Summary: A look at two short verses where Jesus says He wasn't appointed a judge. Why did He say that? This leads us to a larger discussion of the dangers of coming to Jesus with a pre-existing agenda.
A CONFUSING STATEMENT: Why does Jesus say He’s not a judge?
- Luke 12:13.
- This is an odd statement by Jesus. Why does He say that He was not appointed a judge between them?
- It’s important to read the full sentence. Jesus doesn’t say, “I am not a judge” or “I will never judge.” He says that in this situation He has not been appointed the judge.
- The local rabbi or a local official was most likely the correct judge. Jesus was not the appointed judge in this dispute.
- So Jesus is correctly stating the specific truth to this man’s specific question: I am not the appointed person to judge this dispute.
- The other piece that needs to be addressed up front is why this man comes to Jesus.
- He comes to Jesus, not because he has studied the Scripture and considers Jesus to be the Messiah who ultimately has authority over anything He chooses to.
- No, this man most likely didn’t like the local judge’s verdict and so comes with a pre-conceived agenda. He just sees Jesus as another way to try to get what he wants.
USING GOD: Many treat religion merely as a way to get God’s approval for what they want.
- Luke 12:13.
- What do we want?
- Much of the walk of faith is about beginning to see the world the way that God does.
- Aside from doing what we want, even beyond that God is going to try to move us to viewing the world from His vantage point.
- Some examples:
a. Beyond not answering our shallow prayer for prosperity, God wants us to begin to see in Scripture where He’s concerned about oppressing the poor by charging interest and some of the other questionable capitalism practices.
b. Beyond not answering our shallow prayer for happiness, God wants us to begin to see in Scripture where He is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness.
c. Beyond not answering our prayer to bless building an unnecessarily large church building, God wants us to begin to see that His Spirit dwells in people, not buildings.
- Jesus’ question to us might be: “Who told you I would do that for you?”
- Jesus often answered questions people didn’t ask.
- You can’t just take the part of the Bible you like. You have to take it all.
JESUS WILL NOT BE MANIPULATED: Jesus will not be bound by you “claiming” the right Bible word.
- Luke 12:14.
- The way it usually develops is something like this:
a. We have a pre-existing agenda.
b. We pray carefully selected holy words.
c. Our prayer is not blessing by Jesus.
d. As we move forward, a mess ensues.
- Am I seeking the answer or my answer?
- Do I want my answer or God’s best?
- Am I after God’s will or my will?
- Using Bible words to get what I want.
- Jesus will not bless your manipulation.
- Using holy words as a means to an end.
- The end result (like Jesus’ rejection of the man here) is a mess because Jesus doesn’t come through for us.
- Claiming Bible words:
a. “Prince of Peace.”