Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 1
Thesis: The issue of what is valuable arises out of the issue of what is at stake.
Introduction: In our previous studies, we saw that Luke presented Jesus in the light of One Who was making deliberate choices about what was important. This is the age-old, never-finally-settled-by-those- who-vacillate, question of love: what is valuable and why? God always answers this question the same way because of Who He is and What He is like, but men tend to answer it according to the "felt need of the moment". Jesus knows two things very well: He knows what is important; and He knows that men decide what is important in terms of how it will affect them. So, the record before us this morning is a record of Jesus dealing with fickle men who do not know what is really important. If we consider what He did, and why, perhaps we will grow in our grasp of how to make legitimate decisions.
From what we see of Jesus in this record, I want to put this notion before you this morning.
January 21, 2007
- I. The First Consideration: the Thoughtless Crowd.
- A. Luke deliberately sets the record into the context of the "crowd".
- 1. 7:1 begins with the crowd and 7:3 ends with it...and it is not mentioned again.
- 2. 7:1 is grammatically complex as it tells us of the crowd's "intentions".
- a. The value of this complexity arises from the fact that the "crowd" has a pretty settled sense of what is valuable and its "intentions" are merely the reflection of that attitude.
- b. The crowd has two "intentions".
- 1) It "intends" to impose itself upon Jesus.
- a) Jesus has rapidly become known as the greatest sugar-daddy to ever hit the scene.
- b) The crowd fully intends to try to get everything it wants from Him.
- i. Luke only uses this word twice in this Gospel.
- ii. The second use is instructive: 23:23.
- 2) It "intends" to hear the Word of God.
- a) Jesus has also rapidly become known as the most authoritative voice of God to ever hit the scene.
- b) The "theology" of the crowd includes a sense that there is a connection between the "sugar" the "daddy" has to dispense and the "theology" that is driving Him to proclaim the Kingdom of God in the other cities.
- c. The crowd is pretty typical of humanity: let's listen to God so we can use Him to get what we want.
- B. Luke deliberately tells us that Jesus "taught" these who were so driven and deliberately does not tell us what Jesus "taught".
- 1. The record is clearly not about what Jesus taught the crowd: it is about the impact He made on Simon, James, and John by His actions, not His words.
- 2. That Jesus "taught" before He "acted" signals that His words were going to set the stage for what He wanted three men to understand.
- II. The Second Consideration: the Thoughtful Jesus.
- A. Jesus experienced the reality of the crowd's thoughtlessness.
- B. Jesus deliberately set the stage for His teaching by doing some things that the crowd was going to "feel" but not "knowingly understand".
- 1. First, He demonstrated His disagreement with the crowd's intention to impose itself upon Him...He deliberately removed Himself from their reach.
- 2. Second, He compelled the crowd to "feel" what is at stake in listening to the Word of God.
- a. We were told in the record about John's preaching that he compelled the crowds to come out into the wilderness if they wanted what he had to offer them.
- 1) His message about "snakes in the wilderness" was going to be "felt" by those who heard it because they were surrounded by their own "reality".
- 2) We are told that John was the one who would prepare the crowds for Jesus.
- 3) We conclude that "setting the stage" is a part of getting the message across. [It's probably no wonder that the message is drowned today by the "setting" in which we pander to people trying to make God palatable to them instead of letting them know that the issue is whether they can be made palatable to Him.]
- b. When we look at the details Luke records, we get the feeling that Jesus was duplicating John's "methods".
- 1) First, Luke tells us that the Sea of Galilee is the Lake of Gennesaret.
- a) The word "lake" is only used by Luke and by John in the Book of the Revelation.
- b) The name "Gennesaret" is only used three times in the entire New Testament
- c) The combination represents the "alternatives" involved in the Word of God.
- i. The "lake" is a place of enormous destruction and is supposed to generate a pretty high level of terror.
- ii. Gennesaret is a place of enormous fruitfulness and is supposed to generate a pretty high level of a sense of blessedness.
- iii. John had introduced Jesus as the Representative of These Options -- One Who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
- 2) Second, Luke tells us that Jesus forced the crowd to have to face the Lake with their backs to Gennesaret.
- III. The Third Consideration: Our Reaction.
- A. We live immersed in Gennesaret without the Lake.
- B. We cannot duplicate Jesus' and John's "methods" to any significant degree.
- C. We must, therefore, pay more attention to the words .
- 1. What really is important?
- 2. What really is at stake?