Signs, Morality and Logic

17 Sep

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In Luke 12:54-55 Jesus turned from his disciples and directed his teaching to the people, among whom were his taunters, the Jewish authorities. He drew an analogy from the weather. The people understood that when a cloud rose up out of the Mediterranean Sea to the west, there would be rain. Again, when the wind came across the hot desert to the south, the people were able to predict warm, dry weather (Luke 12:54-55). In other words the people knew how to interpret signs of things to come.

However, Jesus claimed the people refused to interpret the signs of the times (cf. Luke 11:16:29-30), calling them hypocrites (Luke 12:56). This seems to mean that Jesus had the Jewish authorities in mind (Luke 12:1), because Jesus had been performing miracles (signs), showing he was sent by God (Luke 11:14), yet the authorities wouldn’t accept the miracles Jesus did. Rather, they claimed he did those miracles (signs) through the power of Satan, and their accusation caused the people to be afraid to stand with Jesus. The authorities wanted power over what miracles Jesus did (Luke 11:30). By telling Jesus what miracles to perform, they would remove any responsibility on their part to interpret the signs of the time.

Therefore, through the weather analogy, Jesus appealed to the signs already given, not only by him but also to the prophecy of Daniel, which most folks knew pointed to the coming of the Messiah and the very time of Jesus’ ministry (cf. Luke 1:68; 2:25, 38; 23:51; 24:21; Acts 1:6).

Next, Jesus appealed to man’s sense of right and wrong (Luke 12:57). Morality alone proved Jesus was who he claimed to be. What evil had he done? What evil had he said? He has had compassion on the sick and afflicted and healed them. What possible evil could he have intended to do by doing good? Therefore, even the common people had no excuse.

Finally, Jesus appealed to man’s sense of logic (Luke 12:58-59). According to the context of Luke 11 & 12, Jesus is the adversary in Luke 12:58. He is calling for the people and the Jewish authorities to repent and believe him, but they would not. Jesus drew a line in the sand (Luke 11:23), claiming that, if they didn’t align themselves with him, they were against him, or, in other words, Jesus was their enemy (adversary).

The ruler of the people is referred to in Scripture as a god (Psalm 82:1-2, 6). He is a mighty one and has the responsibility to judge with equity. God has committed all judgment to Jesus, God’s Son (the Messiah), according to John 5:22. If we consider Jesus’ parable about the adversary and the judge, Jesus is both the adversary and the magistrate! He is the enemy of those who do not stand with him (Luke 11:23), and he is also the judge to whom they must give an account of themselves (Luke 19:22).

In the context of the first century AD, no one had an appeal after he was judged by the magistrate. The people may bring charges against the magistrate to the one in authority over him, if they thought the magistrate ruled unfairly, but the offender, once judged, had no such appeal. In the context of Jesus being the Messiah, he was appointed by God to that office, and he (God) had committed all judgment to his Son (the Messiah – see Psalm 2 and John 5:22). So, what hope could Jesus’ enemies have had with an appeal to God? It is God who appointed Jesus to judge them in the first place!

Therefore, it behooved Jesus’ enemies to come to Jesus and seek to make amends, because what hope did they have once they were brought before him as their judge? The stand they took was illogical, because they simply refused to see the end of the decision they were making.

Once judgment was made (Luke 12:59), the sentence **must** be carried out without reduction or pardon. The time for appeal, or when repentance would affect judgment, was before one was brought before the judge. Certainly, one could be repentant while in prison, but the terms of the judgment against the nation as a whole would still have to be fulfilled, just like any decision of the courts today. Just because a criminal sees the error of his ways, while in prison, does not compel the justice system to set him free. So, too, once the nation was exiled, it would remain so until the sentence was fulfilled. While individual repentance would be accepted, and occurred throughout the Jewish exile, national repentance was never made.



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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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