In Luke 11:14-28 (Jan 20 - sermon) Jesus began a flashback to teach His newer disciples lessons about who He is and where His power comes from. In Luke 11:29-36 Jesus teaches His new disciples why He came to earth in the first place.
29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
30 “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
32 “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
34 “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
35 “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
36 “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
The sermon elaborates on why Jesus calls their generation evil and delves into the signs given to them including the miracles Jesus performed. Signs available today are also discussed including the incredible design of the universe, the complexity of cells, and more signs from creation. Also included are signs relating to the Bible: its remarkable preservation compared to other books and its unified message about the one true God (how He created us, how we rebelled against Him, how He has made provision to save us, and how He’s going to fix what we’ve broken in the end).
No miracle or sign could ever convince the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, because deep down they just didn’t want to believe. And so it is with our generation. It’s not that evidence for Christ doesn’t exist (it’s all over the place). The real issue is people just don’t want to see it. And we don’t want to believe in Christ because we love our sin and we don’t want to stop committing it.
Luke 11: 29b - 30
The sermon continues with a discussion of the "the sign of Jonah". The proclamation of judgment was a reality check and was enough to get the people of Nineveh to repent of their sins. Knowledge of your own impending death should motivate you to repent.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jonah isn’t just a sign of judgment; He’s also a sign of grace. Jesus the sinless Son of God came and died on the cross and was buried in order to take the punishment of your sins upon Himself and then Jesus came back to life 3 days later in order to give you the hope of eternal life. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a sign to every evil generation which lives under judgment because of their sin. And the sign is this: All is not lost. You can still find forgiveness and hope through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Luke 11: 31-32
However, if you reject God’s gracious offer Luke 11 says you will still find yourself under judgment because of your sins. And this judgment won’t just come from God, but also other people. The sermon discusses who the Queen of Sheba might be and gives more information about Jonah and his reluctance to deliver God's message to them.
Luke 11: 33
Every generation needs to hear about the salvation they can have in Christ. You didn’t become a Christian in order to be a person that no one knows is a Christian. Instead God has left you in this world after you became a Christian so that others may see the light of Christ in you and be saved like you.
Luke 11: 34-35
But evangelism and discipleship can be long and hard. Unless you’re blind your body sees and knows things through your eyes. And how you interpret what you see or what you know is your worldview or your religion. Whether or not you can look at creation and see evidence for God or whether or not you can read Scripture and be compelled to follow Christ all depends on the status of your eyes, or on the status of your worldview, or on the status of what you already believe beforehand.
Atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians (It doesn't matter how you identify yourself) all have the same facts. We all have the same rock layers with fossils in them. We all have the same technology, the same natural laws, the same mortality rate and on and on. We all have the same facts. So what makes us different is how our eyes see the facts or how we interpret the facts. The sermon expands on one example: the rock layers with fossils in them discussing viewpoints with different world views.
The Bible says you can know if what you think is light is actually darkness by looking at the source. 1 John 1:5 “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” So if your way of thinking or your way of looking at the world is disconnected from the God of the Bible it doesn’t matter if you have 20/20 vision because your eyes are bad. You will mistake darkness for light. On the other hand if both of your eyes are completely blind, but you use the Bible as your number one authority for your thinking your eyes will be good and your whole body will be full of light (not because you’re perfect) but because the bright shining lamp of God gives you His light.
There sermon closes with a quote from William MacDonald. “The attitude that demands a sign is not pleasing to God. That is not faith but sight. Unbelief says, ‘Let me see and then I will believe.’ God says, “Believe and then you will see.’”
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Do you feel an emptiness in your life? Are you seeking answers but don't know where to look? Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Please read the summary of the gospel message, "Four Things You Need to Know About God"