Memphis Belle

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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 4:14-44

 

“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:  and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up:  and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah].  And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.  And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself:  whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias [Elijah], when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus [Elisha] the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.  But he passing through the midst of them went his way, and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.  And they were astonished at his doctrine:  for his word was with power.  And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us, alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?  art thou come to destroy us?  I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the devil [demon] had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.  And they were all amazed, and spake amongst themselves, saying, What a word is this!  for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.  And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.  And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.  And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.  And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her:  and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.  Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.  And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God.  And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak:  for they knew that he was Christ.  And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place:  and the people besought him, that he should not depart from them.  And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also:  for therefore am I sent.  And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.”   

 

“‘Father we settle our hearts as we continue, Lord we thank you once again for an opportunity, Lord, a privilege to gather publicly in worship.  Lord, we are well aware of how troubled the world that we live in is.  And Lord, we remember those believers that this evening are in great difficulty in war-torn areas, in civil war, and famine.  Father we know there are many of the household of faith that this moment are longing for your return, for a reunion with children or parents, friends who, Father, are perhaps wondering if you love them, why you’re allowing the great difficulty they’re experiencing.  We pray you give them grace, and strengthen them.  And Lord, as we have and continue to enjoy your bounty in this land, Father we ask Father that you would be gracious, we pray for our President [who at this time, 1996, was George Bush] and policy makers, for the city officials here in Philadelphia, the Police force, public servants, the Firemen.  Father we pray that you allow us as a fellowship, Father, and the other churches in the area, to be Light and Salt in these last days.  Lord we pray you bring conviction and conversion to elected officials, Father, that you transform lives, that you pour out your Holy Spirit, Lord, that we might stand in awe Father, of a great outpouring of your Spirit in this ‘Last Hour’, Father.  We love you Father, we’d be foolish to continue without acknowledging your grace and thanking you for this moment, the children in the Sunday school that’s safe and here to gather publicly, Lord, singing your praises, studying your Word, fellowshipping Lord.  We pray you’d be in the midst as we continue Lord, give each of us our portion, we pray in Jesus name, amen.’

 

 

The Start of Jesus’ Ministry---Teaching in the Synagogues on the Sabbath

 

Luke chapter 4, verse 14, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee:  and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.”  So Jesus is returning from the temptation in the wilderness that we looked at last week.  It says he’s returning in the power of the Spirit.  We saw him baptized by John, we saw the Spirit descending upon him, we see him, it says, “full of the Spirit,” as he is led by the Spirit into the temptation in the wilderness.  Now we see him returning again filled with the Spirit, in the power of the Spirit, and coming into the synagogues to teach.  Now Josephus tells us there were 204 cities in Galilee with a population of over 10,000 (each).  Now that’s hard to imagine if you’ve been to Israel today.  That is over 2,000,000 people in Galilee [in Christ’s day], that’s really amazing.  We know there were 15 cities on the shores of the Sea of Galilee at this time, with a population of over 15,000 [that’s 225,000 just in these 15 cities surrounding the Sea of Galilee].  And again, it’s so hard to imagine as you travel there today and see Tiberias, the only city really still functioning on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  He’s going into the synagogues, and there would be a synagogue where there were at least ten Jewish males in an area, a village.  No doubt the synagogues were larger.  There was a formula to the synagogue service.  They didn’t have singing like we have.  They didn’t gather, no drum, no guitar, no worship in song the way we worship.  They would come to the synagogue, and the service would begin with prayers.  And then someone would stand and read a text, and normally that text would be predetermined, and either the person who read the text or someone else then would expound on the text.  [Very similar to a Messianic Jewish service, except that they have added Praise & Worship singing to their services.  The text readings are called Torah Portions, read week by week out of the Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy), and the haftarah, or readings from the poetic-historic and prophetic books.  I attended a wonderful Messianic Jewish congregation for a couple years.]  And there would be opportunity for someone else to stand and say if they felt the Lord was putting something on their heart.  And often the services were drawn out, often they were boring.  Three men worked there, we hear of the ‘ruler of the synagogue’ as we study the Gospels.  He was the man basically who made sure the services rolled out the right way, locked the doors, opened the doors, he was the guy who made sure the service rolled out the way it was supposed to.  There was another man who was in charge of the offering, the receiving and giving of alms.  And lastly there was another man who was in charge of the Scroll, he would take it out wherever it was stored.  Not everybody had a Bible, he would lay it out on the table to the text they happened to be in.  It was his job to roll it up again, put it away.  It was his job to make sure the children in the community every day went to what was called the School of the Book, from the time they were about six years old, every afternoon they would go and sit and dialogue with this man who worked in the synagogue.  Jesus, no doubt, in Nazareth from the time he was six years old, sat every day in the School of the Book.  How would you have liked to have had six-year-old Jesus and be dialoguing with him.  He was probably glad he went to the Temple when he was 12 to talk to those guys down there.  Jesus then as an itinerant rabbi, it says here, that the fame of him in verse 14, and Luke used an interesting word, “the rumour,” there was a rumbling about him, is spreading through the area, because he’s begun an extensive ministry.  People are being healed, and he’s teaching in the synagogues.  So as he comes here, he is invited then to be the one who speaks.  When he came to Nazareth, it says he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, now take note of that, please.  He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he wasn’t brought up in Tibet.  You know, the New Agers and the Ozoners, navel meditaters would like you to believe that Jesus went to Tibet, we hear of the hidden years.  Well they’re not hidden, we just don’t hear much about his life between 12 and 30 years old.  But it says here he was brought up in Nazareth.  And it’s going to say he went to the synagogue “as was his custom.”  He wasn’t in Tibet, he was in Nazareth, that’s why he was called Jesus of Nazareth.  He’s not Jesus of Tibet. I mean, it’s self-explanatory. 

 

Jesus’ custom was to attend the synagogue on the Sabbath

 

He goes to Nazareth, where he was brought up, “and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.” (verse 16)  Now, no doubt he is invited here to be the one who reads.  Take note, it was his “custom,” he’s our example. [Comment:  This chapter clearly shows Jesus keeping the Sabbath, and here preaching weekly in the synagogues.  The only time Jews gathered in the synagogues was on the Sabbath day, except maybe for those Torah schools held for the children, which was a daily event.  But the adult Jews only frequented the synagogues on the Sabbath day.  For an interesting chronology listing Jesus’ Sabbath keeping, and that of the apostles, log onto: http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Has%20the%20Sabbath%20Been%20Abrogated.htm and read Part II of that article.]  The Scripture says that ‘We should not neglect the gathering together of ourselves, as is the habit of some, especially as we see the day drawing near.’  We’re exhorted in the Scripture to meet publicly, and that we should do that, to meet and to study and worship publicly.  Jesus made a habit of that. 

 

Jesus anointed, commissioned by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel

 

It says “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias”---Isaiah, the Scroll of Isaiah---some coincidence, huh?---“And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book…” (verses 17-20a).  Now it’s interesting, take note here, it says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he”---masculine personal pronoun, speaking of the Holy Spirit---he, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Lord---“hath anointed me, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted,”  Jesus, the Scripture here, speaking of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christ, his incarnation, that “he” anointed him, the Holy Spirit anointed him, and that “he” sent him to  bind up the brokenhearted, take note of that, because there is much today, we’ll talk about it in this text a little bit, that portrays to us the Holy Spirit kind of like an electricity, or kind of like a power without a personality, like ‘I got goose-bumps, therefore the Holy Spirit created a static electricity, and my hair stood up, and so I knew the Lord was there.’  You know, bad theology.  I mean, that’s wonderful if it happens, and we enjoy that, but that is not the sense of it.  The Holy Spirit [to the folks he’s talking about, the theologians he’s talking about] is treated as a passive force, like electricity or glowing over the sanctuary, or the shekinah.  And the Scripture is very clear that the Holy Spirit can be grieved, and that means to be made sad, and remarkable, that he is everything that God is, that he would put himself in the position to be made sad, and he was the one who inspired Paul to write that.  It’s the same word where Paul says “I would not have you sorrow as others who have no hope”, it speaks of broken-heartedness.  If I said that about God it would be blasphemous, but for him to say that about himself is remarkable, that we are told not to grieve him, not to quench him.  He can be lied to, like Ananias and Sapphira.  He can be yielded to, he teaches, he speaks, he inspires the Scripture.  We are given tons of verses that tell us the Holy Spirit is a person.  And that’s very important for us to understand, because then, the truth is, it doesn’t matter how much of the Holy Spirit you have, it matters how much of you the Holy Spirit has, because he’s a person.  He has a personality, he has a plan for your life.  [Comment:  In the early teachings of John, Peter and Paul in the Epistles and Gospels, the doctrine of the ‘Trinity’ is nowhere evident.  But it was teased out of the New Testament writings over a period of 300 years, mainly by those within the proto-Catholic church.  The Sabbath-keeping Churches of God believe the Holy Spirit is the ‘power of God.’  Catholic dogma teaches that the Holy Spirit is actually “the third person in the God-head.”  Personally, and this is just me, I believe the truth lies somewhere inbetween, that is, I personally believe the Holy Spirit is an integral part of God the Father and God the Son, but not in the form of being “a person.”  There isn’t enough in the Bible to say one way or the other, which means in reality, we will all have to wait until Jesus returns to find out.  But for one side, the Trinitarians, to call the other side “heretics” over differences in beliefs about a doctrine which sits on such shaky grounds of interpretation is just not right.  Both groups point to Scriptures to back up their points of view, separate Scriptures, when in fact they ought to be harmonizing all of them.  And even when this is properly done, we’re still left scratching our heads as to the real make-up and appearance of the Holy Spirit, which apparently is omnipresent, which would preclude having a bodily form.  Lets just agree that God is bigger than we can all comprehend.] 

 

Anointing of the Spirit---What it isn’t and what it is

 

Here, spoken of, that way, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  Now there’s a great lesson in this, take note of this.  Jesus is saying here now that the prophecy in Isaiah, and they all knew that was a prophecy that spoke of the Messiah by the way, that it was speaking of him, and he then is the Anointed One of God, and he’s saying that, “the Holy Spirit hath anointed me…”  Now take note of this, because we see a lot of what is called ‘the anointing of the Holy Spirit’ in the Church today.  Sometimes it even sounds a certain way.  ‘Yesssir, Jeeeesus!  Loord!’  You know, it almost sounds like Lawrence Welk on amphetamines or something, you know [laughter].  Now listen, you have to understand that was an era of radio preachers that preached from crystal radios, which were common, when people listened that way on short-wave.  And there was always all these static sounds you’d hear while trying to find a channel, and because it was so hard to hear, those preachers were taught to enunciate, “YOU HAD TO SPEAK”, you know, get all your consonants, that way you could hear it coming across the radio.  And many young preachers were inspired by that generation of preachers.  But nobody ever told them why they [the first radio preachers] talked that way.  [laughter]  And when radio technology improved, then they didn’t know to stop this over-enunciation.  But some people think ‘Well that’s when somebody’s anointed, is when they’re doing that JEEEESUS!, something to do with anointing [to them], certainly has to do with power and enunciation and volume somehow.  Or, it only has to do with POWER, or anointing has to do with being HEAVY, you know IT’S JUST SO HEAVY.  Isn’t it interesting, and I think we should all take note, here’s Jesus, the most anointed preacher that ever lived, the purest anointing that ever came into contact with human kind, listen to what the Scripture says, what God’s anointing produces.  “He hath anointed me to preach the good news [gospel, same thing] to the poor…”  I love Mike McIntosh, he has a program in his church, Horizon, they’ve got a whole campus, and part of what they did there, is they set up this huge free-store, and they have suits, all washed and pressed, by sizes, shirts, pants, belts, shoes.  And what they do on Thanksgiving and Christmas is they go down into Center City with their buses and they pick up all the street people, and they know they’re coming, so they’re all waiting for them.  And they’d bring bus-loads of them back to church, they’d take them through their free-store, and they’d pick out a suit, a white shirt, tie or whatever they want, coat, shoes, give them each a plastic bag and they’d take all the stuff, they’d take them from there to the school showers (of course the ladies go to the girl showers, and the guys go to the guy showers), and they have in the showers quail lotion, because a lot of them have lice, and then they get them all showered and cleaned up, kind of have to fight with them to get their old clothes away, ‘No, no, you have new clothes now, you’re not allowed to keep all these.’  And then they come out of the other side of the assembly-line, they get all dressed up in their new duds.  And then everybody in church whose a hairdresser there, they take them to the next place and put them in chairs, and they give the ladies perms, and they give the guys haircuts and shave their beards.  Mike says by that time, these people are kind of, they’ve looked terrible for years, now they look at themselves in the mirror, they’ve got a new suit, these guys are saying ‘Take a little bit more off back here.’  He says they’re getting a little bit more of self-respect…and he said they take them from there, they’re all duded up, they then take them into the school cafeteria, they have turkey dinners, and they can take as many turkey dinners as they can carry in bags back to their friends.  Preaching the Good News to the poor.  They have them there at lunch, and preach the Gospel to them, share Christ and give them all a New Testament.  Anointing, preaching the Good News to the poor, “he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted”, speaking a word in season Isaiah says, the mark of a disciple.  “to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”  brokenhearted, because he doesn’t break a bruised reed, he doesn’t quench a smoking flax, “and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closes the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.  And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him” (verses 18c-20). 

 

‘You grew up here, and you’re claiming to be the Messiah!?

 

Their eyes were glued on him.  “And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (verse 21).  Now there is electricity in the air, because they know he’s claiming to be the Messiah.  He’s a hometown boy, he’s from Nazareth.  They’re thinking, ‘You grew up here,’ you’re going to hear that, they’re going to say ‘This is the carpenter’s son, his sisters and brothers are here, what do you mean he’s the Messiah?  You know, he comes into here, comes into our synagogue and reads one of the most famous prophecies from Isaiah, claims to be the Messiah, shuts the Scroll, sits down and says ‘Today that’s fulfilled in your ears’,’ and there’s electricity.  One of the interesting things is, I’ll read the verse from Isaiah to you, because it says “The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,”---there’s a comma, and the rest of the sentence says---“and the day of the vengeance of our God.”  Jesus reads the first half of the sentence, gets to the comma, shuts the Scripture, because he knows that the day of the vengeance of our God is about his 2nd coming.  Jesus is a dispensationalist.  We are living in Isaiah’s comma, right now, two thousand years long, this comma.  He closes it because that’s the part of the text that dealt with his 1st coming.  He shuts the Scroll, sits down, says ‘This is fulfilled in your ears.’  “And all bear him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.”  Now he must have said more that we don’t have here, “And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” (verse 22)  Familiarity breeds contempt, they’re kind of stumbling now, ‘How can this be the One that our nation has been waiting for?’  And the reason that they didn’t recognize him is because they thought that they knew him.  I think so many times we do that with Jesus, we kind of have him in a box.  He’s been a certain way in our life up to a certain point, and we think he always has to work this way that I understand.  Well he works in so many vastly different ways that we don’t understand.  His ways are above our ways, past finding out.  And sometimes I think we don’t know until after something, we look back and say ‘Lord, that was you!  Lord, you’re really something, that was you, I didn’t know that was you!’  Because he’s infinite, there’s no end to him or to what he does in our lives.  And sometimes like Jeremiah, remember Jeremiah, the Lord said to Jeremiah, ‘Hey, your cousins are going to come to you and try to sell you this piece of ground.  And if he comes, you buy it from him.’  And then Jeremiah says ‘Then my cousin came, and tried to sell me this piece of ground, then I knew the LORD had been speaking to me.  That is an encouragement to me.’  Because Jeremiah wasn’t sure when the LORD spoke to him, he wasn’t sure till his cousin came and said…and then he said, ‘Ah, then I knew.’  Well here they’re so familiar with Jesus growing up in their town, they’re not ready to acknowledge him.  And by the way, the same happens in your life.  Jesus is going to say that here, he says “Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician heal thyself:  whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country” (verses 23-24).  And then the other Scripture says “in his own town, amongst his own people.”  You experience the same thing in your life.  The Bible says “Henceforth, we know no man after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  And of course the problem in some of our lives is, we get saved [enter into the process of salvation, receiving the Holy Spirit] and we’re transformed, there’s a tremendous change that takes place in our life, but our old friends, you know, they have us painted into a certain box.  They know who we are, they know who we’ve been all those years.  And when you are different from who they think you should be, they don’t understand what’s going on, and they get offended at you.  ‘Oh, you’re holier than thou now?  Bible thumper?  Now what are you dong?  What do you mean you don’t drink anymore?  What do you mean you don’t want to smoke anymore?  What’s your problem?’  [Comment:  I remember a childhood friend of mine, in high school when I had joined the Naval Reserve, he got me into the Submarine Service, and then after I got out, got me a good job on the B&M Railroad.  20, 30 years later I met him.  He was the same old David, but after ten minutes of conversation, I realized that I now had absolutely nothing in common with him.  It was strange, it was like we didn’t know each other anymore.  I just let my friend do all the talking, and never gave him a chance to get offended at me.  We parted, it was sad.]  Peter says it this way, “They wonder why you don’t run to the same excess of riot.”  I like that.  And you can’t expect from them what you’d expect from a believer.  And we often do.  When you try to tell them what’s going on in your life, and you know it’s not penetrating, and they get offended.  I remember a couple years after I was saved, I moved to the West Coast, my Aunt sent me this little kind of etched glass Mother Mary holding Jesus.  She didn’t know who I was, she didn’t know if I was a priest, ‘What happened to my nephew, where is he?  What is he doing?  He lives in a ministry, what is he now?  What happened to him?’  They didn’t even know, they send me this weird stuff.  They were trying to be considerate, but they had no idea what was going on in my life.  You relate to some of that, I imagine.  Well they’re saying, ‘Wait a minute, this is Joseph’s son?  This is the carpenter, isn’t it?  His brothers and his sisters are among us’ (they say that in another Gospel).  Jesus says to them ‘You’re going to say this proverb, Physician heal thyself, whatsoever you’ve done in Capernaum do also here.  This is your own country, heal in your own backyard, why don’t you do any miracles here if you are who you say you are, you owe it to us.’  He said “Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  But I tell you a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days  of Elias [Elijah], when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias [Elijah] sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.” To Gentile territory, “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus [Elisha] the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian” (verses 24-27).  Naaman, a Gentile. What he’s saying here is ‘I don’t owe you anything, God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Look how he worked in the lives of the greatest prophets in Israel.  Elijah, there was a great famine in the land, but he wasn’t sent to Israel, he was sent to this widow in Gentile territory.  And Elisha, how many lepers were in Israel during his days, he healed none of them except Naaman the Syrian.  And here I am back in Nazareth, and you think that I owe you something because this is where I am from.  God doesn’t work the way you think that he should work. 

 

They Didn’t Like the Sermon

 

“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and they rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereupon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong” (verses 28-29).  They didn’t like the sermon.  It’s a dead give-away.  Now I would appreciate it if you ever feel this way, write to me.  [laughter]  And by the way, this was an anointed sermon.  They take him to the brow of the hill to throw him down and kill him, on the Sabbath day, of course.  “But he passing through the midst of them went his way,” (verses 30)  Now, in my mind, this has to be miraculous.  It says that they rose up and thrust him, evidently they had their hands on him, threw him out of the city limits, then they grabbed ahold of him, led him to the brow of the hill, and then it just says, no details, ‘Jesus, passing through their midst, went on his way.’  I don’t know what he did to them.  You know in the Old Testament, you remember in Sodom, the angels struck them all blind.  We don’t know if that’s what happened.  There are times when it says the enemies of Israel, like the Philistines, that God discomfited them, that means everything just short-circuited.  Did they get to the brow of the hill and all look at each other and say ‘What did we come here for?’  [laughter]  You ever do that?  You know the older I get the more I get that way, I’m trying to get my secretary on the phone, she finally answers the phone and I say ‘It’s gone now, never mind, it’ll come back.’  [laughter]  He passed through their midst, no doubt miraculous,

 

Jesus continues to teach on the Sabbath day---and with authority

 

“and came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught in them on the sabbath days.  And they were astonished at his doctrine:  for his word was with power” (verses 31-32).  Or with authority.  Now what was going on was this, and we hear about it in Matthew and at different places.  People were used to this order in the synagogue, they would make prayers, someone would come and lay out the Scrolls, someone would read a text, and then someone else would kind of expound on it.  And they would say, ‘And this rabbi Hillel said this, and rabbi Akiba said that,’ and they would quote these rabbis…but Jesus, when he came in and he taught in their synagogues, he taught them about sheep and goats, and about vineyards and about fields, and about the sparrows, and about the lilies.  And he talked to them right where they were, and it was truth, he communicated truth.  And it was in such a way, it says in Matthew in the end of chapter 7, that they were astonished, it means they were shaken by the authority.  Because he didn’t teach them, it says, as the scribes and the Pharisees who quote other people, he said, ‘You have heard it has been said of them of old, but I say unto you,’ and he taught them as one who had this authority himself, and everything he said was so clear, that it says ‘they wondered,’ they were shaken.  Because his teaching was with authority, with power.  “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth?  art thou come to destroy us?  I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.  And when the devil [demon] had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not” (verses33-35).  As if they weren’t freaked out enough by his study, this is the coupe de gra.  Now you have to get the scene.  As you came into the synagogue, the men would sit on one side, and the ladies, all the wives and the girls would sit on the other side, and of course they [the women] were not allowed to speak, they had to keep silent.  We’ve come a long way, baby.  And everybody would sit, and usually the speaker was in the middle.  Now as Jesus is done speaking and they’re wondering at his words and how gracious they are, it says in the middle of that, there is a man with an unclean spirit, who says, now the King James says “Let us alone”, some of your translations might say “away”.  The word is two letters, “ae” I believe, which is just “ha”.  So we have here “let us alone.”  You have to understand, this man with the unclean spirit all of a sudden goes, ‘Haaghhh!’ and everybody’s hair stands up!  WHAT HAVE WE TO DO WITH THEE THOU JESUS OF NAZARETH??!!’  You know, it wasn’t nice like we read it, I mean, this was a demon screaming.  ‘ART THOU COME TO DESTROY US?? I KNOW THEE WHO THOU ART, THE HOLY ONE OF GOD!!’  Jesus rebukes him, verse 35 says ‘Hold thy peace’, it’s literally “Be muzzled!”  He wanted to shut that up, right away.  “Be muzzled”, Jesus said “Shut up and get out!”.  You know, there’s not a 21-day fast with dark bread, there’s no incantations, not all of this stuff that goes on.  Now, the Pharisees practiced exorcism.  Jesus would say, “If I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out?”  We remember that in the Book of Acts there are these sons of Skeva that are, they think, exorcists, and they say to this man, (the sons of Skeva are seven sons) they say to this man whose demon possessed, “In the name of Jesus who Paul preaches, come out!”, because they thought it was a formula.  The demon turns around and says “JESUS I KNOW, PAUL I KNOW, BUT WHO ARE YOU?” and he jumps on them and tears all their clothes off, they all come running out naked.  There’s none of that with Jesus.  He’s in complete authority.  And notice he doesn’t receive any accolades from the enemy, he doesn’t take any flattery.  As soon as this enemy starts to say ‘I know who you are, you’re the Holy One of God.’  ‘Shut up!’  He doesn’t receive anything from the enemy, even if it’s true, nothing.  ‘Shut up, and come out!’  And the devil then throws the guy into the middle of the room, he goes sailing through the air, Wooo!  Ba-bump!  Plops right in the middle of the room.  But it says “hurt him not”, angels breaking the fall, I don’t know.  That’s why verse 36 says, “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this!  for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.” 

 

Don’t seek the wrong kind of ministry

 

Now, you have to understand, if this happened, it would freak us all out.  You know, I don’t want to have anything to do with this kind of ministry.  You know, there’s people around the church, I never understand, who are like big on deliverance ministries.  They’re like looking under every rock for a demon, you know?  They’re hunting for them.  And once you start that kind of ministry, it puts up a red flag in the spirit world, and every coockaboo from miles around will come.  We want to worship the Lord, and study the Scripture, and those people, we send them somewhere else.  We had a women in the church a little while ago, came in, and said she was demon possessed.  She wasn’t.  She said she was.  And we said we don’t believe that, we asked her, ‘Are you a born-again Christian’ and she said yes.  We said, ‘Well, we don’t believe a born-again Christian can be demon possessed.’  She said, ‘I don’t care, I am.’  And we said, ‘If you’re a born-again Christian [i.e. having the indwelling Holy Spirit] then you can’t be demon possessed.’  Then she said, ‘Well I am demon possessed.’  Then we said, ‘Well, we don’t want to argue about it.’  So Frank got on the phone, called around the neighborhood, found a Pentecostal church, said ‘Do you believe Christians can be demon possessed?’  They said ‘Yes.’  We said, ‘Do you deal with them?’  They said ‘Yes.’  We said ‘We’ll be right there.’  We loaded her up in the car and drove her over there.  [loud laughter and applause]  You know, you don’t want to hunt for it, you know, if the Lord brings it our way, then that’s another story.  Paul is followed around for three days by a young girl whose demon possessed, crying out behind him.  And not until he gets an unction from the Lord does he turn around and rebuke her.  Three days.  There are Christians who put on their Rambo hats and go looking for this stuff.  [chuckles] 

 

‘Jesus is coming to dinner and Mom’s sick!’

 

They were amazed at the authority that Jesus had, verse 37 says, “And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.”     “Fame”, now we’re reading the same English word, but Luke changes, first he says “the rumour”, now it’s literally “the roar of him went out into every place of the country round about.”  “And he rose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.  And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken ill with a great fever; and they besought him for her.”  This is on the Sabbath day, the house of Simon Peter.  Now notice, Simon was married.  Now Luke, Dr. Luke who must have talked with Peter about this, says “she was in the grip of a great fever.”  So it had taken hold on her.  “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her:  and immediately she arose and ministered unto them” (verses 38-39).  She doesn’t need any time to recover.  She’s not saying, ‘Man, that fever wasted me, maybe tomorrow I can get back on my feet again.’  The remarkable thing is Jesus, and we see this with many healings, and by the way, he didn’t have to do this.  I don’t know if Peter said that to him (‘It was my mother-in-law, you didn’t have to do that.’ [laughter]).  He didn’t have to do that.  It would not have affected his public ministry.  The roar of his ministry was already spreading through the area.  It had no impact ultimately on what he would do, or on his crucifixion and resurrection.  It’s just that he not only cares about what goes on in the House of God, like earlier in the synagogue, but he cares about what goes on in our homes too.  And the Bible says he’s the same yesterday, today and forever.  And I encourage you, you should pray for your children when they’re sick, you should pray for your wife and your husband, we should beseech him for those in our household who are in ill health.  I am not saying ‘Don’t take them to a doctor.’  Jesus himself would say, “Those who are whole need not a physician, but those that are sick.”  That comes from his lips.  And I think there’s a side of the Church who doesn’t believe in the, you know, the inoculations for the diseases for their kids, the polio vaccines and immunization, and their kids will die of chicken pox or measles, and they really again, become a reproach to I think what good stewardship is in regards to our families and our children.  And yes, there’s a balance, and yes I think the pharmaceutical industry is a big money industry.  I understand all of that.  But I think as we look at this picture, one thing it does is it encourages us that we should pray for the health of those that are in our homes.  We should realize that Jesus desires to work as much at home as he does here.  He doesn’t draw any difference between this being more sacred than what goes on in our own homes.  She immediately gets up and ministers to him.  Now this is interesting, because she gets up and evidently prepares a meal.  What would you girls make for Jesus?  Now I wonder if Peter’s wife is saying, ‘I can’t believe you brought him over!  You didn’t call, you bring these people for dinner, it’s the Sabbath, we can’t even cook today!...You know, I didn’t get a chance to vacuum, the wash is on the floor….You know the story.  And what would you make for Jesus if he came for dinner?  Not only that, what if you were forewarned?  If you knew the day before he was coming for dinner.  What would you make for him?  Steak? Lobster?  [No, lobster is unclean, he wouldn’t have eaten it J]  Jesus is coming.  What do you make for him?  You know, I think he’d be as happy driving through Mickey D’s, to tell you the truth.  Because Jesus doesn’t come into our homes because he’s interested in our refrigerator.  Our relatives may be, but not him.  [laughter]  You know, all of his creation, all that is done, all of human history rolling out, everything that he has made in his genius is only related to us.  Without us there is no purpose in it in his heart at all.  Without his Bride there is no reason for any of that.  Again, I love to look at the day that he’s done creating all of the plants and all the trees bearing their seed after their kind, and it says “bearing their fruit after their kind.”  At the end of the day God looks at it and says “Behold, it was very good.”  And I think, ‘What was good?’  God wasn’t hankering for a peach throughout all eternity, you know, he looks at these big peaches on a tree and says ‘Oh, this is good.’  It wasn’t for him.  What he was saying was ‘Adam will love this.  Wait until they bite into one of these, this will blow their minds.’  All that exists, steaks, etc, all that there is, none of that is the reason at all that he would come [to our homes for a meal].  And I think sometimes we kind of get caught in that ‘Company’s coming’ mode.  You know, it’s nice, we want to vacuum and get the pretzels and potatoes chips out of the sofa and the change, and you want to do those things, popcorn.  But in the Body of Christ, you know, it says “the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”  Remarkable scene as he comes, stands over her, rebukes the fever, she gets up and ministers to him.  And I think anybody whose really touched by Jesus begins to serve. 

 

True ministry is work

 

“Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him:  and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”  Take note, Dr. Luke says this, “every one of them, and healed them.”  Now Luke’s a doctor, he says that he’s written his Gospel by eye-witness accounts, by interviewing people, guided from above.  He must have said, ‘Do you mean that he healed every single person?  and they said ‘Yup!’  He healed every one of them.  Just imagine that, imagine going into children’s hospital and healing every one of them.  Saint Chris’s, every one of those children, giving legs, giving livers, repairing hearts, every one, imagine.  What a scene this is.  He heals every one of them, “and devils” notice, which are different than diseases, “also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God.  And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak:  for they knew that he should not depart from them” (verses 40-42).  I won’t imitate them, you know by now.  Now interesting thing here is that Matthew, and you don’t have to turn there, when he describes this scene, says to us, “This was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses.”  The Scripture itself interprets the verse in Isaiah as relating to Jesus healing illness, physical illness.  But the interesting thing is it’s Isaiah 53:4 and not Isaiah 53:5.  As we look at Isaiah 53 we always want to take “and by his stripes we are healed”, it isn’t that verse that’s quoted in regards to physical healing.  It’s the fourth verse where it says “Surely he hath borne our griefs”, literally in the Hebrew it’s “Surely he hath lifted up our sicknesses, and carried our sorrows (or our pains), yet we did esteem him stricken and smitten of God.”  The next verse is the one used out of context, where it says “he was wounded for transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with [or by] his stripes we are healed.”  More literally, “with his stripes we are made whole.”  It’s the verse before that Matthew says relates to Jesus touching and healing the physical body.  Interesting.  Verse 42 says, “And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place:  and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.”  They tried to make him stay.  Mark 1:35 tells us that after this day, now this is a long day, he begins in the synagogue in the morning [on the Sabbath, Saturday morning], preaching, delivering a man from a demon.  He goes from there to Peter’s house in the afternoon, heals Peter’s mother-in-law, and he ends up in the evening when the sun sets, that’s when the Sabbath is over, and they have to wait until they see three stars in the sky, that’s how the Sabbath begins, when it gets dark, Friday evening.  When they consider the Sabbath is beginning is when three stars are visible, when you can see three stars, Sabbath has begun.  The following evening when sun goes down, Sabbath is over when you can see three stars.  When it’s a cloudy night I guess you have to wing it.  But in that part of the world it isn’t usually cloudy.  So as the sun goes down, the Sabbath is over, Jesus is healing all of these people [all night long], that’s a long day.  And Mark tells us he goes into this desert place and prays.  You know, when I’m done on a Sunday, three services in the morning, services at night [this is a working pastor], I’m fried, I come home after three services in the morning, and I eat lunch, and if I get like this diabetes crash or something, I’m going Brrrhhh, I’m trying to stay awake, falling over sideways, trying to watch the second half of the game, and the kids are saying ‘Give me the remote!’  ‘No, no…’ and the next thing they’re trying to pull it out of my hand, because my eyes are closed, and I kind of get wired up for the evening service and drink a cup of coffee, trying to get ready to come back.  And by the time the evening service is over I’m like wired, I’m beyond tired.  [So this guy, as a normal Calvary Chapel pastor spends all Saturday preparing his connective expository sermon, like this one, and then on Sunday, gives three services in the morning, and one in the evening.  That’s what I call a working pastor.  And this sermon transcript series is from his Wednesday evening Bible study series.  You want to be a good pastor, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, week in, week out without let-up.]  And I go home, and everybody goes to bed, and I sit there and I look around, you surf, and there’s nothing, and you sit there, ‘Aaahh.’  And I’m thinking, ‘I deserve the rest.’  And sometimes when I come home Cathy wants to talk to me because she hasn’t seen me all day, and I’ve talked to a thousand people that day, and I see her mouth moving, but I can’t hear anything she’s saying.  [loud laughter]  And sometimes to play it safe I go like this.  And if she looks serious I push the mute button because I know it’s a little more serious, and if she looks real serious I hit the off button, but you know, I’m just thinking to myself, ‘I deserve the rest, my brain is fried, I understand English but not now.’  You know, it’s amazing for me to look at Jesus at the end of one of those days, going to a desert place alone, what a rebuke it is to me, and seeking his Father.  How incredible.  They find him.  He’s praying, ‘Here they come, Dad.’  “And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also:  for therefore I am sent.  And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.” (verses 43-44)).  [Comment:  People tend to believe that just because Jesus was healing on the Sabbath day, they somehow equate that to his abrogating the Sabbath command.  A careful study of all the Scriptures showing Jesus observing the Sabbath shows no such thing.  But he was correcting some terribly wrong concepts about Sabbath observance that the Pharisees and scribes had been promulgating.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Has%20the%20Sabbath%20Been%20Abrogated.htm to see just what wrong concepts Jesus was correcting,  wrong concepts many in the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God need to come out of as well.]

 

Luke 5:1-11

 

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake:  but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed unto him that he would thrust out a little from the land.  And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:  nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes:  and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.  And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:  and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”

 

“I’m a fisherman, you were a carpenter”

 

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake:  but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets” (verses 1-2).  Now that’s the Sea of Galilee, called the Sea of Tiberias, also called the Sea of Kineroth.  Kineroth was a harp, because it’s shaped like a harp, the Sea of Galilee.  Now this is early in the morning, they fish at night.  “And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land.  And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship” (verse 3).  There were so many people, some scholars feel 20 to 50 thousand people sometimes, in mass following, that he has to, they’re thronging him, he really can’t, he sets out, I don’t know, 20, 30, 40 foot out in the boat off the shores.  So the people are standing, probably some of them standing in the water, listening, and the hills go up around them, it’s a natural amphitheater there by Capernaum in the northern part of the Sea of Galilee.  And besides that, he has a supernatural lapel mike on, you know, he’s able to.  He’s teaching, and the people are all there listening.  I think, how incredible, how beautiful of course that must have been.  “Now when he had left off speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.”  To catch fish.  Simon, now it was a year earlier that Andrew had brought Simon and said to Simon, ‘We found the Messiah,’ remember the scene there, as John the Baptist said ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:32)?  Then Andrew and John begin to follow Jesus, Jesus turns around and sees them and says to them, ‘Whom seek ye?’  And they say to him, ‘Ah, where do you live?’  And he said, ‘Come and see,’ and they went down and spent the afternoon together, what a conversation it must have been, John the Baptist saying ‘You’re the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world,’ they spent a few hours talking with him.  I would love to have had that conversation on tape.  They leave that conversation and say “We have found the Messiah.”  So it was then that Simon Peter was introduced.  He knew Jesus, knew about his ministry, but was not yet called to drop his nets and follow.  This is the scene, a year later.  Now when he had left off speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  Simon answering said unto him,”---and we’re not sure what the tone of voice was---“Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:  nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.”  Because he’s thinking, ‘Master, great preacher, healer, prophet, carpenter.  WE are the fishermen.  You are the carpenter.  And I’m glad you have a trade to fall back on [laughter], we have fished all night.  We didn’t catch anything.’ They are not sport fishing, this is their livelihood.  They needed to pay bills to eat.  ‘Lord, we fished all night.’  Because they would fish, and those of you who go into Israel with us at the end of the month, we stay Ginhesar on the Sea of Galilee for five nights, and when you lay in bed at night you hear the boats, brdrrrr, because they fish up in the shallow by the northern end.  [Ginhesar is on the northwestern coast of Lake Galilee.]  The silt and everything comes from the Jordan River at that northern end, and the fish gather at night up in the shallows, and they have these lights out there, and they still fish the same way with their boats, throwing nets out, you see them.  And they’re fishing in the shallows at night.  Now this is during the day-time in the deep, where fish don’t get caught.  Jesus says ‘Let out into the deep, put your nets down, that you might gather in a net full of fish.’  Simon says, ‘Master, we have toiled all night, we’ve taken nothing, nevertheless,’ now I do appreciate that, Simon Peter does say that, “nevertheless, at thy word” how we need to learn to live like that, “I will let down the net.  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes:  and their net brake.  And they beckoned unto their partners,” and no doubt their partners were thinking, ‘What in the world are they doing?  Peter, you’ve gone off the deep end, you’ve turned into a dumbbell, what are you doing?  You go out in the deep fishing there, we’ve fished all night, what are you doing?’  And they’re watching.  All of a sudden you can imagine them screaming, ‘Aaaah, aaaah!’ the fish are trying to pull them in, and the guys coming out, they beckoned to their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them.  “And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.”  And probably if Jesus wasn’t in them, they would have.  “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (verses 4-8).  Your Bible says “it” in italics, it says “When Simon Peter SAW…” he saw more than the fish is the point here.  Jesus is sitting, no doubt, in the boat.  This is a fisherman who was impressed, who knows that something supernatural has taken place.  And I would imagine, as I look at this story, that these fish were predestined to be caught, wouldn’t you?  Could these fish say ‘Now wait, I’m not swimming into a net in the middle of the day [when fish who’ve gone deep just don’t do that].  I only get caught in nets in the shallow water at night.’  Had these fish been born to fill that net?  Were they tulip fish.  Oh I’m just having a little fun, come on.  “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:  and so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon.  And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men” (verses 9-10). 

 

‘Fear not, from now on you’ll catch men’

 

Verse 11, “And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”  And I think this is an indication of what’s going on in Peter’s mind, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.”  We know of course from the time we were little in Sunday school, long before I was saved, singing ‘I will make you fishers of men.’  This is where that is said to have happened.  And by the way, Peter in his first sermon would catch 3,000 men [cf. Acts 2:1-43].  Jesus is right.  The Book of Acts.  He’s saying to Peter, ‘Peter, you are used to catching fish alive, and then they die.  I want you to follow me and catch men that are dead, and they will live.’  If you’re anything like me, I remember from the time I was a little kid in Sunday school singing this song, “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men.  I will make you fishers of men if you follow me, if you follow me, if you follow me, I will make you fishers of men if you follow me.”  Never did I dream that he would make me a fisher of men.  As a little kid I had no problem singing it, I wasn’t embarrassed.  It was when I became an adult, and I first got around Christians.  Now I’d been raised in the ‘Church’, and I saw them singing, and act the way you act, and I said “Not me, no, no.  Ain’t raising my hands, ain’t clapping, ain’t hugging anybody.  Get me outa here!”  You know.  But I continued to come back, because something real was going on. It wasn’t phony.  Because I was hearing truth, like they sat in the synagogue and they were astonished at Jesus’ teaching, because it wasn’t phony, it was true.  It was hitting their hearts where they lived.  And it stirred hope in their hearts.  You know, some people are so wounded, they’ve been hurt so many times, that when they hear, you know, “Jesus loves you”, they almost have an attitude of “No, I don’t want to hear that, because if I trust one more thing that isn’t really what it’s supposed to be, I’ll commit suicide, I’ll take my life.  Do not tell me one more time that I can be vulnerable.  Everybody in my life whose said they loved me has let me down.”  And even though sometimes people sense in their heart that there’s something real going on, they have put up their walls so long, taken so long to get their act together, it is hard to finally set that aside.  It was hard for me.  We want to give you an opportunity, if you don’t know Christ as your Saviour, to make that decision.  And this is the way we want to do it.  The Bible says this, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  This is why Jesus came into the world, to save sinners, bring them to repentance.  The Bible says that all have sinned, me, you.  And no matter how good we are, even if you are a church-goer, we have fallen short of the glory of God.  The Bible calls it sin.  You know, it’s an Old English word, and it means to miss the mark.  They would have their archery competitions in England, and you see Robin Hood, shoots an arrow, hits the target, and then Robin Hood shoots another arrow and splits the first arrow that hit the target.  Well in one of their competitions was shooting an arrow through a hoop on the top of a pole.  And when they missed the hoop, they said that they sinned, they missed the mark.  And the Bible says all have sinned, we have all missed the mark of the glory of God.  No matter how good we’ve lived, and no matter how right we think we are.  And you know this, as we’re looking at Jesus this evening, and it says “A prophet is not without honor, except amongst his own relatives”, you know what it’s like to try to tell your own relatives.  And they say ‘Well I’ve been a Christian my whole life, I’m an American, I pay my taxes, I helped put the stained glass windows in the church, and you’re telling me that these junkies you go to church with, these hippies, these weirdo’s, you know a guy who was a murderer and he’s on death row, and he asked Jesus to be his Saviour, and he’s gonna go to heaven and I’m gonna go to hell!?’  ‘Yeah, that’s what I’m trying to tell you.’ [laughter]  Because ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  That’s what the Bible says, all of us, none of us are different.  Now that’s the first thing you have to understand.  This is not a holier than thou thing, we’re no better than you, all have sinned, the Bible says, and come short of the glory of God.  And then it says the wages of sin is death [cf. Romans 6:23].  You get paid at the end of the week for your work.  The wages of sin is death.  You can’t go next door to the veterinarian and ask for a check at the end of the week, you don’t work there.  You understand?  But you get the check for what you did, and the Bible says the wages of sin is death, at the end of it all, whether it’s from cancer, or whether it’s from old age, or whether it’s from a war or automobile accident, life goes like that sometimes.  And the wages of sin, what we get paid, if we lived without Christ and refused him, is death.  The Bible says the free gift that we can receive, without deserving it, is life in Christ Jesus.  That anyone whose willing to repent, the word metanoeo means to change the mind, if you’re willing to make a u-turn.  Your life has been heading away from God, and maybe you thought, maybe in some ways, you thought the Church was phony, maybe it was.  Christians seem phony.  We’re not telling you to look at Christians, we’re not telling you to look at the Church, we’re telling you to look at Jesus.  There’s a vast difference.  Because with all of the power he demonstrated, and all the healings he did, and he rose people from the dead, walked on the water, and he went and hung on the cross, and the Bible says he hung there for you.  And because he was sinless and didn’t deserve to go there, he didn’t deserve God’s wrath to come done on him, then when he died there, he procured a certain value that he doesn’t need for himself.  He purchased a ticket to heaven [or into the kingdom of heaven] that he doesn’t need, because he’s sinless.  And the Bible says anybody whose willing can come to him and say ‘Lord, I believe my sins were on you, and that God’s wrath was fired down on you, and that you paid for my sin.  Because I know I am a sinner, and Lord Jesus I don’t want to stand in front of God in my sin, in my evil thoughts, in my lustful heart, in my hypocrisy, in my emptiness, my drug addiction, whatever it is.’  And the Bible says if you’ll come to him and ask for forgiveness, you can have eternal life.  This is what the Bible says.  Jesus said if you’re willing to acknowledge me before men, and you’re not ashamed to stand up for me, then I’ll acknowledge you before my Father and all of the angels in heaven.  He hung naked on the cross before the world for you…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Luke 4:14-44 and Luke 5:1-11, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia PA  19116.]

 

Related links:

 

How to ask Jesus into your life:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm and scroll to bolded paragraph title “How to become a Christian” and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/baptism/What%20is%20Baptism.htm

 

Jesus Christ Teaches in the Synagogues on the Sabbath.  To see how Jesus corrects terribly wrong concepts about how the Pharisees and scribes were keeping the Sabbath, log onto:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Has%20the%20Sabbath%20Been%20Abrogated.htm           

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