God is good to the wayward by His generosity. (v.12)
God is good to the wayward by His patience with them. (v. 12, 20).
God is good to the repenting wayward child because of His compassion for them (v. 20-21)
God demonstrates his goodness by graciously restoring the wayward son. (v. 22-24)
God is good even to the self-righteous child. (v. 25-31)
God is good to the self-righteous child by his generosity too. (vv. 12, 31)
God is good to the self-righteous child because He offers compassion too. (v. 28)
God is good to the self-righteous child by having patience too. (v. 31)
Whether we admit it or not we are all wayward children.
This sermon originated from the pulpit of West Green Baptist Church in West Green, Georgia where Kevin Bounds serves as Senior Pastor. Did you enjoy the message? Let us know in the comment section below. Also, please feel free to like and share with friends and family.
Expectations can be misleading. I recall when in the parts business as a counter salesman, I would speak with customers all over the southeastern United States. While conversing on the telephone, I would form a mental image of how I thought the person on the other end of the line might look. Later on, in my career, I became an outside salesman, which allowed me to see the people I once only could visualize. They never looked the way I expected them to look. I learned a valuable lesson. Expectations can be misleading.
In Luke 7:18-35, the characters in this narrative deal with their expectations. This sermon will look at: 1) John’s expectations of Jesus (18-23) 2) The people’s expectation of a prophet (24-30) and finally; 3) What Jesus says about misleading expectations. By examining each aspect of the passage, we will see that if we are not careful, we too can be chained by expectations.
John’s Expectations of Jesus (18-23)
First, it is important to look at John’s question concerning Jesus. He asks, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” (19) [Emphasis added].
The Hebrew people had long anticipated the Messiah (or Anointed One). Messiah is the Hebrew title for this person, and Christ is derived from the Greek title of Christus.
Of course, many different opinions were formed on how this coming Deliverer would look and behave.
Per the Prophet Daniel, the timing was ripe for the Expected One to arrive on the scene. Four hundred and eighty-three years had passed since Artaxerxes issued the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. (See Daniel 9).
Earlier, John the Baptist dealt with the people’s expectations (see 3:15) by point to Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. However, Herod would have John arrested and John at the time of this passage was in prison.
Why would John the Baptist now be questioning Jesus whether He is the One? It is possible, the answer can lie in John’s expectations.
Turn to Luke 3:15-17.
In verse 17, the imagery that John the Baptist uses is one of judgment. It was a common perception in the day of Roman occupation that the Expected One would thrust out all enemy forces from Israel. However, John was imprisoned and this probably made him start to question.
Having a larger view of God’s purpose of Christ’s first Advent, we know that His Second Coming will fulfill John’s expectations. Remember, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (NASB Jn 3:16-17).
Look back a Luke 7:23 for this is a key verse to understanding this passage. John was borderline offended because he was chained by his expectations.
The People’s Expectations of a Prophet (24-30)
In this section, there are two groups of people; the common people and tax collectors and the Pharisees and lawyers.
Jesus addresses misguided expectation by asking a series of questions.
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? (24).
“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who are splendidly clothed and live in luxury are found in royal palaces!” (25)
“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet.” (26)
John the Baptist didn’t fit many of the people’s expectations.
The Apostle Paul explains the principle further. He writes,
(26) For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; (27) but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, (28) and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, (29) so that no man may boast before God. (NASB 1 Cor 1:26-29).
The next two verses are pivotal!
In verse 29, the “unacceptable of the day” acknowledged God’s justice. This Greek word is It means to show to be righteous, declare righteous. The same word is translated “vindicated” in verse 35.
In verse 30, the religious folks did not acknowledge God’s justice, but “rather rejected God’s purpose for themselves, having not been baptized of John.” The Greek word (boule) translated “purpose” means counsel.
The religious people were chained by their expectations!
What Jesus Say About Misleading Expectations (31-35)
Since the religious people’s expectations misled them to reject John the Baptist as a prophet, they ultimately rejected Christ.
John came in one fashion and your rejected him. The Son of Man came in another fashion, but you rejected Him too.
The Apostle Paul captures many of the Jews’ perception of Christ. He writes, “For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,” (NASB 1 Cor 1:22-23).
Remember, “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”(NASB Luk 7:23) and “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” (NASB Luk 7:35).
Often, we allow our expectations to chain our perception of God. If Jesus was really the Son of God, He ____________ (fill in the blank).
I once was acquainted with a man that said he decided to be an atheist because God didn’t answer his prayers as he expected.
Often, we allow our expectations to color our awareness of God’s love for us. If God really loved me, He would ___________ (fill in the blank).
In John 11, Martha’s expectations of Jesus were that he should have come and healed her brother, Lazarus.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (NASB Isa 55:9-11).
Trust God not your understanding!
Don’t be chained by your expectations! To mix metaphors, don’t think you can place God in a box.
New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1344”.
New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, (Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, 1998), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1012”.
A CASE FOR COMPASSIONATE CONFRONTATION FROM LUKE 6:1-16
By Kevin W. Bounds
In a world immersed in social media and a twenty-four-hour news cycle, everyone has an opinion. Now people can rant online without the consequence. Now people take to the street with picket signs protesting anything. Don’t believe me? Then you have not had social media, watched television, or read the newspapers lately.
In this volatile mix of opinions, how are Christians to behave? Many think disciples of Jesus are to remain dormant and docile. We are assumed to follow a plastic Jesus. A false representation of the Founder of Christianity as a pussyfooting politically correct prophet (if there is such a thing). HOWEVER, this is not the Jesus of the Gospels. Yes, He was compassionate, but He was also confrontational.
Often, the idioms like “judge not” or “cast the first stone” are quoted out of context and passages of making a whip of cords to remove people from the Temple are never mentioned.
Yes, we are to be non-violent. However, Christians are called to like Christ. Who was compassionately confrontational.
In Luke 6:1-16, we witness Jesus displaying a compassionate, yet challenging approach in His ministry. This sermon will look at the actions of Jesus and attempt to convey how we should apply the principles drawn from those actions in our daily lives. In the sermon, we will look at three different scenes: 1) the confrontation in the fields (vv. 1-5) 2) the dispute in the synagogue (vv. 6-11) 3) the ordination of the Twelve (vv. 12-16).
Concerning this passage, Warren Wiersbe writes, “For over a year, Jesus ministered as a popular itinerant Teacher and Healer, and multitudes followed Him. But now the time had come for Him to “organize” His followers and declare just what His kingdom was all about.”
It is noteworthy at the end of the previous chapter, Jesus gives a parable concerning new wine in new wineskins (Matt 5:36-39).
Confrontation in the Fields (vv. 1-5)
Jesus was unafraid to share a controversial truth with those whom He disagreed (v. 5). However, it was loving compassion which drove Him to confront the misinformed.
In these five verses, we witness the disciples of Jesus walking through the “cornfields” – other translations render it grain fields – harvesting by hand and eating the corn/wheat.
The Pharisees were not accusing of stealing because in the Law there was provision made for people gleaning from others’ fields. Moses writes,
When thou comest into thy neighbour’s vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel. When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’s standing corn (KJV Deut 23:24-25).
The scribes and Pharisees were disturbed by doing this practice on the Sabbath. The interpretation of the Sabbath was the source of contention here. Jesus is not negating the Sabbath because the Sabbath is good. However, Jesus was confronting the neglect of human need by the scribes and Pharisees.
For Jesus, the key to the Sabbath was that God made it for man and not the other way around (see Mark 2:27).
In verses 3-4, Jesus explains interpretation to the Law was to be done with loving compassion, especially when a human need was involved. (See 1 Sam 21:1-6). The scribes and Pharisees had missed it by a mile!
In verse 5, Jesus makes a remarkable statement about being “Lord of the Sabbath.” Rest assured his audience did not miss the claim to deity. Who can say such a thing but God?
Jesus moved by loving compassion boldly spoke the truth!
You will inevitably encounter people who will not accept the truth of Gospel. You should not shy away from conflicting views but lovingly stand for righteousness.
Dispute in the Synagogue (vv. 6-11)
It is important to notice that Jesus picked this fight in the synagogue. He was moved by loving compassion to help those that could not help themselves.
The scribes and Pharisees were more concerned with the working hands that were meeting human needs in verses 1-5 than they were of the human need to have working hands! This man was handicapped by his infirmity.
A “religious spirit” is more concerned about what others are doing wrong instead of helping others.
Jesus called them out by pointing to the heart of the issue in verse 9.
Jesus backed up his claim and interpretation with action. He miraculously healed the man’s withered hand.
Does anyone like being called out? The scribes and Pharisees were not different. However, they were driven to the kind of madness that desires to kill!
YOU WILL, in a world that is counter-gospel, will experience hatred. However, you must be willing to stand for truth. Jesus did!
Ordination of the Twelve (vv. 12-16)
It is no coincidence that Jesus ordained the Twelve, after this rejection by the scribes and Pharisees. Yes, I do believe this ordination was symbolic of a “new nation,” since there were Twelve Apostles; one for each tribe.
However, I believe it was also for practical purposes. Jesus knew that eventually He would lay His life down and His message needed to continue. To perpetuate the message, He made disciples.
Confrontation can lead to casualties, but we must reproduce through discipleship. Spurgeon/Whitefield comments about John Wesley’s ministry.
I know it may be a horrible illustration but to control lice, you must stop the reproduction. The same goes for weeds too!
In a world filled with opinions, you will face conflicting views (i.e. Bible, social issues, politics). However, we must not resist violently with rage, but loving confront the falsehoods with truth. Much like the men down through the ages: Martin Luther stood against a corrupt church, William Wilberforce strove to end the English slave trade, and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his life for the sake of civil rights. But more importantly, Jesus bleed so we could know the truth and be set free. We must be unafraid to share controversial truth because HE is with us (Mt 28:18-20; Heb. 13:5) We speak for the ones without a voice or the ability to rectify the injustice done to them, even if it cost our lives! In case we pay the ultimate price, the message of truth must be passed to the next generation of Jesus followers!
 Warren Wiersbe The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 2nd Ed., (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2007), 153.