Luke Series- Session 11- How to Miss Out on What God is Doing

                                                                                 

Introduction:

Connection:

  • There are many different types of personalities in the world, and there are all kinds of theories about how to classify them.
  • Some of those may be helpful, some may not be.
  • I’m not exactly sure how to label my personality, but I will say I know this about myself.
  • I’m someone who does not like to feel like I’ve missed out on something.
  • As a young person I would go to bed late and get up early because I didn’t want to miss out with what was happening.
  • People in our culture reflect this same value by constant scrolling on social media, or monitoring the news.
  • Some people have to look at their phones for every ding and dong that it makes, simply because of the fear of missing out.
  • So much of what we think we will miss out on won’t really hurt us if we miss it.
  • But there are some things in life that we do not want to miss out on.

Tension:

  • There is a horrifying verse in the passage that we are looking at today.  It is one of the scariest verses that we’ve looked at so far, when you understand who he is talking about.  The verse is at the end of this week’s text in verse 11.

(11)  And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.   Luke 6:11

  • The “they” in this passage are the pharisees. 
  • The word “madness” here comes from a word that speaks to both foolishness and rage.  It is the kind of anger that makes one do stupid things.  The effect of their rage here was to commune with each other about how they could end the ministry of Jesus.
  • What you need to know about the pharisees and scribes is that in their mind they were completely dedicated God.  They spent their entire lives in pursuit of their version of good works. 
  • Everyone in that culture would have looked at these men and thought “Wow!  They are so dedicated to God.”  These pharisees would have seen themselves as completely dedicated to the scriptures.  They had whole books of the Bible memorized.
  •  Scribes had systems of behavior related to how they copied the scripture.  They would not write out the name of God.   They had ceremonial washings every time they came to God’s name as they wrote.
  • Their own evidence of their dedication to God would have been highly associated in how they lived out the sabbath day.  They had hundreds of pages of teaching on what it meant to not work on the sabbath.  If you spit on the ground that was work.  If you moved a stick in the dirt that was plowing.  You could only go a certain number of steps from your home, but if you placed food that number of steps away, it was as if  your home was extended to that place so you could go that many steps more from the food.  You could carry no more on your person than the weight of half of a fig.  To carry more would be work.
  • Yet, with all of their discipline and desire to try to work towards heaven they completely missed out on what God was doing.  When God showed up, they were at odds with Him.  Imagine thinking that you are as dedicated as possible to God, and then someone telling you that all of your effort and dedication are not making you right with God.  You are at odds with God.  Imagine hearing that all your effort to help people be right with God are actually leading people astray.
  • The Old Testament reveals the righteousness of God and our falling short of His will.  It also points to God’s plan of redemption that He would execute to redeem fallen man to Himself.  These guys had gotten to the place where they were more committed to their interpretation of the scriptures than what scriptures actually said.  They were so committed to their religion that they missed out on what God was doing.
  • So when Jesus shows up and tells them that they are wrong, they do not take it very well.  Here is something very scary:  You can be very sincere, and very wrong.  You can be religiously dedicated, and spiritually dead.  It is possible to miss out on what God is doing.
  • How do you miss out on what God is doing? How do you miss out on Jesus?

You can miss out on what God is doing in 3 ways seen in this text.

1.  Disregard His Authority. (vs. 1-5)

  • In these weeks passage the word sabbath shows up 6 times. 
  • The question of what is lawful comes up three times. 
  • Luke is bringing these circumstances up not just chronologically but also topically. 
  • When you read through this part of Luke, Jesus starts out being widely and warmly accepted.

(14)  And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  (15)  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.  Luke 4:14-15

  • But as you walk through the following verses you find that over and over again Jesus is being rejected because of His claim to deity. 
  •  In 4:16-30, He claims to be the Messiah to His own hometown and they so reject His message that they take Him out of the synagogue with intention to throw Him off of a cliff.
  • In chapter 5, as we studied last week, Jesus heals the paralytic man claiming to have the power of God to forgive sins because He was the “Son of Man”, the title of the Messiah who will rule over the nations. 
  • The pharisees and scribes, who were there from Jerusalem to watch Jesus, did not like this claim to deity and did not see Jesus as the Messiah, nor did they see Him as God. 
  • At the end of Chapter 5 you see Jesus saying that new garments cannot patch old garments, and new wine cannot be put into old bottles.  He was essentially saying that the theology that was being purported by Judaism in that day was antithetical to the truth.  We now see that illustrated in our passage.
  • Here Jesus is walking through corn fields with His disciples. 

(1)  And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

  • There was provision made in the Old Testament for people to pluck an ear of corn to eat it even if it was not your land.  You could not go reap corn from His field with a sickle, but if you wanted an ear to eat it was not wrong to take it.  The disciples knew this well and so they picked the corn.
  • When it says that they were “rubbing them in their hands”.  This is what you do to shuck the corn and to get corn off of the cob.
  • The Pharisees seem to always be around.  Look at their question:

(2)  And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? Luke 6:2 

  • What is assumed in that question? They assume that plucking corn and rubbing it was work.  They saw the plucking as harvesting, and the rubbing as threshing. 
  • One commentary said this: 

 “The sabbath tradition of the Mishna is known as “the forty save one,” because there are thirty-nine specific, different tasks prohibited in this list (Lohse [1971] pp. 12-13). According to these rules, the disciples’ actions would have been a quadruple violation! They had reaped, threshed, winnowed and prepared food. Even some Jews were aware of the burdensomeness of this tradition. In the Mishna, Ḥagiga 1:8 reads, ‘The rules about the Sabbath . . . are as mountains hanging by a hair, for Scripture is scanty and the rules many.’ “

  • The pharisees assume in their question that their law was God’s law, when it was not.  What do I mean?  What did God actually say about sabbath?

(8)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  (9)  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  (10)  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  (11)  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 20:8-11

(14)  Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.(15)  Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 31:14-15

(2)  Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

Exodus 35:2

(12)  Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.  (13)  Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:  (14)  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.  (15)  And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

  • The teaching and command of the sabbath was simply “do not work”. 
  • There is some definition of what that looked like, but not much. 
  • The sabbath was a gift to mankind.  Part of the curse was toil in work.  God had told Adam that He would eat from the sweat of his brow.  See this in Genesis 3.

(17)  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; (18)  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;  (19)  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:17-19

  • Work itself was not the curse, but toil in work. God rested in creation week, and He commanded His people to rest from their labors.
  • But the pharisees had, in their religious system, defined what it meant to obey the sabbath beyond what the scripture said. 
  • So, what the pharisees were asking was really, “Why are you not submitting to our interpretation of the rules about the sabbath?”
  • Think about it.  They looked at the Creator of the World, the Author of Scripture, who had been made flesh to come and die so that they could be forgiven of their sin, and they said to him, essentially, ‘Why aren’t you submitting to us?’  Why are you so sinful?  Why are you teaching your disciples to be so sinful?  You are not God.  They were saying in effect, you are not the authority on what the Bible says, and how the Bible should be applied.  We are!

Application:

  • It is dangerous to deny what scripture says, but it is also dangerous to add to what scripture says.  When we disobey what scripture says, or add to what scripture says, we are denying the authority of God.  When we deny his authority, we will miss out on what He wants to do in our lives.
  •  How do we deny God’s authority?
    • When we make rules for others out of application of scripture that are not explicit, we deny the authority of scripture.
    • When we live in disobedience to what scripture says we will miss out on what God wants to do in our lives.
  • Now notice how Jesus responded to their question. 

(3)  And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;  (4)  How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?  (5)  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Luke 6:3-5

  • Jesus challenged their interpretation of the sabbath by bringing up a person for which they would have high regard.  He brought up David. 
  • “Have you not read so much as this” would have been offensive to them.  They would have defintely read this and known the story.  The pharisees were big on Bible knowledge without Bible understanding.
  • In the narrative to which Jesus referred, David was running from King Saul, and had gotten to the place where He needed food but could not go out in public to get it.  So he went to the priest, Ahimelech, to survive.  We see this in 1 Samuel:

Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?  (2)  And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.  (3)  Now therefore what is under thine hand? give me five loaves of bread in mine hand, or what there is present.  (4)  And the priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under mine hand, but there is hallowed bread; if the young men have kept themselves at least from women.  (5)  And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.  (6)  So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away. 1 Samuel 21:1-6 

  • Jesus was claiming that the priest and David would not have held to their interpretation of sabbath observance.  When it came to choosing the ceremonial over David’s survival, both David and Ahimelech chose preserving life. 
  • Jesus is making it clear that their interpretation of strict observance to the ceremonial made them miss the bigger point. 
  • In this case they were missing out on the bigger point of the authority of scripture and Jesus Himself.  They were comfortable with holding people to rules that God did not make in the name of God.  This was taking God’s name in vain.  They were comfortable with opposing Jesus’ authority in God’s name.  So, look what Jesus said to them in summary:

(5)  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.  Luke 6:5

  • He is the one with the authority over the Sabbath. 
    • They are calling him out for breaking the Sabbath and the Sabbath was his idea. 
    • Work was his idea. 
    • Rest was his idea. 
    • Days were his idea. 
    • Man was his idea. 
  • Therefore this question amounted to the creature telling the Creator how to do things.  Jesus is saying, I have the authority to say what is right and wrong.

Application:

  • Make no mistake about it.  Jesus Christ claimed authority not just from God.  Jesus Christ claimed authority as God. 
  • He created the world, and came in the flesh to bring glory to God by redeeming fallen mankind. 
  • We miss out on what God is doing when we do not recognize His authority. 

You can miss out on what God is doing in 3 ways seen in this text.

1.  Disregard His Authority. (vs. 1-5)

2. Mistake His Identity.  (v.5)

 (5)  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Luke 6:5

Explanation:

  • Part of Jesus’ answer to their question is to make His identity clear. Jesus calls himself by two titles in this verse. 
  • The “Son of Man” is a messianic title from Daniel 7.  Look at the verses.

(13)  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  (14)  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.  Daniel 7:13-14

  • The “Son of Man” in Daniel’s vision is the one to whom dominion of an everlasting, eternal kingdom is given.  It is at once a reference to the person’s deity and their humanity.  The only one who can fulfill that title is Jesus Christ!  This is who Jesus was claiming to be.  This is who Jesus is!

Application:

  • Jesus is not just the one who came to die for our sins and rise again.  Jesus is the one who is coming again to rule and to reign.  If you do not recognize who He is you will miss out on what He wants to do in your life both now and eternity.

 (5)  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Luke 6:3-5

  • “Lord of the Sabbath”
  • The Word “Lord” is the greek word “kurios”.  This word is found 748 times in 687 verses in the New Testament.  Every New Testament writer uses the word.  It’s in every New Testament book except for 1st and 3rd John.
  •  Strong’s Concordance defines “kurios” as “supreme in authority” or “controller”. The idea is of one who is in charge or in control. These pharisees missed out what God was doing because they did not acknowledge who Jesus was.  They thought they should be in charge, when Jesus is the one in charge.  They thought they were right to question Him on the sabbath when the whole thing was his idea and Creation from beginning to end.  He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and the Lord of everything else.
  • These leaders thought that their system of religion trumped Jesus.  As participants in that system they thought that they had authority over Jesus.  They thought their interpretation and application of scripture trumped Jesus.  The problem is that they added to scripture, and mistook Jesus identity.  They refused to see the evidence because they did not want to see it.  He is Lord.  He is in charge. 

Application:

  • What area of your life are trying to hold authority over?  Where are you not submitting to God and what He wants for you?  You will miss out on what God wants to do in your life if you are trying to be the lord over your own life.  We must submit to what He wants for us.

You can miss out on what God is doing in 3 ways seen in this text.

1.  Disregard His Authority. (vs. 1-5)

2. Mistake His Identity.  (v.5)

3. Be at odds with His purpose. (V.6-11)

Explanation:

  • Jesus had declared that the Old Testament had spoken about his mission.  In Luke 4:18-21, Jesus quoted Isaiah and claimed to be the fulfillment of what He said. 

(16)  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

(17)  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

(18)  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

(19)  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

(20)  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

(21)  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4:16-21

  • Make no mistake about this:  People mattered to Jesus.  Jesus came on a mission to preach the good news, heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, to recover the sight of the blind, and set at liberty them that are bruised.  He was there to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  The time for jubilee was at hand because Jesus had come to set at right what was wrong.  This was his purpose.
  • With that understanding notice what happened next:

(6)  And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught and there was a man whose right hand was withered.  (7)  And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 

  •  Here is another sabbath day.  Here the pharisees are looking to what Jesus is doing.  Jesus saw a man with a “withered hand”. 
  • This would have been someone that the pharisees would have seen as a sinner first and foremost.  In their mind He was handicapped because He had sinned.  In their mind they were blessed because they were righteous.  The scribes and pharisees see themselves here as ones that want to uphold the law and catch Jesus in an act.
  •  But what is so wrong about their theology and their religious system is that it was denying this man compassion and denying Jesus’s identity and authority.  They were literally looking to see if Jesus would heal and would then see that healing as a sin, and proof that He was not sent from God.

(8)  But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 

  •  Here we see Jesus miraculously seeing their thoughts and knowing their hearts.  Jesus uses this opportunity to make a point and help someone.

(9)  Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? 

  •  They were more interested in the ceremonial than the moral.  They were more interested in their own interpretation of the law than what the law actually said.  They were more interested in their own power and piety than in what God was actually doing. 
  • Jesus asks them “Is it lawful to do good?”  That was the whole point of the law! 
  • In denying Jesus’ authority and identity, they were also missing his purpose.  He was coming to set right what was wrong.  Sin brings forth death.  The curse of sin is overwhelming, and Jesus was come to restore what had been cursed.  They were using the law to be at odds with that purpose.
  • So, look what Jesus did!

(10)  And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 

  • Jesus restored what was broken.  Jesus healed what was disabled.  Jesus helped this man, and the pharisees were enraged.

 (11)  And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

Application:

  • When we fail to recognize Jesus’ authority and identity, we will fail to recognize His mission.  His mission is to bring eternal and abundant life to everyone.  He wants salvation for “whosoever will”.  To be at odds with Him is to be at odds with that mission.  This same Jesus said at the end of his ministry to His disciples, and therefore to us, these words:

(18)  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

(19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

(20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:18-20

  •  As you live your life, does it reflect that you know the mission of God?  Does it seem as though you own this mission yourself?  To miss out on Jesus’ authority, identity and mission is to miss out on what God wants to do in you and through you.

Conclusion:

You can miss out on what God is doing in 3 ways seen in this text.

1.  Disregard His Authority. (vs. 1-5)

2. Mistake His Identity.  (v.5)

3. Be at odds with His purpose. (V.6-11)