Summary: Respond to life’s doubts with active faith in God
How many people have seen the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”? You may recall or be able to picture the scene I am about to describe. Indiana Jones is proceeding through an obstacle course of sorts as he draws nearer to the location of the “Holy Grail”, the prize which he seeks. After avoiding pitfalls and giant blades, Indy find himself on the verge of a great ravine only to see a lighted cave on the other side, but how to get there?!? Indy looks to the last of his clues which have guided him so far and realizes that it speaks of faith. With a giant leap he hurls himself out into the ravine and lands on an invisible walkway which leads to the lighted cave and the prize with in.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen.” As Christians, we quickly identify with Indiana Jones’ leap of faith. We see the parallel between Indy hurling himself out into the unknown and the faith needed for the Christian walk. But in real life do we do that? Or do we look for some way of seeing the unseen? For example, when it comes to our stewardship, do we give trusting the Lord’s providence or do we peek at the balance and figure in the bills before we write the check? Is that a lack of faith or financial responsibility? Money is just one area of life that requires faith. But it causes us to examine what kind of faith we are practicing?
A better question would be, “What type of faith does God require?” That’s what we want to look at, so lets turn in our bibles to Luke chapter 4. Luke 4 verse 14-30 where we are reminded again to respond to life’s doubts with active faith in God. Tonight we will see that there will be reason’s to doubt God. We will examine the right and the wrong response to doubt. Join me now in Luke chapter 4 verses 14-30 as we are reminded to respond to life’s doubts with active faith in God.
As we pick up the life of Christ in chapter four of Luke we read verses 14-15, “Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Soon he became well known throughout the surrounding country. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.” Here we see that Jesus returning. From earlier chapters we understand that he has just spend forty days in the wilderness where he faced and withstood the temptation by the devil. We see that Jesus has begun public ministry and word of His miracles is becoming well known throughout the region.
In verses 16-20 we see Jesus carrying out His ministry. On the day of worship, He went to the synagogue as usual and took part in the service by reading the scripture and teaching about it. We need to note here that the passage that Jesus chose to read and explain was a section in Isaiah that the Jews believed was referring to the coming Messiah. In verse 21 we read, “Then He said, “This scripture has come true today before your very eyes.” There was no mistaking what Jesus is saying, “I am the Messiah.” You can imagine that the whole place was stone silent. Maybe a few uncomfortable coughs and alot of eye shifting as everyone looked to one another to see how to respond.
This is not what people had expected. Earlier we see that news of Jesus was spreading because of his miracles. No doubt that people packed the synagogue that morning expecting to see some great display of magic. Maybe some word was out that this man was a gifted interpreter of the word. But it is doubtful that people expected Him to identify Himself as the Messiah. Understand that this is the first time that Jesus Himself claims to be the Christ. Sure there was John, that loony man down by the Jordan and some reported a voice from heaven, but who can believe everything you hear. Now here right before them, Jesus is claim to be the long awaited Messiah.
The first thing we need to understand in order to respond to doubt with active faith is that there will be reasons for our doubt. Notice the people’s response in verse 22, “How can this be?” they asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Sure they were amazed at this guy’s teaching ability but to be the Messiah? There is the saying that familiarity breeds contempt or at least apathy. These people were too familiar with Jesus, they knew His family and Him. Surely the Messiah would not be a carpenter’s son. Who knows maybe they were expecting someone of more regal lineage. Someone like Moses who grew up in the King’s palace only to shun it all a deliver the nation. Whatever it was in their minds they had reason to doubt.