Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
Thesis: In the beginning, people were primarily concerned about their physical lives.
Introduction: In our study last week we made the claim that Luke 6:12-16 marked a major turn in his record of Jesus. By means of this paragraph Luke revealed that he was turning to Jesus' activities as One Who was committed to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. This means that we are going to be seeing Jesus as a Kingdom Builder from this point. One thing we need to be very clear about as we speak of kingdom building: the Kingdom of God will be built of people who live in this present world, but its expression as a period of authoritative rule will not come to pass until this world has been destroyed. I do not use "world" to refer to this earth, but to the system of rebellious authority that is permitted in the longsuffering of God while He gathers out those who will be heirs of His vast goodness.
When Jesus was in this present evil world, He warned Nicodemus that no one would see or enter the Kingdom of God without a regenerating new birth (John 3:3-5). Until it pleases God to send His Son back to this earth in power and great glory to destroy the systems of rebellion that are currently tolerated for the sake of the heirs of His Kingdom, it is the task of the Church to do what Jesus began to do in Luke 6:12 -- focus upon preparing people for their future in God's eternal kingdom.
So, starting this morning, we are going to begin to see Jesus as our Kinsman-Redeemer Whose main focus of activity was upon the preparation of people for their eternal future.
September 23, 2007
- I. In the Beginning, There Were People.
- A. It is impossible to read the paragraph before us (Luke 6:17-19) and miss Luke's focus upon the large number of people who were gathering together around Jesus.
- 1. He uses the word "great" twice in the first sentence in reference to the number of people who had assembled around Jesus.
- 2. He deliberately uses geographical entities to make sure his reader(s) understood that Jesus' kingdom building activities began in a context of enormous knowledge.
- a. When Paul was making his argument for "faith" before Agrippa and Festus in Acts 26, he made the point that the general facts of the case were absolutely indisputable because they were demonstrated in open history (26:26).
- b. Tyre and Sidon, coupled to Judea and Jerusalem, indicate the northern and southern extremities of the nation of Israel: this means that the news had reached the furthest corners of that geographical place where God's Kingdom was in focus.
- B. It is impossible to read the paragraph before us and miss the focus upon "people".
- II. In the Beginning, the People Were Really Messed Up.
- A. There is a clear reiteration of the "problems" in Israel.
- 1. The people of the covenant in which God had said "...I will put none of these diseases upon thee..." (Note both Exodus 15:26 and Deuteronomy 7:15) were experiencing those diseases.
- 2. The people of the covenant in which God had insisted that He be the God, were sufficiently rebellious that demons had taken up residence in significant numbers.
- 3. These two areas of problems are old themes for Luke by this time and they serve as the lines of proof that Jesus can be trusted to resolve them.
- a. The resolution, however, has to take into account the driving force, the underlying evil.
- b. No resolution can only address the final, physical state of things.
- B. There is also a clear declaration that the people are significantly "messed up" because, even with Jesus presented as One Who can heal the breach that exists between men and God, the people are primarily interested in a "temporary fix".
- 1. The greatest problems people have are two: they value the wrong things; and they believe lies.
- 2. Then, to compound these two major problems, people typically refuse to deal with either the processes, or the reality, of Life.
- a. The reason the people were diseased and demonized is that they flatly refused to face the fact that their choices were the reason for their condition.
- b. And there was a greater problem: the people refused to accept the primary reality of Life -- that you can't have it without a working relationship with the God of Life.
- 3. Luke's record says that the people came to "hear" Jesus, but their interest was not on what He had to say, but on His ability to heal their temporary woes.
- a. The text tells us that the people were vigorously attempting to touch Jesus [What does that look like in a huge crowd?].
- b. By listening the people could have possessed the real solution to their lifelessness, but they chose pushing and shoving to obtain a temporary fix.
- III. In the Beginning, Jesus Took On the People in Their Condition.
- A. Even though He knew that "healings" and "exorcisms" were superficial solutions to a very weighty problem, Jesus did those things.
- 1. Jesus did not heal and cast out demons so that people could be healthy and free of demonization; He did those things because He knew that real solutions start with real faith and real faith requires some real evidence.
- 2. Jesus began to address the real problems by addressing lesser issues in a convincing way.
- a. The real problems exist at the level of man's rebellion against God's authority.
- b. There will be no real solutions until men are convinced that God's authority is for their good and not their hurt.
- B. Jesus was not put off by the fact that the people justly deserved not only the level of pain that they were currently experiencing, but far, far more.
"Kingdom building assumes the "messiness" of people's lives and addresses it with real solutions."