Saturday, September 11, 2021

2021.09.11 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 22:66–71

Read Luke 22:66–71

Questions from the Scripture text: For what were they waiting to start the trial (Luke 22:66)? Who are gathered together? What is the first question about the identity of Jesus (Luke 22:67)? How does Jesus answer? What explanation does He give for not cross-examining with His own questions (Luke 22:68)? What does He declare about His identity and His future instead (Luke 22:69)? Now what do they ask about His identity (Luke 22:70a)? What is His answer in Luke 22:70b? What question do they ask in Luke 22:71? What point are they making?

Jesus is the Christ (Luke 22:67a). This, all will be sure of, when they see Him sitting at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69). But why don’t they believe now? It is not for lack of information—those who pretend so would not believe if they were told (Luke 22:67b). Nor is it for lack of persuasion—the Lord Jesus makes plain that they would not be responsive if He took the lead to persuade them (Luke 22:68).

This reminds us how utterly necessary the New Birth is. Christianity is perfectly reasonable. In fact, Christianity is the only reasonable way to understand all of reality: God, ourselves, salvation, everything. But no one can be merely reasoned into the kingdom. In fact, the Lord Jesus testified that He spoke in parables not so that all could understand but so that seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. When you or someone else does not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the problem in the head has its roots in the heart, and it is the root that must ultimately be dealt with.

Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Great Prophet like Moses, who was to arise. Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Great High Priest to Whom even Aaron pointed forward, and in Whom all believers are to be united (cf. Psalm 133). Yes, the Lord Jesus is the Son of David, that great Forever-King to Whom all the Davidic kings pointed forward. 

But there is something even more at issue than Jesus being the Christ. What’s at issue is that the Christ turns out to be God Himself. That’s the point that Jesus makes by referring to Himself as the Son of Man. In Ezekiel, the Son of Man is a human figure. But in Daniel, the Son of Man is clearly divine—a theophany of God Himself, for it is He Who comes on the clouds in glory. When Jesus identifies Himself as the Son of Man in these terms, the Jewish religious elite all know what He is claiming: He is the Son of God. 

Truly, in order to be our Savior, Jesus had to be both. If He is merely man, He cannot save at all. If He is merely God, He cannot die in order to save. But it is this latter part of His claim for which He is condemned to die. The religious leaders believe themselves to have come into very good fortune, for they perceive Him to have made a blasphemously false claim to divinity: “What further testimony do we need?” (Luke 22:71).

How will you respond to the claims of Christ? You may tell yourself that He has not sufficiently proved Himself to be the Christ Who is God. But, if that’s what you think, the problem is actually in you and not the evidence. And you will not be able to make such a claim when you stand before Him. 

But the good news is that He to Whom all worship properly belongs gave Himself to be executed for making that claim, because He went to die not merely as a victim of injustice but as a willing substitute to bear what His sinful people justly deserved. If you find that you can’t bring yourself to believe in Him, you are correct. But He can bring you to that faith. Cry out for His Spirit to give you that certainty that Jesus is God, Who died for you. Look to Him, and be saved!

Whom do you know that is having difficulty with these claims of Christ? What can be done for them? How does the validity of Christ’s claims give the possibility of hope, even for many who do not currently recognize them?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, You are our Lord and our God. Forgive us for how much our resistant hearts keep our minds from recognizing glorious truth about You. Grant Your Spirit’s powerful, merciful work to convince us—which we can ask, because You our God have been executed as an atonement for our sin, so we ask it in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP110B “The LORD Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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