LIFE OF THE MESSIAH – 013
DR. ARNOLD G. FRUCHTENBAUM
VI. THE PREPARATION OF THE DISCIPLES BY THE KING
D. Instruction Concerning Discipleship
Paragraph 115 – Luke 14:25-35
Now go to paragraph 115, instruction concerning discipleship. He makes a statement in Luke 14:26, “If any man come unto Me, and hate not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” And people, especially in certain circles, have trouble about this love and the hate and in the Jewish circles where they like to pick a New Testament they point out that Judaism teaches honoring parents and the New Testament teaches hating parents. The rabbis know better but they want to prejudice the case.
Now in English we tend to use the word “love” and “hate” primarily in the emotional sense and it’s used sometimes that way in Scripture as well. But there’s also another way to use love and hate as merely meaning to choose or not to choose. And so to love means to choose and to hate means to reject or not to choose. And it’s used of a common situation where men went into a shoe store and of all the sandals that will fit his feet, only two pairs to choose from, and it says he loved one, he hated the other. It doesn’t mean that he had this emotional love affair with this one pair of sandals and the other (?) emotional animosity towards the other pair. It simply meant he chose one and did not choose the other pair.
And the point here is that everything that would prevent us from being a true disciple must be removed. And therefore even if our own family members keep us from becoming disciples then we have to make a choice; we have to choose God and not family, no different than Abraham chose God and not his family.
So three lessons here: first of all, be willing to leave all. Secondly, be willing to bear the cross and identify with His rejection. And then thirdly, count the cost; how much of our resources are we willing to offer, willing to commit, to become a disciple. And Jesus demands all of it.
Again, we must declare the distinction between salvation and discipleship. Salvation requires belief of certain truths; when it comes to discipleship it requires you to think things through and be willing to give everything over and simply accept what God provides.
E. Instruction Concerning God’s Attitude Toward Sinners
Paragraph 116 – Luke 15:1-32
Now paragraph 116, instruction concerning God’s attitude toward sinners. Now the occasion that led to this discussion is in Luke 15:1-2, “Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto Him for to hear Him.  And both the Pharisees and the Scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.”
Now the Pharisees had developed a whole list of rules and regulations against those who were not following the Pharisaic way. And those who were fellow Pharisees were called Haverim (?) comrades, and so on, while those who were not following them were called the 'Am ha-Areds, (?) the people of the land, who were viewed as being ignorant of the finesse of Jewish law.
And the rabbis had issued many rules and regulations against non-Pharisees, against publicans, against sinners. And just to give you some of these laws: A Pharisee, for example, was forbidden to either buy anything of a non-Pharisee or to sell anything in the dry or fluid state. Well, everything is either dry or fluid and therefore meaning zero. Secondly, a Pharisee could not eat off his table because then he might partake of something that was not tithed. Thirdly, he should not admit him to his own table unless he puts on the clothes of a Pharisee, meaning he would convert to Pharisaism. Fourthly, not do anything in his presence that would bring up points connected with the laws of purification; after all, we don’t want them to be purified. And fifthly they said there is joy before God when those who provoke Him perish from the earth, and so God rejoices over the death of a sinner and the application to Jesus is if He really was the Messiah He would not associate with this class of society.
So what He presents now is three parables to show the contrast between the Pharisaic attitude and God’s attitude towards sinners. And the first parable, in Luke 15:3-7 deals with the lost sheep. And the emphasis here is on the lostness, because of the tendency of sheep to stray. When the sheep is found then there is joy. This focuses on the work of God the Son. When a sinner comes to believe, in Luke 15:7, “I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons that have no need of repentance.”
The second parable is over the lost coin and here the focus is on the searching. Because the coin is still somewhere in the house it’s only because of surrounding circumstances the coin is not visible, but the focus is not on the lostness but on the searching for what was lost, and this emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit. And when the coin is found there is joy and so when a sinner repents there is joy again in verse 10, “I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.” This all contradicts the Pharisaic mindset.
The third story is the story of the lost son, also called the prodigal son. Here the emphasis is on restoration, which is the work of God the Father. So we deal with two sons, one who is staying at home and working with the Father, and one who wants to receive the inheritance early. And so as a result the father divides the inheritance; the older son is the firstborn son, he would get double the inheritance and the younger son would get less but because it was a wealthy household there was still substantial. But he wasted all of his funds in riotous living. He finally, to survive, had to survive by getting a job feeding pigs, which for a Jew is quite a downward trend. And finally he recognizes that no matter how hard he works his own sustenance is even poorer than what the servants of his father’s house themselves eat.
So he chooses now to go back home, not with the intent of being restored into sonship but to just simply be a servant and he’ll do better than he does working for this one who raises pigs. And so when he comes back we read that the father saw him afar off. It shows that the father was sitting in a position that he could see in the distance. On a daily basis he kept looking for his son to return; he kept on waiting for the son to come back. And when he sees the son approaching in him in the distance, he doesn’t wait for the son to arrive; he runs to his son and greets him warmly.
The father gives him three things; first of all, he gives him the best robe, which is the sign of his birthright. Secondly, he gives him a ring which is the sign of his authority in the household. He gives him shoes or better sandals, a sign of his sonship. And there was a great rejoicing in the household because the lost son has returned. Now the older brother doesn’t like what he sees because the brother has always been very obedient and never has there been a feast thrown for him; never have these gifts been given to him. The elder son has never been rewarded.
The lesson to be learned is that rewards will not be given on the basis of merely merit, which is the teaching of Pharisaism, but on the basis of mercy. And the one that was never gone away is not the one that needs to be restored; the restored son is the one that they have to rejoice over. At the end of Luke 15:32, “for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” And the work here now is the work of restoration, the work of God the Father.
So there are three parables that explain the differential between the Pharisaic attitude toward sinners and God’s attitude towards sinners; and God does not rejoice over the death of a sinner but He rejoices over those who come to Him.
F. Instruction Concerning Wealth – Paragraph 117a
1. The Parable of the Unjust Steward – Luke 16:1-13
Paragraph 117, instruction concerning wealth. On your outline you have three subdivisions; point 1, the parable of the unjust steward in Luke 16:1-13. This refers to a steward that has been unfaithful in his trust. The background to some of the teachings here is the teaching in Pharisaism; whomsoever the Lord loveth He makes rich. And so they gave themselves to becoming wealthy because wealth was, in their view, a sign of divine favor. Unfortunately (?) of the Church have formed the same trap in their health and wealth message; whomsoever the Lord loves He makes wealthy.
And when the son has given his, say two week notice, the time he has left he uses wisely; he uses the time that he has left to make new friends so that when he loses this job he’ll find a new job that somebody will give him. Now Luke 16:8 says, “his lord commended the unrighteous steward,” he was not commended for his unrighteousness, he was commended for his wisdom in his actions. The time he had left in his job he used wisely to make friends for the future. The application comes in verse 8, “for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of light.” This is the area, not of spiritual truth, but in the area of finances, because sometimes believers will get a bit flippant—God will take care of me; and therefore they make no provisions, for example, for the future, for their children, for retirement, for insurance, health benefits and so on. And often the issue… what it comes down to is that in the aspects of finances, often unbelievers have greater wisdom than believers.
Then comes the application in Luke 16:9, since you “make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles.” Now again, the word “mammon” is a common rabbinic term referring to all the world offers materially. And the point is he says that we ought to use material things of this world to win friends for the Lord. And some of these people that we lead to the Lord by using material means will go into heaven before we do. And “when it shall fail,” when the mammon fails, now our material world fails for us when we die and we go into heaven, those who we helped to bring to the Lord will be in heaven welcoming us in the eternal tabernacles.
Now the lessons He gives in these verses, especially Luke 16:10-12, there are two interlined levels; it includes both economic issues and spiritual issues. And the points he makes here is first of all, if unbelievers can trust believers with the mammon, with the material things, they will then trust believers with spiritual things. If the unbeliever can trust the believer on a mammon level, material level, he will learn to trust him on the spiritual level. That’s why believers have to be very careful how they walk before unbelievers because the unbelievers learn to trust us.
So secondly, this will open them to the true wealth, which the believer can share. This can open them to listen to the true wealth, spiritual wealth, that the believer can share with them.
Thirdly, the true wealth which belongs to believers is the message that they have from Jesus. The true wealth which belongs to believers, the spiritual wealth, is what they have from Jesus.
So fourthly, if unbelievers accept the message they will return what the believer owns, they will return in the sense to greet them in the heavenly tabernacle.
So fifthly, believers again can use the material things of this world; can use the mammon, to win friends for the Lord.
Now Luke 16:10, “He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much,” and if they see how faithful you are in certain levels they’ll trust us with greater levels. Again the issue is not either Lord or mammon but whom we are serving. Luke 16:13, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The principle is, the issue is whom are we serving. We need the mammon of this world to pay our bills and things of that nature but are we subservient to the material things of this world? Is this the goal? Or are we subservient to the Lord? And once we’re subservient to the Lord then we know how to deal with our material things; we’ll know what part of our income has to go meet needs, what part we want to save, what part we want to support the Lord’s work, all these have to be brought into consideration. But making God the first in our life and being a servant of the Lord will teach us how to properly deal with our mammon, our material things. But the focus is not to become wealthy; the focus is to trust God to provide our needs. If He makes us wealthy, that’s fine, but He doesn’t promise wealth. Whether we are poor, middle class or wealthy, we must always all put our trust in the Lord and how we deal with our mammon will work itself out.
2. The Conflict with the Pharisees – Luke 16:14-16
Now under point two on your outline, in verses 14-18, this leads to the conflict with the Pharisees, and the reason is spelled out in Luke 16:14, “And the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things; and they scoffed at Him.” What He teaches doesn’t go along with the concept whomsoever the Lord loves He makes rich. So He repeats something He also taught previously because of Pharisaism the way into the Kingdom was being blocked. And so a Jewish person has to almost fight bodily to be able to break through to see what the truth is. And one key example is in Luke 16:18 concerning the issue divorce. Again, He’ll give us more details on this in paragraph 122, we’ll get to that later so I’ll make my comments in that paragraph, but it’s one example of a key difference between what Pharisaism taught about adultery and what the Biblical standards are.
3. The Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31
Then He goes on to tell the story of the rich man and Lazarus to counteract the concept, whosoever the Lord loves He makes rich. He also counteracts the previous teaching mentioned, the Pharisaic concept that all Israel has a share in the ages to come, so anyone that was born a Jew automatically goes into God’s Kingdom. He talks about an unnamed rich man and then a Jew who had been a poor beggar, who He does name, by the name of Lazarus.
Notice in Luke 16:20, “Lazarus was laid at his gate;” the rich man had a nice big home with a compound wall and Lazarus would beg at the wall, the compound wall. So every time the rich man went in and out of his house, in and out of his compound, he would see Lazarus. He had ample opportunity to fulfill the second most important commandment in the Mosaic Law, to love your neighbor as yourself; this he failed to do. And again he failed to fulfill the second most important commandment because he failed to keep the first one, to love God with his whole being. Had he loved God he would have know what to do with his mammon. But instead of sharing his wealth with those who were in need he horded it. Now when both men died the exact opposite occurs; it is the rich man who ends up in hell; it is Lazarus who ends up in Abraham’s bosom.
Now to understand what’s going on let me deal with the situation as it was up until Christ ascended. There’s a place in the center of the earth that goes by the Hebrew name of Sheol. In Greek it’s called Hades; Hades and Sheol are the same thing, one is simply a Greek name, one is simply a Hebrew name. And through the Old Testament you read everyone who dies goes into Sheol or Hades, without exception. And so as soon as the believers went to Sheol or Hades (?) and so did unbelievers (?) but they had two different compartments. Now the righteous side, those who were believers, would go into a place that is referred to as Abraham’s bosom. Now this is a very common name in rabbinic writings from this period. It appears only once in the New Testament, here in this passage, in verse 22, but it’s a very common Jewish name for this place, Abraham’s bosom.
It’s also referred to as Paradise. The word Paradise was a term used where believers go and so at this point Paradise was in Abraham’s bosom. Today Paradise is up in the third heaven. In the future Paradise will be the New Jerusalem upon the new earth but at this stage Paradise was in Abraham’s bosom in the righteous side. Because animal blood was able to cover the sins of the Old Testament saints it could not take the sins away and the Hebrew word for atonement does not carry all of the theological implications of the term as we use it in English; it simply means to cover in the sense of the sins were covered but not removed. And therefore they could not enter into the presence of God upon death. The place they went to is Abraham’s bosom, Paradise.
Now the other side had three subdivisions; this is the side of the unrighteous. That’s why it’s in red. It had three subdivisions; first of all, the abyss. Now the abyss is a temporary place of confinement for fallen angels or demons. So again the demon is cast out, he would normally spend some time in the abyss and then be released. There are demons confined there right now, like those of Revelation 9, to be released as part of the tribulation judgments. And this is also where Satan will be confined for 1,000 years in the Messianic Kingdom, Revelation 20:1-3; also temporarily because after 1,000 years he is released.
The second division, subdivision, is called Tartarus, which is a permanent place of confinement for demons or fallen angels, specifically those fallen angels that intermarried with human women in chapter Genesis 6. In chapter 6 you have a natural intermarriage between human women and fallen angels, which led to the race of the nephilim that brought on the flood. And now these angels who participated in that (?) are in Tartarus, they will never be free again; they’re in permanent confinement, they will be there until the Great White Throne Judgment, then go into the lake of fire. So putting it in more our terminology the abyss is like a temporary jail sentence and Tartarus is like a lifetime jail sentence.
The third subdivision is hell, which is where unbelievers go. When a believer died his body was buried on the earth somewhere but his soul went into Abraham’s bosom; if an unbeliever died his soul went to hell and there was an impassible gulf between the two. This passages shows they could see each other, they could talk to each other, but they could not cross from one side to the other.
Now getting back to our passage, we’ll come back to this chart in a few moments; only as He counteracts the concept that the wealth is a sign of divine favor; He also counteracts the concept in really born a Jew gave them automatic rights into God’s kingdom, and the connection with Abraham is made; he calls Abraham twice his father Abraham, second line in Luke 16:24, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me,” verse 30, “Nay, father Abraham.” And it’s a relationship Abraham acknowledges because in verse 25 he says “Son, remember,” there is a physical tie between Abraham and the rich man but being a descendant of Abraham did not guarantee any spiritual benefits for the rich man.
And the first request he makes is to allow Lazarus to come over and place one wet finger upon his tongue, that’ll give him tremendous relief. But Abraham points out there is this great gulf fixed between us; we can see each other and talk to each other; what Lazarus cannot do is cross from this side to the other. So there will be no relief coming whatsoever. Then the rich man recognizes, he still has his memory, but he has five brothers which are still living and knowing their spiritual state is being the same as his he recognizes that if something doesn’t happen they’ll end up in the same place as he is. So his second request is to allow Lazarus to be raised from the dead to warn the five brothers.
In Luke 16:29 “Abraham says, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” They have Moses, they have the prophets, they have the Scriptures, all they have to do is simply read the Scriptures they have, simply believe the Scriptures as it is written, and they could avoid this place. The rich man says no, what my brothers need is signs and wonders; they need to see miracles and signs. If they’d see Lazarus resurrected from the dead, that’s what will finally get them to believe, but notice the response of Abraham; Luke 16:31, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead.” In other words, if the Bible is not accepted and believed as is written, no amount of signs and wonders and miracles will be persuasive. And the best evidence of that is all the miracles that Jesus performed, even unique miracles never done before, and yet they found a reason to reject Him anyway.
This is sometimes called the parable of the rich man but notice it’s not called a parable at all, and furthermore in Jewish parables there are no names given. There’s no Lazarus, there’s no Abraham in a Jewish parable. This is not a parable, it’s a true story; it’s a real true story that had taken place.
Also notice in your Harmony that He tells the story just before, in paragraph 118 He will raise a man named Lazarus. It’s not the same Lazarus but the name is the same. And the point of telling the story as He tells it here is to point out when the first sign of Jonah is given, when a man named Lazarus was resurrected, they will find a reason not to believe. Here again you see the advantage of the thematic development rather than a geographical development; you see the correlation of one event with the other.
But getting back to our chart, when Jesus died on the cross His body was put into Joseph’s tomb but His soul went into Paradise or Abraham’s bosom, as we’ll see next weekend He will say to the co-rebel crucified with Him, you will be with Me today in Paradise. And so things have changed for the believer as a result of the ascension of Jesus. This is, by the way, Ephesians 4:8-10. Today when a believer dies the body stays here but the soul goes on to God’s presence. To be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord, and you’ll see this, for example, in Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:1-11.
Things have not changed for the unbeliever; they have remained the same. He dies, the body stays here and the soul goes into hell. But when the Millennium is over then the second side of Hades shall also be emptied and all the demons and unbelieving souls will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. And then they’ll be cast alive into the lake of fire. It’s not hell that’s the eternal abode of the unbeliever, it’s the lake of fire that that’s the eternal abode of the unbeliever, which is worse than hell because hell is torment for the soul only but the lake of fire will be torment for both soul and body.
Now from the story He told us let’s draw some lessons concerning the state of the lost. Number one, they are eternally separated from God. They are eternally separated from God, there’s no second chance after death. Secondly, the state is unalterable, it’s eternal, it cannot change. Again, there is no second chance to be saved after death. Thirdly, they are in torment, so much torment that just one wet finger placed upon the tongue will bring tremendous relief but no such relief is forthcoming; they’re in tremendous torment. Fourthly, they’re very conscious of their lostness, there’s no soul sleeping here, they’re very conscious of their lost condition. And fifthly, they do remember opportunities they had to respond correctly and responded incorrectly. They remember opportunities they had to respond correctly but rejected.
Now if you clearly understand the condition of the lost that should again energize us to do the sharing of the gospel all the more. There’s only one way to avoid this state; that’s to believe the simple gospel. And therefore we must take opportunities God provides to share the gospel clearly.
G. Instruction Concerning Forgiveness
Paragraph 117b – Luke 17:1-4
Now in the second part of paragraph 117 we have instruction concerning forgiveness. And again this is a follow-up lesson to one previously in this same paragraph. What He teaches here is three basic things; first of all: be careful not to give offense. But secondly, be careful not to take offense. I’ve met people that are just simply too easily offended, even the smallest kind of look they’re offended by. We should be careful not to take offense. And again, thirdly, we ought to be willing to extend forgiveness as frequently as asked for; forgiveness should be unlimited in number.
H. Instruction Concerning Service
Paragraph 117c – Luke 17:5-10
The third part of paragraph 117, a section concerning service in Luke 17:5-10. Now the issue they raise in verse 5 is from the apostles, “Increase our faith.” Well, how do you increase your faith? And he points out, number one, be simple and earnest in your faith and believe in His power. Secondly, remember the relationship of a master and a servant; what a servant does is what is a necessity for the servants to do. And that leads to point three; the way the faith is increased is by doing the work of the Lord. How does that work? Because when we (?) the work of the Lord we God working, we see Him operating, we see Him answering prayers, we see Him taking active (?) and that will naturally, of course, increase our faith—increasing by exercise, always recognizing all that we do for the Lord is what’s expected of us, but that’s also how the faith will grow.
I. The Resurrection of Lazarus: The First Sign of Jonah
Paragraph 118-120 – John 11:1-44
Now we come to paragraph 118 through 120, we have the account of the resurrection of Lazarus, which will be the first sign of Jonah. These three paragraphs need to be taken together. Now as introductory, this is the seventh of John’s seven signs. We also have the fifth of his seven “I AM’s” in John 11:25, “I AM the resurrection, and the life,” this is the fifth of the seven I AM’s. And in John 11:9-10 you have the sub theme of the conflict of light and darkness.
1. The Sign of Resurrection - Paragraph 118
a. The Death of Lazarus – John 11:1-16
On your outline you’ve got four divisions of paragraph 118, the sign of resurrection and small “a”, the death of Lazarus in John 11:1-16. Now in John 11:1-5 a message comes to Jesus from the two sisters that we met earlier that Lazarus is ill, fatally ill, and the intent of the message was to get Him to come quickly to Bethany and heal Lazarus before he dies. Now where He was geographically speaking at this point of time it would only be a one day walk to Bethany; He had plenty of time to get there in time. And you expect to read when He heard about the illness of Lazarus He departed for Bethany and yet that’s not what we read.
John 11:6 says “When, therefore,” and the very rule of interpreting the Bible is this; whenever you see the word “therefore,” find out what it is therefore; it’s a logical connective, it’s building a case. He already made clear in verse 4 that the purpose of this sickness is not for the purpose of death, though death will occur, but for a greater purpose, a special purpose. And so “therefore,” (?) of Lazarus is He doesn’t go anywhere; He stays put where He is, literally waiting for Lazarus to die. When even Lazarus finally does die it doesn’t mean moving towards Bethany. And in John 11:16 Thomas, our eternal optimist says let’s go with him so we can die with him. Now there’s a positive note. But Thomas tends to be pessimistic, as you recall.
b. Jesus and Martha – John 11:17-27
The second subdivision is Jesus and Martha, in John 11:17-27. When Martha hears of His approach she goes out to greet Him, but also scolds Him for not coming when He was first called. Had He come when He was first called, Lazarus was still living and He could have healed him. Now she does affirm her faith in His Messiahship, and she does understand His power before death; she does not yet understand His power over death. And He teaches her that the one who believes in Him may die physically but he cannot die spiritually.
c. Jesus and Mary – John 11:28-30
The third subdivision is verses 28-32, Jesus and Mary or Miriam. And she also goes out to greet Him and like Martha she also scolds Him for not coming when He was first called. Like Martha she does recognize His power before death but not after death. But she does recognize Him to be the Messiah.
d. Jesus and Lazarus – John 11:33-44
Now we come to the fourth division, small d, Jesus and Lazarus in verses 33-44. He now arrives at the tomb and what He sees is a group of people there, and it says in John 11:33, “weeping,” but look at the footnote, notice the Greek word means wailing; footnote number 6, wailing. They are not merely weeping at the loss, this was the wailing, the loud lamentations that you can still hear in certain kinds of Jewish funerals.
And as far as Jesus’ response, in John 11:35, “Jesus wept,” and it’s a different word than is used for the others; it simply means to shed tears. Jesus shed tears; the others are wailing loudly. As He listens to all of this wailing it says in John 11:38 He groaned in Himself. And earlier in John 11:34 He “groaned in the spirit.” Now look at the footnote of number 7, literally the Greek says he “was moved with indignation in the spirit,” He was angry, the same thing in footnote number 9, “being moved with indignation in Himself;” He was not merely “groaning,” as the English says, He was moved with indignation, he was very, very angry. As far as Lazarus’ death He was weeping; as far as the response of the people He was angry; angry at what sin brought about the human experience, physical death, angry at the response of the crowds, but He was angry.
He then orders the stone to be rolled away, in John 11:39, and Martha, who would be the one careful about such things as we saw, says to Him don’t do that because by now Lazarus has been dead for four days, so by now “he stinketh.” Not normally a nice thing to say about your brother but in this case it would be accurate.
But the mention of four days of deadness makes this significant and helps to explain why He acted the way He did. The common teaching of the rabbis in first century Israel was when a person died the spirit of the person hovered over the body so during the first three days after deadness the spirit hovers over the body and there’s always a small possibility of a resuscitation. But at the end of the third day the spirit descended down to Sheol or Hades; from then on a resuscitation was impossible, only by a miracle of resurrection could the man live again. And because it was a sign intended for the nation, Jesus set the stage in such a way they could not explain this away by mere resuscitation. Lazarus has been dead for one day too many.
In many commentaries when they deal with the resurrection of Lazarus and reasons behind it do they focus only on the love He had for Mary and Martha, and no doubt that’s involved but it’s always wise to look at the textual reasons why He does what He does. And now what was the primary reason for raising Lazarus? Look at John 11:42, “I know that you hear Me always; but because of the multitude which stand around I said it, that they may believe that You did send Me.” The “they” refers to the multitudes.
And notice the primary reason for raising Lazarus was for the benefit of the multitudes, “so that they may believe that You did send Me.” This is a miracle that was… the one miracle He promised to do publicly for them after paragraph 61-64; [Matthew 12:39] “there will be no sign given except the sign of Jonah,” here’s the first sign of Jonah. And when this sign comes they’ll have to respond. And so Lazarus is resurrected and the first sign, Jonah, is given. And because the bodies in first century were wrapped around with strips of cloth He orders the body… Lazarus is now alive again, to be unwrapped so he can move around again.
1. The Rejection of the First Sign of Jonah
Paragraph 119 – John 11:45-54
Now in paragraph 119 we see the response; two different responses. First of all in John 11:45 notice of paragraph 119 many Jewish people respond correctly and believe. In verse 46 many others still belaboring under the (?) report what has occurred to the Pharisees and because the Pharisees know this is the sign He promised to give them, He was speaking to them when He made the promise, they’ll have to respond.
And so in John 11:47, “The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council,” this is the Sanhedrin meeting. The chief priests were Sadducees and the (?) was comprised of both Sadducees and Pharisees. And they do not deny the fact of His signs, “this man does many signs.” But they’re concerned about their own welfare because if this man is (?) to be the Messiah and He’s not the Messiah from their perspective, the Romans would come and we’d lose our position.
And now we meet the high priest of that period of time in John 11:49, Caiaphas, a Sadducee, who conducted the proceedings. And here the Gospel of John begins to point out several ironies; this is the first of these ironies. Now what Caiaphas said was true in one sense, not true in the other sense. Caiaphas says it’s not expedient to let Him live and everybody else perish.
So in John 11:50, “Ye know nothing at all, nor do ye take account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” The way Caiaphas means it is: it’s better for Jews to be killed on behalf of Israel since Israel sufferers are (?) not destroyed by Rome. That’s how he means it. But John points out that in essence what he said that’s true; Jesus did die for the nation the nation does not perish. Caiaphas meant it one way, and John says you take what he says another way, what he said was essentially true; that’s not the motivation for Caiaphas. [? Much of paragraph]
The position of the Sanhedrin is spelled out in John 11:53, “So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put Him to death.” And so this action by the Sanhedrin, led by Caiaphas, the high priest, leads to the rejection of the first sign of Jonah. At this point Jesus departs to an area called Ephraim; it was the final departure from Judea until the point of time comes for Him to make His final journey for His death.
3. Instruction in Light of Rejection
Paragraph 120 – Luke 17:11-37
a. The Personal Witness to Caiaphas – Luke 17:11-19
Now paragraph 120, instruction in light of rejection. Here we see that Jesus did have a sense of humor. Now on your outline there are three subdivisions here; small “a”, the personal witness to Caiaphas in Luke 17:11-19. Now remember when He healed just one Jewish leper that’s when they began their intense investigation of His claims. But now it will not be one leper but ten lepers, nine of whom are Jewish, one is not; he’s a Samaritan but now willing to work under Jewish law.
Now there was a very specific Pharisaic response to all of the three special miracles; in the healing of the Jewish lepers when they began they were under constant investigation of His claims. Secondly, in the casting out of the dumb demon they rejected Him on the basis of being demon possessed. And the third healing of the man born blind they rejected they Jewish followers of Jesus and those who follow Him must be expelled from the synagogue, a policy followed in the Jewish community to this day.
Now here we have another Messianic miracle but this time ten times over, the healing of a leper; nine are Jewish, one is not. And when they ask for a healing, coming to Him on the basis of personal need, notice what He tells them to do. Luke 17:14, “And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go and show yourselves unto the priests,” and the head of the priesthood is Caiaphas. And so now Caiaphas who had just rejected the Messiahship of Jesus led the Sanhedrin to reject Him. Now he gets ten-fold witness to the Messianic claims of Jesus, because ten times over on this day He will have to offer up those two birds; ten times over for seven days he’ll have to answer three questions: number one, yes, they’re all declared lepers; number two, yes they’re all healed of leprosy; but number three, ten times over it was a man named Jesus of Nazareth that did the healing. And so in the case of (?) Jesus after the Sanhedrin rejects him under Caiaphas, they get a ten-fold witness of His Messianic claims.
One comes back before he goes to Jerusalem, in Luke 17:16, to thank Him and that one happened to be a Samaritan. And Jesus points out that for him and for the others it was their faith that healed them and although they had the faith to heal only one came back to say thank you.
b. The New Form of the Kingdom Program – Luke 17:20-21
Now small b, the new form of the Kingdom in verses 20-21. Here again we see that what happens with the rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus, the Messianic Kingdom will not be set up with this generation. And they ask Him about where is the Kingdom of God, these are Pharisees asking, notice what He says to them: “The Kingdom of God comes not with observation:  Neither shall they say, Lo, here! Or, There! For lo, the Kingdom of God is within you.” As your footnote shows, more literally, “The Kingdom of God is among you.” Obviously these aren’t believing Pharisees, the Kingdom of God would not be with “within” them, but it is “among” them because the Mystery Kingdom, remember, introduced in paragraph 64, will not be visible but invisible and so He’s “among” them. This is the new form of the Kingdom as a result of the rejection. He doesn’t give them any total answer because these are not believers.
c. Instruction Concerning the Second Coming – Luke 17:22-37
But now in the third segment, in verse 22 He addresses the disciples. He gives them instructions concerning the Second Coming. There will be more details on this in paragraph 139 that we’ll get to next weekend. For now let’s just say this much of this: that when He comes back in verses 22-24 everybody will see Him. It won’t be like the First Coming. The Second Coming will be very, very visible.
But before that can occur, in Luke 17:25 He must first be rejected. “But first must He suffer many things and be rejected of this generation.” So before the Second Coming can ever occur what must happen first is their rejection of the First Coming, and specifically notice again “this generation,” because “this generation” alone is guilty of the unique unpardonable sin.
In Luke 17:26-30 He points out when the Tribulation hits, it hits at time when things are quite normal on earth. And in Luke 17:31-33 once the Tribulation does start there will have to be a clear decision made: will people stand with Jesus, and only at the end of the Tribulation will we see the Second Coming. As to the question of when will the Second Coming occurs, He gives a cryptic answer in Luke 17:37, “Where the body is, there will the eagles,” or better, “the vultures be gathered together.” Exactly what that means we’ll discuss next weekend in paragraph 139.
J. Instruction in Prayer
Paragraph 121 – Luke 18:1-14
Now paragraph 121, instruction in prayer. There are two basic lessons about prayer; the first lesson in Luke 18:1-8, is again perpetual prayer. Verse 1, “And He spoke a parable unto them to the end that they should always to pray, and not to faint,” especially after the fact that the Kingdom will not be set up with this generation after all, they are to continue praying nevertheless, as he taught earlier, “Thy Kingdom come.” And He points out to them if an unrighteous judge will finally respond because of persistence, how much more is that true with God who is a righteous judge, and therefore teach perpetual prayer, persistent praying.
The second parable in Luke 18:9-14 is to teach humble prayer; humble prayer! He draws a contrast between two men that went to the temple compound during the hour of prayer and the Pharisee used his prayer time to let God know how lucky God was to have him on His team. When he prays to God he simply gives a testimony that ends up being a bragimony and he says I’m not like the rest of these people here, I fast twice a week, meaning Mondays and Thursdays, those were two Pharisaic fast days; I give tithes of all that I get. And the rich man is simply focused on his righteous actions, trying to convince God to do good for him.
But the publican presents a more humble prayer. He says, “Have mercy on me,” the word “mercy” as your footnote tells you under point 6 of the footnote, “be propitiated,” and the word to propitiate means to satisfy the wrath of God against sin. So God’s wrath against sin should be satisfied and it is satisfied by Messiah’s death. So he recognizes his sin, he recognizes his unworthiness and the actions he performs is a sign of mourning. You see that the publican stands afar off, he won’t so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, this is the actions of a truly mourning, a sign of mourning, and he shows how to pray in a humble way. This is not the Pharisee who went back justified, as Luke 18:14 points out, it’s the publican that went home justified. Here we have the motif again, “for everyone that exalts himself shall be humbled; but he that humbles himself shall be exalted.”
K. Instruction on Divorce
Paragraph 122 – Mark 10:1-12; Matthew 19:1-12
And now for the paragraph you’re all waiting for, paragraph 122, instruction on divorce. Now what it says when they come up with this question about be permissible to divorce, Matthew 19:3 says, “And there came unto Him Pharisees, tempting Him,” and the Pharisees themselves were divided on the issue of divorce and remarriage. So how would this be a temptation to Him? And the answer is He is still in Perea which is under jurisdiction of Herod Antipas, and when John the Baptist spoke out against the wrong marriage of Herod and Herodias, he ended up getting arrested and then beheaded. So the hope here is that He will say something about the marriage of Antipas and Herodias and as a result end up also suffering their wrath. That’s why the question they raise is a temptation, a testing of Him.
Now there are two schools of Pharisaism in the first century, and what they disagreed on is the meaning of two Hebrew words of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, about dabar. Normally what dabar means, a matter or manner of uncleanness… a matter or manner of uncleanness. Now what did that actually mean? There are two rabbinic schools; one school was called the school of Hillel and one school was the school of Shammai, these two rabbis began two schools in the first century BC. At this point of time they’re not living any more but the two schools they started continued. And the view of Hillel was more open and Shammai was more strict.
Now the Hillel view is that the phrase about dabar means “for any cause.” So a man could divorce his wife for any cause. And look at the way they raised the question in Matthew 19:3, “And there came unto Him Pharisees, tempting Him, saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause,” that’s the Hillel view. Hillel said that a man can divorce his wife even if she miscooked his food, if she even put too much salt into his food that’s grounds for divorce. And a later rabbi, Rabbi Akiba who followed the school of Hillel, second century AD, said that if a husband finds a woman more beautiful than his wife he can divorce his wife. And so a husband could divorce his wife for any cause, whereas Shammai was very limited; they couldn’t divorce your wife for sexual immorality.
His response here points out five things; first of all, in Matthew 19:4-6 God’s original intent is the permanency of marriage and no divorce; that was the original intent of God, the permanency of marriage without a divorce. So they raised the question, [Matthew 19:7] “Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement,” he points out in Marks account, Mark 10:4-6, Moses did not command divorce, he only allowed it. He allowed it because of the hardness of the heart, but he did not command divorce. The big idea is always forgiveness and restoration; reconciliation, not divorce.
Thirdly, in Mark’s account, Mark 10:11-12 He speaks out against the one-sidedness of Jewish divorce because even to this day in Israel a woman cannot divorce her husband; divorce only works one way, a man could divorce the wife but she could not divorce him. And in the rabbinic thinking a man does not commit adultery against his wife; the wife commits adultery only against her husband. But He points out adultery goes both ways; adultery can be committed both by the husband against the wife and by the wife against the husband.
Them fourthly, in Matthew 19:9 He only allows for one grounds for divorce here which is fornication. The word fornication is the word porneia, it’s our source for the word pornography in fact, but it refers to any sexual immorality, whether it’s premarital sex, extra-marital sex, whether it’s homosexuality, lesbianism or bestiality, there is only one grounds for divorce and that’s fornication of any kind. Again, this only allows for divorce, it does not require it. So he sides with the school of Shammai here, the more strict school, only fornication is the true grounds of divorce.
Now we have a point that is clear and a point that is not clear. The point that is clear is this: no remarriage is allowed for the guilty party. No remarriage allowed for the guilty party but he’s talking about the innocent party and that’s why there’s a division in the church and some apply the prohibition to the innocent party and therefore they forbid either party to be remarried and others take it the prohibition applies only for the guilty party, the innocent party is free to remarry. You can go in the Greek text and it doesn’t help because it can be taken either way. So what every local church simply has to do is take a position on it and then apply it consistently. Churches have gotten into major splits when they went about it inconsistently.
Now at this point in the discussion, after hearing that they cannot put away their wives for any reason they want to, in Matthew’s account, Matthew 19:10 “The disciples say unto Him, If the case of the man is so with the wife, it is not expedient to marry.” But the saying is well, if we cannot divorce our wives for any reason we want to, it doesn’t pay to get married. Now there’s a high view of marriage if I ever heard one.
That’s where He brings on His fifth point. He points out “All men cannot receive this saying, but they to whom it is given,” Matthew 19:11. The word “given” means to be given as a gift. Should a person stay single? And the answer is as a general principle no, but those who have the gift of singleness can make that choice, and the gift of singleness is in 1 Corinthians 7:1-7. Now for those who have the gift of singleness that would be a good choice to make because they can devote all their time to the work of the Lord, a married person has less time for the work of the Lord, married and children even less time. A single person can give their whole time to the work of the Lord and therefore that’s viewed as being a very high spiritual choice but it should be limited to those that have the gift of singleness.
So he points out in Matthew 19:12, some are born eunuchs; secondly, some are made eunuchs by others when they’re castrated, but some become eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of God. So verse 12 ends, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it,” but those who are able to receive it, again, are those are given the gift of singleness.
In my travels in different types of churches I often run into people that say they are hungering and thirsting for the gift of tongues, hungering and thirsting for the gift of prophecy, hungering and thirsting for this gift or that gift; there’s not much of a run on the gift of singleness. I don’t hear people saying I’m thirsting and hungering for the gift of singleness. And yet that’s a very good gift to have according to what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7.
That’s not the whole teaching on divorce and remarriage. Let me go ahead and summarize the difference between divorce and remarriage in the Old Testament and in the New. There are two grounds of divorce in the Old Testament; the first ground is sexual incompatibility. Now keep in mind in the Mosaic Law sexual immorality was not grounds for divorce, and why not? Because someone guilty of immorality would be stoned to death. That renders the innocent party a widow or widower and there’s no problem with a widow or a widower remarrying. So it’s not sexual immorality but sexual incompatibility, Deuteronomy 24:1-4.
The second grounds for divorce is religious compatibility, in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah when Jews married Gentile women that continued to practice idolatry, they were commanded to divorce those wives. The problem was not their being Gentiles but being non-converts to the Biblical faith. And in both cases remarriage was allowed because if you have biblical grounds for divorce in the Old Testament it automatically allowed for remarriage in the Old Testament, so in both cases they were allowed to remarry.
Now the sexual incompatibility issue is rescinded in the New Testament here in paragraph 122. And religious incompatibility is rescinded in 1 Corinthians 7; so Paul writes that if two unbelievers marry and either one person chooses to become a believer and the unbeliever doesn’t like that, then asks for a divorce, the believer is told not to fight the divorce but to grant it. It’s very restricted. So when you come to the New Testament you have two different grounds for divorce: first of all, sexual immorality is grounds for divorce, and in the case I mentioned, when two unbelievers marry, one of them becomes a believer and the unbeliever wants a divorce because of it, the believer is told to simply grant it, not to fight it.
And I would say in both cases where these are valid grounds for divorce it will also allow for remarriage to occur, but it’s very limited to these two situations.
M. Instruction on Entrance into the Kingdom
Paragraph 123 – Mark 10:13-16; Matthew 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17
Let’s take one more paragraph before we break, paragraph 123, instruction on entrance into the Kingdom. And the basic teaching here is that the way we enter the Kingdom is by means of child-like faith. So in Matthew 19:14, “But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me; for of such is the Kingdom of heaven.” Then Mark adds in Mark 10:15, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein.” And the means of entry is by means of child-like faith.
We’ll take our break and then we’ll finish off and go to paragraph 127 and I’ll take a few questions, not many today because I have to catch my flight, but I will tell you some rabbi stories to keep you active till next Thursday.