Faithlife Sermons

Luke 4:42-44 (3)

The Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus was committed to prayer and proclamation.



Invite to turn Luke 4:42
-Last two weeks:
One day in Capernaum
-We saw Jesus’:
Messianic Power and Authority displayed
-He had:
Cast out a demon
Healed Peter’s mother-in-law
Been bombarded with the sick and oppressed...
Healed them ALL!
-Needless to say, it was a very long and exhausting day (and probably night as well)...
…for the man Jesus...
But an exciting one for:
His disciples
The people of Capernaum.
Today’s verses tell us what happened the next morning.
Luke 4:42–44 (ESV)
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,
but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
(3 minutes)
-Before we jump into the exposition of our text...
…let’s make a couple of observations regarding:
Nature of Jesus’ early popularity
Its effects upon Him and His disciples.
For starters:
Matthew 4:25 ESV
And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
Mark tells us that:
soon after today’s events...
the news had spread so much...
Mark 1:45 (ESV)
...that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
He tells us that at one point Jesus told his apostles:
Mark 6:31 (ESV)
...“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
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-The previous day (and night) in Capernaum:
Had been such a day.
Before we read again how Jesus responded...
…consider how you would have responded to:
Such great ministerial success
Going viral (fame and notoriety)
-Most of us:
Too excited to sleep
Couldn’t have waited for everyone to wake up and show us even more attention
At best, anxious to see the fruit of all of that good work.
-But our Lord was not so tempted by vain glory.
Luke tells us that:
Luke 4:42 (ESV)
And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place.
Mark gives more insight:
Mark 1:35 (ESV)
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed...
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Not only did he NOT wait around to receive more praise from the crowds...
He also gave up some much needed sleep and rest to do what he did.
It must have been pretty important...
I mean his ministry was on a roll!
What would cause Him to not capitalize on the momentum?
What in the world could be so important as to cause him to:
Endure the loss of such tangible benefits, and...
…go out alone into the wilderness???
Mark tells us exactly:
What it was, and...
Why he did it:
Mark 1:35 (ESV)
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Are you disappointed?
Does this seem anticlimactic?
If so, this will be a helpful sermon for you.
Prayer wasn’t at all something:
…to our Lord in his humanity
In fact, it was of upmost importance!
(And it should be for us as well)
The REC observes:
“As he tells the gospel story, Luke portrays Jesus as praying his way from Galilee up to Jerusalem and the cross.
He usually mentions these prayer times in passing, so it would be easy to miss this theme in his Gospel. But when we take careful notice of all the times when Jesus (and others) went to pray, the cumulative effect is impressive.
Luke wanted to show that faithful intercession is essential to the life of godliness.” - Reformed Expository Commentary
Remember, What John Peter Lange wrote?
(We read it a couple months ago)
By uniting the accounts of all the Evangelists, with reference to our Lord’s practice of private prayer, we find that He, who always lived in uninterrupted communion with the Father,...
...specially and emphatically hallowed every turning-point of his earthly career—His baptism, choice of Apostles, renunciation of a throne (John 6:15), transfiguration, and his journey towards his last sufferings—by solitary prayer. - Lange
The Consistent and Continual biblical record:
After the healing of a leper:
Luke 5:15–16 ESV
But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Before He appointed the twelve:
Luke 6:12 (ESV)
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
After He had fed the 5,000:
Matthew 14:23 (ESV)
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray...
Before He was transfigured:
Luke 9:28 (ESV)
Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
And, of course, prior to His passion:
(this one gives us insight into his prayer life in general)
Luke 22:39–46 (ESV)
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.
And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.
This event exemplifies:
the God-centered motivations for prayer...
…that Jesus taught his disciples:
Matthew 6:9–13 (ESV)
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
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I believe these were the same basic reasons for his prayer in verse 42 of our text:
Strength and resolve (as a man) for the fulfillment of God’s will, and..
Strength to resist the temptation to be led astray by other motives.
Here’s what I mean.
Look at the second sentence in verse 42:
Luke 4:42 (ESV)
...And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them,
Mark describes the added pressure of his disciples:
Mark 1:36–37 (ESV)
And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,
and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
What was everyone wanting?
...To stay in Capernaum and be their resident:
Maybe even more than that!
John tells us that this happened after the feeding of the 5,000:
John 6:15 (ESV)
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
A temporal and physical kingdom...
apart from the God-glorifying means of the Cross...
…was NOT the will of God.
And he (as a man) got away from the temptation...
…and got alone with the Father...
…and sought strength from the Holy Spirit...
in order that he would not be derailed from his mission!
Remember what we saw before:
John 4:34 (ESV)
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
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This is the same thing (in principle) that he says in our text as well.
(14 minutes, 17 total)
Look at verse 43:
Luke 4:43 (ESV)
but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
It’s interesting:
Jesus uses the verbal form of the word “apostle...”
…to refer to himself in reference to his mission.
He says that he “was sent outfrom heaven...
(Like He sent out the Apostles)
(Like the church “sends out” missionaries)
…to do a certain task!
...And being the resident prophet at Capernaum:
Wasn’t that task!
But, He tells us what was:
Proclaiming the good news (literally: “gospel”)...
…to the other towns as well!
But Luke puts a particular set of feet...
…on the content of the gospel proclamation here.
(and it’s the first time in his gospel that he does so)
He says that this necessary good news...
…was the proclamation of God’s kingdom.
The Background Bible Commentary explains:
The expression summarizes the hopes and dreams of Jesus’ Jewish contemporaries who longed for the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies which spoke of a return of a golden era to Israel. - BKBC
But many misunderstood the true nature of this Kingdom.
(Hence, the attempts to have Jesus seated upon an earthly throne)
But, as this commentary explains:
“The kingdom of God is simply the rule of God—the extension of his divine authority and power.
That power was now present in the person of Jesus Christ, whose calling was to expand God’s dominion by spreading God’s Word.” - REC
This is reflective of Jesus’ own words:
John 18:36–37 (ESV)
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
During the Olivet Discourse he spoke of the primacy of this proclamation:
Matthew 24:14 (ESV)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Notice two things here:
1.) The proclamation of the good news of Jesus’ heavenly reign transcends:
The working of miracles
Works of benevolence
Cultural engagement, etc.
2.) Christ ultimately accomplishes this central mission:
Through his people
Those who are his hands and feet on the earth.
This should remind us that:
"This is why the church’s first priority is to preach the gospel.
Today many people do the same thing with the church that they do with Jesus: they turn it into something other than what God has called it to be.
They turn it into a political agenda, or an entertainment venue, or a social project—anything and everything other than what it is intended to be: a community that is gathered to hear God’s Word.
Once we hear the Word, it has an impact on everything else because it changes the way we live. But our first priority is to preach the good news.” - REC
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This, indeed, should be our first priority
Because this was Christ’s first priority...
And he has extended his commission to us!
(6 minutes, 23 total)
-We see his unwavering commitment to it in verse 44:
Luke 4:44 (ESV)
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Mark wrote:
Mark 1:39 (ESV)
And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Some older English translations read the same in our passage in Luke
The BKBC explains the cause of this apparent discrepancy:
There is some confusion in the mss; some read synagogues of Judea (such as an old papyrus and the two oldest codices), others read synagogues of Galilee (as in a few later codices).
Judea is probably the original reading . . . Galilee is probably a scribal correction, to bring Luke into conformity with Matthew (4:23) and Mark (Mark 1:39).” - BKBC
In light of this, Mike McKinley explains:
“Luke’s reference to Judea here is probably a way of referring to the entire area where Jewish people lived, rather than specifically to the region of Judea” - Mike McKinley
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-The point is this:
Jesus didn’t succumb to the temptation to veer off course...
in pursuit of pride and vain-glory.
-He was faithful to the commission...
...that he had received from his Father:
(The commission that he had voluntarily condescended to undertake).
-He didn’t do it begrudgingly
His heart was in it!
He fulfilled it:
and Compassionately:
Matthew tells us this later:
Matthew 9:35–36 (ESV)
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
You see, brethren, this was what the proclamation was meant to accomplish:
The gathering of lost (helpless, harassed) sheep.
God had foretold:
Ezekiel 34:22–23 (ESV)
I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep.
And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
Peter reminds us:
1 Peter 2:25 ESV
For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Who is that?
Hebrews 12:2 (ESV)
...Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
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Understand what that means.
It means, that (if your trust is in him):
He endured the torments of the Cross:
For You!
He endured its shame and reproach:
For You!
And it means that, if he is indeed the:
shepherd and overseer of your soul”...
…then he is seated at the right hand of the throne of God:
Interceding, For You!
And brethren, He has the same:
commitment to his mission
work ethic
compassion for his sheep...
…that he did 2,000 years ago!
What that means is that:
Hebrews 7:25 (ESV)
...he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
Dane Ortlund says (In “Gentle and Lowly”):
“This is why the New Testament weds justification and intercession, such as in Romans 8:33-34:
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died---more than that, who was raised---who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Intercession is the constant hitting “refresh” of our justification in the court of heaven.” - Dane Ortlund
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-This is what the “Good Shepherd” does for his sheep:
He lays down his life to purchase theirs
He spends the “rest” of his life caring for them.
-Will you be gathered into his fold?
How do I do that?
By turning from your old master, the hireling:
Who doesn’t care for the sheep...
…but harasses them and leaves them helpless!
You turn from following him...
…and entrust your soul (in faith) to the Good Shepherd.
Will you do that?...
Or, will you be deceived by the lie that you can:
Choose the path of autonomy?
Of self-government?
Will you believe that lie, and:
Entrust your soul to your own self?
Rely upon your own performance?
Rely upon your own commitment and ability?
Or, will you entrust your eternal soul to...
the One who has proven his faithfulness and ability?
Over and Over, again!
I pray that God will give you grace to do the latter.
10 minutes, 33 Total
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