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Amazing Love (Part 1 of 7)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2021 3:00 am

Amazing Love (Part 1 of 7)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 27, 2021 3:00 am

Although Jesus often urged His listeners to pay attention to His teachings, the religious leaders resisted hearing about God’s amazing love. Their attitude reveals the greatest barrier between God and man. Hear more on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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In Luke chapter 15 Jesus tells a series of story to an audience that includes religious leaders the parables, he tells reveal God's amazing love before his children. But the leaders response to Jesus teaching revealed something else today, on Truth for Life weekend. Alastair beg teaches us about the greatest barrier that stands between us and God. When I say that the 15th chapter is at the very heart of Luke's gospel that really is and what we have here from the beginning of chapter 15 through to the 31st verse of chapter 16 is a succession of five parables and are all and these are said as you will see by glancing back at the end of chapter 14 within the context in which Jesus has been urging his listeners to pay attention to what he say and Luke 14 ends with this rather pithy statement of Jesus. He knew his ears to hear, let him hear. And then I was immediately to the beginning of chapter 15 where we discover who it is that was listening.

I knew it is that would have their fingers in their ears. Remember, of course, that in the original.

There is no chapter break. There is no pause there's no heading at the beginning of chapter 15 and so immediately. Luke tells us that the tax collectors and the sinners what all gathering around to hear him, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law actually have were paying very scant attention to them.

A tall white striking and very important that we understand this because this opening paragraph sets up all of these parables which follow in this chapter, Jesus is addressing a situation in which the sinners gathered to hear him. These folks who were ostracized and stigmatized by the religious leaders of the day, when actually the ones were paying very very close attention to what Jesus was saying, so those that we might think would feel that they couldn't listen or were so bad that there was no remedy for them. They're the ones who are listening and the Pharisees. The teachers of the law. The people like to go to the synagogue.

The people keep all the rules, the people are always taking notes in the flyleaf of the Bible, the folks who are the religious ones and the people to whom individuals would point as having it altogether. They're the ones are just underground monitoring and what were they saying as a month ago they were saying this man welcomes sinners and eats with love proceed does mean paying attention to what he's been saying. He said, is not the healthy, that neither Dr. back in chapter 5 is this sick.

Neither Dr. I didn't come he said on that occasion to call the righteous, but I came to call sinners to repentance so you would anticipate that if I'm going to call sinners.

I'm going to greet sinners. I'm going to reach sinners. I'm going to spend time with sinners, but this statement by these fantasies was not an expression of their adoration. It was rather an expression of their antagonism and their condemnation. They didn't like Jesus and his program and they hadn't really paid careful attention to his purpose. In fact, the fantasies, as I said a moment or two ago classed everybody who was sort of out with their immediate religious Indian crowd as people of the land.

If you weren't part of their deal then you were aliens and strangers. And if you then found yourself in that category, then you were shunned by those who knew how to conduct themselves in a religious fashion.

And of course there is an expression of religion today, which is very much like that some of you have come out of that background, but it would seem that what you need to be is a certain kind of person indeed. Entry is only for those who are prepared to do this and that in the next day and keep the rules and keep a regulation and there is an almost inevitable feeling of uncomfortableness as a result of being on the outside of that kind of causerie and along comes Jesus and he does not allow these regulations interfere with his ministry. So what he is doing it is exposing the faulty thinking of the Pharisees and at the same time exposing these sinners to the wonder of God's searching law and has received already. Jesus is masterful in the way in which he tackles this because his approach grips the attention of the listener and appeals to their sense of reason. Suppose he says one of you is 100 sheep and loses one of them as a kind of statement that immediately makes contact with the listening group Jesus and let me just help you to think about this for a moment imagine that you've got 100 sheep audiences. For example thing about a lady who has 10 coins and she loses one of the ladies in the groups a lot more stuff before, whether these are 10 special coins as a result of the financial element or whether it is part of a necklace. We can only wonder what he saying is if there's something precious that is lost.

You will notice that these individuals go at it with great care in the case of the shepherd. It is a demanding responsibility to leave the 99 in the open country verse four and then go after the low sheep until he finds it no trouble to great for him to tackle it no sacrifice to significant for him to go. No suffering too great for him to endure. And when he finally puts this lab are there sheep over his shoulders and goes home that he calls his friends and his neighbors together and he says rejoice with me. I found my sheep was and is a nice story. It is common interest and engages the mind, it stores the emotion to be was it.

I understand that that is a lovely thing that Jesus makes application receipt in all of this, you got understand that Jesus is the good shepherd who gives his life for the sheep.

And as he speaks.

In this way. Of course in and behind all of this he is moving inexorably towards Jerusalem. He is the one who is going out seeking to save those that are lost and in spite of all our hardships. In spite of all of the challenges he keeps on in the case of the car in the picture is one of exacting thoroughness.

You will notice this this lady. She lights a lamp. She sweeps the house and she searches carefully until she finds her.

She's telling a story.

Here is painting a picture. He said this is how God works is not a bum sender somebody in the mall.

You know, is not he suddenly happened to meet you in a service know he is searching you out he is sleeping through the chapters of your life. He is walking down the corridors of your days. He is starting you out with an exacting thoroughness lamp is lit searches on the coin is found, the tea party begins and all of the neighbors rejoice. Mrs. Levi has flown her client, the Pharisees, as well as the others are forced to think there's a would you ignore or despise or neglect the lost sheep know then why would you ever imagine that the good Shepherd would take such an approach, so we have the Pharisees dreadfully sour and we have the Angels wonderfully singing to the Pharisees and all Pharisees can't stand it when the people who instead of praying on their knees have been praying on their neighbors actually get to have a meeting with Jesus they thought of the people are Jesus really wanted to talk to the people are always attending the services and half of these people have been attending services but not in the right place them down the pub all the time. Just as I I'll add the real glad to sit and talk with you fellows from nominative is okay.

Then he goes to the third story I said let me tell you about the one where there was a certain man in the two sons. He was ears important topics allow sheep shepherds, the lost coin ladies to voice story of broken relationships. Again, it is a story with which everyone is able to identify the two boys and the both isolated from the father. The second of which we will see when we get to verse 25 which will certainly not be this morning and the first were introduced to immediately. Here in verse 12 he is described as a younger boy the younger boy is isolated as a result of his open barefaced rebellion and his isolation is revealed in the fight that he is geographically separated himself from his father and his father's house. The older boy is isolated from his father while still living in the house, and his separation from his father, is this guy is ever so thinly because of the proximity geographically to is that I was a classic scenario as noted in verse 12. Teenage boy rebels against his wealthy father everywhere I go in the country. I meet young people who have done justice. They've done a Luke 1512 is that I'm out of here on God. Now we should notice in passing that it is quite normal for children to leave their parents.

Indeed, that is a great challenge of parenting is to prepare our children to leave us is part of the responsibility. Indeed, when parents treat their adult children as if they were still children. They do themselves and their kids a great disservice. But what is happening here in this young man is not simply his expression for a normal desire for independence is not. He said his dad that I love you but it is time for me to live on my own or I love you and I like to have a good business on my own right, whatever it might be. It's not that he is essentially making a scandalous and preposterous request. Namely, he is demanding his inheritance in advance and in doing so, he is essentially saying to his father. I wish you were dead.

If you are dead.

I get my freedom for your ally and I'm stuck. So why don't you cut me loose now and give me what's coming to me. Let me get out of here now.

Remember what Jesus is doing is using a picture in order to describe the nature of men and women concerning God. Now some of us may be lost from God living under the disguise of religion. Douglasville is a but others over this morning are even surprised it would here and now you're in here and you're going I'm trapped in rule four, in the middle of it all and I can get out in the way he is talking So this goes on about three in the afternoon. I'm stuck in.

The reason you're so alarmed is because you did a Luke 1512 you came to point your life you said I'm done with this. You are an altar boy, you were involved in religion and suddenly in your adolescent years.

He said I'm stuffed with this. I've had enough of it. And here you are this morning Abby's family and once nothing can happen to me.

One time I need get in and out without anything happening you may pray God, something does happen because you need something to happen because your father loves you with an everlasting love. He stands watching for you.

The way the father does on his porch here. He's not disinterested in who you are or where you he has compassion upon you far greater than any compassion that you will ever know for your physical athlete you in this young man's declaration of spiritual independence, physical independence, what we have is a picture of those whose rebellion against God is open and defiant.

The young man was saying I want to live by myself for myself. I want to be free of any rules of any authority. I want to blot out any thoughts of the true and living God. I do not want you to rain on the throne of my life in the Bible tells us in Romans one that that is exactly true of men and women in general. Although they knew God being neither glorified him as God nor did they give thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened and so verse 12. At the end in one sentence. The father divided his property between again, please know that Jesus drawing a picture here of how human beings made in the image of God, find themselves alienated from God. As a result of their moral rebellion that in the same way as this young man. Once out from under his father's jurisdiction so we by nature want out from under the jurisdiction of God as he said to me, my inheritance essentially saying I wish you were dead. So men and women today are saying not in so many words, but essentially that of God.

I wish you were dead. The young man was saying.

I like the material things you can give me. I just don't like you. I want then I just don't need him. I want you out of my life.

I don't want your involvement and I certainly don't want your interference now. Why did he ask for this division of property in verse 1212 verse 13 tells us because he was planning on taking off his departure was clearly one that he had planned and his son clearly regarded it as being permanent.

He got together all that he had even leave anything behind because he wasn't coming back in man when he turns his back on God, does it in that way I'm finished with this. I'm out of here.

I'm gone. I'm not coming back. I measure will clean my will operation out because I will never be back despite the fact that all this young man had was his father's provision and all that you and I have a dear friend is as a result of your father's provision that very mind that you use to deny God is a gift from God. There many talents that make you feel you in the future on your own to do it your way. Talents that your heavenly father is giving the family background that is providing the resources for you to get out and drive off down the street on the provision of the wonderful God all of your provisions God's provisions.

That's why it is a tragic thing and we're going to see for a man or a woman to waste their substance just squandered it because your life is in your stew waits. God can feel your life. He gave you life in order that you might glorify him and enjoy him forever. Not something you might turn your back on him and say I'm done with you. I wish you were dead. Not only did he take everything but he took it as far as he possibly could to get off set off for a distant country and their in the distant country squandered his wealth in wild living.

The word which is used again means to scatter in various directions. He was wondering and is wondering led to squandering you look at people who make a vast sum of money on the lottery is a wondering out into life and within a relatively short period of time so squandered professional football players that do exceptionally well to a relatively short career become multimillionaires and within five years of the end of their career are not only at less prosperous than they once were, but it is flat.

I will surrender the young men desires that had mastered him the desire for freedom. The desire for independence to come over and just gave way to disappointment. You will notice in verse 14 that when he had spent everything, when you spend everything and then let your eye go down to the bottom of their 16 he spent everything. Bottom of 16, no one given anything now is down and out the big shark into town, the parties ensued. He was everybody's friend. Now he has used up everything. Famine has emerged and it is a door of opportunity. He began to be in want. He began to be in want.

Sad but glorious moment lost his money. Verse 14 lost his freedom. Verse 15 lost his self-respect. Verse 60 there's doubtless someone here this morning and what you have regarded in these recent days as a cellar door to oblivion is in the purposes of God white door to freedom to forgiveness the glorious hope because the thing that keeps so many of us from our loving heavenly father is that we see no need were fine. I mean every so often adoptive reporting radical is a little bit, but by and large refine. So when God in his providence brings us down to see our need, then it is a moment of opportunity, and indeed love one until you and I see our need. What possible reason is there for returning to regard for his welcome until we see our need of a physician. Why would we ever go to until we see our need of a Savior. Why would we ever cry out a sheet of any problem with the fantasy that a problem with a religious person. The people were listening on the circumference of this so no need of Christ.

They saw no need of a much but there were some who were there by this time the horizon as big as saucers, then getting it there. Leslie I see what you're saying Jesus your say that when we realize that we are spiritually broke that we can turn now and go back to our father and we will receive from him about the pets exactly the way you are on the periphery of think we were disregarded by the religious. We are here only once or twice a time out of all the Senate armed services of the year, the father, God loves us and cares for others and reaches out that's exactly I will come back to the start time is gone but pictured them there, sitting in a pigsty. What a place for a Jewish boy nobody answers his calls nor replies to his email.

He needs food he needs shoes.

He needs a bath. He needs close and no one gave him anything.

Let me tell you something, nobody will give you anything that can answer the awareness of your need and longing for spiritual food and clothing, but if you are prepared to admit the predicament in which you are so clearly to be found, and if you will take a step back up on that road and you will discover that the King of Kings and Lord of lords has been watching for you and waiting for you that he is ready to come down the road to meet you and he will not meet you with a lot of recriminations on a lot aware where he is and a lot of why did you and a lot about I told you. You get yourself in a mess like this.

You go back in here and I whack when you went your mother's done with the award with you is get your backup and then get yourself cleaned up your filthy looking rat you know get in the back gate as well.

The neighbor see you coming in here getting round the back, look at you exactly what I said would have none of facts I case shoes a signet ring upon see and for all your main key rotten Dragon jerseys, a royal role.

You don't deserve turn your back on this kind of God. Are you able to stand before the skinny ones I don't need one wonderful story.

What an amazing storyteller. What an incredible invitation.

He, she, who has ears to hear Lisa, responding to the simple call to listen, make the choice today to open invitation from our message of a new series called amazing listing to Truth for Life weekend with Alister bag. If today's study has made you aware of your need for a Savior like to know more about what that means we want to invite you to visit Truth for story there you'll find a helpful video presentation that explains God's plan of salvation. The story of salvation look presented in this video represents the heart of our mission here at Truth for Life.

We teach the Bible so men and women can come to know, love and trust Jesus Christ to save them from their sins to lead them to eternal life. In addition to teaching the Bible.

We also recommend books to help you become more grounded in your faith. And this is the final week and were offering a book that unpacks the biblical meaning of the simple word heart toward the Jews more than a thousand times in the Bible. The title of the book is with all your heart, orienting your mind desires and will toward Christ. The author explains that the word heart in Scripture is a comprehensive term that describes our entire being, our motives or passions are thought processes in our conscience. Essentially the heart drives what we feel, what we think and how we act.

What you'll learn when you read with all your heart, is how to better align your thinking and actions with the will of God will give you principles and practical instruction for how you can use your mind and emotions, to love and follow Jesus more completely request your again that's Truth for Life.Bob Lapine thanks so much for joining us.

We hope you listen again next weekend as we continued this series titled amazing love.

The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by truth for like what the Learning is for Living

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