Saturday, June 15, 2024

Luke 18:31-34 Jesus and the Scriptures - June 16, 2024

 Luke 18:31-34 Jesus and the Scriptures

Good morning! Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke 18:31-34, page 878 in the pew Bibles.

Today we are going to look at a short but powerful paragraph in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus connects Himself and His work to the prophecies in the Old Testament.

Unfortunately, the Bible is often treated as two different books, the Old Testament and the New Testament, the two thirds that we seldom read versus the one third that we read all the time.

The truth of the matter is that there is no such division in the reality of the redemptive work of God among His people. We don’t have a New Testament without the Old Testament.

Luke, in his Gospel, records Jesus’ reminder of this truth in verses 31-34. Let’s read that together.

31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” 34 But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

Let’s pray.

In Mark’s version of this account he records that the people with Jesus, the Twelve as well as the crowd were amazed and afraid as they approached Jerusalem for the last time. Jesus, knowing this, called the Twelve to Himself to reassure them, the future leaders and teachers of the church, that everything was going according to plan. And for the third time He told them that the plan included His suffering, death, and resurrection.

And just like every time before, as Luke records it, they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.

The last phrase there sums up the rest, it literally means that they didn’t comprehend the translation, as if what Jesus just said was in a language that they did not speak.

This leads us to the question, once again, what is wrong with these guys?!

Why didn’t they understand what Jesus was saying, were they just dumb? Maybe, but that wasn’t the only reason.

First and foremost, they didn’t understand the translation of what Jesus had said because they lacked and interpreter, THE Interpreter, the Holy Spirit.

Take Peter for example, he refused to let Jesus wash his feet, he chopped off a guy’s ear in the Garden of Gathsemene, he denied even knowing Jesus three times, but then he preached a sermon in Acts 2 that resulted in over three thousand people coming to faith in Jesus, he authored two of the Epistles, the letters of the New Testament, and Mark recorded his Gospel as told by Peter.

What was the difference?

Ear chopping, Jesus denying Peter didn’t have the Holy Spirit. Gospel preaching, church leading Peter did.

After the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers as recorded in Acts 2 the Disciples would be able to look back on the suffering and death of Jesus that seemed so offensive and incomprehensible before and see it as an absolute necessity for God’s redemptive work.

The “pre-Holy Spirit” disciples had formed an expectation of a joyful and prosperous advancement. They thought they were on their way to Jerusalem so Jesus could institute a new world order. The thought of His suffering and death just seemed absurd.

They allowed their own foolish thoughts and imaginations to define what the Kingdom of God should look like. A trend that is still all too popular today.

The problem they had is the same problem that the “church” today has, they either didn’t know or didn’t care what God’s Word said.

Jesus could not have been more clear.

31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. 33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

The entire Bible is about Jesus, both Old and New Testament. The Bible is the record of the entire plan of redemption established by God in eternity past. His plan hasn’t changed, His Word hasn’t changed, no matter how anybody feels about it.

Jesus is the center of all prophecy in the Bible, it all has to do with Him, and He is bound to the Law and the Prophets, and He reminded His disciples of this fact, perhaps He needs to remind us as well.

Everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.

Delivered over to the Gentiles, mocked, shamefully treated, spit upon, flogged, killed, and raised on the third day.

Psalm 22:1-18 written almost 600 years before Jesus was born.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 

Zechariah 12:10 written around five hundred years before Jesus was born.

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Isaiah 50:6 written around 700 years before Jesus was born.

I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.

Isaiah 53, likewise around seven hundred years before Jesus was born.

Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 16:9-10 written almost 600 years before Jesus was born.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. 10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.

This is only five of the prophecies concerning Jesus and they were all fulfilled there in Jerusalem.

This is to say nothing of the prophecy concerning where He would be born in Micah 5:2, that He would be born of a virgin in Isaiah 7:14, that he would have His hands and feet pierced, a prophecy of His crucifixion hundreds of years before crucifixion was even invented by the Romans, I could go on and on!

The odds of getting struck by lightning on any given day is one in 250 million.

According to Peter Stoner and Robert Newman’s book, “Science Speaks,” the odds of one person fulfilling just eight of the prophecies of Messiah in the Old Testament is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That’s one in one hundred quadrillion.

As much as I sometimes treat the disciples as if they were just a bunch of knuckleheads, they still had the Old Testament, they had been raised with these prophecies, they had no excuse.

Dr. Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research wrote, “Whatever reason they may have been able to give for their own blindness, we today have no excuse at all if we reject Him and His victorious physical resurrection after His death for our sins. We have all the information they had, and far more, since we have the complete Bible, vindicated and verified by almost 2000 years of Christian history, and by all the internal and external evidences of its divine inspiration and authority.”

The long and the short of it is that blindness to Jesus, our sin, the need for His atoning work on the cross, and His glorious resurrection from the dead, is chosen blindness.

Jesus really lived, Jesus really died on the cross, Jesus really rose from the dead, and He did all that for you.