The following is a summary of my sermon preached on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Part 1 of Jesus-Style. Luke 4:14-15
February 26, 2017. The Cornerstone Church.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES: JESUS-STYLE
The core of Christianity is Christ himself. But Christians spend very little time thinking about Jesus. We talk a lot about faith, but we forget our founder. We talk about Christian living, but we forget the living Christ. We're going to change that.
This six week series is called Jesus-Style. It's a series from Luke chapter 4. We're looking at what Jesus did and how he did it. The goal is first of all: to grow in our experience of awe of Jesus. But we’ll also find helpful applications for our lives and for the Cornerstone.
Before we go any further, let's read today's passage from Luke 4. Verses 14-15.
"Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all."
INTRODUCTION TO THIS SERMON
Today's teaching is called SUPERNATURAL. The teaching ministry of Jesus was supernatural. It was heaven breaking into earth.
I've split the teaching into three parts:
Where Jesus Taught.
How Jesus Taught.
Why Jesus Taught.
Then, we’ll work on three applications. I believe this passage has something CRUCIAL to say to us. If we did apply these three insights, it would spark a spiritual revolution.
A. WHERE JESUS TAUGHT.
Verses 14-15 are transition verses. According to John's Gospel, one year has passed since Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River and his encounter with Satan in the desert - Luke 4:1-13. During that year, he was in the Jerusalem and Judea areas, far to the south of Galilee. But now he has returned north to his boyhood home in the region known as Galilee - in northern Israel situated around Lake Galilee.
He travelled around the region to towns such as Cana, Nazareth, Capernaum, Main, Bethsaida, and the cities of the Decapolis on the eastern shores of Lake Galilee. In every town or village, he taught in the synagogues.
Synagogues were the spiritual center in each community. The synagogue system probably began during the exile in Babylon, when the temple was no longer available. The people gathered weekly to worship God in prayers and psalm singing. Passages from the Old Testament were read aloud. Followed by practical teaching - applying the passage to their lives.
Jesus was a faithful man raised in a faithful home. So it’s no surprise that he was a regular in synagogues. I'm assuming that he enjoyed public worship - sitting with the people as they glorified his Father in heaven. God in flesh worshipping God. That's a brain twister.
Philip Ryken wrote, "If going to worship was good enough for him, then obviously it needs to be a priority for us as well. Weekly worship attendance is the foundation for any life that glorifies God."
B. HOW JESUS TAUGHT.
Verse 14 tells us that Jesus did all his ministry in the power of the Spirit. This is not a surprise since the Spirit was present at all the crucial moments in his life. For example:
Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit - Luke 1:35.
Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit: "Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove ..."- Luke 3:21-22
Jesus confronted Satan in the power of the Holy Spirit: "And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness ... "- Luke 4:1
And now he was led to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit - 4:14.
The word for power - dunamis - is the same word used elsewhere for miracles:
casting out demons (4:36);
healing the paralytic (5:17);
healing power came out of him (6:19).
Jesus did all his work in the miracle power of the Holy Spirit. And this includes his teaching. It was supernatural! His teaching was so powerful that it stirred things up and a report about him spread through the whole area. When he taught in Capernaum:
“Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum. When the Sabbath day came, he went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike the teachers of religious law. - Mark 1:21-22.
He spoke with supernatural, divine, authority - the authority of the author. For example, six times in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:17-48), Jesus said something like, “You have heard it said, but I say to you …” By this he meant that he was not just a teacher of the Word, he IS the Word. When he taught, he was praised - the people “glorified” him. That's a phrase usually reserved for God. We'll talk more about this in a moment.
C. WHY JESUS TAUGHT.
Verse 15 reads: "And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” What does it mean that Jesus was glorified by all? Possibly, it means that Jesus was very popular. His teaching brought him praise.
EXCEPT, Luke ONLY uses the word for praising God. And he only uses it after people witness the supernatural power of God. For example:
The shepherds returned glorifying and praising God - 2:20.
The paralyzed man was healed by Jesus “and went home glorifying God.” - 5:25
The people who saw the miracle “glorified God.” - 5:26
When Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead, the people “glorified God.” - 7:16
The woman bent double by a demon stood up straight and “she glorified God.” - 13:13
So, I say to myself. Luke’s making a point here. The people glorified Jesus because they witnessed the supernatural power of God when he taught them. So they glorified him as though he were God - which he was.
The main point is this: Jesus taught in order to bring glory and praise to God. Throughout his life, that was his primary motivation. This is illustrated well in his prayer to the Father shortly before his crucifixion:
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the WORK that you gave me to do ... 8 For I have given them the WORDS that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.” - John 17:4, 8
What can we take away from today’s study?
1. We should be very GRATEFUL because we still have Jesus’ written, supernatural, teaching. It’s in the New Testament. Let’s ask for his Word to work in us - to stir up faith, obedience, and so on.
2. We should be very HUMBLE because we cannot do anything without the Spirit. Jesus promised his disciples: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” - Acts 1:8. And he told them to stay in Jerusalem until they received this power. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to come upon us in power!
3. We should be very BOLD because the Spirit of God + the Word of God + the teacher from God = REVOLUTION! There are all sorts of teachers. There are those who work in a classroom or auditorium. However, there are also those who teach informally in families, sharing faith at school or work, and so on. Wherever we teach the Word of God for the glory of God in the power of the Spirit of God, we should expect supernatural impact. For example:
Apostle Peter: “For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God …” - 1 Thessalonians 1:9
Apostle Paul: “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?”" - Acts 2:37
Let’s ask for courage to do the works of God.