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March 30, 2022 12:30 am
Today's episode features guest speaker Associate Director of Finding Purpose Jim Briggs. He takes us through Luke Chapter 7 and asks "Who Is Jesus" and what must we do to love Him?
Currently underway big near Mema with storytime Mema and answered prayer for stories that point children to God on the Truth Network for kids your chosen Truth Network podcast is starting just few seconds enjoying it, share it the most of all, thank you for listening to The Truth Podcast Network. This is good Truth Network the following is part one of a two-part program. Today's episode features guest speaker Prof. Jim Briggs, associate Dir. of finding purpose.
Do you feel like a religious treadmill to see what Christianity is just a system of regulations, I can do for us but I can't do that. Do you feel like your efforts to reach God. Find God, and please God. If you do you feel like your faith is dead or alive today. Pastor Russ Andrews will walk us through Scripture to answer these questions join us on finding purpose, glorifying God by helping men find their purpose for living. For more information and to connect with Russ Andrews and finding purpose could visit us email@example.com connect with us on Facebook. Now let's listen to Russ Andrews as he teaches us how to be a Christian without being religious and thinking in the right privilege to be here tonight. I won't lie working on affirmative hard work, but it is always a privilege to be able to be appear to share God's work. It would be a big help to me and I don't would be a help to you as well. If you'll pull out your Bible.
We are in Luke chapter 7 as we were last week. I think we got one more week in Luke chapter 7 and so if you got your Bible handy as I am, as I was thinking about the sermon. Something came to me as I was looking at is that I don't know you felt the same way, but it was almost you remember back in your school days that at the end of the semester. At the end of the term you out you had a review before the exam or not quite to the end, yet were not quite to the exam but this almost felt to me like you're a review of sorts. As we look at Luke's out wonderful job of of capturing all of the facts about Jesus Christ and his ministry up to chapter 7 and as I thought about it I thought. Will this is a great opportunity, look back because looking back will help us to understand a little bit about what's going on in this prison cell, where we find John the Baptist in our story tonight so he thinks it is you think about anything back to chapter 1, I was a while ago. Chapter 7 but we found that Luke was investigating all of the evidence right so he's pulling together all this evidence from eyewitness accounts all the stories all of everything about Jesus and he wanted to present this to his front after a good friend of his. He wanted to present this orderly account and and you remember the reason why was so that his friend would be certain of all that he had been all is a really that's what he's doing for us.
He is pulled together all of this evidence that we been going over week by week.
As you studied as you done your lessons. If you spent time in your discussion groups and as you been in here listening to some great sermons we been listening to all this evidence is is been unpacked. I thought that would be helpful maybe to kind of pick up a quick look back into sort of see what that evidence was loose. Narrative really is about Jesus demonstrating his divine authority. And so when we look back we see wine. Remember Jesus when he came on the scene when his. He started his ministry.
He demonstrated his authority in the way that he taught he taught. Unlike anybody else. He taught with authority.
Remember, it said that the people were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority while another way that he showed authority is that he was able to command evil spirits and they and they obeyed right. We saw that he had authority over spiritual world.
In chapter 5 we saw that he was able to bring about a record catch of fish so it shows that he has control and authority over the natural world has authority over sickness. Today we seen in chapters 5, four, five, six, seven that Jesus was able to heal the sick, lame, he was able to cleanse the lepers, all of Bessie. He showed he demonstrated that he had authority over illness.
Remember with Peter's mother-in-law. Not only did he have authority but that authority was was instantaneous. He was able to say be healed and she was up and ready to serve her dinner party that night. He is also able to forgive sins we saw that in in chapter 4 Jesus has authority over the power of sin and then last week we saw two more examples of how Jesus shows his authority. We were introduced in his visit to Calpurnia. We were introduced to the centurion now century and as you remember from last week and your studies as a is a is a man of authority he he he had authority over hundred minutes Russ pointed out last week and so he knew what authority was. He was under authority, but he was also over others, so he knew and understood what authority was and we saw that this Roman soldier. This Roman centurion actually recognize Jesus authority and he pleads with Jesus to heal his servant. And then he ventures off to this little town called Maine in your member there. He demonstrates that he has authority even over death itself by raising the widow's son, and so this is this is interesting to us as we look at this in in the sense that we see all these things and were amazed were astonished at what Jesus is able to do what Luke is been doing is he's been taking all quality bits of evidence.
Building a case that helps us to understand who Jesus is and your member that at the end of all of this at the at the end. In verse 16 we see that the people responded by saying, and I think correctly interpreting that God had visited his people. Now when the other things that they mentioned was that a great prophet has gone and so there's still confusion here and I think Jesus addresses that even in this in this lesson, but Luke is presented. All of this evidence, really. It's not just to give us clues about who Jesus is, but he wants to. Just like his friend that he was writing to. He wants us to be certain about who Jesus is and so as we think about this. The question is will lie lie lie is it so important for us to know who Jesus is. While understanding Jesus identity is is crucial and it is crucial for you is crucial for me is really crucial for everyone. Everyone will one day have to ask confront the question who is Jesus. And so it's critical that we ask these questions and and a reason for that is found in actually in in chapter 9 verse 23 of of Luke and it says that whoever wants to be my disciple member what we have to do. We must deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily and follow him and I don't know if you read and read on to the other other part of this, but it says whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will save to Jesus.
Jesus is asking us to die for him.
Picking up the cross is the idea of dying to self. Jesus is commanding that we die and so no one in their right minds. No one would ever follow anyone unless they truly believe that he was authentic right, no one would ever follow Jesus. No one would ever lay down their life for someone other than Jesus that that says you must document and so it's important is crucial that we that we understand Jesus identity and so that brings us to tonight's lesson and you probably saw this question just like I did and thought well this this is the question.
This is the question were supposed to ask who is Jesus's phrase a little differently.
This is are you don't want to come well is Jesus, the one is Jesus the one to come.
As this is Jesus, the one that the Old Testament has been wanting to member everyone was waiting for this Messiah, the anointed one to come. I don't know if you remember but even when when John the Baptist came on the scene at many question in their hearts. Whether or not he was the Christ, the Messiah, and so people watching. People were looking. People knew that the Messiah was coming and and they were anticipating him coming and so the Old Testament prophecy about him coming was was known and Old Testament prophecy also contain lots of details about this Messiah.
What would he do what Woody when Woody, we look like and so people were watching for all of these things and and so this is the essential question, are you the one who is to come. But you know it's also a surprising question. Is it surprising because of who asked John the Baptist. Ask some of his disciples to go and ask Jesus this very important question. The reason is is your member.
All of these events that we just talked about that I just itemize were well known throughout the country. All through Judea all through the countryside.
They were very well known and so John's disciples came and told him take his Jesus's is what he's doing the things he's doing it because John the wonder will okay doesn't quite fit what I had in mind about about the Messiah, would you do me a favor, would you go to Jesus and asking this question. Are you the one to come, or shall we look for another. Well, that brings up another question why the world would John have this sudden wave of doubt over who Jesus was, why would he send his disciples asked this question, are you want to come out of your member bid package. If you flip over to John one John 129 you see that John actually has said the jihad said of Jesus, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the sin of the world right so John already recognized him one. As the Lamb of God. There was something about the Messiah coming in the sacrifice that he would make on our behalf didn't quite understand it all, but he certainly recognizes that behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He also says in verse 34. That same chapter I have seen and borne witness that this is the son of God are so John was rock solid in his understanding of who Jesus was the Lamb of God and he's the son of God. So why the confusion well I would direct you to Isaiah 55 for the answer there in Isaiah 55, you realize that this is Isaiah speaking Erica rather Lord speaking through Isaiah's is for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts then your thoughts so ominous logic is in it. We just we know that if God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways are higher than our ways, then, is pretty understandable why we would be confused… I clearly can't know all that God wants to do the ways that he's going to do it and so I know I'm going to have some doubts. I know you're going to have some doubts and that's what we see here with John and one of things is interesting to me about this and I think this is a great principle for us. Is it when we do have those kinds of doubt can we see things going in a completely different way than we expected.
We go to Jesus. Now John couldn't go physically to Jesus. Of course, because he was imprisoned, but he sent his disciples to Jesus death is very important question and I think that you and I of course we can always go to Jesus and should go to Jesus.
Anytime we have doubted them. We have our questions about what Jesus is doing in our life. Well, I want it now. Take a look at Luke 316, 17, it was still want to ask this question.
Why is is John so perplexed now.
The picture here is John is on the banks of the river Jordan and your member.
People were coming from all over the countryside as they heard about John out in the wilderness and he was baptizing people with water and and here's something interesting that he says here to give. This may be a clue as to why he's a bit perplexed. He says he will baptize you.
He's talking about the one to come with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear the threshing floor and to gather the wheat into the barn but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. Get that the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire. Throughout his ministry. John is been calling people to repentance. In view of this coming wrath of God is what he's been preaching all this time repent for the kingdom is at hand repent, because God's judgment is coming and now Jesus from all reports that he's getting is going from town to town.
He's preaching love and mercy and forgiveness and he's healing people well you see why John was a bit perplexed. What Jesus was doing didn't look at all like what John thought the Messiah would do what he can.
So here's the issue. He believed Jesus was the Christ. That was clear from his earlier testimony, but in John's understanding God would send his Messiah to purify the evil start purify Israel and to wipe out her enemies and to establish the new kingdom to John and preach judgment.
But Jesus now was preaching love and mercy and and he even had helped a Roman soldier, the enemy of Israel. So John was very very confused.
Jesus was anything like what John was expecting. I think this is kind of interesting. Here I think of doubt may be the wrong word.
We talk about doubt. I don't think John doubted Jesus at all. I just think that he didn't understand what Jesus was doing and so as I said he went to Jesus.
It wasn't a question of who but of how John just didn't understand how all this was that take place well so he goes to Jesus and he says are you the one well that leads to the next part in our story where John's disciples arrive and they arrive just in a time when Jesus is healing.
Many people of diseases and flags and evil spirits is restored. The site of the blind and the answer to John's question comes really into parking first part is the exciting answer exciting answer, he says, go and tell John what you have seen and heard the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, death here in the dead are raised up. The poor have good news preached to them that verse 22. Well, we might expect Jesus would try to reassure John by telling him that hey don't worry judgment is coming, but instead he sends the disciples back with with reports on these miracles that is performing a quite frankly, the list of miracles that he's been performing are very much like the miracles he is Artie been performing so this report to John is really nothing new, but why is it such an exciting answer. Well, because it's it's interesting one that Jesus is not rebuking John for his expressing his doubt. Rather, he gives John the prophet, a gentle little reminder of God's word about what the coming Messiah what he would do is essentially quoting from Isaiah and I want if you will. Let's take a little journey I want to first turn to Isaiah 35 now.
Isaiah is that towards the middle of your book middle of the Bible go from Psalms right in the middle of the book in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes song of Solomon. You get to Isaiah got Isaiah 35 Isaiah wrote this 700 years before Jesus Burke and listen to some of the words your city pick out some of the things that Jesus is trying to use explain why he's doing what he's doing say to those who have an anxious heart.
Be strong, fear not, behold, your God will come with vengeance and with recompense of God, he will come and save you.
Then the eyes, listen the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the death on stop and then the lame man will leap like a deer in the tongue of the mute sing for joy Isaiah here is is saying that the Messiah would do everything that Jesus was was doing everything that Jesus had just reported. I also want you to notice this bombshell in verse four, behold, your God will come with vengeance in the records of God who will open blind eyes who will heal the lame God. God's gonna do these things.
But Jesus is showing him through this reminder is that Jesus is in fact God, what about the vengeance right, we read that part about the vengeance, behold, your God will come with vengeance and with the recompense of God. What about the vengeance. This passage says that God will bring will.
Jesus had come, but he was nothing like what John thought nothing seemed to have changed the enemies of Israel were still completely in power write Romans were there any John is actually in prison in Harrods prison and it seems like nothing is changed. All all those who oppose God are still in power. They have been punished in this kingdom. It John had been talking about the kingdom that is at hand. Kingdom doesn't seem to arrive yet. Well, let's take another look in Isaiah got Isaiah 61 to look at Isaiah 61, 132 and you may recall is your flip in there. You may recall that this was the passage that Jesus read in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. Remember that there was a few I was back in chapter 4 says a few a few weeks ago. But Jesus had read this really to show that this prophecy in Scripture was being fulfilled through his ministry and again this week as we take a look at this. I want you to read, or at least pick out the things in this prophecy that are reflecting the very things that Jesus is doing so says the spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring here is good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the and the opening of the prison to those who are bound to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor right so that's a familiar passage week we studied that in chapter 4, and indeed Jesus is preaching to the poor is preaching good news, but it's easy to see why John has some down here to write because it also says that he was there to proclaim liberty to the captives, he was there to open the prison of those who are bound.
Where was John in prison so this is exciting. Answer, but it's also an incomplete. Jesus seems to be fulfilling only part of this prophecy, Jesus was telling John that he was doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing the very miracles. In fact, they were causing John such a problem were confirming that Jesus was in fact the Messiah and you know even today when so many biblical prophecies have been fulfilled, we have to acknowledge that prophecy can be pretty confusing prophet. You see, look at the future like we look at a mountain range out when I was a young boy I lived in East Tennessee and from our back porch. We could look out and we can see the great Smoky Mountain and so if you're standing on my back porch.
You can see what looked like a just a long and giant mountain spread out across the horizon just like one, but if I were to go to the first mountain and climate got to the top. I would quickly find out that it wasn't one long continuous mountain but stretching out to the horizon behind that first mountain. There were more mountains. There were more ridges and valleys in between, and they went as far as the eye could see, and so this is this is what is happening with this biblical prophecy. The prophets of the Old Testament really were seeing all of the future. They were looking at it like a mountain range and and really what God had done for John the Baptist, from where God where John the Baptist stood God granted him a very clear perspective of the closest mountains of Jesus miracles and preaching, but he had no clear idea of how the distant future events would would spread out when they would happen. This is what's called prophetic perspective, prophetic perspective. So when we look at prophecy. Very often we see a lot of things that will happen. Some of those things. As I said it already happened. Some of those things happen when Jesus came and some of those things won't happen until return that's important to remember to about prophecy that prophecy is not a haphazard prophecy is not based on uncertain data like a weather forecast. You know you can predict the weather and they do often and and you get prepared for the snowstorm at any wake up that morning and guess what it did happen as imperfect data and they're predicting what's going to happen. Prophecy is not a prediction like that prophecy is is God's word.
God's word is is a sure thing and end of Dr. Hugh Ross is an astrophysicist and a Christian apologist actually writes that there are approximately 2500 prophecies in the Bible about 80% of which have been fulfilled perfectly libraries. As you know are filled with books that contain information surrounding historic events that we we read and I'm a I'm a history buff, I like to read. In particular, biographies of of past presidents and as I read those I see all the facts about their lives and all they accomplish all they did and and I sort of take those as true but also we know that is sometimes history can be written and is incorrect and we can find out later is the discovery of subdued documents or new research that's been done that that history that we thought was true was maybe not quite true. What God's Word isn't like that at all biblical prophecy. Unlike our history books.
Biblical prophecy is history written in advance.
History written in advance and and this is because it's God's work by God we trust God's word. God's word is inerrant. God knows all things. He knows the future, he knows the passing of the present.
He knows everything is going to happen and so he's writing about the future. It's almost as if it's Artie happen. In fact, it is almost as it's already happened. This is really the bedrock to of Christian hope you know as Christians we have. Hope we talk about hope all the time but is not hope. So kind of hope in the way the world talks about hope. It said no. So kind of hope because it's based on God's word is testified to settle allow ago. The bedrock of our faith buys everything could be built on God's word because it's a sure thing and we can have absolute confidence therefore is what God's inerrant word says about future work because it's being a Christian is not about being religious but about having a dynamic alive relationship with Jesus Christ. You've been listening to finding purpose with pastor Russ Sanders glorifying God by helping men and their purpose for living. You can discover more about finding your purpose in life by checking out the firstname.lastname@example.org will connect to finding purpose on Facebook pastor Russ would also like to extend a special invitation for you to join him in over 300 other local men to study God's word together every Tuesday night at 7 PM in downtown Raleigh. Find out email@example.com. This is the Truth Network