Humanity & Divinity of Jesus (Luke 5:17-26)

Emily Hopping

One of the things that a small church pastor dreads is waking up Sunday morning sick and feeling miserable. When it happens, usually the pastor will try to power on through the sickness and preach anyway as there is usually no one around who can preach with an hour or less notice…Luckily for me when this happened Sunday morning (I awoke vomiting and feeling downright miserable due to some food poisoning), I was able to turn to my lovely bride.

Yelp, Emily stepped up the the plate Sunday and preached her first sermon. And wow did she do a good job! 😀 (you can listen to her online at the PRV website).

Below are her sermon notes (and yes, she did use my notes that I had prepared beforehand – or, rather, that I had started preparing as she had to finish them due to my inability to sit at a computer that morning…) 😕

Public Reading: Luke 5:17-26

The Story:

•    People came from all over

o    News about Jesus had spread

•    Pharisees and legal experts came to check out Jesus (and rightly so!)

o    This is the first time we see them
o    Who are these folks?

* Pharisees – the “separate ones” (the Hebrew meaning) who tried to faithfully follow every part of the Old Testament
* Legal Experts – the scribes and lawyers who copied the biblical text letter for letter; came to power after the exile when the priests were taken away because of their corruption.

•    Sick man lowered down through the roof as they couldn’t reach Jesus any other way

o    Faith = trust (could go either direction depending on your Bible translation)
o    This was a risk as Jesus could have got mad at them for irrupting this very important meeting with the leaders of the day
o    Yet, these men knew that Jesus wouldn’t get mad and drive them away
o    How? Because they have watched him and saw that he carried for and touched the leapers and sick – mercy

•    Perfect Test

o    The quizzing of Jesus by the Pharisees and legal experts took on a new meaning
o    There was now a test of mercy and love…what was going to happen?

* Jesus could have backed down and did nothing as there was a lot on the line that day
* Would they allow their meeting to be interrupted by mercy?

o    Jesus rose up to the challenge

* Why? Because of verse 17:
*  The power of the Lord was with Jesus (Jesus’ baptism – Holy Spirit anointed Him)
*  Went to the heart of the matter:

•    Sin forgiveness – sicknesses can be tied to sin (word of knowledge from the Holy Spirit)

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:15)

•    Jesus wanted to heal the whole person not just the symptoms

o    Pharisees saw this as blaspheme

* Only God can forgive sin – through the temple sacrifice system
* Jesus was taking on God’s job – with authority!

Humanity & Divinity of Jesus

•    Jesus was acting as God & yet He was still relying on the Holy Spirit’s power (like a human) – tension between the 2 sides
•    “Son of Man” – Jesus’ favorite name for Himself

o    Daniel 7

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

o    Daniel 2

34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands —a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

o    His rule & reign will break through all others & He will establish His kingdom forever.  Interpretation of the dream in Daniel 7: “Son of Man” = “Most High”
o    He rejected the label “Messiah” because it had gotten overused & corrupted – a lot of people tried to claim that title before Jesus came – “Annointed One” who would defeat the Gentiles & re-establish an Israeli Kingdom (politically) – it had gotten very politicized & there were a lot of failed ones

o    “Son of Man” => Breakthrough of the Kingdom
o    George Ladd, “A Theology of the New Testament” p. 147 & 157 – “Son of Man” in 1 Enoch (intertestament book)

“The son of Man has become a messianic title of a pre-existent heavenly figure who descends to earth to sit upon the throne of judgment to destroy the wicked of the earth, to deliver the righteous, and to reign in a kingdom of glory when the righteous will be clothed with garments of glory and of life and enter in to a blessed fellowship with he Son of Man forever.”

“By designating himself the Son of Man, Jesus claimed to be the Messiah; but by the way in which he used the term, he indicated that his messiahship was of a very different order from that which was popularly expected.  The “Son of Man” permitted him to lay claim to messianic dignity but to interpret that messianic office in his own way.  It was a claim, therefore, that would not be readily recognized by the people who possessed an erroneous concept of the messiah, but that nevertheless was designed to alert those who were spiritually responsive to the actual presence of the Messiah, although in an unforeseen messianic role.”

•    Tension: early church wrestled with it (and we still do today)

o    Gnosticism: claimed that Jesus was fully spiritual (walk on beach with Peter & not leave footprints)
o    Another argument: He was a man who became God at baptism

* Virgin birth

o    Divinely human
o    If He’s only God then He can’t be our role model, but if He’s only human then we have no victory / we can become God.
o    Jesus is the only sinless one, but He humbled Himself to go through life with the help of the Holy Spirit just as we do.

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death —
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:6-11)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

o    Not simply human either – also fully God

* Death & sin needed to be destroyed – only possible with sinless God dying on that cross otherwise it would have been just another human death

o    Neither was He a human who became God

* Adam & Eve’s original sin – wanted to be like God –God is the only one!

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