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August 21, 2022 12:01 am
It's noble to desire for your life to have significance. But to pursue greatness at the expense of others--that's another matter. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in the gospel of Luke to consider what it really takes to be the greatest in the kingdom of God.
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Want to be great in phrase want to be great in service is a noble thing but to want to be the greatest in the kingdom of God at the expense of other people's perversity uses perform amazing new with this is to the feeding of the 5000 to the raising of healing of the sick, and in moments of reflection may begin to wonder what kind of amazing things they would be today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul Texas to Luke chapter 9 to show is that arguing about being the greatest is in a great idea.
What a difference a day might as we saw in the last portion of chapter 9 the event that took place the day before the things that we've just read was the Transfiguration of Christ on the mountain where he was transformed before the eyes of Peter, James and John, one of the most glorious moments in the history of the world a moment that we saw was something that John and Peter James would never forget.
And yet a day later, Jesus meets with the rest of the disciples so it remained at the base of the mountain while he and Peter and James and John had withdrawn for prayer as he walks those that were now into a maelstrom of controversy and trouble. Now, if you recall when we started our study of chapter 9. What was it hundred years ago. It seems that in the very first part of chapter 9 we read these words in verse one that he called his 12 disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. That was the moment we said where the disciples become apostles because Jesus transferred to them off for ROTC and our the authority and power to preach to heal and to cast out demons and now when Jesus comes down from the Mount of Transfiguration, he finds mind of these men who had received that commission who had been granted that power, who had been given that authority by Christ himself, cowering in weakness, in the midst of their abject failure to exercise that power and authority that Jesus had given to them just one minutes. The New Testament tells us dear ones, that every person who was in Christ has been visited by the spirit of God and empowered for ministry.
Paul tells us that we don't all have the same gift.
Our gifts differ from one another but we all are gifted to participate in the ministry of the kingdom of God and the apostle says let him know as the gift of teaching let them teach them to get the preaching went preach that one was a gift of administration limit minister one is the gift of singing, let him sing. The idea is every believer has been empowered to serve in some capacity and I know that many of us don't even know what gifts we possess and I also know that many of us who do know what gifts we possess. Do not regularly exercise those gifts and so if there's any consolation for you. Keep in mind that that's nothing new. As the disciples themselves have been thus gifted and failed to exercise their gifts in a meaningful way. So Luke tells us that the day after the Transfiguration.
When they came down from a mom I great multitude met him, but suddenly an individual in the midst of this crowd rushes out is singled out from the mob and cries out, saying, teacher, I implore you, I beg you look on my cell phone. I remember reading the writings of the French Texas ventral philosophers on all start when the most famous atheists of the 20th century, when he gave his critique of the existence of God so that it if God exists at all, and if he is omniscient set means that we would all live our lives beneath his gaze and to be subject to the gaze of God is to be reduced to an object like a monkey in the zoo and we would lose our very humanity and Sartre couldn't stand the thought of God's being a cosmic boy here who was looking through the keyhole of heaven.Austin like the federal government of the United States, monitoring our every move. Thought that was the ultimate loss of freedom and dignity. And so there is within the heart of the ICS, a profound desire not that God would look at him, but the God would overlook him.
The God would ignore him.
This is our most base response to the existence of God. As we saw in the garden of Eden, the first impulse of Adam and Eve after their initial transgression of the law of God is what they ran and they did and they didn't want God to see them. Don't look at me because I'm wishing and that's the tragedy is Sartre and at that point in the experience of Adam and Eve had not yet experienced the benevolent gaze of God.
The healing gaze of God, the compassionate look of God, how David when he had known forgiveness septic auto Lord, search me and know me. I know I can't hide from you. I can hide from men, but there is nowhere that I can flee from your spirit. If I said that that would get there if I make my bed and she ought thou art there then before a word is formed on my lips.
You know it all together.
So David said please look and that's what this man is saying, Jesus look at some don't pass by and fail to notice him in his pain, and then his misery. He's asking Jesus to look at his son, not with the look of judgment or scorn, but with the gaze of mercy and the feeling please look on my son. He's my only child and he goes on to describe his conditioning, so the spirit sees a sermon he cries out a convulsing semi foams at the mouth. This sounds like a definition or description of epilepsy, but remember that Luke was a physician and they knew the difference between normal epilepsy and a demonically induce epileptic convulsion and Jesus understood this was no mere disease but this was an invasion from hell into this little boy's life in the sense I beg your disciples to cast it out, but they could not. They failed they had the authority they had the power, but this time it didn't work.
And if we ever find a time in sacred Scripture, were our Lord displays annoyance and frustration. Here it is, where he answered and said oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and share with you know there's a dispute among scholars as to whom Jesus was addressing was a addressing the crowd the scribes who were there. The unconverted mobs and also the disciples were was a particularly speaking and addressing the disciples I think the latter more than the former. I think his annoyances with his own man who had commissioned to whom he gave power and authority, but when push came to this job. They acted without faith and I participated in the perversity of that generation know we have a word. It's an ugly word in our vocabulary in our culture.
It's the word pervert and we usually associate a pervert with some kind of sexual deviation. But when the Bible speaks of perversion. It speaks of something that goes far beyond the arena of sexual behavior. Jesus linked together faithlessness and perversion and what perversion means here in the text is that which is twisted that which is crooked, that which is distorted and Jesus is addressing not only his disciples again.
I think that's the primary people in view, but they belong to that generation that whole culture into which Jesus came was twisted it was distorted. The values that they held dear were things that were noxious for the Lord God, and what was precious in the sight of God was despised in their own culture. There's was a twisted culture because it was a faithless culture and whenever human bangers fail to trust God. They twist their lives and do all kinds of crazy shapes. Consider the age in which you live in which the sanctity of life has been twisted where the sanctity of marriage has been distorted and I don't know everybody in this room, but in all probability there people in this room right now living together without being married and thinking nothing of it but realizing that they're acting in abject defiance of the holiness of God and you just can't do that and get away with because we are twisted were distorted and therefore faithless, and after Jesus expressed his annoyance of exasperation with that generation, saying, how long do I have to abide with you how I got to put up with you. Then he stopped his own complaint and addressed the father of the boy bring your son. I didn't come down from this mountain just to complain about the perversity of this generation. Let me see your son. Of course a look at him and I will just look at him. He'll well, he was still coming, the demon through them down and convulse them. This was this boy's last convulsion. This was this Damon's last victory over this young boy because Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit.
He healed the child and he gave him back to his father. There's a lot in those words because that demonic's. Had snatched that boy from his father. So when Jesus healed rebuking the enemy. Once he healed the boy that wasn't enough, he gave them back to his father, a switching system and they were all amazed that Greek word found outside, astonished to astonish her to amazes one we hear again and again and again in the New Testament in response to the miraculous works of Jesus regularly and characteristically when people would be hold his works. They would be utterly may, but notice the locus of their amazement here we read and they were all amazed at the majesty of God is not interesting that 24 hours earlier, Peter James and John had been terrified at the majesty of God is that it exploded among them on the Mount of Transfiguration and now at the bottom of the mountain. The rest of the crowd don't see a transform Christ they don't see the radiance of his face brightens the noonday sun, but his power over hell they caught a glimpse of the majesty of God than interesting, they realized, at least for the moment that they weren't simply in the presence of an extraordinary man, but they realize that what they had just witnessed was the work of God, and it displayed his Majesty's glory, his splendor, his grantor in the healing of this and all the while everyone was standing around the bay marveled at what Jesus did. He spoke beside to his disciples again telling them what was that aliens let these words sink down into your ears. Will you guys listen for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. This is in the first time he told him that with a response this time as any different than it was the other times they don't get it. They didn't understand this saying why because they were stupid know because the one thing the Jews in their expectation. The Messiah only looked at the Royal Palm of the coming son of David, and they didn't tie it together with the suffering servant of God, as was found in the prophet Isaiah. That combination of the understanding of the messianic office did not become clear until after the cross, and were told it was hidden from them, or who get it from them.
The devil I don't think so. I think God did it from them for his own purposes, and they did not perceive it and then they were afraid to ask him about this thing on the same context.
We are told by Luke, after all these things now comes an argument and debate a dispute among the disciples where were told there having a theological debate about infra labs Arianism and super laughs. No wasn't anything so grand as that it was much more practical. The dispute was of which one of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of God and we don't know who was saying what would may be. Andrew was saying well I think that our no one. It will be the greatest look at the church they built in my honor in Sanford for that.
He is said you're out of your mind on you to be the greatest and so they're arguing among themselves as to who is to be the greatest now again let me pot what's wrong with wanting to be great. Nothing and everything now. It's been said by one theologian that most sin really are nothing more and nothing less, than a distortion, a twist Dayton of some virtue when God creates human being makes them in his own image, he gives to them as part of their humanity and aspiration for significance.
Is there anybody in this room but once their life to be insignificant to be meaningless to be useless to be a Weiss to be an exercise in vanity. I hope no one wants that for themselves. As creatures of the living God made in his image.
We are given aspirations for significance.
I know I want my life to count, but I wanted to count for the right things and I don't always want to count for the right reasons.
We become competitive. We become vicious towards rivals who would find a higher station then we achieve would receive the promotion that we want to win the championship that we covet and we begin secretly to despise them to be envious and jealous of money. Of the 10 Commandments address are twisted desires for greatness. Now want to be great in face to be wanted to be great in service is a noble thing but to want to be the greatest in the kingdom of God at the expense of other people's perversity and so Jesus perceiving the thoughts of their hearts took a trial the little child. Luke tells us, and set him by can help you think of that when I was watching the baptisms this morning. They were beautiful.
One thing I thought to myself what I was watching the baptisms thing the greatest in the kingdom of God, little draw.
The Jesus breaks to himself and he said whoever receives this little child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me, for he was least among you all will be great. I know our time is short. Let me just say this.
In closing, Christ tells us to become as little children, and sometimes we use that as an excuse for infantile Christianity. He calls us to be childlike, never childish, were called to be babes in evil but in our understanding, we are called to be adults and mature knowledgeable of the things that God reveals to us in sacred Scripture, but in what sense are we to be like children in the sense of trust thing. Our heavenly father. You heard me say it a thousand times. Anybody can believe in God but to believe God is what is involved in the Christian life to trust him when he says do this and live. We know that that's how we are to behave when he tells us the things that he loves. We trust that they are good and when he tells us the things that he abhors.
We trust that they are a poor like children don't get into deep theological disputes with their parents.
Yet, at least while they're still little there is that feed a simplistic term that implicit trust or faith that they give to their parents. That's what Jesus said, trust me, you can't believe in me, and then not trust me because that's what faith is its trust.
So he says he was least is really the most pressing will be great. Have you ever put those concepts together the least in the kingdom is actually the most trusting one of the kingdom such helpful insight today from Dr. RC Sproul and glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind as we continue Dr. Sproles verse by verse sermon series from the gospel of Luke.
Luke was a gifted historian and physician who traveled with the apostle Paul and some of his missionary journeys and Luke's account of the life of Jesus is during I hope your request or resource offer.
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