Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Teachers and Priests Against Jesus by John.

Teachers and Priests Against Jesus.
Luke 20:1-18

1. It is a shame to say, but religion is one of the most used excuses for the murder of God's people.
(1) When a statement like that is made, Bible students usually immediately think about Stephen, but he was not the first.
(2) In Israel, prophets were stoned to death because they didn't agree with the false prophets.
(3) Even Saul, the first king tried to kill David because he recognized David as his successor and as God's chosen man.
(4) After David died, the kings who followed him seemed to prefer idols they could see and control to the One True God they could neither see nor control. They may not have thrown a stone, but they backed the people who did kill the prophets.
2. When God sent His Son Jesus to Bethlehem and Jerusalem, the Jewish Scribes, Pharisees and Herodians were in power. Rome was the conqueror of Israel and actually controlled everything.
(1) The Jews had already lost their preeminence as the actual rulers of the nation.
(2) They were determined not to lose more.
(3) They hated Jesus because He was popular with the people, and that made Him a threat to their position and power.
3. They devised a plan to get rid of Him, and it involved questioning His authority. (This is always true of Jesus...)

I. He Put The Jewish leaders to Shame with His Words.

1. You know how people get together and try to figure out all of the angles before they confront a mutual enemy, don't you? (You do if you keep up with politics.)
2. These Jewish leaders held a conclave.
3. They were well educated and knew the art of argument and debate, but they under estimated this Stranger from Galilee.
(1) It was natural that they did.
(2) They right up-to-date on his background, and carpenters were not known for formal education or debating skills.
(3) It was natural for them to think Jesus was a flash in the pan who could not compete with their intelligence, experience and education!
4. They decided on a straightforward, blunt attack, "Who gave you this authority," or as we would say: Who told you that you could usurp our authority in teaching the people!!!
5. Jesus turned the tables on them by indicating that He would answer their question if they answered His.
6. He asked them, "John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men?"
7. They retired for another caucus.
(1) "If we say 'from heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'"
(2) "If we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us.'"
(3) They finally decided to say that they didn't know.
8. Jesus exercised His right by telling them He wouldn't answer them either.
9. He could have had a long, drawn out argument with them, but He chose to shut them up, and He did.
10. Instead of arguing, He told the people and their leaders a parable about a landowner. His revelation stunned them.

II. His Story Prophesied His Own Death on the Cross.

1. It begins in v 9. A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some men, and he went away for a long time.
2. We would call these men "sharecroppers" because the landowner was supposed to get part of the crop.
(1) When I was a little boy in Mississippi, every time I heard that term, it was used to put someone down. People talking would say of another, "He's nothing but a sharecropper!" I thought it was a curse word.
(2) When I got a little older, I discovered that a lot of the sharecroppers were really nice, in fact, they were probably a lot nicer than many of the land owners!
3. The sharecroppers in Jesus' parable progressed in sin just as described in Psalm 1:1. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers."
(1) Sinners first walk together, then stand together to talk, then sit and mock those who obey God.
(2) Do you see that progression into evil here?
a. First, people dabble in sin.
b. Then they progress into willful disobedience.
c. Finally, evil becomes the character of their lives!
d. Their first act was bad enough, but they became much worse as time went on!
4. Look at what they did...
(1)They beat the landowner's servant, and sent him home empty-handed.
(2) He sent a second servant, and they treated him the same way, but they also dishonored him. (That shows progression).
(3) He sent a third servant. They treated him the same way, and they wounded him. (Still more progression into evil).
(4) Last, he sent his own son, and they killed him thinking that the land would become theirs. (Evil grows worse with every act!)
5. All of this story was historical except for the part about the last servant. That part prophesied Jesus' death!
6. The Jewish leaders knew they were the "husbandmen" in Jesus' story.
7. The crowd was horrified, and cried out, "may genoita!" May it never be! (These are the same words Paul used in Romans at least ten times and translated in the KJ more than once as "God forbid." Actually, the "may" is a negative, and the genoita is a form of the verb "ginomai." It's more meaningful for us to say, "Let it never happen!"
8. In v 17, Jesus looked directly at the leaders and said, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written" (Ps 118:22) "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone"?

III. He Clearly Stated Mankind's Failure, and these Leaders are included.

1. Self-seeking is the opposite of God-seeking.
2. These leaders could not accept Jesus for two reasons:
(1) He did not fit what they were taught and accepted as true, and...
(2) He did not fit what they themselves were teaching others at that very time.
3. Jesus is the Capstone. (Gk. kephalan goonias - head/corner)
(1) The builders rejected Him, and now He is the Head, or Keystone, of the archway!)
(2) Anyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces!
(3) Anyone on whom it falls will be crushed!
(4) The Jewish leaders knew He was talking about them. Failing to accept Him, they fell on the Stone, and that Stone would crush them!
4. It's bad to be wrong, but it is a whole lot worse to be wrong and to lead others into your sin!
(1) Jesus said, (Mt23:15) "Woe to you Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!"
(2) He also said, "If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
5. The whole world needs to turn away from selfish desire, and to turn to Jesus. That's what the world lacks!


1. In order for the world to become godly, there are three things that must be considered:
2. First, Jesus did come in the flesh. He died for the sins of mankind. He is the Rock, the Capstone, the Cornerstone. the Keystone of the arch.
3. Second, God the Father is giving us time to repent right now, but there is no promise about tomorrow. Time could end at the end of this sentence I am speaking!
4. Third, Just as surely as Jesus did come, He is coming again. He will receive to Himself all who trust, commit their lives to Him and seek to obey Him. Those who have not, and do not, receive Him are falling on the Rock, and at that time, the Rock will fall on them.
5. It's not too late, but every minute that passes brings His second coming closer! This is the time to make your decision for Jesus.

Emmanuel Community Church 2/5/2006


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