Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 6 Study # 4
May 17, 2009
Lincolnton, N.C.

<528> Thesis: Hypocrisy may be unavoidable, but it is not to be treated lightly. Introduction: A couple of weeks ago we began to look into Luke's record of the exorcism of Legion. In the bigger picture, it is Luke's "point" that Jesus is John's "Mighty One". The proof is in the reality: when "Legion" was confronted by Jesus of Nazareth, all he could do was grovel and beg. This is the clearest possible declaration of powerlessness by the spiritual forces of wickedness in the face of the identity of Jesus and makes Luke's case. But, in the smaller picture, it seems evident that Luke is also inclined to make a smaller "point": those who oppose Jesus of Nazareth are consumed by an abject blindness of a sort that leads directly to hypocrisy and inevitable judgment. This week's "news" included an account of Michael Phelp's rather public blunder in which he was photographed smoking pot and the end of his suspension by the powers that be. In that segment of the news the camera aimed at a woman in the crowd who was asked about that blunder. Her response, being typical these days, is a part of the focus of our study this morning: everyone makes mistakes; no one is perfect; ergo we should not impose too much of a penalty on anyone. In the same newscast, the head of the racing commission was on camera bragging about how racing has the highest standard of "no tolerance" for the racers and how that is why one of the racers is now on "indefinite suspension" because he tested positive to some kind of forbidden drug. The culture clearly does not know how to deal with our universal depravity and the need for iron-clad rules. Thus, Luke's record of Legion's behavior in 8:28-29 deserves some of our attention.