Luke 20 – Verse by Verse

Photo for Luke

Now in Jerusalem, Jesus gives us some teaching on authority, theology and hypocrisy.  We will also check out the Nicene Creed.

Luke 20.pdf

Luke 20.mp3  (Coming soon. Tech issue.)

Here is a link to the livestream video:

 

A Prayer Prompted by Luke 20

Dear God, holy Trinity, Father Son and Holy Spirit,

We believe that Jesus Christ is truly God and truly human, both at the same time.

We also acknowledge that, as God, Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth.

Please help us to be diligent students of your word so that we will believe rightly to the best of our ability.

We trust that right beliefs about you will lead to a better understanding of you.

Let this also lead to more complete obedience, better worship and a fuller appreciation for who you are and what you have done.

And prevent us from all forms of hypocrisy.

In Christ,

Amen

 

 

Son of David and Son of God – Luke 20:41-44

During his ministry here on earth, much of the teaching of Jesus was carried out in the form of Q & A.  That is, people would ask him questions and he would give answers.  Sometimes those questions were sincere, as when a person knew that they needed wisdom or understanding.  Sometimes they were designed to catch Jesus in some kind of trap.  This second kind of questioner usually thought they left Jesus with no good way out by the way they framed the question.  They were always wrong.  Jesus inevitably gave an answer that exposed the questioner’s mistaken assumptions.

Sometimes Jesus would ask the questions himself.  Here in Luke 20, we get just such an example, and it is designed by Jesus to lead us into the highest levels of truth about himself.  

41 But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
43     until I make your enemies your footstool.”’

44 David thus calls him Lord, so how is he his son?”

His listeners believed that the Christ would be the Son of David, thus making Son of David a messianic title.  What they could not explain is this excerpt from David’s own Psalm 110.  How is the Messiah, or David’s “my Lord” in the psalm, supposed to be the son of David at the same time?

We sometimes hear of cultures who worship or “venerate” their ancestors, such as China.  Most cultures at least intuitively give them some sort of honor.  Our memory of great people in the past seems to automatically make the great people of the present look, by comparison, well, a lot less great.  Sometimes our predecessors even make us look silly and self-centered by their sacrifice and commitment to a cause.

Of course, lately the trend is to bash and expose past heroes for the big phonies we now imagine they really were.  As far as I can tell, this is normally overblown – a way of making yourself look better by making someone else who is presently respected look worse.  The dead can’t defend themselves so they make an easy target for criticism.  Better to just admit that no one is perfect, least of all us, and leave the dead alone.

But Jesus has come across something very different indeed.  How many cultures go so far as to honor their descendants?  I can’t think of one.  Yet Jesus seems to have found a hero of Israel’s past, David, the great king, who is doing precisely that.  He is calling his descendant “my Lord.”  Why?

The answer Jesus alluded to is found explained not here, but in later Christian doctrine.  The teachings of Christianity were not given fully formed by Jesus or even his disciples, but often had to be cobbled together from different passages.  If an idea could hold all the separate notions in tension without destroying or denying any of them, then that idea is the clearest statement of biblically based truth.

So here, the idea is found in the two natures of Jesus.  He is not Son of David only, that is, merely human.  He is also not just the Son of God as in only divine.  He is both at the same time.  The true Christian faith does not hold to one as opposed to the other, but to both.  

I happen to like how this is expressed in the Athanasian Creed.  Here it is in an Anglican wording.

For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of his Mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood; Who, although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh but by taking of the Manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

See https://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/109017/Athanasian-Creed.pdf

A Prayer Prompted by Mark 2

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending Jesus to us who experienced what we experience and went through what we go through.  He gives us a way to truly relate to God.

We thank you also that while here on earth he exercised divine authority. In doing so he shows us that he truly is God as well as a perfect man.

Help us to be more like him in desiring to see sinners saved.  Help us to never consider ourselves too good for someone else. Help us to never see ourselves as better than those around us. Help us to serve them well in order to better serve you.

Let us remain flexible, eager to grow and change for the better so that we can continuously be used by you.  If you should decide to do something new and exciting, we want to be a part of it.

Help us to recognize when you are working in our lives. We need and truly want to be effective in our service to you and your kingdom.  We ask you to mold our hearts, our attitudes, our character and our desires.

Conform us to the image of Christ,

Amen.

 

Matthew 3 Verse by Verse

Matt photoAll four Gospels mention John the Baptist and his ministry of preparing the way for Jesus.  Today we look at John and the baptism of Christ.

Matthew 03.pdf

Matthew 03.mp3

Matthew 1 Verse by Verse

Matt photoIn this first chapter Matthew give us some foundational material regarding Jesus Christ the son of David, son of Abraham, our Savior.

Matthew 01.pdf                 

Matthew 01.mp3

Palmer St. Podcast: The Person of Christ

God the Son walked the earth and shared our struggles.  A real man, Jesus Christ, one of our own kind, will reign over the entire universe forever because He is also truly God.  He invites us to reign with him.

Christmas 2013.mp3

Christmas 2013.pptx

Christmas 2013.pdf