Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 5 Study # 2
Thesis: Status seeking blinds so that nothing is perceived correctly.
Introduction: We have been studying Luke's record of the "official" reaction to Jesus. This reaction was sponsored by Jesus' healing of a leper and that leper's presentation of himself to the priests. In our studies we have seen that there was a potent predisposition in the "officials" to find fault with Jesus. Rather than deal honestly with the evidence, they simply made "snap judgments" that tended to preserve their status quo and to make Jesus appear to be a deceiver.
This is an enormously critical issue because the "officials" were the ones who set the tone of the nation's future. God gave the nation a thirty-seven-year "window" of opportunity to embrace His gracious provision of a Kinsman Redeemer by the presence of that Redeemer in their midst. He then gave that same nation a thirty-seven-year "window" of opportunity to reverse itself from the foolish decision it had made by the preaching of the Gospel of the Resurrected Redeemer. And then He destroyed that nation and scattered it over the face of the earth for almost 2,000 years.
While "official" Israel was scrambling to preserve its extremely temporary place in the sun, some of the ordinary people of the nation were being drawn one by one into the everlasting Kingdom of that Resurrected King. How was it that ordinary people could see what the "officials" could not see? The answer to that question rests, at least partially, upon facts so plain that only those who have the bit in their teeth cannot see them.
This morning we are going to look into the danger of refusing to deal with the facts just because those facts expose the profound evil of the life that is being lived apart from them.
July 29, 2007
- I. Consider the Known Facts.
- A. Everyone knows that there is something perverse about acting like the world is coming to an end when one of the most rewarding events of life is developing all around the "actor".
- 1. In the record before us, Jesus asked about the perversity of such behavior.
- a. The "attendants of the bride chamber" automatically bubble with enthusiasm in their setting.
- 1) These "attendants" are the ones who are in charge of making sure that there are no glitches in the outworking of the events leading up to the marriage.
- 2) These "attendants" are selected, at least in theory, because of their loyalty and commitment to the groom and their desire to do their best to make the beginning of his marriage as happy as possible.
- 3) These "attendants" significantly share in the emotional state of high anticipation and enthusiasm that characterizes their "best buddy".
- b. Only a perverse spoil-sport cannot see the legitimacy of sharing the joy of a close friend.
- 2. In the record before us, Jesus pointedly revealed the "obvious" -- that the behavior of the "friends" is tied directly to the emotional state of their "friend".
- B. Everyone also knows that there is something perverse about a person who does not have the ability to rejoice with those who have good reasons for rejoicing.
- 1. We must understand that "good reasons for rejoicing" are rooted in God's provisions for Life.
- a. The apparent success of evil actions is not a cause for rejoicing (such as inheriting great wealth from a person you have murdered).
- b. Those who rejoice with those who rejoice in the apparent success of evil are evil.
- c. Jesus' choice of a wedding was deliberate in that weddings celebrate the shared love and union of a good relationship.
- 2. We must also understand that those who cannot understand God's provisions for Life cannot rejoice in someone else receiving them...they can only envy what they do not understand.
- C. Everyone also knows that those who criticize others have a responsibility to be sure that their "facts" are accurate.
- 1. In our record Jesus and His disciples are being criticized.
- a. The Pharisees and their scribes are honing in on Jesus as a "disciple maker" and raising very important issues regarding His "qualifications".
- b. It is never wrong to criticize those who are destroying the lives of others.
- 2. In our record the Pharisees and their scribes are putting themselves in the seat of the critic and, because of that, have a profound duty to make absolutely sure that their facts are legitimate.
- a. The preceding facts are these...
- 1) Jesus' works are indisputable in terms of "power".
- a) He has gained a general reputation as a healer/exorcist.
- b) He has specifically demonstrated His power as a healer of leprosy and palsy to His critics.
- 2) Jesus' "powerful works" have been conducive to life and the reinforcement of true religion.
- a) He sent the healed leper to the Temple to fulfill the Mosaic obligation.
- b) He ratified the importance of forgiveness by faith by healing the man who was palsied.
- 3) Jesus' explanations for the questions that His powerful works were raising were so solid that those who were raising the questions were either highly satisfied or, at least, recognized that His answers were not to be publicly discounted if one wished to be taken seriously.
- b. The question must be raised as to whether the critics were even making an attempt to make sure of their "facts".
- II. Consider the New Fact.
- A. Jesus suddenly identified Himself as a "Groom".
- B. Jesus' new revelation of Himself as a "Groom" is a claim to one of the most fundamental issues of the Kingdom of God: that God is going to be a husband to the heirs of His Kingdom.
- 1. This was a known Old Testament thesis.
- 2. This is the most central "relational" issue known to man: there is no relationship that even comes close to that of a husband and wife...for good and for evil.
- C. Embracing Jesus as the heavenly "Groom"/Rejecting Jesus as the heavenly "Groom" is absolutely determinative for Life.
- 1. If He is the "Groom"...
- a. Accepting Him as such leads into the relationship of Life.
- b. Rejecting Him as such leads into the absolute destruction of Life.
- 2. If He is not the "Groom"...
- a. Accepting Him as such leads into the absolute destruction of Life.
- b. Rejecting Him as such at least opens the door to the possibilities of Life.
- III. Consider the Danger.
- A. There is the danger of being motivated improperly.
- 1. This danger is extreme because it absolutely blinds and turns everything on its head.
- 2. This danger is extreme because the outcome of attempting to function in opposition to reality is totally destructive.
- B. There is the danger of God's reaction to His perception of absolute selfishness.