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September 16, 2022 12:00 am
The twelve disciples were given intimacy and closeness to Jesus that no other Christians in history have experienced. We might expect that being in the physical presence of Jesus and hearing His teaching from His own mouth would have transformed these men into "super-Christians." But they suffered from the same struggle with selfishness that is common today. Jesus will confront their self-centerness with the example of a child.
During the first century is defined by the company you keep. Great people associate with great people significant people hang around significant people. So this is why Peter James and John are probably at the top of their list that they deserve that title of the greatest is associated with one of the three. They just come back to work that is associated with with Moses and all me. What more could you possibly need to be considered the greatest we might expect that being in the physical presence of Jesus and hearing his teaching from his own mouth would have transformed these men into super Christians.
But you know what they suffered from the same struggle with selfishness. That's common today as Stephen David continues teaching through Luke nine we come to a passage where Jesus confronts the self-centeredness of the disciples with the example of a child. Today's message is called crossing out the letter I national basketball Association Hall of Fame coach Riley made a comment that most championship proteins. Whether it's football, baseball, basketball or hockey rarely repeat their championship and the main factor is that the team is defeated.
He said within, not from without. He said that's because the players want more. At first Moore was simply winning the championship once they won. It was no longer enough. Moore became other thing more money, more TV commercials more endorsements more accolades more playing time more media attention. As a result, he wrote what was once a cohesive group of hard-working individuals against the fray as egos get involved as players feel entitled team chemistry becomes a toxic mess in the most talented team, and failing well if you had the chance to join up with the 12 disciples in Luke nine.
They have only recently completed what we could call the championship year.
By the time you arrived at this point.
Three disciples of seeing the Lord transfigured on the amount of transfiguration splendor miracle after miracle has been demonstrated through their leader of the crowds are growing enormous everyone is wanting to meet them and get close to them. The Lord even enable them with delegated power to perform miracles move many to repentance through preaching the Lord's promise to them that they would be honored in the coming kingdom has become well-known.
These guys become superstars like that are the chosen ones, that the close ones there that VIPs there. The original well and it's gone straight to their head as far as they're concerned, they deserve to be on the Lord's championship team. Year after year. Pride is beginning to surface like those weeds in my yard stayed hidden.
You want to serve the Lord come over and pulled for me to the active humility we have every reason to be grateful.
The Lord reveals to us. Their blatant pride failure, sin, the spirit of God makes no attempt here to hide this in the inspired record of Scripture there no halos here, and I'm grateful, especially because this means there's hope for you what they're about to say.
Sounds like you and me. There failure to look a lot like you and me as we get into the mirror of the word and see our reflection. Lucas is going to begin to show us what it looks like when life revolves around the letter I went become the center of my life should be no surprise to us that the middle letter in pride is the letter I number Luke chapter 9 if you're new to our study. There are two events that are sandwiched together. I think the reason by Dr. Luke. These two events are going to reveal the sin of pride, but take a look at the first event here in verse 46 will be left off.
The Bible says, an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest stop for a moment were argument can be rendered today or reasoning that they had been openly debated as they're walking along with each other on why they believe they deserve the most attention there giving the reasons there are arguments on why they believe they deserve that superstars that is getting pretty heated.
The word argument has is this nuance here of a rather animated conversation going back and forth.
They certainly had reasons I just prop my feet up. Thought about it for a while. Andrew could've argued that he brought more people to Jesus than the other disciples because the record here in Scripture, James and John argued that they were cousins of Jesus.
Their mothers were sisters. They know longer than anybody out.
Judas could've argued, you know he was in charge of the finances, odysseys the green room for top management position. Peter could've argued that he was he only wanted walked on water before getting wet. I know it was long but he was still the only disciple willing to get out of the boat and try and on and on they went, the debate takes them along the road. It lasted for some time. Matthew's gospel tells us that they eventually brought the debate to Jesus and asked Jesus to settlement for the meter getting ready for the coming kingdom there there there ready to be fitted for ropes and crowns there pretty sure it's time for Jesus to tip to let them know who's on the starting lineup. The point guard is actually more than that. The Bible says notice given an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. Would you notice they're not wanting to know who among them will be great because they all assume they are great. They've arrived at the point where they believe their great but is the greatest of the great were all going to be greatly thinking the coming kingdom. The question is, who among us would be the greatest number one.
Can you believe the disciples asked Jesus and who among us is number one. The disciples lately come to Jesus because they want him to allow one of the ability to say it out loud in the kingdom in your expert estimation Lord ranked us ranges from last to first, I was reading recently the account someone used to illustrate this point of a psychologist in Michigan to work with people institutionalized suffering from delusions of grandeur eventually published a book on his experiences over the years hit three particular patients who believe that they were the Messiah. They were totally convinced he couldn't seem to break through to any of the three men to help them accept the truth of their identity. But then he came up with this idea that that you bring these three men together to have a conversation. He thought maybe that would put a dent in their delusion didn't exactly happen like he expected.
He got them seated and then asked one of them wanted to tell us who you are. The main answer with total confidence.
I am the Messiah, the son of God, and I was sent here to save the earth. The other two men just looked at the doctor asked him well, you know that Penny responded.
God told me when is the other man spoke up and said I never told you any such tell you the disciples here don't think there Jesus, but I think you're wondering who's next in line. Either way, this happens to be a reflection of how deeply polluted they are with pride to openly debate this question and then asked Jesus to unite a settlement doesn't mean that they're out of their minds, but it does mean they are out of town. This is encouraging because it tells us the Lord is willing to work with flawed sinful proud individuals and continue to teach them and mold is going to continue working with people here who make the same mistakes we we may people get caught up in her own reflection.
People who are equally sinful and flawed foolish as these 12 superstars look at them that they become argumentative essay competitor there competing their self seeking their ambitious the Lord will continue rebuking and chastening and shaping and molding them. He does not abandon is about to teach them that if you want to be somebody you need to be a nobody. If if if you recognize you are nothing. He will make of you something for his glory, that in my notice to the Jesus doesn't even respond to their questions.
Like he didn't even hear them ask.
He just reaches for the nearest visual aid and set them in the middle. Notice verse 47 Jesus knowing the reasoning of their hearts and losing water arguments portable.
He took a child and put in by his side and said to him, whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent for he was least among you all is the one who is great, he doesn't he doesn't take enough time to get on to them for being great peaches redefines great let me tell you what it's like to be a great disciple is a little child. The Greek word is pi Dion. So think kindergartner kind.
Whoever receives this child in my name receives me. But Jesus does not say that if you're nice to get to get in the habit somebody say, nor does he say act like this child. If you want to be great in the coming kingdom is not saying that either he isn't asking his disciples here to imitate children. He's saying if you act toward this child in welcoming him you will reveal. You understand the meaning of true great get to travel back to the first century to understand the children were virtually ignored by their culture that the tell hood the central text of rabbinic literature collected years before the birth of Christ considered their guidelines for living.
It recorded the keeping company with children added nothing to a person's life that spending time with children was a waste of time. You're probably a headache. As you know are eventually going to get to Luke 18 where the disciples try to shoo the children away.
Jesus turns outside because greatness by the time you get to the first century is defined by the company you keep. Great people associate with great people significant people associate hang around significant people.
So this is why Peter James and John are probably at the top of their list that they deserve that title of the greatest is associated with one of the three. They just come back down from where they associated with with Moses in the lives of me. What more could you possibly need to be considered the greatest Jesus is saying here is not you receive a child someone week small dependent status. No power no portfolio, no contribution to your significance you receive a child and you're on your way demonstrating the kind of attitude you see in me and my father to courses, humility, the word receive needs to be understood here. According to near Eastern hospitality during these days it meant to care for them that to meet their needs to be kind to them to look out for that to welcome them into your life.
By the way, that's what you naturally do with important people, powerful people you want to talk to them you have lunch with you want them on your speed dial and add something to your sense of self-importance that a child the rabbis of Jesus's day were teaching and I quote those who spend time carrying in places where common people assemble or spend time talking to children will only ruin their lives yet can advance in life. Why because a kindergartner occupies the place of honor or prestige, and they can in turn honor you, they can advance you.
So Jesus as you receive, you care for you. Take time with the child demonstrating something and when you do it in my namesake that is for my glory when they can give you none of Earth's glory that happens to be the definition of true greatness.
The way is down all the way down to one knee, as it were to talk to play with child.
We encourage you if your parents today starts early decision is it starts at their six month checkup. When you find out that they are either behind or their exceeding the national standard of height, weight on my my child below. After the pressure only grows from there to make sure your children either measure up. Or better yet excel do you get internally worried if your fourth grade child is in reading the seventh grade level like your neighbors child did call the coach when your child doesn't get as much playing time if you think he deserves deep to push her child to make the the traveling team and then get upset if they don't complain when your child doesn't get the leading role in the school play or make the cheerleading squad do you do you call the principal because the your child and get the teacher you wanted the best teacher. Do you do call the teacher when your child gets a B minus instead of Na+ on the project. Do you have conversations with them that subtly inform them that they did better than other children. Since her crazy. After pushing that shaping them after the world's definition of greatness, how smart they are, how athletic they are, how popular they are, how talented they are, how far ahead they can get of head of all those other children so that you can get up parenting trophy and say perhaps in your heart you might never say it out loud. My child is the greatest Jesus is redefining great is reserved for those who are the least you could translate that last line not first sure children what true greatness looks like it. It looks like common ordinary people who live their lives according to his name, his glory, his fame is on her above everything, that the gospel of Luke moves us to the second event with the private disciples is revealed again verse 49 John answered master we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop because he does not follow. But Jesus said to him, do not stop him for the one who is not against you is for you. Now you need to recall from an earlier study nine of them had been unable to cast out one demon. Jesus had to handle that encounter all by himself. But now here's a man successfully casting out demons, and the disciples try to stop you well on the surface of the answer is always not one of them.
Mark's gospel gives us the implication that he is a true believer. He was doing the Lords work he was doing it in the Lord's name. That is, for the Lord's glory was succeeding in delivering the oppressed. He was evidently doing it with the Lord's delegated power, but if you can imagine it had been sanctioned by you know the right club. He had got you nine official permit from the office of the 12. It was outside their little circle. As one commentator wrote he wasn't wearing very farm, so why should we let the bad is not one of us, but evidently he was more successful than and that's the point. The disciples were jealous, pure and simple, they want to shut him down because he showing them up. The disciples view him here as a competitor and he is making them look bad.
Now they can they can use all the spiritual language they use. John is the spokesman you know he is not been around the Lord like we have these is not been vetted, like we, the talk exactly like Aussie did go to the same school. We went to.
He wasn't chosen to be in the inner circle with us. Surely he can't be used by God wants were in arrears be writes on this passage, the believers who think that their group is the only group that God blesses and uses is in for a shock when they get to heaven. Here's the context. Don't miss the context. The disciples are in a race to be the greatest and Amanda doesn't even follow them is evidently better than they are doing what they want to do.
He's making less gray. We got to stop because he's out in front in the race he respond when he come in second or third or last what happens when you're not the best at what you do. The other person is promoted or recognized were awarded.
Those are little tests as to whether or not were following the Lord's definition of greatness. I get it. So you get the little tests this week, but only the Lord might be studying this passage and decided to ladle.
I got an email a couple of days ago from one of our pastors who gave me this report. He said that a visitor came to our service last Sunday for the first time in and after the service. He was asked what he thought and he said the music was really good news that asked about the message we should offer better preaching didn't bother me at all. By the way. Here I don't know who you are, but I worked extra hard on this message so what is said. The cross is nothing but the letter I cross the cross we are to carry is the letter crossed the goes against the world's definition of great let me show you my resume and let me tell you, me, to give you the reason to true greatness is gracious how we treat people who don't add anything to our resume. How do we treat people who are ahead of us and we treat people who don't belong to our inner circle.
And we feel when God seems to favor someone now those are those moments's and maybe today we need that moment of rededication to the cross that moment where in our heart's this morning. The letter once again crossed, this lesson is called crossing out the letter I if it would help you to listen again or if you want to share this message with a friend.
It's posted on Stephen's website along with all of his Bible teaching resources go to wisdom online.org and you'll find that there in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible lessons. Stephen also publishes a magazine each month. He deals with a different topic to help you think biblically about real-world issues. For example, some past topics have included such things as how to forge friendships. What can we know about angels demons in the spirit world. How can we have a biblically-based marriage and much more magazine also has a daily devotional guide that you can use to grow in God's word each day you get to our website. There's a link on the homepage that will give you information on how you can receive three free shifts and for listeners outside the United States, send an email to email@example.com to learn how you can receive our magazine.
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