Grace For The Journey
Verse 65 shows us where our sinful nature will lead us, “And any other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.” These religious leaders not only mocked, beat, blindfolded, struck Jesus, they also “blasphemed Him.” Was any of this a surprise to Jesus? 700 years before this trial of Jesus, the Prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would receive this sort of treatment as God’s Suffering Servant. The Bible says in Isaiah 50:6, “I gave My back to those who struck Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting” and in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Jesus was not surprised by the actions of these temple police. The very fact that He submitted Himself to their actions shows the depth of His love for callous sinners. Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus did this, “for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross, despising the shame.”
They mocked, beat, blindfolded, struck, and blasphemed Him that night. That was some trial that evening, wasn’t it? So next morning what happens? Verse 66 says, “As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying.” The Sanhedrin – and again this is the Jewish Council of 70 leaders. The term in verse 66, “elders of the people” is a synonym for the Sanhedrin. They came together and led Jesus into their council. It was against Jewish Law to convict a man in the evening so here they are now in the morning to continue the case of “God on Trial.” In this passage . . .
There are things we may learn about Jesus
And things we can learn from Jesus.
I. What We May Learn About Jesus.
We have already seen He is on trial for claiming to be God. I want you to notice the three titles for Jesus in these verses, all of which mean basically the same thing, that Jesus is God. Three titles for the same person: He is the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of God. First . . .
1) He Is The Christ – Verses 67-68.
“Christ” is not Jesus’ last name. It is a title. It occurs some 25 times in Luke’s Gospel. It is a Greek word that means “Messiah.” It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term, “Messiah,” and it means “the Anointed One.” It is a title. That is why we often read it in the Bible as “the” Christ. Like in verse 67: “If you are the Christ, tell us.”
We read in verses 67 and 68 the Jewish leaders ask, “’If You are the Christ, tell us.’ But He said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will by no means believe. And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go.’” Jesus is not being evasive here. He is simply saying, “You guys have already made up your minds not to believe. I am not going to dignify your question with the answer you seek.” Of course, He is the Christ.
Luke has made this clear from the very beginning of his Gospel.
- Jesus is born and the angel appears to the trembling shepherds and says, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
- Simeon met Jesus in the temple when Jesus was just 8 days old because the Holy Spirit had told him, “He would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26).”
- When Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ of God” (Luke 9:20).
Christ is the title for the One who is “of God”
And comes “from God” to be man’s Savior.
There is another title Jesus takes that refers to His being of God and from God . . .
2) He Is The Son Of Man – Verse 69.
Son of Man is the way Jesus most often refers to Himself. It is used over 80 times in the Gospels mostly by Jesus referring to Himself. Rather than saying, “I,” Jesus often said, “the Son of Man.” In fact, verse 69 is the last time in Luke’s Gospel where He will do this, “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” Jesus is referring to Himself as “the Son of Man.”
This title comes from Daniel, chapter 7. It is a great title referring to the Messiah, the One who is “of God” and “from God.” 700 years before Christ. Daniel prophesies about the Messiah. He writes in Daniel 7:13-14, “I was watching in the night visions, behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days [the Heavenly Father], and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.”
This is Jesus! He is the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. He is the Christ, the Son of Man, referred to in Daniel 7.
The third title is . . .
3) He Is The Son of God – Verses 70-71.
Verse 70 says, “Then they all said, ‘Are You then the Son of God?’ So He said to them, ‘You rightly say that I am.’” Here is the third title of Jesus that also means He is “of God” and “from God.” Perhaps it is the most obvious: Son of God. If there was any doubt that Jesus was more than mere man, more than a Jewish Messiah who was simply human, that incorrect notion is removed here.
They ask Jesus, “Are You then the Son of God?” Jesus’ answer wisely deflects responsibility back upon His questioners. He answers by saying, “You rightly say that I am.” This is so wise. Mark, in his Gospel, just has Jesus responding, “I am” (Mark 14:62), but Luke gives the added detail here that Jesus deflects responsibility back upon those questioning Him. He says, “You rightly say that I am.” In essence, Jesus is saying, “You are using the right title, a title you must believe to be true, a title you will one day give an account before your Creator as to what you did with Me. You rightly say that I am the Son of God. What are you going to do now with this knowledge? Now I am on trial, but one day you will be on trial. You are using the correct title. Do you believe it?” Classic.
Of course, Jesus is the Son of God.
- At His baptism the heavens opened and the Father said to Jesus, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22).
- At His transfiguration the voice of the Heavenly Father “came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, Hear Him!” (Luke 9:35).
He is the Son of God. The Jewish leaders were blind to this truth. But they understood clearly that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God which is why they respond as they do in verse 71, “And they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.’” Jesus’ reply in the previous verse is understood as an affirmation of His being “of God” and “from God.” The Jewish leaders had long desired to “catch Jesus” in something He might say (Luke 11:54; Luke 20:20, 26), so now they have got what they wanted. They are ready now to condemn Him and to kill Him. And they will kill Him, on the basis of His claiming to be “of God” and “from God.”
This is the doctrine of the Trinity: Jesus is God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – three persons joined together in One Divine Being. One in essence, three in Person. Other religions wrongly claim Jesus is not God.
- The Mormons do not believe Jesus is God the way orthodox Christianity does. They believe Jesus “became a god.” They believe Jesus was a created being, the brother of the devil and of all people. Not the same Jesus of the Bible.
- Jehovah’s Witnesses also wrongly believe Jesus was a created being – that He was Micael the archangel who became a man.
- Muslims also wrongly believe Jesus was a created being, a prophet, but not God.
But in the Bible, Jesus Christ is “of God” and “from God.” Referring to Jesus as “the Word,” the Bible says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The name “Immanuel” is the name an angel gives to Jesus when announcing His coming to Joseph (Matthew 1:23), which is a title for the Messiah in Isaiah 7:14. This is why the Jewish leaders moved to condemn and kill Jesus as verse 71 indicates. Jesus is the Christ; the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
That is what we may learn about Jesus.
II. What We May Learn From Jesus.
There are three things I want to draw from these truths that should have a great impact on our daily lives . . .
1) When Worried, Remember Jesus Is In Charge.
Because He is God, He knows all things. Nothing happens that takes God by surprise. We noted that earlier when we talked about whether or not Jesus was surprised by the way He was treated by these temple police. He knew this was coming. That is why He told His disciples this would happen. Remember His “passion predictions?” Three times He had said, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed, beaten, and delivered over to death, and He will rise on the third day” (see: Luke 9:22, Luke 17:25, and Luke 18:32-33).
He knew this was going to happen because He is God. He knows the future and He has complete control over all things. He could have stopped the arrest, the trial, and the crucifixion because He is God. In John 10:18 He says, “No one takes it [My life] from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” He could have stopped this whole thing, but He does not because He has come to die. He has come to save us. He is not surprised by the events. He is not worried because He is in charge.
If He is not worried and He is in control of your life then you do not need to worry. Remember Jesus is in charge. He is God. He knows all things and He always does what is right. He is in control of your situation.
What worries you? Your family? Your bill? Your health? Will you face anything worse than what Jesus faced? Mocked, beaten, blindfolded, struck, and blasphemed. And all of this mysteriously in keeping with God’s perfect plan. Whatever you are facing now, There is a freedom that comes when you can say, “God is on this. He is not surprised so I will NOT freak out. It is going to be okay, because God loves me, He has a plan for me, and He always does what is right.”
When worried, remember Jesus is in charge.
Here’s something else we can learn from Jesus . . .
2) When Mistreated, Remember Jesus Is Your Example.
Some of you have been hurt by others, assaulted by others, and abused by others. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:15 that, “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.” In Jesus we have someone who knows what it is like to be hurt, assaulted, and abused. We have a God who knows what we are going through and can sympathize with our hurts.
How did Jesus respond to that mistreatment? He just “took it,” didn’t He? Because God is in control and always does what is right, even mistreatment at the hands of others is somehow in keeping with His perfect, sovereign, ways. The Bible puts it this way in 1 Peter 2:21-23, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”
What are we to do you do when people mistreat us? The Bible says look to Jesus for your example. He did not return insult for insult but rather, “committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” In other words, Jesus took His mistreatment and turned it over to the sovereign care of the Heavenly Father. We are to do the same. When people mistreat you, remember that God is on His throne, and He will judge those who spoke ill of you, mistreated you, or ridiculed you.
When worried, remember Jesus is in charge. When mistreated, remember Jesus is your example. Thirdly . . .
3) When Weak, Remember Jesus Is Your Strength.
Verse 69 is powerful. After telling the Jewish leaders that He is not going to dignify their question about His being the Messiah with the answer they seek, Jesus makes this powerful statement in verse 69, “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” In other words, in just a short while – referring to His death, resurrection, and then ascension to the right hand of the Father – hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
When weak, remember Jesus is your strength. He is seated at the right hand of the power of God! No matter what you face, Jesus is your strength. He is at the right hand of the power of God, and He will grant you His strength and power to get through it all.
What joy to remember where we are headed when this life is over! Jesus says, “Hereafter.” Like Jesus, we may go through difficulties and dangers here, but hereafter we share in the glory of the One who sits at the right hand of the power of God.
Here, we endure hardships; hereafter we enter heaven.
Here, we receive ridicule; hereafter we receive reward.
Here, we suffer death; hereafter we enter into eternal life.
When weak, remember Jesus is your strength.
In this passage Jesus was put on trial. He is still put on trial today. People mock Jesus today in secular university, in the media, and in homes across your city. Every time you complain about God’s way you are prosecuting God. You are mocking Him and ridiculing Him. But one day it will be we who are on trial. You will be on trial. I will be on trial. Will you be ready to face Him?
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”