Summary: A strong challenge to full discipleship.
READ: Luke 6:46-49
We’re going to come straight to the subject matter of these verses this evening. I have no introduction, except to say that:
- in verse 46 - Jesus ASKS A DAMNING QUESTION
- in verse 47 - Jesus CALLS FOR DECISIVE ACTION
- in verse 48 - Jesus GIVES A DRAMATIC ILLUSTRATION
And it is these three thoughts to which I want to draw your attention. Firstly, then, in verse 46 we see ...
1. JESUS ASKS A DAMNING QUESTION
[Read verse 46]
The great issue that Jesus confronts us with here is HIS LORDSHIP in our lives.
Jesus has just finished delivering the greatest sermon in history - His famous “Sermon on the Mount”. He’s talked to the great crowd before Him about the Kingdom of God and how to inherit it; about the weightiest matters of time and eternity; the profoundest truths, yet always in the simplest of words and ideas. But He is acutely aware of those in His audience who are “onlookers” - “observers”. Oh, they nodded their heads in agreement, they even said “Amen!” in appropriate places - if you asked them what they believed they would most likely answer “We follow the great Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth”. BUT FOR ALL OF THAT, Jesus teaching (which they enjoyed) had no radical impact on their lives.
Jesus knows the frustration that many preachers experience most Sundays ... looking out on a group of nodding believers who say “Amen!”, and thank him at the door, but then never DO anything with the truths they’ve been presented.
Jesus knows that frustration not only on Sundays, but every day of the week in fact, as dutiful Christians open their Bibles and read the portion suggested by their daily reading guide, say “Thank you Lord”, close their Bibles and head off to work - forgetting all that they’ve read by the time they reach the front gate.
And so, as Jesus ends His great sermon, He closes with “the appeal” ... “(W)hy do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do the things which I say?”
If Jesus IS Lord of our lives, there must be obedience to what He has to say!
This passage corresponds with MATTHEW 7:21-23. Matthew records Jesus’ words this way ...
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Three (3) things immediately strike me about these poor people who are going to stand bewildered before Christ - found wanting in the Day of Judgment:
A) They cry ‘Lord, Lord’. These are obviously ones who thought they were alright. They know the “lingo”. They’ve called themselves His followers. (Remember the parable Jesus told of the 10 virgins - 5 wise and 5 foolish - the foolish virgins returned from trimming their lamps to find they had missed the bridegroom’s arrival, and they pounded upon the door and cried “Lord, Lord”. They too thought they were going to be at the wedding, but they weren’t ready - they weren’t watching when He came.)
B) There are ‘MANY’ of them. Jesus says: “MANY will say to Me”. (The word here in Greek is “polloi” - the same word used to describe the multitudes that flocked to hear Jesus. “MANY (multitudes) will say to Me ‘Lord, Lord’.”) FRIGHTENING!
C) Note their claims:
i) We’ve prophesied in Your Name!
ii) We’ve cast out demons in Your Name!
iii) We’ve done wonders in Your Name!
These are all good things - but they are “SIDE ISSUES”, every one! (Jesus says the real and central issue is: “I never knew you!”) So many in the Church today are becoming taken up with “side issues” - giving them more priority than the Scriptures do. And of all the side issues stealing the limelight in the Church today, these three that Jesus mentions figure very prominently! There’s never been such a clamouring after directive PROPHECY like there is in the Church today. (Praise God for His prophetic gifts at work in the Church, but God forbid that we should seek after them in the place of the plain teaching of Scripture! God’s Word is our guide, and prophecy should confirm what God is already showing us.) There’s never been such a clamouring after DELIVERANCE MINISTRY like there is in the Church today. There’s been such a clamouring after SIGNS & WONDERS in general like there is ion the Church today.
Friends, we need to be careful not to put so great an emphasis on one part of Scripture that we become all involved with some side issue that takes our attention away from simply following Jesus.