The Lordship of Jesus Christ
March 25, 2018 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:
Verse: Luke 6:1–6:11
“The Lordship of Jesus Christ”
Theme: Jesus Christ’s Lordship calls on everyone to yield to Him.
I. The Lordship of Christ Is Dismissed by the Self-Righteous – 6:1-2
A. The Accountability to the Lord – v. 1
- Jesus Christ is Lord! This statement is often gratuitously declared without the attending impact of what a statement actually demands of us.
- The Lordship of Jesus Christ is mentioned no less than 747 times in the New Testament.
- The centrality of Jesus’ Lordship to the Gospel is unmistakable – it is impossible to be a Christian and not confess Jesus to the Lord – Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-10.
- Certainly we reject the notion that Jesus becomes Lord through some acknowledgement by us – no one can “make” Jesus Lord – except the Father – cp. Acts 2:36.
- Even those who call Jesus Lord, but do not obey Him, fail to see the significance of Jesus’ Lordship in their lives – cp. Luke 6:46
- Such ones do not possess any certainty that they have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ – since to truly know Christ is to bow to His Lordship – cp. Matthew 7:21
- Our text this morning provides a glimpse of the efforts of those who dismiss the Lordship of Christ and how their spiritual state is one of hopeless blindness and lostness.
- It begins with an account focusing on the Sabbath observance in Israel – the most significant and telling of all the Law of God; the “watershed” of a person’s consecration.
- To the Jews, Sabbath observance is the most sacred “works” of the Law that they could perform – and, as such, there were hundreds of traditions and regulations that were heaped upon the revealed Scriptures given by Moses.
- “The Talmud devotes twenty-four chapters to Sabbath regulations, describing in painfully exhaustive detail what was and was not permitted to be done. The result was a ridiculously complex system of external behavior restraints – so much so that one rabbi spent two and a half years studying just one of the twenty-four chapters.”
- These traditions became the focus of righteousness – wresting from the heart the obligation to honor God and making one’s own performance and consistency the priority.
- “Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.” -
- Such conduct was within the boundaries of the Law – no violations to what God had revealed were present – cp. Deuteronomy 23:25
- “His disciples …” – those who were under the leadership and instruction of a master, meant that Jesus had taught them that such behavior was not in any way a violation of the Sabbath.
- “passing through some grainfields” indicated that they were moving – something that the Pharisees had determined was restricted to only 3,000 steps
- “picking the heads of grain” – was determined to be harvesting
- “rubbing them in their hands” – was determined to be threshing & winnowing
- “eating the grain” was determined to be the result of having “prepared” food on the Sabbath.
- Each of these things were determined by the Pharisees as violations of the traditions that they had heaped on top of the Law to protect the Law from people inadvertently breaking it.
B. The Accusation against the Lord – v. 2
- “But some of the Pharisees said, …” - clearly, the Pharisees must have been following them in order to see if they would do something to violate the standards of righteousness that they had determined everyone was under – which was a task associated with their office and was therefore work!
- Luke reports that they quickly pounced on this “violation” and declared: “Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”
- They were completely unaware that they were in the presence of the One Who mandated the Sabbath and who knew what was expected for compliance with the Sabbath inside and out!
- Their approach was to dismiss His treatment of Sabbath as sin without even the thought of the possibility that their own ways and means of keeping the Sabbath might have been errant, self-righteous, and damning.
- How does self-righteousness diminish the Lordship of Christ?
- What caused you to most recently question the propriety of Christ’s Lordship in your life?
- When do you struggle the most with Christ’s purposes in your life?
II. The Lordship of Christ Is Declared by Christ Himself – 6:3-5
A. The Appeal to the Authority of God’s Word – vv. 3-4
- Instead of validating the legalistic externalism of the Pharisees, He immediately indicts them for their failure to comprehend the purpose of the Law and for their ignorance of biblical instruction – “And Jesus answering them said, ‘Have you not even read …’”
- Jesus then raises the account of when David is fleeing for his life – “… what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him, how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?”
- This reference is an example of how the ceremonial Law was not an excuse to avoid showing mercy and compassion toward a person in real need.
- Clearly, the showbread was not to be normally used to feed lay people but only the priests, but when presented with the opportunity to show honor to the Lord by meeting a tangible, physical need for nourishment, the law of love prevailed – cp. James 2:14-17; Matthew 12:3-7; Matthew 22:36-40
- Yet for the legalist, compassion and mercy are of little or no priority – thus, flexibility is impossible – the Law must be served above all else.
- Inflexibility at the expense of others is one of the ways that legalism is exposed.
B. The Announcement of the Authority of God's Son - v. 5
- Apparently, they were balking and arguing with Jesus concerning His point and thus Jesus “was saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath’”
- “was saying” [