Sunday, February 14, 2010

[Matt's Messages] "Jesus Is Lord"

“Jesus Is Lord”
Certain of Jesus:  The Gospel of Luke
February 14, 2010
Luke 8:22-56

What have you learned so far about Jesus from the gospel of Luke?

What stands out for you about the Jesus that you find in Luke’s gospel?

Jesus is often surprising.  He is not always what we expect.

What has surprised you so far about Jesus?

This the 18th message in this series.  We’ve learned a lot about Jesus: His birth, His forerunner, His teaching, His message, His miracles, His mission.

One thing that stands out for me is how authoritative Jesus is.

Sometimes we make Jesus out to be kind of a wishy washy soft warm and fuzzy kind of a guy. 

I mean, we talk a lot about Jesus’ love, and especially on a day like Valentine’s Day, we can get a wrong impression about Jesus’ love that it’s all warm and gushy and sweet and comfortable.

But even though we’ve seen how much Jesus loves us–and we’ll see it more today–Jesus is anything but comfortable.

He may comfort us but He is not out to make us comfortable.

He is unsettling, authoritative, and seeks to change us.

“Jesus Is Lord.”

In the last half of chapter 8, there are four miracles in a row that show off Jesus’ kingly authority.

And they highlight His kingly identity.

Jesus is Lord.

What Luke wants us to see and feel this morning, is Jesus’ kingly authority, power, and identity.

Jesus is Lord of all.

Luke chapter 8, verse 22.  A story in a boat.

“One day Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let's go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep.” 

Stop there for just a second.

Jesus is human.  He sleeps.  I think that’s a beautiful picture of Jesus’ human frailty. Jesus was a sleep.  V.23

“A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.”

This is the Sea of Galilee which is shaped kind of like a bowl, and the conditions are such that a storm can appear out of nowhere.

And this is a terrific storm.

How many here have been out to sea?  How many have been at sea in a storm?

Is that scarey?  The Bible says that they were taking on water and were in great danger.  This is not a metaphor of the storms of our lives.  This was a real storm with thunder and lightning and gusting wind and waves coming over the boat.

And what did Jesus do?

He kept snoring! V.24

“The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we're going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.”

And it was immediate.  It’s not like it died down in piece, slowly.

Jesus rebuked the wind and it stopped in its tracks.

“All was calm.”

“‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.’”

The disciples are forced to ask the question, “Who is this?”

“Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

The obvious answer is–Jesus is Lord.


Jesus is doing here what only God can do.

He is Lord of Creation.


Creation does Jesus’ bidding.

Creation follows Jesus’ orders.

Creation has to do what Jesus says.

He is its Lord.

Jesus does what only God could do.

God, the Creator and Lord of all things.

What does this mean for you and me?

It means that we should trust and worship Jesus!

Jesus expected trust, didn’t He?  In verse 25, He takes the disciples to task for having no faith: “Where is your faith?”

“Who did you think you had in your boat?

Don’t you think you can trust me?

I know what the waves looked like!  But Who did you have in your boat?

Where is your faith? Trust me.”

And more than that: worship Jesus.

A person who can do that to a storm–the person who reigns over creation deserves our worship.

Of course, it doesn’t just go for rainstorms.

It includes snowstorms, too.

We’ve had a couple of those recently, haven’t we?

Who is Lord of those?

Listen to Job chapter 37, verses 5 & 6.

This is wise Elihu talk about God.

“God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth...'”

Jesus is Lord of Creation.

Last month we sang it:

    Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
    O Thou of God and man the Son,
    Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
    Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Worship Jesus!


When the reach the other side of the sea, they encounter evil.  V.26

“They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.  When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs.”

This is one scarey man.

He is demon-possessed or demonized.  He uncontrollable and dangerous.  He is naked  and dirty and dangerous.  V.29 tell us that he had broken out of jail many times.  Nothing could hold him.  If you came any where near him–you’d run away.

And he is controlled by a demon and lives in a cemetery.

This man seems damned.

He is one scarey man.

Does he scare Jesus?

No. Jesus scares him.  V.28

“When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!’  For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.”

This man is scarey, but he’s scared of Jesus.

The demon inside him is, at least.

“Don’t torture me.”

Why does he say that?

It’s because he knows that Jesus has the right to punish evil.

And the purer the evil, the more terrible the punishment.

“Don’t torture me.”  King James, “Torment me not!”

Jesus doesn’t let him go.  V.30

“Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him.  And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.”

So there is more than one demon inside of this man.

How many soldiers, roughly, in a Roman Legion?


There is an army of demons inside of this man.

Is Jesus outnumbered?

Does Jesus back away feeling overwhelmed?

No!  They beg Him repeatedly not to order them to go to Hell.

Perhaps they’ve been there before, and they don’t like it!

The Abyss is not a happy place–even for demons.

It is a place of torment and punishment and condemnation.

And Jesus is Lord of it.

If He says that they must go there, they must.

Jesus is Lord of damnation.

V.32 “A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission.  When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.”

Now, I’m not sure all of what is going here.  I have more questions than answers.

Why did they want to go into the pigs?  Why did the pigs run into the lake?

I’m not sure.  But there are a few things I am sure of.

First, these pigs were terrible unclean.  Right?  According to the Jews, pigs were unclean animals. What kind of spirits were these?  Unclean spirits!

And this man had been unclean. Where had he lived?  In the tombs.  Were those clean or unclean?

An unclean man, living in an unclean place, with unclean spirits who go into unclean animals.

This is a terrible picture of uncleanness.

And Jesus, with word, changes the whole thing!

Imagine the sight!  The Gospel of Mark tells us that there were about 2,000 pigs.

2,000 pigs?  Running down the hill?  Drowning themselves in the water?

Pigs do not have a herd instinct.  But here they go running down into the water and drowning themselves–squealing the whole way!

One wag has said that this was the first occasion of devil ham.

What I do know for certain is that it all happened according to the order of Jesus.

Jesus is Lord of damnation.

One word from Him and all of that uncleanness is washed away.  Just like that.

Just like the sea became calm–so did this man.  And the hillside was clean.

Other peopled noticed.  V.34

“When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. [This doesn’t happen every day.]  When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet [a disciple!], dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.”

What has happened here?

Where are the pigs?

Why is that guy put back together?

Whoa. I’m scared!  V.36

“Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.  Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.”

They couldn’t handle it.

They couldn’t handle the economic loss of the pigs.

But more than that, they couldn’t handle the lordly power of Jesus.

It frightened them. And they wanted Him to go.  So He did.

The man wanted to go, too.  V.38

“The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”


Fear Jesus and Testify to His Goodness.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have every reason to fear Him.

The demons were not wrong to fear Him.  He is Lord of damnation.

The townspeople were not wrong to fear Him, though they did the wrong thing in asking Him to go–they should have asked Him to stay and to save them from their sins.

But if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you have every reason to fear.

Hell is a real place.
And it is the just punishment for sin. 
And the Lord Jesus is the righteous Judge.

In just four chapters Jesus will say, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.  But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

And that’s not Satan.

That’s the Lord.

Fear Him.

But don’t just fear Him.  Turn from your sins and trust in the Savior.

He didn’t come the first time to send people to Hell.

He came, the first time, to save people from Hell!

Jesus died on the Cross to save people from Hell.

Turn from your sins and trust in the Savior–the Lord Jesus Christ.

He paid the penalty with His own blood for your sins so that you don’t have to for all eternity.

Trust Him.

And if you have trusted Him, then talk about it!

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be around this man who used to have an army of demons that lived inside of him.

Who used to be damned but now was saved?

What do you think he talked about all of the time?  V.39 tell us

“The man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”

Personal testimony.  There are few things more powerful than personal testimony.

When was the last time you testified about the Lord’s goodness to you?

When was the last time you told someone about all that the Jesus has done for you?

We’ve been saved from something more terrible than demon possession!

We’ve been saved from the wrath of God!

We have everything to talk about!  Let’s testify.

One more.  It’s these two stories in one from verses 40 to 56.

“Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.  Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years [again, someone unclean, perpetually unclean!], but no one could heal her.  She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.  ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.’ [Everybody touched you!]  But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.’  Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.”

“Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’  While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ he said. ‘Don't bother the teacher any more.’  Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, ‘Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.’  When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother.  Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. ‘Stop wailing,’ Jesus said. ‘She is not dead but asleep [this death is but temporary].’  They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.” [Don’t laugh at Jesus.] 

But he took her by the hand [another touch of an unclean person] and said, ‘My child, get up!’  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.”



In this miracle story, He encounters disease and death.

And all He has to do is be touched in faith or touch with His power, and health and life come forth!

“My child, get up!”

I think that verse 55 is awesome.

“Her spirit returned...”

I don’t know exactly where her spirit had been, but Jesus’ command brings it back.

“...and at once she stood up.”  That’s a picture of resurrection.

“Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.”

Dead people don’t eat.

Jesus is Lord of LIFE!

All this is just a picture of what is to come.

For all who are trusting in Jesus have their final and glorious resurrection to look forward to.

This was a temporary resurrection. This girl, eventually, died again.

But one day, Jesus’ people will all rise from the dead and never go back!

Jesus is Lord of Resurrection!

That should fill us with Faith and Hope.  Trust and Hope in Jesus.

Did you notice all of the trusting/believing/faith words in here?
V.48.  Jesus says to the formerly bleeding woman, “Your faith has healed you.  Go in peace.”

V.50.  Jesus says to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

He wants us to trust Him.

And He can be trusted.

Jesus cares!

Do you feel that in this passage?

He is the Lord of ALL, and He cares.

Lord of Creation.
Lord of Damnation!
Lord of Resurrection.

And He cares.  He cares about His disciples.  He cares about a man seemingly damned in this life by an army of demons.  He cares about a woman with a chronic medical condition, a shaming, unclean chronic medical condition.

He cares about parents who are losing their children to death.

Jesus cares.

And He is Lord!  He can do anything!

So, hope in Him.

He is our only Hope.

Messages So Far In this Series:

Certain of Jesus
The Back-Story of Jesus
The Birth of Jesus
Jesus - A Very Special Child
Preparing the Way for Jesus
Jesus Is the Son of God
Jesus in Galilee
Jesus and the Sinners
Jesus Brings Real Joy and Rest
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part One
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Two
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Three
Jesus' Followers Are Different: Part Four
Amazing Jesus
Disappointed with Jesus
Loving Jesus Much
Jesus' Real Family