Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
Thesis: Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before He set about doing the things that would forever affect His Father's "Forever Kingdom".
Introduction: This morning we are going to begin an extended study of some of Jesus' preparations for His coming, and eternal, Kingdom. In the past months we have spent a lot of time looking into the reasons for official Israel's rejection of Jesus as the Kinsman-Redeemer. The net result of our studies is this: there was no valid reason for Israel's rejection of Jesus of Nazareth as God's provision for its eternal well being. For that reason, we can also draw this conclusion: there is no valid reason for anyone to reject Jesus so that He cannot be a Kinsman-Redeemer for them. In spite of the fact that men throughout the ages have attempted to marshal arguments to justify their rejection of Jesus, there is no man who will find himself justified in his rejection of Jesus when the day finally arrives for his appearance before Jesus. So, this morning we are going to do as Luke did and turn from the records of why men hate Jesus and begin a study of what Jesus did as preparation for the ultimate future of those who, once they have appeared before Him, will be settled into Eternal Life in the Eternal Kingdom of God.
September 16, 2007
- I. Luke's Turn From His Explanation of Jesus' Rejection.
- A. This turn is revealed by the way he recorded his material.
- 1. In 5:16 Luke told us of another time when Jesus went somewhere to pray.
- a. At that point in Luke's record, we had a solid presentation of the evidence that Jesus is humanity's Kinsman-Redeemer.
- 1) That presentation had begun in 3:21 where we saw that Jesus was "praying" and Heaven opened and the Father identified Him as His "Beloved Son".
- 2) That presentation continued by telling us of Jesus' human origins through Mary (3:23-38), His successful defeat of Adam's nemesis, the devil (4:1-13), His presentation of Himself under the divine mandate revealed in Isaiah with potent overtones of rejection by His own people (4:14-30), and the proofs of His identity by means of irrefutable evidences that culminated (5:15) with the "greater than Moses" miracle of Jesus' cleansing of a man filled with leprosy.
- b. Luke's record in 5:16 marked a "departure".
- 1) Luke was "departing" from the "evidences" so that he could focus upon the next "issue": If the evidences were there, why did Israel reject Jesus of Nazareth?
- 2) In the verse, Jesus is presented as "departing" also.
- a) He "departed" from the enormous popularity that His power had produced.
- b) He "departed" into the wildernesses to pray.
- c. Luke's record in 5:16 was an introduction to the material to come.
- 1) In 5:16 Jesus' departure into the wildernesses was a clear picture of Jesus going off to pray in a setting that had already been established as extremely violent.
- a) John had been presented as compelling the people to go out into a setting that was a mirror image of their own depravity in order to hear his offer of a forgiveness that God was willing to extend.
- b) The foundation of that offer by John was his identification of his audience as a host of vipers who were habitually using their fangs and poison to force their way of life upon others.
- 2) Then, in 5:17-6:11 Luke recorded for us Jesus' confrontation of the vipers of Israel whose depravity was revealed by their absolute refusal to accept any of His actions or explanations as justification for His identity as the Kinsman-Redeemer of Israel.
- a) The record begins with the issue: forgiveness from a God Who accepts "faith" as a basis for the extension of grace.
- b) The record ends with the vipers generating their poison and sharpening their fangs.
- 2. Now, in 6:12 Luke falls back on that former pattern.
- a. Jesus is presented as departing unto the mountain to spend a night in prayer to God.
- b. The focus upon "the mountain" rather than "the wildernesses" is simply another of Isaiah's metaphors: Isaiah 2:1-5.
- 1) The "mountain" is a metaphor for the Kingdom of God.
- 2) In Luke 9:28 and following Jesus goes up into the mountain to pray and there He is revealed to Peter, James, and John to be the King of God's Coming Kingdom.
- c. The record is an introduction to Jesus in respect to the Coming Kingdom of God.
- B. This turn signals a deliberate shift in focus.
- 1. The "evidence" is in and does not need to be harped on over and over.
- 2. Now, the works and words of Jesus are going to be focused upon His faithful building of the Kingdom of God.
- a. His first act is to spend the time with the Father that is necessary to make sure that the foundations of the Kingdom are properly laid.
- b. His second act is to choose the men who are going to be the primary leaders of that Kingdom.
- 1) According to Luke 22:30, the men He chooses are going to be the rulers of the nation that is going to rule the world (this is what Isaiah 2 says).
- 2) According to 2 Samuel 7:10, Israel is going to be permanently "planted" and 7:13 says that David's rule will be forever.
- II. Luke's Record of Jesus' Prayer on the Mountain.
- A. The entire issue of Jesus' prayer that night is a massive mystery.
- B. The one thing of which we can be sure: Luke wanted us to see Jesus as a "faithful" Master-Builder (Hebrews 3:1-6).
- III. The Point.
- A. From this point on, Luke is going to be building our understanding of Jesus as the Kingdom's King Who will prepare us for His Coming by the things He says and does.
- B. The days of waffling and vacillation are over.