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Jesus’ Inaugural Address & Public Ministry

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2022 12:01 am

Jesus’ Inaugural Address & Public Ministry

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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July 4, 2022 12:01 am

Jesus often drew crowds with the miracles and healings He performed. But when Christ opened His mouth to teach, He left His hearers astonished. Today, R.C. Sproul examines the power and authority of Jesus' preaching.

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When Jesus called his disciples to follow him admit that literally lessee would be walking down the dusty streets of Galilee going from village to village, he would be teaching as he walked and the disciples would be walking right behind him committing to memory the lessons that he was drilling them in and instructing them as they went with Jesus healed the sick. In layman's respective life can only imagine how exciting that most of them for those early disciples, but we know it wasn't a glamorous life either. In fact, Jesus promised that they would face all kinds of trials. To learn more about the cost of following Jesus is like RC scroll teaches on his first recorded sermon was saying that when Jesus went into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil that he was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit and after our Lord successfully stood against the unbridled assault of the enemy and was ministered to by the Angels after the departure of Satan. We read in Luke's gospel that then Jesus returned in the power of the spirit to Galilee that is recorded for us in the fourth chapter of Luke's gospel immediately following after Luke's account of the temptation of Christ, we are told that Jesus was driven by the power of the Spirit into the wilderness and he returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee and we are told that the news of him went out through all the surrounding region and Jesus now under the anointing of the Holy Spirit begins his public ministry and is a ministry that is in first place is marked by extraordinary teaching and Luke gives us the record of the first sermon recorded, at least in his gospel why Jesus wasn't the first time that he spoke but he tells us of what happened when Jesus came to Nazareth place where he had been brought up and we are told that he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read and he was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah, just pause here for a second, Jesus is functioning as an itinerant rabbi that is a rabbi who is not fixed in a single location that has a school and the campus where everybody enrolls in as to attend classes but he is like a roving walking peripatetic rabbi who goes from town to town and village to village teaching and I were told that he comes to his hometown to Nazareth and he goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom and we are told that he stands up to read. That is an indication that Jesus is being treated with some respect to that he's being recognized as a rabbi and as a visiting rabbi is given the honor of reading the prescribed text of the day and so the scroll was brought to the front of the synagogue and unrolled and opened before the visiting rabbi and Jesus then began to read from the scroll for the people. Now, if you recall, when we were studying the Old Testament and we talked about the messianic prophecies of Isaiah. I mentioned that in Isaiah 61 we read the job description of the Messiah who was to come now here early on in the public ministry of Jesus. Jesus comes back to Nazareth. He's invited to read the scroll and the scroll happens to be from the text of Isaiah 61 he found the place where it was written, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Then he closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. How many times I've read that text before I had a scholar explained to me the significance of it. I envision something like this that Jesus came into the synagogue and sat down in the seat and then he was invited to come to the front of the synagogue and to read the text of the day, and once he finished reading. Then he turned around and walked back and sat down in the pew, like a visiting reader might do in the church on Sunday morning and one of our congregations. But that's not what the text to say in the synagogue situation in the environment and the people sat on the floor in the pews and when the reading was done, the reader would stand to read and then it would be the task of the rabbi to give an exposition sermon on the text that had just been read, and the posture for preaching was for the preacher to be seated on a bench or chair or something like that and then those who were assembled would sit at his feet literally.

So when it says here that Jesus, after reading the scroll sat down doesn't mean that he went back into the congregation but rather he stayed in front of the congregation and assumed the posture of the preacher, who would now give his exposition of the text and were told by Luke that the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him and he began to say to them today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. Now I don't know what else Jesus said maybe didn't say anything.

This would've been enough to have been received as a bombshell in the synagogue because the people who heard the reading of the scroll understood that they were listening to the words of the prophet Isaiah, who was talking about the future coming of the Messiah, Jesus reads this text and the first thing that he says in his sermon was today. These words are fulfilled in your midst. It was an electric moment for people to know what to say they didn't know how to respond. We read in here that they all bore witness to him and marveled at the words that proceeded out of his mouth, and they said is this not Joseph son and he said he will surely say this proverb to me, physician heal yourself. Whatever we have done in Capernaum, do also here in your country when he goes on to say that no profit is accepted in his own country, but this is a dramatic moment that marks the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, where he clearly identifies his mission with that of the description of the Messiah in the book of Isaiah the life we turn over to Matthew's account of the Galilean ministry in the early portion of the ministry. We are told that what Jesus does. Very early on is that he gathers disciples around where told. For example, that Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before he went about the task of selecting that intimate group of disciples who would follow after him that we have to understand that in the New Testament. A disciple is not the same thing as an apostle, even though many of the apostles were first disciples. The word disciple in the New Testament means learner and we seen that Jesus was a rabbi, but he was an itinerant rabbi as anyone around to potential students and he selected some of them and he said to them, follow me know what he was saying was to be understood literally, not just believe what I say or follow me as we say were following after a leader.

Jesus was talking much more literally than that because as his function as an itinerant rabbi, his students would not be as I said on a campus in a dormitory, someplace that they would literally walk around behind him and as he would be walking down the dusty streets of Galilee going from village to village, he would be teaching as he walked and the disciples would be walking right behind him following him committing to memory the lessons that he was drilling them in and instructing them as they went, and then from a large group of the students pieces selected 12 and then from that group. He commissioned the 12 to be his representatives to speak with his authority as apostles as an apostle was like an ambassador or an emissary who is given the authority by a king or by some powerful person who negotiated his name for two speak with the authority of the one who sends I so now with his disciples.

Jesus embarks upon this national ministry the covers the land. Now there's a brief summary of it in the end of the fourth chapter of Matthew's gospel that in assessing the way I think crystallizes the essence of the public ministry of Jesus. Listen to what Matthew says and Jesus went about Galilee about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sicknesses and all kinds of disease among the people and that his fame went throughout all Syria and they brought to him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon possessed epileptics paralytic's, and he healed great multitudes followed him from Galilee from the capitalist, Jerusalem, Judea and beyond the Jordan. Now this is the setting that Matthew uses to introduce what modern commentators have said is the greatest sermon ever preached the sermon on the Mount note before we look at this famous sermon sermon on the Mount, let's keep in mind the linkage between what happened in Nazareth and what is the content of the sermon.

Remember he's identifying himself with the one who is anointed by the Holy Spirit of God to bring comfort to those who mourn, to bring freedom to those who are held captive to bring healing to those who are diseased and who are broken and the transition here in the text is that Jesus went everywhere preaching the kingdom of God teaching in the synagogues and doing what else healing all manner of diseases. And so this spectacular crowd pushes in against him there hanging on every word that he speaks and in chapter 5 begins Matthew's account of the sermon on the Mount and seeing the multitudes, he went up on a mountain and when he was seated to see again. He takes his seat is an indication that he's about to speak and when he was seated his disciples came to him and he opened his mouth and taught them saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, Blessed are the make and what we have here is very familiar to most of us, it's that list of blessings that we call the Beatitudes. I mentioned with the prophets in the Old Testament that the basic vehicle that the prophet used to announce the word of God to his contemporaries was the device that was called the Oracle if you recall were two kinds of oracles were positive oracles and negative oracles. Good news oracles.

Bad news, oracles, or what we call oracles of wheel WE AL that is of prosperity and goodness and oracles of well and it was a standard device used by the prophets, and here we see Jesus in this sermon.

Adopting the form of speaking that was customarily associated with the prophet. He is delivering a series of oracles of divine pronouncements of the promise of benediction of the revelation of God's blessing and I think if we try to reduce the significance of this to the English word happy something is lost in translation because the kind of happiness that Jesus is declaring that people will receive goes far beyond and far deeper than what we normally associate with a spirit of being glad or happy. This is a kind of happiness that is transcended. This is the kind of happiness that penetrates into the deepest chamber of the soul, the kind of happiness that only a relationship. A redemptive relationship with God can import now notice in these Beatitudes that the message that Jesus is giving in this sermon is kind of a topsy-turvy announcement where Jesus is turning the platitudes of this world upside down. He doesn't say Blessed are those who rejoice, but he said, Blessed are those who mourn, he doesn't say Blessed are the rich but blessed are the poor. The poor in spirit.

The poor in heart to remember. Isaiah in the Old Testament when God called Isaiah not only to pronounce the judgment on the people, but also to predict the end of the calamities. The end of the divine visitation of wrath, the time when God would temper his justice with mercy and so he says to the prophet say unto the people, for he comfort ye my people, saith the Lord speak tenderly to Jerusalem, say under her. Her warfare is over, for she has received double for her sin and how this is what Jesus is doing. He is on this occasion, pronouncing the promise of God to comfort his people, but the cover everybody, not to comfort the comfortable, but the comfort the uncomfortable those who are poor. Those who have been to the house of mourning those people who wear blinders in this world not to be seduced by the allurements of success and power and fame, but who hunger and thirst after righteousness and he pronounces his blessing on the pure in heart, and you seat with each one of these pronouncements of divine blessedness. He attaches a promise for the future.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, they shall be filled.

Blessed are the peacemakers officially called sons of God. Children of God. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the poor, they shall inherit the kingdom of God. The see how he gives a future promise to each one of these human conditions and East again turning the world's values upside down because it's very difficult for a person to feel blessed when they are poor or to feel blessed when they were morning to feel blessed when they are hungry, but particularly difficult is it to feel blessed when you were being reviled. The spies hated and persecuted and Jesus says Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before me in the 19th century with the rise of so-called 19th century liberalism. It was fashionable for the scholars and theologians of that era 2D supernatural eyes the message of the New Testament and to give us a Christianity script of the miraculous stripped of the transcendent and to reduce the significance of geniuses that of a great ethical teacher has the master exponent of a lofty idealistic value system is so rather than viewing Jesus as the incarnation of God himself.

Having a divine nature. He was rather applauded as a great human day who had profound insight and his lasting contribution to the world is not found in some cosmic act of atonement or resurrection from the grave. That's all mythology, but his great contribution was found in his ethical insight. The acme of which according to the scholars was this sermon on them. But the amazing thing to me is that if you read the sermon on the Mount carefully.

It contains a unique revelation of the person of Jesus Christ himself.

This isn't just a wise man sharing his sagacity with a handful of disciples, but he's saying on his own authority who will receive the kingdom of God and who will not.

And then he has the audacity to say before these people. Blessed are you when you are persecuted for my sake, for yours is the kingdom of heaven. Think of the implications of a statement like that. What if I would say to you, God will richly bless you and give to you his kingdom. When you have to suffer persecution for my sake would you think of me you think is the most arrogant statement that you've ever made in your life know Jesus is not simply giving moralism's here he's revealing himself and the style of the kingdom that he has brought to bear the list sermon goes on. It teaches about prayer the Lord's prayer. It teaches us about our responsibility to be salt and light in the world. It teaches us many principles of living, but let me quickly jump over to the end of the sermon because at the end of the sermon because I think one of the most terrifying warnings that ever come from Jesus in verse 21 of chapter 7 he says not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven, and many will say to me in that they Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name cast out demons in your name done many wonders in your name and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.

That's one of the scariest things Jesus ever says and it's the climax to the sermon, he says on the final day people will rush up to him with feigned recognition Jesus were your friends. We know you were close, Lord, Lord ufology and Jesus said, please leave you are the fact that they repeat the title, saying, Lord, Lord, is an expression of personal intimacy. These people are not simply saying that they had had a casual acquaintance with Jesus, but they are saying I knew you intimately.

And Jesus will say no you didn't I know it from looking at your lives. That's scary blessing. I want us to learn in this is that in the final analysis in that kingdom that he declares the final test will not be do you know Jesus final test will be this the one who preached the sermon on the mouth is and reassuring his wisdom is also declaring who will inherit the kingdom of God and who will not. It's a sobering thought. Is it glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind.

I'm Lee Webb all this week where presented portions of Dr. RC Sproul series the glory.

That's a sweeping 57 lesson study tour through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation were concentrating on the ministry of Jesus. This week, but you can learn about the entire Bible. When you give a donation of any amount and request a series you receive eight DVDs plus an MP3 CD containing the complete study guide. You also have access to the entire series online through your learning library on the website and on the ligand or app because of the July 4 holiday. Know what is in our office today, but you can make your request to give your gift online at Renewing Your in 2020 ligand or ministries reach more than 20 million people.

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His teaching not only the content which is extraordinary enough. But the manner and style of teaching that Jesus will discover why Jesus taught in parables tomorrow here on Renewing Your Mind

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