Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
September 2, 2007
:Jesus always "taught", just as all of us do.
:It is no accident that Luke recorded 6:6-11 as the final paragraph in his presentation of the antagonism of the Pharisees toward Jesus. Nor is it any accident that he began this final paragraph by telling Theophilus what Jesus did on "another Sabbath". He had already told him that it was standard practice for Jesus to attend
the service of the synagogue on the Sabbath (4:16). He had also already told him that it was standard practice for Jesus to teach
when He went into the synagogues (4:15 and 4:31). He had also already told him that it was this
, the teaching
, that produced every bit of the "reaction" by the people (4:32 and 36). Now, it is true that if Jesus had done His teaching only with His mouth, He would have been swept off of the scene of history in relatively short order and we would have never heard of Him. But Jesus knew that teaching involves legitimate supporting behavior, so He supplied that. In other words, for Jesus, teaching was not just explaining with words; it involved the demonstration of the truth of those words with actions. It is for this reason that the apostle Paul commanded Titus to instruct the believers on Crete as to what kinds of behavior "support" the part of teaching that comes out of the mouth and what kinds of behavior cause the word of God to be blasphemed. Teaching has two parts; the mouth part, and the action part.
Because Jesus was teaching that He was God's solution to man's "viper nature", the behavior that He had to demonstrate, as an integral aspect of His teaching, was that He was capable of counteracting that nature and providing a "regeneration" that would produce a "dove nature" (Mark 10:16). So, everywhere Jesus went, He taught with His mouth, and He taught by His actions of power, that God has a solution for man in his twisted condition.
This morning we are going to consider this "non-accidental" record by Luke of Jesus as He, once again, entered into the synagogue on the Sabbath and began teaching.
- I. First Question: Why Did Jesus Always "Teach"?
- A. First, Jesus always "taught" because there is no escape from its absolute primacy.
- 1. It is impossible for anyone to not teach.
- a. Everything a person says and does "teaches" others what that person "believes" is the truth.
- b. Titus 2:1 says that behavior "becomes" sound doctrine -- meaning that it causes its truth to "stand out" so that it is clearly seen.
- c. Titus 2:5 says that people "blaspheme the Word of God" when believers contradict His Word by their actions.
- d. Romans 2:24 says that when the so-called people of God contradict His words by their actions, they cause others to blaspheme the name of God.
- e. 1 Timothy 6:1 says that when the people of God live by the Word of God, the name and doctrine of God is not blasphemed.
- 2. It is impossible to get anyone to understand anything without teaching.
- a. Proverbs 1:7-8 insists that instruction is absolutely critical to proper understanding.
- b. Proverbs 1:20-33 insists that there are real consequences to misunderstanding.
- c. Besides, there has never been an argument between two or more people in all of history that did not consist of people trying to get others to agree with them by a flurry of words and accompanying actions: this admits that "teaching" is pretty much at the bottom of everything.
- 3. The issue is not whether teaching is primary; the issue is "What is being taught?"
- B. Second, Jesus always "taught" because the minds of the people had been so twisted from the Truth that there was no hope for them if they did not hear and see the Truth.
- II. Second Question: What Was Jesus Teaching?
- A. Luke does not specify the content, but we do have some hints.
- 1. In Matthew's record of this event, we are told that "they" asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath (12:9-14).
- 2. In Mark's record of this event, we are told that He asked them if it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath (3:1-6).
- 3. In Matthew's record we are told that He gave them an example of what they all would do on the Sabbath and then contrasted the value of a man with a sheep.
- 4. In Mark's record we are told that Jesus was both angry and grieved at their unwillingness to deal honestly with the issues.
- B. Luke's record does, however, tell us what the issues were.
- 1. The core issue was, and always is, the true nature of God and the issue of His attitude toward men.
- a. Jesus, by healing a man with a withered right hand, was claiming that God's attitude toward men is that He wants for them to be able to be "fruitful".
- 1) The focus upon the "hand" is, in the Bible, always a focus upon ability.
- 2) The focus upon the "right" hand is, in the Bible, always a focus upon the issue of primary ability.
- 3) The focus upon "withered" is a focus upon having been reduced to complete incompetence.
- b. Jesus, by healing this man, was claiming that God cares about those things that keep a man from being fruitful.
- 1) John declares in his Gospel that Jesus' "miraculous works" were "signs".
- 2) "Signs" are significantly powerful actions in one realm that "mirror" truth in another realm.
- 2. The attendant issue was the question of whether Jesus really was accurately representing the true nature of God.
- a. Jesus, by teaching, was claiming to be accurately representing the truth about God.
- b. The Pharisees and the scribes, by seeking to accuse Him, were denying that He was accurately representing this truth.
- III. Third Question: Why Can't We Come to Church and Have Our Withered Hands Restored?
- A. Because of the love of God for us.
- 1. Jesus' healing was a statement that God cares about the things that keep a man from being unfruitful.
- 2. There are several things that keep us from being unfruitful, none of which have anything at all to do with our right hands.
- a. First, we will be unfruitful if we define "fruitfulness" incorrectly.
- 1) Fruitfulness, in the biblical use of it as a metaphor for man's ability to produce good, is always measured from the "after the fact" judgment of God (1 Corinthians 13).
- 2) The "good" involved in biblical fruitfulness is always measured in terms of the actual enhancement of "Life".
- b. Second, we will be unfruitful if we pursue "fruitfulness" improperly.
- c. Third, we will be unfruitful if we do not put Jesus into the central core of our focus upon being fruitful.
- 3. Because God's love for us involves His understanding of our eternal fruitfulness, He flatly refuses to establish physical healing as a "significantly connected" issue.
- a. The major reason for God's temporary focus upon the outer man in the period of the Law was that men learn from the outside in (the use of the material to understand the spiritual).
- b. Jesus' "healings" were designed to prove His "other realm" abilities (John 3).
- B. Because of the plan of God for us.
- 1. The plan of God has always been to move us deeper into true Life.
- 2. That plan is frustrated when we are enticed by delusions into taking a side road into Death.
- 3. That plan is most effective when our "limitations" move us to find out what the Truth really is.