Sermon Follow Up - Week 28, 2021
THE SERMON'S SUMMARY
There is a trajectory of rejection in someone’s life; a path of rejection. And this rejection is observable. It’s not simply a kind of passivity of non-belief. Rather, the Apostle Paul calls mankind’s rejection, “hostility towards God.” It may seem passive, as if one simply just doesn’t believe something, but there is a foundation and trajectory of unbelief. And it’s anything but passive. It is deceptive, aggressive, and hostile at its core. And what we see in this text are a few of the ways this trajectory of rejection is observable in the hearts of people just like you and I.
THE SERMON'S TEXT
“And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.” (Luke 19:47–20:19 ESV)
THE SERMON'S PRIMARY POINT
Jesus stands in the middle of your crumbling path of rejection and compels you to trust him.
THE SERMON'S OBSERVATIONS AND/OR SUBPOINTS
(including quotes and questions)
Questioning Jesus’s Authority Reveals a Trajectory of Rejection
Those who approach Jesus with hostility never receive direct answers or incontrovertible proofs (David Garland).
The religious elite questioned Jesus's authority. Actually, they didn't really question in, they already had rejected it. But what we see is that rather than humbly trying to grasp and believe the person of Jesus and the promises of God, those on the trajectory of rejection actually increasingly question the authority, the rule, of Jesus and challenge his word. This person is on the trajectory of outright rejection. You may like Jesus, believe he is who he says he is, kinda, mostly, most likely, but you question what he says – how narrow his way is – the threat of a coming judgment, and when it comes right down to it you really aren’t in too much love with his word…this book. You could take it or leave it…and you usually leave it. You leave it because at the foundation of your processing you question its value. And in so doing, you open yourself up to really questioning the authority and person of Jesus. You don’t just begin to have doubts, you begin putting the King of kings on the stand in the courtroom of your own kingdom. You don’t just wonder if his promises are true, you are increasingly believing his promises are meaningless, even outright lies. You hear the same question that the the serpent gave Eve in the third chapter of Genesis… “Did God really say.” This is mankind’s persistent problem. We don’t take God at his word.
Early on in the trajectory of rejection we will always find the questioning of the authority of Jesus.
Have you questioned the authority of Jesus in your life? How so? Are there any hints of rejecting his authority? Where there are hints, look to Jesus, repent and believe the good news of the authority and promise of his forgiveness and steadfast love.
Taking Personal Offense at Jesus Reveals a Trajectory of Rejection
The parable paints a vivid picture of human willful rebellion against God. The tenants have rejected the reality that they are creatures of God who simply live in God's vineyard. They want to be the lords of the vineyard. God stands in the way of their plans, and so they brutalize or kill any of God's messengers who remind them of the reality. They recognize the heir “but rejected him because they were unwilling to relinquish control over the vineyard to its rightful owner.” (David Garland)
The religious elite's rejection of Jesus's authority leads to them taking personal offense at him. And it moves them further along the path of utter rejection, hatred, and intent to kill him.
There is a trajectory of rejection. A path. Have you taken offense at Jesus?
Perhaps you’re offended at Jesus on account of the circumstances you face. Do you feel that God stands in the way of your plans? Are you looking to be the master of your own life? The Lord of your vineyard? Are you offended by the narrow message of the gospel? Offended by the authority of Jesus and what he calls you to? Offended by Jesus’ teaching on hell? “People don’t deserve that kind of judgment,” people will cry out incredulously! We’re our own people! We don’t exist for God! He can’t tell me what to do! Who do you think you are Jesus?! I am my own inheritance thank you very much. I trust in myself. And it may even get to the point… I hate you…I reject you. In fact, don’t be deceived…it will get to that point. It is the trajectory of rejection. A crumbling path leading to destruction. Jesus stands in the middle of your crumbling path of rejection and compels you to trust him.
The good news of Jesus Christ is shared with many across this world today. Some people have their eyes opened and are struck down by the weight of the penalty of their sin before holy God but they hear the good news of Jesus and place their faith in Jesus receiving forgiveness of sins, acceptance with God, given the right to become a child of God (John 1:12), given the Holy Spirit, and the guarantee of eternal life in the presence of the One for whom you exist, joy in his presence, among a myriad of other promises. However, most others reject the message of Jesus and the Jesus of the message entirely – and face destruction unless they turn from that path. There are only two options. And Jesus stands in the middle of your crumbling path of rejection and compels you to trust him. To come to him.
And Jesus doesn’t only stand in the middle of one’s crumbling path of rejection and compel them to trust him, he walks alongside of those who humbly follow him, strengthening them with the word of his power, keeping them, sustaining them amid their doubts, amid their sorrows, amid their questions, amid their tears and bids us to trust him, believe on him, and rest in him.
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK