 3) The people needed to know that Jesus is the Absolute Authority Who wields His power for the sake of those who are destined for a Kingdom of Servants.
- b. The demons attempted to subvert the knowledge so that the people could not profit.
- 1) The text tells us that they invariably attempted to vocally identify Jesus as the Son of God.
- 2) The implication of the text is that the demons sought to dissuade people from following Jesus by attempting to get them to believe that He would use His authority to dominate them -- just as He was dominating them.
- c. Jesus stymied the demons' desire while reinforcing what they knew.
- 1) Jesus cut the demons off by not allowing them to "develop their thesis".
- 2) Jesus actually laid the foundations for loyalty in the hearts of the people by showing that His authority was for their benefit.
- 2. The issue is that Jesus is both the "Son of God" and the "Christ".
- a. As the "Son of God" He is the exact replication of the character of God...God acts exactly like Jesus acted.
- b. As the "Christ" He is the executor of the authority of God...the execution of authority arises from character.
- B. The grammar is instructive.
- 1. The grammar is "complex" -- the main verb (He proceeded into a desolate place) is attended by two qualifying participles.
- a. The first of those participles tell us that Jesus proceeded into a desolate place after the day had arrived.
- b. The second of those participles tell us that Jesus had departed from Capernaum before the day had arrived.
- c. The point is that Jesus had already left Capernaum before sunrise and, once the sun did come up, He moved deeper into the wilderness.
- 2. What is the "point" of this point?
- a. What is significant about the wilderness?
- 1) It is the place where John "grew strong in the Spirit" (1:80).
- 2) It is the place where Jesus confronted the deceiver and triumphed over him (4:1ff).
- 3) It is the analogy of the problem of humanity in its bondage to Sin (3:2-4).
- b. Why was Jesus using the rising sun to flood His mind with the wilderness reality?
- 1) It is the reality of Sin's impact upon His creation.
- 2) It is also the reality of His triumph over that impact.
- II. The Declaration of This Text.
- A. The "problem" has not been resolved.
- 1. The deceiver was defeated.
- 2. But the deception is not over .
- a. The people have received grace but it has not accomplished its purpose...yet.
- 1) They are healthy and free of demonic dominion.
- 2) But they are still wrapped up in their selfishness.
- b. The actual accomplishment of the purpose ... to turn selfish people into servants of one another ... awaits a greater grace.
- B. But the "problem" is going to be resolved.
- 1. The defeat of the deceiver is going to be extended to all who come to really understand Who Jesus is.
- 2. But the extension of that understanding is going to take some time and clarification of Who Jesus is.
- 3. The chief clarification is that Jesus is essentially a Servant of Others and only those who embrace Him as He is are going to be able to live in the Truth.