2010 Luke’s Gospel
Everything Prophesied of the
Son of Man will be Fulfilled
Key Verse: 18:31 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 'We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.' "
In this passage, Jesus really wanted to help his disciples see him and his ministry clearly, so they could follow him. He foretold his suffering, death and resurrection once again. But they responded poorly. Then Jesus healed a blind man. This plants hope in Jesus for his struggling disciples; Jesus heals the blind, both physically and spiritually. We are all somehow blind in spirit, and need Jesus’ mercy. Let's ask Jesus to open our spiritual eyes to see Jesus clearly as we listen to his words.
I. Jesus predicts his death and resurrection as the prophets foretold (31-34)
Look at verse 31. “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” When Jesus had something important to say to his disciples, he usually took them aside. “Come over here guys. Listen carefully to what I am going to say, Ok.” What did Jesus tell them after he took his people aside? He said, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” He foretold once again his suffering, death, and resurrection. This had been repeated from the time Peter confessed him to be the Christ (9:22; 9:44; 17:25). Apparently, it was very important for Jesus, and it was the main message he wished to instill into their hearts. Excellent students always pay attention to what their teachers keep saying in the class. Teachers say so many things during the class. But all of them will not be on the exam. For exam purpose, it is important to review and remember what teachers repeated again and again. The more you repeat something, the more important the subject matter is. Meanwhile, poor students do the other way around. Or they just disregard what their teachers say because they are in a daydream. Just like the poor students, Jesus’ disciples did not focus on the repeated teaching of their master. They were just in a daydream. They did not like to hear about what seemed to be Jesus’ tragedy that would make their life miserable. Whenever Jesus told them about his suffering, death, and resurrection, unfortunately they rejected them.
Even though the Twelve did not catch what Jesus said, he did not give up teaching them about his suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus never got mad or upset for they did not understand well. Thank God for Jesus who does not yell or scream at us for we do not understand fully his suffering, death, and resurrection. Rather, Jesus tried to remind the Twelve of the words of God in the books of the prophets about himself. He used the old testaments as studying materials such as reference book to help them understand and accept his main teaching. “Everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” What Jesus kept saying was prophesied by prophets God’s servants and it would be fulfilled in Jerusalem. Jesus’ prediction about himself the Son of God was not just a human plan, but it was God’s plan, which would surely happen. Therefore, Jesus’ prediction about his suffering, death, and resurrection would be fulfilled by God’s will.
Now let us see some prophesies about the Son of Man in the old testaments. In Gen. 3:15, He would be born of a woman and crush the serpent's head. In Isa. 9:7, he would carry the government on his shoulders. In Dan. 7:13-14, he would be given authority, glory and sovereign power over an everlasting kingdom. It is not hard to hope that these prophesied Messianic victories would be fulfilled. Yet these kinds of prophesies were just part of the Christ's ministry. The prophets also foretold that he would suffer and die. Isaiah prophesied that the Christ would be so disfigured by unjust treatment that people would be appalled at him (Isa 52:14), and that he would die for the sins of many (Isa 53:10). What did Jesus say about prophesies above? He said that "everything" must be fulfilled.
Look at verse 32. “He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.” Here Jesus mentioned what kind of sufferings he would go through. First he will be handed over to the Gentiles. Gentiles were lawless and known to be brutal. Anyone who was handed over to them could expect the most inhumane treatment. If you watched the movie named the Passion of Christ, you might know how brutal the Roman soldiers were when Jesus was handed over to them. Then, Jesus would be mocked, insulted, spat on, flogged, and killed by the Gentiles. This is indeed a remarkable detail, foretold in Isaiah 50:6, which reads, “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” It reveals how precisely Jesus knew the Scriptures and had accepted the prophecies about the Christ. Jesus was ready to fulfill every prophecy in detail without missing one. Jesus did not pick and choose; Jesus would fulfill them all. To do so, Jesus would be subjected to severe emotional and psychological trauma. Then he would be flogged and killed on the cross in the most brutal manner. This was the prophesied will of God for the Christ.
How come Jesus suffered and died like that? As you know well, Jesus suffered and died on our places for our sins. Sin is so terrible that it required even the death of Christ. Out of his love, our heavenly father God made his own son to be a sin offering for sinners like us instead of judging our sins. On the cross Jesus bore the pain, shame, torment, and death that our sins deserve. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Since Jesus paid the full price of our sins, we receive forgiveness of sins and have personal relationship with God. Therefore, all we have to do is receive Christ's sacrifice by faith.
Look at verse 33. “On the third day he will rise again.” Jesus foretold his resurrection from the dead. He meant his death would not be the end, but just the start of his glorious victory over the power of sins and death. Through his resurrection, Jesus indeed crushed the devil’s head and shared us his victory over our enemy Satan as it was prophesied in the very first book of the Bible Genesis. Jesus' resurrection is the power that restores God's reign in the hearts of people, and in the world. This victory is being won progressively at the present time. Finally, it will be completely won at his Second Coming. Paradise will be restored and we will share the love and joy and peace of Christ forever in his glory.
Look at verse 34. “The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.” Even though Jesus said the same thing again and again, the Twelve just shrugged their shoulders and blinked their eyes. The Bible says that they did not understand any of this. Since what Jesus said was hidden from them, they did not know that he was talking about. Actually what Jesus was teaching them was the gospel of salvation, which is really good news of great joy for all the people in the world. But since they might be occupied by their own dreams and ideas, Jesus’ teaching sounded like nonsense. Even though they were Jesus’ chosen 12 disciples, they remained spiritually blind to the main point of Jesus’ teaching.
There could be many reasons why we do not understand what Jesus says fully. One of them could be that we think we have nothing to do with Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection due to time, place, and culture gap. Do you know famous Dutch Painter Rembrandt who painted the Return of the prodigal son? If you were to look at Rembrandt's painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn first to the center cross on which Jesus died. Then as you would look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you'd be impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people from Pharisees to soldiers to weeping women in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes would come to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross. Rembrandt born in the year of 1606 comes back to the time and place where Jesus was crucified and considers himself as one of the sinners around the crosses. He realized and knew he was a sinner. So he put himself in the crime of Jesus’ crucifixion without time, place, and culture gap. Just like the painter Rembrandt, we should deeply realize that we are sinners before God, and then what Jesus says comes to your mind and touches your heart. And you can also paint yourself in the Three Crosses and be glad and happy with the gospel that everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. I pray that all JBF members here grow in spirit every day so you may understand things that are written by the prophets about Jesus little by little.
II. Jesus heals a blind man (35-43)
Look at verses 35-37. “As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”” A couple of weeks ago I watched a Korean TV program Super Star K like American Idol. There were so many candidates more than 60,000 from old to young. One of the candidates came to my attention. It was a man who was born blind. He has never seen the sun light and even his mom’s face from birth. Even though he is a grown up, he is not able to live by himself. So her mother has taken care of him almost in everything. As Super Star K approaches his home town, the blind man was giving massage to his customer because his job was masseur. He asked other people what was going on. They told him, “Super Star K is in our town.” When he heard it, he got excited because he had a dream to be a singer. His only hope and joy is to sing a song as a blind man. So he thought Super Star K would make his dream come true. When I saw him, I was reminded of a saying, “Be a realist, while you dream an unrealistic dream.” He works hard as masseur and at the same time he dreams a dream of being a singer. Just like the blind singer candidate, the blind man in today’s passage was working hard begging as beggar while he had a dream of receiving his sight since he heard a good new about Jesus who had healed so many sick people. He strongly believed that Jesus would open his blind eyes and let him see the faces of family members, friends and the whole world. Actually, it sounds so unrealistic. How can a blind man see? But he still had strong faith and confidence in Jesus who is the Son of Man.
Look at verse 38. “He called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The blind man called Jesus Son of David. Son of David is a messianic title. This man believed that Jesus is the Messiah who could heal any kind of person, including giving sight to the blind. He also believed that the Messiah Jesus would hear his cry in his mercy. That’s why he shouted, “Have mercy on me!” He knew clearly who Jesus was. It must have come from carefully listening to the stories about Jesus, and to Bible prophesies he had heard. Though he was blind physically, he seemed to see Jesus more clearly than the Twelve who did not understand what Jesus said.
Look at verse 39. “Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When the blind man sought for his dream and hope by shouting and crying out, Jesus’ people rebuked him and told him to be quiet. “Hey, what are you doing? You blind? You shut up and get lost!” They thought he was an annoyance. So, did the blind man go away miserably? No. Instead, he shouted all the more at the top of his voice. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” From his loud voice we can imagine how desperate he was for his vision, for his dream, and for his hope through Son of David the Messiah. He did not give up seeking Jesus’ mercy even though many people who were with Jesus were against him. He must have kept shouting at the top of his voice until Jesus would have heard his voice and made his dream come true. From the blind man we can learn we should be desperate and persistent when we pray to God for our urgent prayer topics in any situation. If you want to do well in the exam such as SAT, you have to cry out all the more for God’s mercy and wisdom even if other people discourage you with negative comments based on your current academic performance. At the same time, you keep studying hard just like the blind who was faithful in begging as his job.
Look at verses 40-41. “Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.” It is true that where there is a will, there is a way when we see the blind man’s desperate crying. Our merciful Jesus did not ignore his cry, and he stopped and paid his attention to the blind man. The man was glad and happy when he was brought to Jesus. Then he gently asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the man replied as clearly and desperately as possible, “Lord, I want to see.”
Today Jesus asks us the same question. “What do you want me to do for you?” Some people might say, “Well, Jesus, are you serious? Is it not a lip service?” Last week we had wonderful Summer Bible conference in a beautiful place, didn’t we? The night we came back from the conference one of 2nd generations stopped by my place to bring our mini-van back after public use. I said to him, “Thank you for bring it back safely. I want to have dinner together with you tonight, but maybe next time because we have just brought the new baby from the hospital and the house is now all messed up.” Then he replied, “Are you serious? Isn’t it a lip service?” After I heard him say so, I was thinking about the attitude when I prayed to God. It is not a problem for me to provide dinner for one person, and yet the one who took the mini-van back to my place was not sure about my words. Maybe he had experienced lip services many times from others or even from me. If he had responded to my suggestion like this, “That’s good. Then when can we have dinner together?” I would have said, “Next week!” What am I saying here? What I am saying is that when Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” we’ve got to say clearly what we want Jesus to do for us instead of saying “Are you serious?” It’s because Jesus is the son of God and Almighty God himself with whom there is nothing impossible. Now Jesus asks us the same question again, “What do you want me to do for you?” Let us say our urgent prayer topics as loudly as possible. I pray that all of your prayers may be heard by our Lord Jesus and we may see truly Jesus is the Son of Man the Messiah in our life.
Look at verses 42-43. “Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.” When Jesus accepted the blind man’s faith, he healed him immediately and the man received his sight. What an amazing moment it was for the blind and the people around him! The blind man’s faith that Jesus is the Son of David the Messiah who is merciful God made his dream come true. Even the people who were against him before were now moved and touched by his faith and praised God. Also the prophecy in Isaiah 35:5 “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened…” has been fulfilled indeed as the title and the key verse says. Let us praise Jesus’ name highly and give glory and honor and thanks to Jesus who is our Lord and Savior.
Jesus is our merciful Messiah. In order to solve our sin and death problem, Jesus fulfilled everything written by the prophets--the painful and shameful, as well as the glorious. Jesus hears the cry for help. Let's accept the cross of Christ in our hearts and cry out to him for mercy in our personal lives, in our ministries in the coming fall semester, and for the nation.
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