Summary: You are either stepping towards God or away from Him. There is no neutral position.
* It’s important to get good directions.
* In November, 1975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail. (September, 1980, Campus Life)
* Read text.
I. It Teaches of God. (14-17)
* Jesus was in disguise, encognito.
* He taught, much like He did when He was 12 years old.
* He had amazed them then with His knowledge of the Word.
* He also amazed them whit his style. “No one ever spoke like this man.”
* Jesus was soft on the seeking and tough on the hard hearted.
* It is easier to be opposite, tough on the weak and gentle with the hard-hearted.
* Also note the Jews seldom let anyone but their own teach.
* J. C. Ryle: “But the Jerusalem Jews, in their pride and self-conceit, put down anyone as comparatively ignorant who had not been trained in their great metropolitan schools.”
* They marveled most because they heard the voice of God.
* When you hear truth, it touches your soul. Some love it, some hate it.
* No one is neutral. You hear and are changed, or you hear and disregard it as foolishness.
* Yet we know many who hear and it seems to have no impact.
* 2Timothy 3.7 warns about those, “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.”
* What is missing in these?
* Vs. 17 - “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”
* In other words, instead of thinking: “I must first know everything clearly, then I will act” — we should say, “I will act on the knowledge I have and trust God to give more as needed.”
* Whoever is faithful in little things, can be trusted with more.
* Ill. Walking in a dark wood with a lantern. The light is wonderful, but the path it reveals is limited. More path appears only as we walk in the light we already have.
II. It Glorifies God. (18)
* The Apostle Paul exemplified giving God the Glory.
* Ephesians 3:8 - To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
* 2 Corinthians 4:5 - For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.
* Jesus says, “Test my ministry by this: who is glorified? I am preaching to you God’s grace; others preach for their honor. Which is from God?”
* The test of my teaching and all church leadership must be the same: does it honor Jesus and humble sinners?
* Do I point you to God’s grace as fully sufficient, or to your efforts as necessary contributions?
III. It points us to God. (19-24)
* Jesus healed on the Sabbath, breaking the traditions of the Jews, but not the laws of God.
* The Jews had “commentated” the Laws of God to where they could live by them and look down on those who couldn’t.
* Jesus’ teachings always attacked the myth that these were pleasing God with their lives.
* His healing people on the Sabbath was meant to drive home His teachings.
* In order for the Leaders of the Jews to circumcise some children on the eighth day, they would have to circumcise on the Sabbath. Childbirth does not take a break.
* To keep the law of Circumcision, the law of the Sabbath was broken.
* Jesus said, “I did the same as you, but more perfectly. I made the person whole.”
* “And you, he added, break the law of love by plotting to kill me.”
* First, we must be slow at judgment.
* Poem “Don’t find fault with the man who limps or stumbles along the road. Unless you have worn the shoes he wears, or struggled beneath his load. There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt, though hidden away from view. Or the burden he bears, if placed on your back, might cause you to stumble too.”
* Secondly, resist the temptation to justify your sins and condemn others.
* These leaders sought to kill Jesus, but denied it.
* When He revealed that, they said He had a demon. Why?
* They knew He was reading their minds, but they refused to understand how He could.
* They called the light darkness. They knew their murderous intentions and called that darkness light.