Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 3 Study # 6
Thesis: The use of power to establish the validity of a theological claim has a clear-cut limitation: the essential nature of the work of the power.
Introduction: In our studies of Luke's presentation of the critical presentation by Jesus of His claim to the nation that He would be the One Who would determine whose sins were "forgiven", we have seen that there was a significant objection in the hearts of those who had bubbled to the surface of "cultural influence" within Israel. Jesus deliberately identified it as a "heart" problem, not a "T"heological problem. In Jesus' response to those whose objections were encased in "theology" (the hardest kind of problem to overcome), He deliberately pulled two highly significant issues into the discussion. He did it to show that their "theology" was not as iron-clad as they thought it to be. This morning we are going to look into His two "points" so that we may better understand what is at stake.
May 20, 2007
- I. Jesus' "Son of Man" Issue.
- A. It is clearly set in a context of "He acts and talks like He is 'God'".
- 1. He was so identified by Luke before His birth and at His baptism.
- 2. His activities make the argument.
- 3. Yet His terminology is deliberately "human".
- B. There are over 100 contexts in the Old Testament which would "suit" the general requirements of this phrase.
- C. There is only one context in the Old Testament which "suits" the specific requirement of this conversation.
- 1. Luke shows us what the specific requirement of this conversation is by his other records of Jesus' use of the phrase.
- a. In this text, the "Son of Man" is said to have the authority upon earth to forgive sins.
- b. In Luke 6:5, Jesus claimed that He, as the Son of Man, was "Lord" also of the Sabbath.
- c. In Luke 9:26, the "Son of Man" is coming in "glory" (a concept immediately identified by the verses following wherein Jesus is transfigured and identified by God as His Son) and Luke 12:40; Luke 17:24-30; Luke 18:8 and Luke 21:27 all reinforce both this "coming" thesis as well as the claim that when the Son of Man comes, all who are "worthy" will stand before Him (Luke 21:36) for the dispersal of privileges (i.e., "as a Judge").
- d. Thus, the "requirement" of this conversation is of an Old Testament text that declares that the Son of Man will have this kind of "authority".
- 2. Daniel 7:13-14 is the sole reference in the Old Testament that teaches that God's Plan of the Ages is to seat a "Son of Man" upon the throne of the Eternal Kingdom of God by means of the phrase.
- a. As a king, He will have final ruling authority.
- b. As an eternal king, His decisions will be absolute and irrevocable.
- D. The scribes and Pharisees were self-satisfied with their "T"heological argument that Jesus was blaspheming, but they had clearly overlooked the premier prophetic revelation of Daniel 7:13-14.
- 1. There is a time to be theologically "adamant".
- 2. But that time is not when there is a clear biblical text that refutes the adamant conclusion.
- 3. So, by Jesus' deliberate injection of the "Son of Man" terminology, the door to understanding has been cracked open.
- II. Jesus' "That You May Know" Thesis.
- A. In the setting, there can be no doubt that Jesus was linking the raw display of supernatural power to His claim to have "forgiveness" authority.
- B. On the face of it, this has always been a major "trump" card among men.
- 1. Throughout the Old Testament the conflict of the "gods" has always been "settled" by "power".
- a. The Exodus.
- b. The conquest of the wilderness and the land of Canaan.
- c. The defense of Hezekiah and Judah against Sennacherib, king of Assyria (the overnight death of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers).
- d. The Daniel record rooted in Daniel 3:15.
- 2. The entire New Testament book of John is founded upon the argument that powerful signs are legitimate foundations for "faith".
- C. But, there is a problem that surfaces in Revelation 13:13: the argument is not unassailable.
- 1. How can God permit Satan to use what has always been "comfortable"?
- a. 2 Thessalonians 2 gives us the answer.
- b. But even the answer strongly implies that the argument is very potent.
- 2. What is the "bottom" line?
- a. Two things must come together.
- 1) Luke 9:54 acknowledges two different "spirits" can be behind "powerful works".
- 2) Luke 11:15 reveals that the opponents had already realized this reality.
- 3) Luke 11:19 reveals the weakness involved when rejection is not rooted in the two key issues (simply dismissing powerful works can be a two-edged sword).
- a) The first of the two is obvious: supernatural power.
- b) The second of the two (loving intent -- note Luke 9:56) is less clear because the questions of "love" are complex, but is yet a necessity of the "bottom line".
- i. The complexity of "love" is that it is often a two-edged sword (John 3:16).
- ii. John 10:32-33 sets forth the requirement: "goodness"; and reiterates in necessity of faith when both issues are present in John 10:37-38.
- III. The Significance For Us.
- A. How sure is our status as the "forgiven"?
- B. How careless are we about whether we are the "forgiven"?