Faithlife Sermons

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September 6, 2015
*Read Lu 12:54-59* – A man went to the college cafeteria to dine with his son.
Upon reaching the entrance the boy said, “They have nothing good tonight.
Let’s leave.”
Dad asked, “You haven’t even seen the food yet.”
The boy replied, “When there are more than 6 knives in the peanut butter, you know dinner is lousy.”
Proving it’s important to be able to read the signs!
It can be fatal to misread signs.
Like the guy who froze to death at the drive-in because he went to see a movie called Closed for the Winter.
Misread the sign!
In our text, Jesus suggests that His audience are hypocrites for failure to read the signs of the times.
Jesus was not exactly a seeker-sensitive preacher?
He really wasn’t.
He told the truth.
He told it straight.
These people knew rain came from the Mediterranean Sea and had a saying, “When in the west the sky turns grey / One can expect a rainy day.”
And they knew when the sirocco winds blew in from the desert to the south, it was going to get hot.
“When blows the south wind, you say / Some scorching heat is on the way.”
They were as good as the weather channel – able to read the signs.
But the key is v. 56 “You hypocrites!
You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”
“You guys are expert at the weather, but your claim to know God is bogus!
There you ignore all the signs, in favor of false teaching of the misguided scribes and Pharisees and are about to pay a heavy price.”
So pay attention!
Heaven had moved right into their society in the person of Christ.
They were walking and talking with God Himself.
His very presence doomed the legalistic Judaistic system that was leading people to hell.
Yet they willfully ignored all the signs that would have saved their eternal existence.
So let’s consider for a few moments exactly what signs they were missing.
*I.
The Messenger*
First, they missed the messenger Himself.
Jesus is God in the flesh.
So when people looked into His face, shook His hand, or listened to Him, they were interacting with Jehovah.
Wow! Granted He was veiled by His body, but how could you miss that here was someone like no one else?
Jesus was right to ask, “but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
No one else in history saw what these people were seeing – and they missed it!
Why? V. 57: “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?”
They allowed someone else to interpret for them.
Who’s interpreting your reality?
They took the word of hell-bound religious leaders instead of seeing the obvious right in front of their face.
If only they had been looking, they would have seen two things: His prophetic pedigree and His perfect person.
*A.
His Prophetic Pedigree* – In Luke 24:27 on the day of His resurrection, Jesus kindly rebukes two followers: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Jesus saw Himself all over the OT, and had people truly been investigating, they’d have seen it.
He had kingly lineage -- a direct descendant of King David, thru both Joseph, his legal father, and Mary, his biological mother.
Tho He lived in Nazareth, He had been born in Bethlehem, a clear and direct fulfillment of Micah 5:2.
His birth was announced by angels – which is somewhat unique – and the temple prophets, Simeon and Anna, gave clear testimony to His Messianic mission.
Prophetic signs?
How about Herod’s edict to kill the babies at His birth, fulfilling Jer 31:15?
How about His parents taking Him to Egypt to escape Herod, fulfilling Hos 1:1, “and out of Egypt I called my son.”
How about John the Baptist, the forerunner prophesied in Isa 40 and Mal 3? How about Jesus’ move from Nazareth to Capernaum, fulfilling Isa 9:1-2, Messiah “has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.”
Matt 13:33 says Jesus’ parables fulfilled Psa 78:2, “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old.”
Daniel 9:25 states, “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a adecree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (issued by the Persian Artaxerxes in 444 BC) until bMessiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.”
When you understand those are 69 weeks of years – 483 years – and prophetic years are consistently 360 days – Daniel’s prediction of Messiah puts you right on top of the time of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus’ life fulfills prophecy at every turn.
And his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, His death and resurrection, added to the list, uniquely applicable to Him leaving no doubt – this is the One.
In Lu 4, Jesus Himself reads from Isa 35 and 61 about Messiah proclaiming good news to the poor, liberty to the oppressed and sight to the blind.
Then He says v. 21, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
They tried to kill Him then and there.
Signs weren’t easy, but signs were there, Beloved, and they were ignored.
His prophetic pedigree was impeccable.
*B.
His Perfect Person* – Like no other, Jesus was without sin.
Heb 4:15 identifies Him as one who “in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
It could be irritating to be around someone absolutely perfect, right?
Patty says she has that problem! (Kidding!).
It could be intimidating.
But sooner or later you’d be asking, “What is with this dude?”
wouldn’t you?
We overlook this, but it screams of Jesus’ uniqueness.
Never a single failure.
Sooner or later you’d have to ask, “Why?
Who is this guy?”
Remember Butch Cassidy and Sundance being chased by a posse -- usually no problem.
But this time, every time they look back, there they are, hot on their tail.
About the 3rd time, Butch (Paul Newman) says, “Who are those guys?”
Turns out they’re the best lawmen money could buy.
Rightfully they asked, “Who are those guys?”
Jesus’ prophetic pedigree and perfect person raises the same question, “Who is this guy?”
But most of Jesus’ generation missed the signs.
They were better at weather than knowing God.
Missed Messenger.
*II.
The Miracles*
What about the miracles?
You had to be trying to miss those!
How could you watch someone day after day cast out demons, heal deaf ears, give sight to blind eyes, straighten crippled limbs and raise the dead and not at some point ask, “What is this all about?”
How could you come to accept it as routine?!
For weeks after I first got a color TV, I’d just sit and marvel at the color.
It was amazing to me (Kids, quit laughing!).
But that became passé long ago.
If you asked if I wanted a color TV today, I’d say, “How about HD in 3-D.
Now you’re talking!” That’s how these people were.
In Matt, just before Jesus’ comments on the weather, He has fed 4,000 with 7 loaves and few small fish.
Think about that.
He’s created lunch ex nihilo.
Then Mt 16:1, “And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.”
Color TV? Forget it.
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