I AM, The Greatest (Luke #29)

Text: Luke 7:24-30

“Duh”: a common expression used to convey a sense of obviousness or stupidity in a person’s statement or action. The cruder form is “No ….” you know what. These next things the LORD Jesus Christ says to the crowd could be summed up with the word “Duh.”

“Duh” (vss 24-26)

  • The LORD is stated the obvious in order to kick their consciences in gear.
  • What went ye out to see? What were you looking for?
    • Look you know you didn’t go to the bank of the Jordan River to watch the leaves blow in the wind. You went out there to see a novelty preacher.
    • You didn’t go out to see some well-manicured politician. You went out there to see something you’ve never seen before in John Baptist.
    • You didn’t just go out to the Jordan River to hear a preacher preach. You went out there because John Baptist was a prophet among you.
  • John Baptist was so clearly the prophet who prepared the way of the LORD that it was common knowledge among believers and non-believers.
    • Jesus used that against the religious hypocrites to shut them up on one occasion. Jesus asked them one time whether John’s baptism was from God or from man.
    • The religious hypocrites trying to trap Jesus knew they couldn’t say from God b/c then he’d ask why they didn’t believe John. They also knew they couldn’t say John was just a crazy man b/c nobody believed that and they would look stupid saying it.
    • So they didn’t answer. Jesus said, then I’m not answering your questions either.
  • Jesus question is a good question for you today. What are you here for?
    • You’re here because you know you need the LORD’s help.
    • You know your kids need the LORD’s help.
    • You need a encouragement from the LORD.
    • You need a direction from the LORD.
    • You need a different perspective on your situation from the LORD.
    • You need something from the LORD and that’s why you got up, got dressed, and drove over here.
    • And what sense does it make to do this and then ignore what the LORD says?!

Christ is better than the greatest prophet (vss 27-28)

  • There were many prophets. Men like Isiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Elisha, Zechariah, and even David was considered a prophet. But none of them were THE prophet. THE forerunner who would prepare the way of the LORD. None of them were THE messenger setting straight a generation into which the LORD Jesus Christ would appear.
  • Isaiah, seven hundred years before, called the coming of John Baptist The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
  • The prophet Malachi spoke of this Messenger four centuries beforehand. Jesus said this man is greater than all the prophets before him. Jesus said there was not a greater prophet than John.
  • BUT, Jesus says there is someone greater than John among them who is more than the messenger of God, He is the Son of the living God. He isn’t a messenger from the divine, this man, Jesus Christ, is divinity in the flesh.
  • The Messenger of God is great, but the Son of God is greater!
  • Let me address some really bad teaching here. The practice of taking statements about Jesus Christ and making them about you and me is bad theology.
    • Somebody said this is how you and I can be greater than John Baptist. No. This has nothing to do with you being greater than John Baptist.
    • Someone said John wasn’t “born again” but you can be and therefore you’ll be greater than John. Wrong.
    • Somebody said you’re in the kingdom of God but John can’t be. Wrong.
  • He that is least?! Why does Jesus Christ call himself the least in the kingdom?
    • But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:… he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
    • Jesus Christ gave up everything including his own life so that you and I could be made the righteousness of God in him.
    • Matthew would say from this point on God’s kingdom, as represented by the Son of God Jesus Christ, would suffer violence and the violent would take him by force. The kingdom of heaven was not land, the kingdom of heaven had come down in the form of a man named Jesus Christ.
  • One thing you need to take note of is that every story about Jesus Christ’s life that Luke records is meant to highlight Jesus Christ’s identity. Not you, not me. Jesus Christ is the hero in every event Luke records.

Now justify God in your life! (vss 29-30)

  • So what did you come to see? What did they go to see? You know. They knew what they went out to see. Now it’s time to justify God. Let God be true! I mean that’s why we’re here right?
  • Is it fear stopping you like it was them?
    • Because I’m afraid it’ll cost me socially.
    • Because I’m afraid it’ll cost me financially.
    • Because I’m afraid it’ll mean my children may not get everything they want.
  • They justified God by submitting to John’s baptism. (If that’s all it took, that’s easy. I’d do that in a heartbeat. If getting dunked in water was the only thing that justified God in my life, that’s an easy fix. But the price they’d pay socially wasn’t easy.)
  • They justified God by taking the next step God prescribed in their lives.
    • You’re going to justify God the same way. Take the next step. Deal with what God is dealing with you about.
    • I need to be godly in my relationship with food, let’s start there, or not!
    • How about needing to be godly in my relationships with other people?
    • You need to be godly in your relationships with Christians.
    • You need to be godly in your work environment.
    • All of these things are ways you justify God in your life. And ways we accept the counsel of God in our lives.
    • You find out, like a parent, God as a Father gives instruction and counsel to protect and help people.

Let’s get back to that question. What did you come to see? Jesus says you know what you came for. You came to hear from God. The only thing left for you to do is justify God in your life. Let God be true in what He says to you!