St. Luke's Church Faribault
  • By His Grace
      • Psalm 95:3–5NIV2011

      • Psalm 95:6–7NIV2011

  • Come, Thou Almighty King
      • Psalm 70NIV2011

  • There Is A Redeemer
  • Oh How He Loves You And Me
  • prayer
    We have been studying the book of Romans verse by verse. Last week we concluded a section that ended chapter 1. With Easter three weeks away, this is a good point to take a brief break form our study of Romans, in order to prepare our hearts for Easter. Following Easter we will resume our study of Romans, right where we left off, and begin with chapter 2.
    This morning we are going to look at events related to the passion of our Lord, as recorded in the gospel of Luke.
    As you may remember the final week in Jesus’s earthy life begins with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the Sunday of Passover week. This year Palm Sunday will be on April 14th, and Easter is the week following April 21st. Sometimes people wonder why Easter is not on the same date from year to year.
    Easter is the day Jesus rose form the day. Jesus rose form the dead on the first Sunday following the passover. Therefore, in order to calculate Easter we need to know when passover occurs.
    The jews use a lunar calendar based on the the phases of the moon rather than the solar calendar we are familiar with. Passover occurs on the first full moon following the spring Equinox. The spring equinox, or the first day of spring was March 21, the first full moon after that is on Friday the 19th. Therefore, passover falls on Friday the 19th,. Friday marks the day Jesus was killed which makes Easter Sunday April 21st.
    We are going to pick up the gospel of Luke in chapter 22. For the last three years Jesus and his disciples have been traveling around from town to town, preaching the good news and performing miracles.The news of the miracles has have been spreading, and Jesus and his disciples are gathering quite a crowd.
    Sunday of this week Jesus road into town on a donkey to cheers and the waving of palm branches. He has spent the rest of the week teaching in the temple in plain sight of the religious authorities. According to the religious authorities, Jesus is a problem. He is a problem because he seems to be stirring up people to follow Him, people are referring to Him as the messiah. The crowd is hopeful he will lead a group to overthrow the Roman government.
    The people in charge realize that they have a pretty good thing going. The partnership between Herod and Rome led to the refurbishing of the beautiful temple, and Rome kept the peace. If the people led by a so called Messiah attempted a rebellion it could lead to the brutal Roman soldiers cracking down on all of Israel. Not only would Rome squash any rebellion in a hurry, but they would make life real miserable for anyone living there.So the religious authorities want Him gone, but if they remove Him in daylight, in plain sight, the crowds may riot.
    At the start of Luke 22, Luke takes us behind the scenes, and lets us eavesdrop on the plot to destroy Jesus and subsequently preserve the jewish people or so it is thought.
    Luke 22:1–6 NIV
    1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
    The timing of this event is unclear. It may have happened earlier in the week or even the week before, but Luke is simply placing it here in the narrative to get us caught up on this behind the scenes covert alliance occuring between Judas and the chief priests. The opening verse of chapter 22 does not give us a time stamp other than to say the Passover was approaching.
    Luke 22:1 NIV
    1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching,
    This whole passage has a clandestine feel to it. as we the readers peek on into this event. Most of the characters do not know that is going on behind the scenes. None of the disciples know about this. Only us the reader is let in on what is really going on.
    Luke is telling us that there are things going on around us that we don’t know about. Things behind the curtain of our earthly life, things in the spiritual realm. Things that only God knows, and the battle being fought here on earth is really a spiritual battle.
    Luke 22:3 NIV
    3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.
    He does not elaborate how this happens or to what extant, but just says Satan entered Judas. Most believe that this something less than a full on possession. Usually, when the Bible records demonic possessions, the victim is incapacitated in some way. Here Judas is still able to function. Yet Luke wants us to know that Judas he is heavily influenced by him.
    In Luke chapter 4, Jesus went out to the wilderness to face temptation. Jesus was confronted by Satan, and He was greatly tempted by him. In verse 13, of chapter 4 Luke wrote.
    Luke 4:13 NIV
    13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
    Here is an opportune time. Satan is back. He is back and he has influenced one of Jesus’s friends. One of the 12 that he keeps around him, the inner circle. The adversary has now penetrated the inner ranks. He is in close proximity to the target, and no one knows. That is no one except Jesus.
    Somehow, in the mystery of the incarnate God. In Jesus the God/man, some, but not all of the divine attributes of God are visible in Jesus. Somehow the divine nature touches the human nature of Christ. While Jesus is not all knowing, at the time of his incarnation, in other words he still had to ask questions, and learn. He certainly had to learn to walk like all human children, but other times the gospel writers have shown that Jesus also has a supernatural knowledge of events that we do not know about.
    Jesus can see people’s hearts, and motives for instance. And here with regard to Judas, Jesus is aware the plan of God father to save men from their sins, and Jesus is aware of what is going on behind the scenes with Judas.
    But just how does Satan work in Judas’s life. Was Judas a helpless pawn, where Satan entered him and betrayed Jesus? No not at all.
    Remember, God does not create evil, Judas is not just some helpless pawn. Satan just uses the original evil already in Judas’s heart to accomplish the task. We know from John’s gospel that Judas was the treasurer, and as such had his hand in the moneybag. And Satan uses that greed, that Judas already had of His own accord.
    After Satan enters Judas we read,
    Luke 22:4–6 NIV
    4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
    It is like this, God uses your gifts that he has given you. He takes what is there and uses it to further his kingdom. In the same way Satan takes the sin that is already in your heart, and he uses it to further his kingdom. That is why sin is so dangerous, That is why we want to be free of sin.
    At the time, Judas did not necessarily realize everything going on the spiritual realm. He thought he was just helping himself to a little extra silver. Not a big deal. He worked hard, and there is this donkey sale going on. But see that greed is there, in the heart. The more you sin the more the sin is refined, and developed.
    That is why giving and being generous toward God’s kingdom can help fight that sin of greed. Not to earn your way into God’s favor, but because you want to be closer to God, and fighting sin makes you closer to God.
    Satan takes that festering greed, and uses it to turn Judas wherever he wants.And what Satan wants is a partnership with the religious elite to overthrow God’s kingdom. What a plan!
    Satan takes this sin weakness of Judas, and pairs it with the sin weakness of the chief priests. The chief priests have this weakness of pride. They think they know better. They think that by meticulously obeying the law, they are the right ones.
    Yet the whole time Jesus is trying to tell them that they need to come to come to Him to gain eternal life. That sin of pride is already in their heart. It is the sin that keeps them from bowing to Jesus, and it is the sin that they know better than these awful disciples, and they have to have Jesus gone.
    So Satan aligns Judas with them, and infiltrates the inner circle. Jesus knows that Judas will betray him, and because of Jesus’s great love for us, He allows it to happen. He allows the enemy to penetrate the ranks so deeply that he will join Him at the final meal. He allows the enemy to form this unholy alliance with the religious leaders of God chosen people.
    With the stage set, and the enemy in place Luke then tells us about the final meal that Jesus will celebrate with His disciples.
    Luke 22:7 NIV
    7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.
    What follows is a description of the Passover meal, or the Seder, that Jesus celebrated with his disciples. This is the Last Supper, it is Thursday day night of the last week of Jesus’s life. They have this one last time for being together, praying together and being in communion with one another while they eat.
    Today, I am not going through this passage. You have an opportunity to explore this in detail on Thursday of Holy Week, while we celebrate a Seder Meal, and you will see the clear symbolism between the passover seder and communion.
    At this meal however, Jesus points out that he knows about Judas the betrayer, and he knows about Peter’s upcoming denial. Like we said earlier Luke is showing us that Jesus is aware of everything going on in the spiritual realm.
    After the meal. Jesus and his disciples go out of the old city of Jerusalem, down through the Kidron valley and to the Mount of Olives where they will spend the night in an Olive Garden. He leaves his disciples at the entrance to the garden and He goes a stone’s throw farther in to the garden and enters deep into prayer.
    He is praying, in anguish, and they are sleeping. Jesus knows the battle, they don’t realize what is happening. Jesus can see behind the curtain, they cannot. And so Jesus tells them to pray. And what does he tell them to pray.
    For safety? For protection? For endurance? Or strength? All things you would need with what is coming. The normal things to pray for in the moment of crisis. But that is not what Jesus tells them to pray for is it. No Jesus tells them to pray-that you will not fall into temptation.
    Luke 22:40 NIV
    40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
    Luke 22:46 NIV
    46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
    So that you will not fall into temptation. That is the real problem. Not the lack of the other things. Those are things God supplies. It is the temptation that preys on with the evil that is already in our hearts, and forms that unholy alliance with Satan to thwart God’s Kingdom.
    It is that line right out of the Lord’s prayer.
    Matthew 6:13 NIV
    13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
    This seems to be pretty important. When something is mentioned several times like that in scripture we need to take note. Pray that you will not fall into temptation. The other thing to note about this is what happens next.
    Luke 22:47 NIV
    47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,
    While he was still speaking....While Jesus is saying pray that you do not fall into temptation the guy that fell into temptation comes in—He is leading the rest of the them-the chief priests the temple guards, the religious people, the unholy alliance forged in the spiritual realms aligned with the darkness of men’s hearts, and approaches the son of God, with an act of........ defiance? no! Not an act of defiance, but an act of devotion. He approaches Jesus to kiss Him!
    Jesus himself even though he knows what is going to happen, rhetorically asks
    Luke 22:48 NIV
    48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
    Judas- He uses his name, almost like trying to call him out of that evil filled stupor, Judas, are you really going to hand me over with an act of devotion?
    Luke 22:49 NIV
    49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?”
    What they couldn’t see-now they see-When they saw what was going to happen, they ask Jesus if they should strike with their swords. Evidently they misinterpreted Jesus words a few verses back in verse 36
    Luke 22:36 NIV
    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
    He said if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. This seems confusing, so it seems logical that the disciples should expect to fight, but here is the back story.
    Previously in Jesus’s ministry he sent the disciples out to preach the Gospel in the countryside. And Jesus reminds them of that
    Luke 22:35 NIV
    35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered.
    Nothing. God provided for them during that time, they didn’t need food, or a place to stay or clothes, God provided. But now, they are about to enter a different time. The Son of man is going to the cross. Times are changing. The missionary journey will still happen. they will still go out, but this time they may need things. They may need a cloak, a purse, a bag, and perhaps even a sword.
    Maybe not for offense as much as protection. There are robbers and thieves about perils around every corner, a sword might not be unreasonable. But here---they jump to conclusions,
    Luke 22:49–50 NIV
    49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
    And Jesus doesn’t even have a chance to answer, before one of them, and it is Peter strike’s the servant.
    There is a temptation of taking matters into our own hands, instead of waiting for God’s promise to happen. Like Abraham, did not wait for the promised son from Sarah, and instead had a son with Hagar. The Pharisees were taking their own rightness with God into their own hands instead of waiting for the promised Messiah to set them free.
    See Peter thinks that this is not God’s plan. He thinks that unless he strikes with the sword God’s plan will never take place. He did not even wait for the Lord’s replay. But Jesus doesn’t allow that. Jesus steps in quickly.
    Luke 22:51 NIV
    51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
    He stops the disciples, and he heals. He even heals his enemies. The people coming to arrest Him get healed.
    Luke 22:52 NASB95
    52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?
    I switched the translation here to the NASB because the word the NIV translates as rebellion is often translated as a robber. When you think about it, what is a rebellion but a robbery of power.
    Jesus says Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?
    In John 10:1 John uses that very same word when talking to the Pharisees,
    John 10:1 NIV
    1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
    In John 10, Jesus is talking about coming to the Father, in faith. Jesus says He is the gate the only way to God is through Jesus. It isn’t through our own means. If we try to come God by ourselves, we are a robber. What does a robber do? they take that what does not belong to them. Salvation belongs to the Lord. He will establish his kingdom by Jesus, and through Jesus and for Jesus. For the Glory of God alone. The religious people are trying to rob God of His glory, through what he does, by doing it on their own, for their own glory.
    The chief priests, and temple officers, are essentially trying to get rid of Jesus because they want the glory for themselves. They want the market on religion for themselves. They fell to the temptation of receiving their own glory-which we call pride.
    Now back to Luke 22:53 with that in mind.
    Luke 22:52 NASB95
    52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?
    Do you see this, Jesus is saying, are you coming at me, as if I am a robber. When all along these people are the robbers. These are the one that are trying to come into the sheep pen by another way. These are the ones who want the glory for themselves, by their own works.
    Theses are the one that have made the unholy alliance and are being exploited by the real enemy the real thief who comes to kill steal and destroy.
    This Jesus says, this is your hour, when darkness reigns. At least for now, at least at this moment you are having your moment, or at least it appears, so for now. For in the end you cannot take what you Jesus will not allow you take, and in the end the glory will go to Jesus.
    Now for us.
    As we look at this, it is easy for this to have no real lasting impact on us. We wow, glad that is not me. Whew! How could they do that? I would never sell innocent Jesus for money. I would certainly never cut someone’s ear off. This is then when darkness reigns. Look at Jesus this poor innocent Jesus being led away because of these bad men. He didn’t do anything wrong, so sad. That is just what Satan want you to think.
    Jesus was there because he wanted to be there, Not because of Judas. Jesus could at any time say the word and a whole legion of angels would be at disposal. No one robs Jesus of his life, He lays down His life of His own free will and he takes it up again when he wills, when he please.
    The only reason Jesus is here in this position is His love for us. His love for us is why he allows this hour of darkness at all. He came to this hour to overcome the evil that is already in mens hearts. In fact He is in that spot in the first because he chose to place himself there so that he could pay the price for the evil in the hearts of you and me.
    We have the same pride that the religious leaders have. We don;t like to think so, but that is the pride talking. We have the same greed that Judas has. We don;t like to think so, but it is there. We have the same temptation to take matters into our hands that the disciples have. We have the same desire to take the glory for ourselves that they all have.
    The enemy will take those sins that are being harbored in our hearts, and use them to further his plan to steal and kill and destroy-God’s Kingdom.
    1 Peter 5:8 NIV
    8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
    Be alert! the enemy prowls around looking to destroy any one of us, if not all us. The enemy exploits what we have, and He uses that to thwart the mission of Jesus and His kingdom. He will take our sins, like pride and greed and use them to entice us into a church fight.
    You know in all church fights both sides are always convinced they are the ones doing the right thing. They see the other side as Judas. The enemy is exploiting the pride of both of the participants, the people who think that they have to take God’s matters into their own hands and he exploits them to steal and destroy that which is God’s.
    That is just one way, he uses our pride to cause divisions among friends, thus discrediting the gospel over political view points. He uses greed to destroy families, and divide us, and to override our love.
    Brothers and Sister pray that you do not fall into temptation.
    Remember-Jesus already won the victory. Jesus even in what seems like defeat, has the victory over those dark forces.
    Remember- there is a a battle going on in the spiritual realms for the souls of men.
    -Pray that you do not fall into temptation. and put on the full armor of God.
    Ephesians 6:12–15 NIV
    12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
    In Jesus name.
      • Luke 22:1–6NIV2011

      • Luke 22:1NIV2011

      • Luke 22:3NIV2011

      • Luke 4:13NIV2011

      • Luke 22:4–6NIV2011

      • Luke 22:7NIV2011

      • Luke 22:40NIV2011

      • Luke 22:46NIV2011

      • Matthew 6:13NIV2011

      • Luke 22:47NIV2011

      • Luke 22:48NIV2011

      • Luke 22:49NIV2011

      • Luke 22:36NIV2011

      • Luke 22:35NIV2011

      • Luke 22:49–50NIV2011

      • Luke 22:51NIV2011

      • Luke 22:52NIV2011

      • John 10:1NIV2011

      • Luke 22:52NIV2011

      • 1 Peter 5:8NIV2011

      • Ephesians 6:12–15NIV2011

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