Sunday, February 20, 2011

[Matt's Messages] "Jesus' Turn"

“Jesus’ Turn”
Certain of Jesus:  The Gospel of Luke
February 20, 2011
Luke 20:41-21:4

I’m going to call this message, “Jesus’ Turn.”

Because for several weeks now, Jesus has been on the receiving end of attacks.

He started it by coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, clearly symbolically claiming to be the Messiah.
But a Messiah that doesn’t conquer at first but weeps at first.

And then a Messiah that cleanses. He tore into the temple and stopped the commerce and purified the temple to become what it was supposed to be: a house of prayer.

And that started the attacks.

The various groups of leaders in Israel started to ask Him questions–and not to get answers but to try to stump Him and discredit Him and get Him thrown in prison and in trouble with the people and in trouble with the Romans.

By what authority do you these things?
Should we pay taxes to Caesar?
At the supposed resurrection, whose wife will she be?

Question after question.

And Jesus deftly answered them all.

With amazing skill and wisdom so that (verse 40), “no one dared to ask him any more questions.”

But that doesn’t mean that the questions are over.

Now, it’s Jesus’ turn.


Okay, you guys all had tough question.  Let me ask you one. V.41

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David?”

And we’ll see what He means by that question.  He goes on to say (v.42)...

“David himself declares in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 110): ‘'The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’'  David calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?’”

Okay, you’ve asked tough questions.

Here’s one for you.

Which is greater, the father or the son?

How would the Jews answer that question?

The answer would be–the father.

The father is greater than the son.  The son comes from the father.

The Jews expected a Messiah to come.  And they believed that Psalm 110 was a prediction of that Messiah.

And the believed that the Messiah would come as a descendant of the greatest king Israel ever had–King David.

And the Messiah would be a king like King David.

And conquer Israel’s enemies.

Good enough.

But Jesus wants to stretch their categories and make them think beyond what they’ve ever thought before.

If the father is always greater than the son, Jesus says, then how do you explain Psalm 110?

In Psalm 110, David says, “The LORD (God) said to my Lord (the Messiah), ‘Sit at my right hand (the right hand of GOD!) Until I make your enemies a footstool for my your feet–total victory.”

And Jesus says, “Notice what David calls the Messiah. He calls him, “my Lord.”

“How then can he be his son?”

Now, Jesus is not suggesting that the Messiah will not be Davidic and come from David’s line.

He is asking, “How can this be?  If the father is always greater than the son.  Why does David call his son, “my Lord?”

What’s the answer to that one?

Well, what do they answer?

What do the Pharisees, Sadducees, Chief Priests, Elders, Teachers of the Law, all of those leaders say to answer Jesus’ question?

Do you hear the sound of crickets in the background?

Now, it doesn’t say it here, but I think they were dumbfounded.  Confounded.  Conquered.

At the same place in the book of Matthew it says, “No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.”

So, what is the answer?

We’ll find out in chapter 22.  And Peter answers it in Acts chapter 2.

The answer is that sometimes the son is greater than the father.

And this is one of those times.

The Messiah is David’s Son.  But He is also David’s Lord.

He is Great David’s Greater Son.

And His name is Jesus!

Here’s the application of this one.

Settle it right now: Jesus is Lord.

He is not just David’s son.

He is not just another leader in a long succession of leaders.

He is not just another guy.

The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand (the right hand of God!  The greatest place of power and authority in the universe) until I make your enemies (death, Satan, the world, your enemies) a footstool for your feet.”

That’s who Jesus is.

Settle it in your mind right now.

Perhaps you are skeptical.

You’re not sure what to make of this Jesus person.

I challenge you to get to know Him.

He is the most amazing person in all of the universe.

He is Lord.

He asks questions that no one else can answer.
He answers questions that no one else can answer.

He is the answer to questions that no one else can answer.

Jesus is Lord.

And He showed it by dying on the Cross and coming back to life again.

At the end of chapter 22, these same people are going to ask Him another question.

This time, He’s going to be beaten and mocked and insulted and covered in His own blood.

And then they’re going to say, “If you are Christ, tell us.”

And Jesus will answer, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.  But from now on, the Son of Man (His name for Himself) will be seated at the RIGHT HAND OF THE MIGHTY GOD.”

Jesus is Lord.

He is the fulfillment of Psalm 110.

He is great David’s greater Son.

He is Lord.

And we need to settle that in our minds.

Trust in Jesus as your Lord and your Savior and you will be saved.

Submit yourself to Him and follow Him as your King.

Jesus is Lord.

It’s Jesus’ Turn...


Jesus takes advantage of the silence of His enemies to condemn them for their behavior.  V.45

“While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’”

Those are fighting words.

And they were true.

Jesus issues a strong warning.

“Beware of the teachers of the law.”

Jesus hates all sinful pride.  But He hates religious pride the most.

“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes..”

They like to dress for success.  To be recognized as the godly ones because of their power clothes.

Be careful of dressing to impress–especially at church.

“Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.”

They like to be first.

They like to be honored.

Who doesn’t?

But that’s not why you become a spiritual leader.

Do you know anyone like that?

They want to be seen as a leader, not to serve but to be served.

This is a temptation for Christian leaders.

I’ve felt it.  I want to be honored as a Christian leader.

It’s really nice to be told, “Come sit up here up front.”

But that’s not what it’s all about.

It’s not about being honored (even though we should honor those who lead us).  That’s not why we do what we do.

We do what we do to serve and to honor God!

These guys were all show.

They were wearing masks.

And under the masks was evil.  V.47

“[These leaders] devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’”

Now this devouring of widows’ houses does not mean that they ate bricks and mortar.

It means the widows’ households.  Especially, their household budgets.

It appears that these leaders were taking advantage of poor, defenseless, right-less widows.

Some may have managed the property of widows in such a way that they profited themselves.

Some may have taken widow’s homes as pledges of debts that they knew could not be repaid.
Some may have taken advantage of widows’ hospitality.

Including receiving their gifts when they could not afford it.

My mind goes almost immediately to the television preachers who beam themselves into widows’ homes today and ask for money.

“Keep us on the air by sending your check!  And God will bless you!”

Says the guy with a gold watch a jet in his backyard!

“They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.’”

The whole time they are stealing from widows, they are praying.

That’s the worst part.

They pray away as they devour widow’s house.

These guys are the teachers of the law!

What does the Old Testament Law say to do with widows?

Take care of them, right?

God loves widows and orphans.

Take care of them.

And what are these guys doing?

Praying, praying, praying, and preying.  P-r-e-y-ing.

“Beware.  Such men will be punished most severely.’”

Now, the application of that is to beware of religious pride and hypocrisy.

To beware of it in other people and to beware of it in ourselves.

Yes, we are supposed to look out for charlatans.

For those who look good on the outside but are fakes and frauds and thieves.

But even worse is to be a fake, fraud, and thief ourselves.

Are we for real?

Or are we just faking it?

God wants the real deal.

That’s one of the things I love about Lanse Free Church.  The folks here are trying to really live out the Christian life.

Not that we’re perfect.  Far from it.

In fact, I’m sure that most of us are faking it on some level.

But this is not a bunch of frauds.

We aren’t in it for the praise of men.  We are in it to build God’s Kingdom.

A couple of the guys getting ready for the Wild Game Dinner in a couple of weeks wanted me to make sure that I communicate during my part that we aren’t putting on the Wild Game Dinner to get more people to come to OUR church even though we’d be glad to have them.

We don’t care if they come to OUR church.

We care if they come to Christ and His Church!

We aren’t in it to get money for our offering plates.  We don’t want to devour widow’s houses and just make a show of it with lengthy prayers.

We want to be real.

How about you.  Are you faking it?  Or are you for real?

It can subtle how hypocritical pride sneaks through.

This last week, our house sprang a leak.

We were getting that thaw, you know, and we have a place in the front yard where we used to have a lamp.  Well, the lamp was knocked over a few years ago and that left the pvc pipe with the powercord in it exposed to the elements.

Last year, we crimped off the top of the pvc pipe and put tar across it to seal it.

But it obviously broke the seal. 

On Thursday night, Heather and I were playing pool in the basement, and we looked over at the other end of the room, and there was water on the floor.  Our house had sprung a leak.

Well, what did I think to do?  Put a bucket under it and go to bed, right?

Well, a bucket wasn’t big enough.  It needed a trash can.  Put a 30 gallon trash can under it at 7pm.  We’ll empty that before bed and then go to sleep and deal with it in the morning.

Pride can be like that.  Seeping into a little crack in our lives. 
Hypocrisy can be like that. Seeping into a little opening in our defenses.

The key is to deal with it now.

You know what?  I went down to check it out before bed that night.

The 30 gallon can was FULL.  In two hours.  Water was flowing into our house at 15 gallons an hour!

If we had gone to bed, we would have had a disaster on our hands the next morning–because the whole hillside seems to flow right to that point and it wasn’t freezing that night.

We had to deal with it right now.  Right away.

My wife is like a female MacGyver.  Heather had the idea of putting a tin can over the opening and sealing it up from the outside.  And it worked!

If you are faking it, don’t wait for it to fix itself.

Repent now of your pride and hypocrisy.  Take action and stop it while you can before disaster strikes.  V.47

“Such men will be punished most severely.”

We must be real.

There was one very real person in that crowd.

And I don’t think it was a coincidence that she was a widow.

A poor person.  The kind of person that the religious system was taking advantage of.

She gave all she had.  And it was Jesus’ turn to:

#3.  COMMEND THE GENEROUS WIDOW.  Chapter 21, verse 1.

“As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury [Yeah, the rich people are giving, woo hoo!].  He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [Greek: two lepta, the smallest coins you can get.  1/64 of a denarius, 1/64 of a day’s wage.  Only a fraction of a penny.]  ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others.  All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”

When the rich came, they poured money into the trumpet like heads of the offering cans.

You can hear it pour in. 

When this poor lady walked up (isn’t it always the poor who are the most generous?), you couldn’t even hear the clink of her two coins.

But Jesus says, “She gave more.”

Jesus doesn’t count the coins.  He weighs them.  (Bock, pg. 1642)

And her gift was weighted more than all the others.

The application of that is to give generously.

Jesus commends this woman.

She gave from her heart.

She gave sacrificially.
She gave something small that was huge!

And we’re still learning from it today.

Give generously.  To God. To His church.  To people in need.  To the work of global missions.  Give generously.

But don’t miss this:

This is still a condemnation of the those prideful, hypocritical leaders.

My friend, Kipp Wilson, says that those leaders, if they were doing what they should have been doing, they would have noticed this WIDOW and walked up to her and said, “No, Mother, you don’t need to put that in here.  You don’t take care of us.  We’re supposed to take care of you.  Thank you for your gift.  Now...”  And then reached down into that horn up to their elbows and pulled out a whole slew of coins and gave a gift to her!

But they don’t.

They are in it for the show and for themselves.

It is no wonder that Jesus will (starting in the very next paragraph) talk about the destruction of that very temple in which they are standing.

Judgment is coming on them. V.47, “Such men will be punished most severely.”

Give generously AND give God your all.

Jesus says, “All these people gave gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in ALL she had to live on.”

Shame on the leaders.
Good for her.

She trusted God and gave up everything.

Now, I don’t think that this is calling us to all cash in our houses and give it all away to the poor and needy or to some missions organization.

Though if you feel called to do that, that’s awesome.

But it is a call to give your all, yourself, everything your money stands for–you, to God.

Literally, it says that she threw in all of her life.

The King James says she “hath cast in all the living that she had.”

This widow gave God her all.

What are we holding back?

What am I holding back?

What are you holding back?

Give your all to the Lord.

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
Jesus Is Lord
Who Is Jesus?
Following Jesus
Sent By Jesus
Q&A With Jesus
Sitting at Jesus' Feet
Jesus Teaches Us to Pray 
Jesus Is Stronger Than Satan
More Blessed Than Jesus' Mom
Jesus and the Judgment to Come
Being Real with Jesus
Jesus and Our Stuff
Be Ready for Jesus' Return
Jesus and Tragedies
Set Free By Jesus
Jesus and the Surprising Kingdom
Jesus and Jerusalem
Jesus at the Party
The Cost of Following Jesus
Jesus and the Lost: Part One
Jesus and the Lost: Part Two
Jesus and the Lost: Part Three
Jesus on Money
Sneering at Jesus
Jesus and the Great Chasm
Jesus Said to His Disciples...
Thanking Jesus
Jesus and the Coming Kingdom
Jesus Says, "Keep Praying"
The Proud, the Humble, and Jesus
Jesus Does the Impossible
Why Did Jesus Come?
Investing for Jesus in 2011
King Jesus
Jesus and the Temple 
The Authority of Jesus
Jesus and Caesar
Jesus and the Sadducees