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Jesus and the Spirit: Part 5 Text: Luke 8:1-21; 10:21-24, 38-42 Introduction
  • Learning to see how large sections of Scripture work together.
    • Seeking An Integrative Understanding of God’s Word.
      • Some read and study to be knowledge experts.
      • Some read and study to find answers to their problems.
      • If either of those is my primary purpose, I will miss what is more important than either & is offered as a possibility.
    • God’s word describes a life with God and invites us to experience the reality of that life with Jesus in the power of the HS.
      • The Holy Spirit enlivens & empowers us in this new life.
    • Jesus shows us the meaning, beauty, goodness, truth, and possibility of God’s design and intent for human existence: A life with God in the flow of the demands of daily life.
      • The essence of sin is a personal refusal to live on the basis of God’s will because we prefer that our will be done on earth.
      • S. Lewis: God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
      • That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended—civilisations are built up—excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans. —from Mere Christianity[1]
Explore the Text As Jesus Continues to Work in the Power of the Spirit, There Continue to be Two Primary Responses (Lk. 7).
  • Many are filled with awe and recognize Jesus as God’s great prophet (7:16-17). Notice that John the Baptist is struggling to understand Jesus (7:18-28).
  • Continued rejection of Jesus and God’s purpose, by the religious specialist (Lk. 7:29-35 and in the moving story found in 7:36-50).
An Essential Key to Understanding Discipleship (Lk. 8)
  • In contrast to the enthusiastic crowds and the religious critics, we find Jesus with his disciples.
    • They are being trained by Jesus on how to live with God in the world & how to do the work of the kingdom in the Spirit’s Power.
    • See the circle described in 8:1-3.
  • In Luke 8, Jesus teaches about the importance of hearing with the heart and responding to God’s Word about the Kingdom of God.
    • Jesus teaches with a parable.
    • His disciples ask him to explain what this parable meant! (8:9)
      • This was not easily understood by the original audience.
    • Luke now lines up sayings and stories that drive home the point.
      • Light & lampstand: consider carefully how you listen (8:17)
      • Jesus true family the ones who hear & practice: (8:19-21)
      • A raging storm. (Fear and amazement 8:25).
    • Am I too familiar with the parable to hear what Jesus says?
The Daily Challenge: Disciples Must Develop Spiritual Maturity (9:1-62)
  • Jesus sends his disciples to put their lessons into practice (9:1-9).
    • After a success, they discover how much further they have to go to be prepared (see 9:10-62)
      • Many of us want an easy path to discipleship and life with the Spirit. We are resistant to being trained by Jesus.
      • Our failures discourage us rather than remind us that, like the original disciples of Jesus, it takes a long time of intensive training to be like our brilliant teacher!
    • Twice, Jesus clarifies his role as the Messiah who is heading to the cross and their lives as his disciples. (9:18-26, 43-45)
  • Examples of Immature Disciples (9:43-62): His disciples are confused & their misunderstanding leads to wrong thinking about other things. (9:45).
    • Competing for status, power, and exclusivity (9:46-50)
    • A desire to direct God’s wrath (9:51-56)
      • John will later become one who better understands Jesus and the depth of love he has for the world.
    • Trying to negotiate the terms of discipleship (9:57-62).
  • Do I discern my spiritual immaturity as Jesus’ disciple?
Back to the Key: We Must Stay Close to Jesus (10:21-24 and 38-42)
  • Full of joy through the Holy Spirit, Jesus discloses something to his disciples that is upsetting to those who want the knowledge of God on our own terms (10:21-24)
  • The example of Martha who is so focused on good service that she is missing the most important thing: a listening relationship with Jesus that Mary has discovered, and that Martha is criticizing. (10:38-42)
  • Do I confuse religious activity for what is most fundamental to my becoming a mature disciple?
Conclusion: Use the Key Jesus Provides!
  • I came out of Publix and saw two women standing at my car door.
    • A cart full of groceries was resting against my car’s bumper.
    • Bent over the driver’s door, they tried to get their key into the lock.
    • I asked them what they were doing. They responded sarcastically, “We are trying to get into our car!”
    • I told them that they were trying to get into my car.
    • They were incredulous.
    • Then they looked inside the car and realized their confusion.
    • They told me that they were glad I showed up because they were about to call a locksmith.
  • How often have we tried to enter life as a disciple of Jesus by using our own keys to the kingdom of God, keys given to us by our church leaders?
    • We say we want the reality of this new life with him because the beauty of it allures us.
    • Some of us pray for it and wait, as if this life can be discovered without the intention to put into practice what Jesus asks of his disciples.
    • We want an easier path to spiritual maturity, so we settle for driving our own Christian life, designed by popular religious specialists and experts who promise big results.
  • I will never be successful unless I use the key Jesus provides and live with him day by day on his terms.
[1] Lewis, C. S. (2003). A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works (P. S. Klein, Ed.; 1st ed., p. 53). HarperOne.