Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 5 Study # 29
Thesis: Exalting ourselves above our Master is beyond foolish.
Introduction: Last week we looked into Jesus' "parable" about how effective it is for the blind to accept guidance from the blind. The major bugaboo in that parable is the identity of the "blind". There was a song years ago that popularized this concept ... but it was not even close to "Christian". These days everyone uses it to castigate those who disagree with them. The book of Proverbs makes this statement: every man's way is right in his own eyes (21:2), but it also says this: the way of a fool is right in his own eyes (12:15).
In our study we saw that Jesus' concept of "blindness" had three parts: a disregard for the claim that the Creator God has spoken to men in the words of human language; a disregard for the meaning of the words that God has spoken to men; and the use of the words that God has spoken to build one's own personal glory base.
It is this last issue that is going to dominate our thinking for several weeks as we continue in our study of Jesus' sermon. It was Jesus Who decided to wind up His teaching with the challenge of 6:46 and its inherent assumption of resistance. It shows an assumption on His part that the call He was making was not going to be well received. It's not that His call asks "too much"; it's that His call demands "everything". Just keep in mind that not only were there only 2 out of a group of well over a million people in the first generation of God's deliverance of people from Egypt that actually believed Him, but there was not even 1 out of all who witnessed, and received benefit from, the life of Jesus who believed His claims the day after He was crucified. Faith is not "easy"; but unbelief is never justified.
Why? What is the major stumbling block to faith? The answer is in the text before us.
May 18, 2008
- I. The Cryptic Declaration.
- A. Between the "parable" and the question of why one would wish to remove a mote from a brother's eye is a statement that, for all the world, looks like it comes winging in from somewhere in outer space.
- B. What in the world does Jesus' declaration that a disciple is not above his master have to do with anything?
- 1. If we look at Psalm 119:97-104, we have a statement made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God that looks for all the world like a towering boast of personal superiority.
- a. It is not that.
- b. It is, instead, a claim that the Word of God is so superior to everything human that they who allow it to dominate their thinking are not misled by the kinds of deceits that mislead enemies, teachers, and, even, those who have lived long in this world.
- 2. For the "blind", this is as clear a "contradiction" in the Bible as can be found.
- II. The Point.
- A. In this context, the "disciple" is the person who has submitted himself to the teachings of Jesus and the "Teacher" is Jesus.
- B. In this context, therefore, the issue is the "disciple" who considers himself "above" Jesus.
- III. The Questions.
- A. What is it, really, that is behind Jesus' declaration?
- 1. Jesus' knowledge that what He is declaring is absolutely contrary to the ways of men on the earth.
- 2. Jesus' knowledge that defanging a viper is not enough (In the words of "Calvin and Hobbs", one must be "transmogrified", or, in the terms of the Bible, one must be regenerated).
- 3. Jesus' knowledge that His own "inner circle" is eaten up with the desire to "be superior" even to one another (note Luke 9:46 and 22:24).
- B. What is it, really, that makes even the most committed disciples of Jesus unwilling to put this "superiority to his Master" to death?
- 1. It boils down to one thing that has several faces.
- 2. The one thing is this: superiority to one's "Master" permits one the freedom to argue with, and even to refuse, the teaching.
- 3. The several faces are these...
- a. There are the "body" issues where the teaching refuses to pamper our physical frames.
- b. There are the "soul" issues where the teaching scares the living daylights out of us.
- c. There are the "spirit" issues where the teaching puts us in situations of deepest humiliation.
- 4. The final reality is this: no real love.