Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 5 Study # 6
Thesis: Jesus set the example for everyone who would claim His name.
Introduction: Last week we considered the selectivity of Jesus' activities in light of the very real competition of values that always exists in every choice. This morning I want to pick up on that "selectivity" issue and raise this question: Does Jesus actually intend for every one of His "redeemed" to "act like He did"? And if He does, what does that "look like" in our current culture?
The first question is simplicity itself; the second is significantly problematical.
January 14, 2007
- I. Luke's Record of Jesus' Commitment to Fulfill His Calling as a Summons to Us to Fulfill Ours.
- A. Luke recorded Jesus deliberately turning from the appeal of the appeal of the multitudes (that is a deliberate double-statement).
- 1. The "appeal" of the multitudes was "stay here with us".
- 2. The "appeal" of the "appeal" was to be the center of the attention of a large host of folks.
- 3. Everywhere in the Scriptures we are put on notice that we cannot succumb to the appeal of the appeal and remain the servants of God.
- B. Luke recorded Jesus deliberately retaining His "calling".
- 1. He knew both what His "calling was" and what it would take to fulfill it.
- a. He announced in Nazareth what His calling was.
- b. He told the selfish multitudes that He had to "proclaim the Kingdom of God in the other cities."
- 2. He pursued the task "unto the synagogues of Judea".
- a. There is a textual variation at the end of 4:44.
- 1) Some manuscripts read "the synagogues of Galilee".
- 2) Some manuscripts read "the synagogues of the Jews".
- 3) Some manuscripts read "the synagogues of Judea".
- b. The most reasonable reading is the one which gives rise to the others.
- 1) The reading "synagogues of Galilee" could not possibly give rise to the other readings.
- a) It "fits" the setting like a glove fits a hand.
- b) It has absolutely no similarity of spelling that could account for a change.
- 2) The reading "synagogues of Judea" explains both other readings.
- a) It is so "apparently" not suitable to the setting that someone simply changed it.
- b) It also explains why some would go with "synagogues of the Jews".
- c. Luke's point is one: Jesus pressed His "calling" as far as the synagogues of Judea so that He could fulfill it to the maximum.
- 1) This is, after all, his "point" -- that Jesus was absolutely committed to His Father's appointment.
- 2) It was the synagogues of Judea where Jesus was in the most "danger".
- C. Luke told Theophilus of Jesus' commitment so it could "bleed into" Theophilus' heart.
- 1. It is fundamental to "Christian" theology that God has ordained that every snake who has his nature altered into that of a "Christian" is to be "conformed to the image of Jesus".
- a. Hebrews 10:5-10 tells us that the purpose of Jesus in the incarnation was to do the will of God.
- b. Romans 8:29 is a plain as it possibly can be that we are to be "conformed" to the image of this "obedient" Son.
- c. Romans 12:2 demands as strongly as it possibly can that we are not to be "conformed" to this world.
- 2. It is fundamental to the "seal of God" that everyone who names the Name is under serious obligation to "depart from unrighteousness" (2 Timothy 2:19).
- 3. It is fundamental to "Jesus' demand" that those who would be His disciples seek the Kingdom of God and God's righteousness as an exclusionary practice.
- 4. It is fundamental to "Theophilus' name" that Luke intended that he develop in the very same direction as Jesus.
- II. Jesus' Example as a Pattern for Our Development.
- A. "Development" is the key word: we start from the position of vipers in the wilderness -- way behind the eight ball.
- 1. We are deeply addicted to using our fangs to function in our wilderness.
- 2. We are summoned to a double task.
- a. The absolute cessation of the use of fangs.
- b. The complete commitment to permitting God to rearrange our inner wilderness.
- 1) The greatest single delusion is our basic rejection of our inner reality.
- 2) The greatest single methodological blunder is our fixation upon being instruments of the rearrangement of the wilderness reality of others .
- B. "Development" means that we stop assuming our "freedom" to act makes our actions legitimate.
- 1. Acts 5:3-4 clearly gives us the "freedom" to make our decisions about our lives.
- 2. But, 2 Corinthians 5:10 just as clearly tells us that we will explain our decisions to Jesus and hear and see and live forever with the consequences of what He thinks of them.
- 3. Obviously, any true Theophile must, then, understand some basic principles.
- a. First, there is no fulfilling of a non-or-ambiguous calling.
- 1) According to 1 Peter 4:10 every believer has a non-ambiguous calling.
- 2) According to 1 Corinthians 4:2 it is this calling to which we will be called to account.
- b. Second, the actual fulfilling of every specific calling is going to boil down to two basic principles.
- 1) First is the Kingdom of God.
- 2) Second is the pursuit of that Kingdom in righteous ways.
- 4. And, just as obviously, our early decisions will be more problematical than our "mature" ones will be.