Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 1
Thesis: Jesus was looking for heirs for His Father's Kingdom and He saw people who had already displayed some degree of interest in the Truth of Love.
Introduction: Last week we considered Luke's introduction to Jesus' teaching as the Kingdom-Builder. We saw that this introduction focused upon people; but we also saw that the people were focused upon the superficial issues of physical life. Clearly, as a kingdom-builder, Jesus had His work cut out for Him. This morning we are going to begin an extended study of Jesus' teaching in light of the Kingdom. The first question with which we are going to deal is this: When Jesus "lifted up His eyes upon His disciples", what was He looking for and what did He see?
September 30, 2007
- I. For What Was Jesus Looking?
- A. Part of the answer comes from Jesus' grasp of His commission from the Father.
- 1. In 4:18-19 Jesus used a "structured" announcement from Isaiah 61 that formed a chiasm in which the "big" picture was "preaching the Gospel" in the form of "the acceptable year of the Lord" and the "central thesis" was providing a "recovery of sight to the blind".
- a. In the proclamation of "the acceptable year of the Lord", there was a deliberate reference to the year of Jubilee as a harbinger of the blessedness of the Kingdom at that point when the rule of God extends over all His creation without the complications of rebellion.
- b. In the announcement that He was come to restore sight to the blind, there is also the use of a physical metaphor of blindness and sight to refer to the imparting of Truth to those caught in the deceptions of the Lie in a way that enables them to come to Life and actually live because of the Truth.
- c. Thus, we can answer the question, "for what was Jesus looking" by realizing that He was looking for a good opportunity to set forth the life-imparting Truth.
- 2. In 4:43 Jesus rejected the multitudes insistence that He stay with them.
- a. At the heart of this text is a clear presentation of the knee-jerk selfishness of men whose focus in their physical lives is upon the quality of their physical experiences.
- b. At the heart of Jesus' refusal because of His calling from the Father "to preach the Kingdom of God" to the other cities also is this central tenet of "Truth": there is no life to be had in the Kingdom of God which has its roots in self-centered materialism.
- c. Thus, we can answer the question, "for what was Jesus looking" by realizing that He was looking for an opportunity to contradict the deceptions by declaring the Truth.
- 3. In 6:12 we see Jesus spending the entire night in prayer to God in view of God's commission of Him to establish the Kingdom.
- a. In both 4:18 and 4:43 Jesus referred to the fact that He had been "sent": this is a bottom line issue of "commission" as the "Apostle" of the Father.
- b. In 6:13 we see Jesus "electing" The Twelve and "naming" them "apostles": this is a mirror of His own treatment by His Father in view of the longer term process of establishing the Kingdom (the "Church" aspect of it which has to do with the form of rule that it will take).
- c. Thus, we can answer the question, "for what was Jesus looking" by realizing that He was looking for an opportunity to disciple those who would be responsible for the realization of His own commission from the Father.
- 1) For this cause we see Paul telling Timothy that he had been chosen by Jesus because He had "counted him sufficiently faithful to put him into the ministry" (1 Timothy 1:12).
- 2) And for the same reason we see Paul insisting that Timothy follow Jesus' pattern (2 Timothy 2:2).
- B. Part of the answer comes from the content of what Jesus taught.
- 1. In all the material in Luke's record of this teaching session, Jesus is heavily into contradicting the normal expectations of men -- a potent implication that blindness is a real and pervasive problem.
- 2. In all the material in Luke's record of this teaching session, Jesus is heavily into declaring God's Truth as a positive attraction to Kingdom-people.
- 3. Thus, we can answer the question, "for what was Jesus looking" by realizing that He was looking for some among the masses who would be willing to accept their blindness as a fact and submit to His ministry as a true eye-opener.
- II. What Did Jesus See?
- A. He did not focus upon the teeming masses of those who were perishing.
- 1. People perish for one reason: they have no interest in being told that they are blind and in need of a wholesale overhaul of everything about their perspective in this world.
- 2. When people persist in the subversion of Truth, they set their feet on the path of destruction and, though Jesus died for them, He has little interest in focusing upon them.
- B. He did focus upon that "group within the group" who are called "disciples".
- 1. The root meaning of "disciple" is "learner" and its overwhelming implication is that the person so called has actually bought into both the blindness thesis and the sight-by-learning-from-Jesus thesis.
- 2. There were false-hearted people within this visible group.
- a. Luke pointedly tells us that Iscariot was a "betrayer".
- b. John, just as pointedly, tells us the same tale in John 6:66.
- c. These are they who profess to embrace Jesus, but really simply pull His name into their own pursuits in order to be seen by men.
- 3. But Jesus did not focus upon the false-hearted; He focused upon those who had demonstrated a willingness to both accept His works as a legitimate foundation for confidence in His words and allow those words to adjust their pursuits.
- a. There are tons of people who are perfectly willing to claim loyalty to Jesus as they go about pursuing their own kingdoms.
- b. There are some who realize that their kingdoms have nothing on the Kingdom of God and who are willing to jettison their own plans in favor of His.