Is Jesus just another teacher to you?

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MAIN IDEA

Jesus loves it when you see Him as your Savior and not just another teacher.

key scriptures

Luke 14:25, Eph. 5:1, Matt. 3:17, Luke 14:25–27, Luke 15:1–2

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  • In Luke 14, the people who were present at the house with Jesus (the Pharisees, rich neighbors, etc.) followed Jesus because they wanted to witness Him perform miracles, to follow His example and pattern. They were there to see Jesus as a teacher, not a Savior. They approached Jesus wanting to learn His ways of success but not feed on Him. But the Lord wants us to approach Him as our Savior.
  • Every day we need saving (from lust, anger, bad temperament, stress, and worries etc.). Even though we are to see Jesus as our example, that is not mainly what Jesus wants to be to us. First and foremost, we are to see Him as our Savior.
  • “Therefore be imitators (‘mimētēs’) of God as dear (‘agapētos’ — beloved) children.”
    —Ephesians 5:1 NKJV
  • imitators (‘mimētēs’)” — The Greek translation of this word is “mimētēs,” which means “mimic.” 
  • dear (‘agapētos’ — beloved) children” — The Greek translation of the word “dear” is “agapētos,” which means “beloved.” This is the same word that was used when the heavens opened after our Lord Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river and our Heavenly Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).  
  • Those who know they are loved by their Father will imitate their Father. The way we end up imitating God—learning from Him and following His ways—is by knowing that we are loved by Him! The first thing the Lord wants us to wake up knowing every day is that He loves us and delights in saving us. The Lord did not just save us one time or once in a while. He saves us every day from the negative situations we may find ourselves in!
  • Practical wisdom for parenting: Children will imitate their parents when they know they are loved by them. The best way to bring up your children is to affirm them with your love and set good examples for them. They will imitate you!
  • The great multitude that followed Jesus went to Him with different self-righteous reasons instead of seeing Him as a Savior (Luke 14:25–27). The Lord was not comfortable with this and responded to them with three parables of demands, telling them they had to bear their cross in order to be His disciples. If they saw Jesus only as an example, then they had to do what He did—give up everything just like how He forsook all of heaven to purchase us, the pearl of great price. 
  • Many people today misconstrue this portion of Scripture and think that as believers, we need to learn to count the cost. However, this portion of Scripture was spoken to people who sought to be a disciple of Jesus, seeing Him as a teacher or example to follow. 
  • Actually, under the new covenant as seen in all the Epistles and all the letters to the Church after the book of Acts, the word “disciple” is not mentioned. This does not mean that there is no place for discipleship (in the sense of being a student of God’s Word). But it is not right to exalt the teaching of discipleship above Sonship and grace.
  • After the great multitude heard Jesus give such a tall order, they dispersed, and another group of people came to Jesus: the tax collectors and sinners who saw Jesus as a Savior. When Jesus was with the Pharisees and the great multitude who drew near to Him, He did not feel at home. But the moment this group of sinners drew near to Him, His whole heart opened up to them and He shared with them three beautiful parables of grace to minister to them. This was because they connected with Jesus as a Savior. They were not there to learn but to be saved, and He loved it! 
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What makes God truly happy

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MAIN IDEA

The Lord rejoices when sinners come to Him and consent to being saved and loved by Him.

key scriptures

Luke 15:3–7, Luke 15:10

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  • When the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This Man receives sinners and eats with them,” Jesus responded with the parable of the lost sheep.
  • “So He spoke this parable to them, saying: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”
    —Luke 15:3–7 NKJV
  • leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it” — Naturally, a shepherd would not leave behind ninety-nine sheep for one sheep. But our Good Shepherd, Jesus, left all of heaven to seek us out.
  • one sinner who repents” — This is a parable about repentance. But how does one repent? This parable shows us that the sheep repented by simply consenting to being carried by its Shepherd, to rest on His shoulders, and to be loved. The sheep repented by consenting to be loved—this is the true meaning of repentance
  • In the three parables of grace in Luke 15 (the parable of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son), the focus was not on the joy of the one who was found but the joy of the One who found the lost! The shepherd who found his lost sheep, the woman who found her lost coin, and the father who found his lost son were overjoyed. These parables show us how happy God is when He recovers us, saves us, redeems us!
  • It is not the angels rejoicing, but God Himself rejoicing when a sinner repents (Luke 15:10). God’s world is made happy by sinners entering into it.  When the Lord entered the world of the Pharisees, one that was full of self-righteousness, He did not feel at home. But what makes Him feel at home is sinners coming to Him and consenting to being saved and loved by Him.
READ IN-DEPTH SERMON NOTES

Introduction: Jesus came to be your Savior

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MAIN IDEA

The Lord Jesus came to be your Savior.

key scriptures

John 3:1–2, John 4:4–7, John 4:16–18

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  • Sometimes God teaches us through the comparison of Scripture (e.g. contrasting two consecutive chapters) so that we can understand the difference between the ways of grace and the ways of the law. 
  • Comparing John 3 and John 4:
    John 3 records an encounter Jesus has with a theologian named Nicodemus while John 4 talks about Jesus’ interaction with a sinner woman from Samaria. The Holy Spirit divinely ordered these two events to be side-by-side to show us how the Lord treats those who approach Him as a teacher as compared to those who see Him as a Savior.
  • In John 3 (John 3:1–2), we see that Nicodemus went to see Jesus late at night because he did not want others to see him meeting Jesus. In contrast, John 4 shows us how our Lord Jesus went to find the Samaritan woman. Jesus is at home with sinners. 
  • God wants us all to be students of His Word but not in the sense of being religious and boastful about our knowledge. The theologians who went to Jesus knew all the rabbinical writings but they did not recognize Him—the author of the Torah they supposedly knew so well. 
  • “Rabbi, we know” — These were Nicodemus’ first few words to Jesus, boasting in his knowledge. And Jesus responded to him by telling him that with all his erudite upbringing, he needed to be born again. Yet, the Lord never spoke these strong words to the Samaritan woman. Instead, He spoke to her gently and revealed Himself to her as the Messiah.
  • The Lord does not want us to merely see Him as a teacher, as someone we can learn from. Some people might feel that they can do everything by themselves and only turn to Jesus as a teacher they can learn from. This is a form of pride. Instead, the Lord wants us to take nourishment from Him. He calls Himself the bread of life and wants us to eat of this bread!
  • Jesus wanted to be alone with the Samaritan woman so that He could minister to her. The cure for a lonely heart is time alone with Jesus. 
  • When Jesus spoke to the woman, He spoke with divine tact. He praised her for being honest about her situation (John 4:16–18). This is how the Lord deals with sinners. He approaches them not with an attitude of condemnation. Instead, He gently let them know that He knows everything about them and still loves them! Having experienced Jesus’ grace toward her, the Samaritan woman became an instant evangelist to everyone in her village.
  • After the Lord’s encounter with the Samaritan woman, He was refreshed and at rest. This was because a sinner had come and taken from Him. This is what makes Him feel at home.
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God's kingdom is not like Man's world

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MAIN IDEA

While Man’s world is all about elevating and proving oneself, God’s kingdom is all about showing grace to the humble.

key scriptures

Luke 14:1–6, Luke 14:7–11

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  • Comparing Luke 14 and Luke 15: the world of Man VS the kingdom of heaven

    “Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, "Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?" And they could not answer Him regarding these things.”
    —Luke 14:1–6 NKJV
  • they watched Him closely” — Jesus did not feel at home in this place. He was being scrutinized because the Pharisees were trying to find fault with Him.
  • Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” — After Jesus healed a man with dropsy, He was met with disapproval from the Pharisees for healing on the Sabbath. This is when He made it clear that He sees those who have fallen sick as though they have fallen into a pit and need help to be pulled out. Sick people are not meant to be given requirements to meet before they can receive their healing. They are meant to be helped immediately. The Lord has compassion for those who are sick and His heart is to heal them.
  • “So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:  “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
    —Luke 14:7–11 NKJV
  • “he who humbles himself will be exalted” — God does not want us to exalt ourselves. When we do so, we put ourselves in a stressful position where we have to constantly maintain this image we have created for ourselves. Instead, when we humble ourselves, the Lord will exalt us. When the Lord exalts us, He puts us in a position that cannot be shaken by others.
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03

Find everything you need in Jesus

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MAIN IDEA

Come to the Lord Jesus with your needs and see His desire to supply you abundantly.

key scriptures

Luke 14:16–17, Gen. 24:1–4, Luke 14:18–20

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  • The parable of the great supper

    “Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’”
    —Luke 14:16–17 NKJV
  • a great supper” — This great feast is not just a physical feast but a spiritual feast set up by the Lord for us. There has never been a richer feast than this.
  • all things are now ready” — This feast includes every blessing you need (e.g. healing, family life, provision). Everything at this feast has been prepared for us by the Lord to freely enjoy! Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it came cheap. The Lord’s blessings are free because they were paid for by His priceless blood. His finished work at the cross completely fulfilled all the claims of God’s holy law, rendering our sins forgiven, making us righteous, giving us access to all the good things He has for us. This includes healing. Jesus mentions in the Gospels that healing is the children’s bread. You will find healing at this great feast that you are invited to.
  • sent his servant at supper time” — This servant in this parable is a picture of the Holy Spirit. In Genesis 24, the unnamed servant (whom Abraham sent to find a bride for his son Isaac) is also a picture of the Holy Spirit. The servant was never named because the Holy Spirit did not come to draw attention to Himself but to draw attention to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  •  A richer feast cannot be put before men because God prepared this feast. There is no need in our lives or exigencies that can arise that cannot be met at this table. Whether it is something for your mind (e.g. perpetual peace, freedom from stress) or deliverance from addiction, whatever we need is found at this table.
  • “But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’”
    —Luke 14:18–20 NKJV
  • Even though there was a rich feast laid in front of them, the people gave poor excuses not to come because their hearts were too blind and hardened to receive from the Lord. Man’s hearts are so predisposed to sin and evil that they cannot recognize or receive the goodness of God.
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04

God's supply is always greater!

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MAIN IDEA

God’s supply will always exceed the demands in our lives.

key scriptures

Luke 14:21–22, Exod. 12:4, Luke 14:23–24, John 6:65–69

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  • “So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’”
    —Luke 14:21–22 NKJV
  • the master of the house, being angry” — Even this anger shows God’s heart of love. He is angry that He has so much to give and provide for man, yet man refuses to take it.
  • still there is room” — Even after the servant brought in the people from the streets and lanes, there was still room for more people to enjoy the feast. This is a picture of how the Lord’s lavish supply for us always exceeds our needs! God’s supply always exceeds our needs and demands.
  • When the Lord first introduced the Passover to the children of Israel, He told each family to take a lamb (a picture of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ), and “if any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor” (Exod. 12:4). This tells us that it is never the case that the lamb is too small for the household but that the household is too small for the lamb! God’s supply will always exceed the demands in our lives. Not only does He fill us up until we are satisfied, but He supplies us so lavishly there is always plenty left.
  • God’s grace is greater than sin. How can Jesus’ death be effective in removing the sins of all men for all time? What Jesus did to make us forgiven and righteous forever is much more efficacious than what Adam did to make us sinners.
  • “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’ ”
    —Luke 14:23–24 NKJV
  • “compel them to come in” — We are not merely invitees but guests compelled to God’s feast. God does not compel us by force or in a way that disregards our will. Instead, He compels us by showing us His goodness and moving our hearts to be willing to receive His grace. It was not our smarts that drew us to Jesus but the compelling of the Holy Spirit.
  • There are some people who are proud in thinking that they chose the Lord. Many of the seventy disciples who followed Jesus walked away from Him because they could not accept that it was the grace of God the Father that drew them to Jesus and not their own intellect and desire to learn (John 6:65–69).
  • Today, we get to enjoy the free favors and goodness of God because He first compelled and drew us to Him. It is all by grace!
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