Sunday, Sep 2, 2018AM Service
He Gives Grace to the Humble (Part 1)
Speaker: Jerry Wragg
Passage: Luke 14:1-6
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We resume our exposition of Luke. We are now getting into a section from of Luke 14:1 through Luke 17:21 where Christ exposes the root cause of spiritual blindness. Pride blinds people to Truth.

Before getting to Luke, turn in your Bibles to Daniel 4. In this passage, we see beginning in verse 30, King Nebuchadnezzar reflecting on his kingdom and rule saying, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? And God responds, King Nebuchadnezzar to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind… For what purpose, “…until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.”

Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself and the Lord humbles him for 7 years. Amazingly, the Lord later restores Nebuchadnezzar mind. It is true, God humbles those who walk in pride. We know:

  1. God has the authority to humble; all will be humbled one way or another.
  2. God certainly has the power to do it.
  3. God has the holy resolve to humble men; either to:
    1. Judge
    2. Or, to save.
  4. God has the patience and compassion to soften a man.

Turning now to Luke 14, Jesus Christ comes face-to-face with spiritual pride. And, Christ compassionately offers forgiveness to those who admit they are sick and needy. On the other hand, He has nothing for those who say they are fine and exult themselves.

  • 1 John 1:8 – If we say we have no sin, we are self-deceived. The person who refuses to admit the reality of sin, does not have the truth in them.
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5 – Worse than the progression that we see in the culture today (reminiscent of Romans 1), we see in the last days that people will be filled with insatiable lust, but still hold to a form of religious godliness without Truth.

In today’s passage, Luke 14:1-14, Christ unmasks the kind of spiritual pride that prevents people from seeing Christ for who He is. From this text, we find Three Characteristic of a Prideful Heart:

  1. Pride Hates Righteousness (verse 1).
    • The Pharisees were “watching Him closely.”
    • Pride is a heart issue and here the Pharisees are watching closely for sin, but they miss the beauty and attractiveness of Christ’s holy life.
    • They wouldn’t compare Jesus to the holy Scriptures. They were blinded to the implications of His compassion toward broken-hearted people.
    • They couldn’t see His heart for people and offers of gospel Truth.
    • Instead, they were seething at how holy Christ was.
    • The invitation to this meal was more of the same plotting we have seen all over scripture to catch Christ in a sin and kill Him:
      • John 12:19 – The world was going after Christ and the Pharisees were not being praised. They hated that and hated Him.
      • Luke 4:28 – Reading from the scrolls was great until Christ tells them the prophesy was fulfilled. Then, they were filled with rage.
      • John 8:31 – 41 – They’re blind to their own sin enslavements and Christ calls them out. They desire to kill Him.
    • They were blind to their own sin (cf John 9:41).
    • John 3:19-20
      • Pride always hates holiness/righteousness.
      • A prideful heart doesn’t want its sin/deeds exposed.
  2. Pride Sets Its Own Trap (verse 2).
    • Was it just a coincidence that a sick man was there? Doubtful. It was a trap.
    • They likely planted the diseased man who suffered from dropsy (a disease of the vital organs that results in massive swelling and pain).
    • He was suffering right in front of Christ. The Pharisees knew an afflicted man would attract Jesus’ attention and compassion.
    • Knowing that Jesus had healed others on the Sabbath, they wanted Him to do it here in their presence as a violation of the Sabbath, thus proving He was not the Messiah.
    • Isn’t it true, pride comes before the fall? (Proverbs 18:16)
    • The tables are turned. Instead of being exposed as a phony Messiah, Christ’s glory is put on display. He heals and allow His works to prove that He is who he says He is.
      • John 10:30-33 – Christ says He and the Father are one. But goes on and says, if you don’t believe Me, believe My works.
      • The miracles that Jesus did proved His claims.
    • Other passages that teach the same: Proverbs 26:27, Ester 7:9-10, Job 5:13.
    • Expecting to expose Christ as a fraud, they are instead blinded to the reason why Christ has the power to heal.
  3. Pride is Selective with Scripture (verse 3-5).
    • Christ asks them to scrutinize Scripture. Is it legal or not to heal on the Sabbath?  There is no response.
    • The room is silenced further by Christ immediately healing the man and sending him back to his now happy family.
    • The Law did not prohibit caring for animals (Luke 13:15) or compassion and kindness for family members in need (Luke 14:5).
    • Pride elevates the practice of preferences to the same level as Scripture. This is self-righteousness. We must be very careful that we do not fall into this same pattern:
      • Practice of preferences, as if they are God’s Word, makes us feel better about our holiness.
      • We hold others accountable to the preference standards that we have.
      • Our practices become the substance, since externals are easier measures of holiness rather than our true heart desires and motives.
      • A humble man admits the wicked condition of his heart and deals with the condition in repentance.
    • Pride adds to Scripture. The application of principles is not the same as Scripture.
    • The Pharisees love themselves and their self-righteousness, thus they miss Christ because they hate Him and His words.

In Luke 14:6, their silence should not be confused with wisdom or humility. Their silence is a form of rage by the humiliation by Christ’s words. They did not reply, because they are full of themselves.

Beloved, pride is the stumbling block leading to unbelief. Pride is dangerous. Confess it. Repent.