Announcements / Service Moments
Pastor Jericho Toilolo
Pastor Dave Pretlove
Series: Gospel of Luke
Sermon Title: 5 Reasons People Don’t Believe In Jesus
Passage: Luke 4:14-30; 42-44
- HE SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
Luke 4:14-22 NIV
- I DON’T REALLY NEED ANY HELP.
Luke 4:18-19 NIV
Mark 2:16-17 NIV
- I’VE KNOWN JESUS MY WHOLE LIFE.
Luke 4:22-24 NIV
John 20:25 NIV
John 20:29 NIV
- NO ONE IS GOING TO TELL ME HOW TO THINK OR LIVE.
Luke 4:25-30 NIV
Tim Keller – “I came and saved the world through an utter loss of power.
Therefore, you can only receive my salvation by giving up all
claim, by being spiritually poor, by giving up all power, by
surrendering. Then you’ll find for the rest of your life you’ll be
so filled with my love and acceptance that you can just basically
give away the rest of your life and see people changed through
continually giving up your rights for other people, by
continually giving up your money for other people, by
continually not lording it over but becoming a servant.”
- NO ONE HAS EVER TOLD ME.
Luke 4:42-44 NIV
Tim Keller – “I’m not bringing that vengeance, not at this coming. At this
coming, I’ve come to take vengeance, not bring it. At this
coming, I have come to receive judgment, not to send it. I’ve
come not with a sword in my hand but with nails in my hands.”
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- Which of the five message points connect to your life before you came to know Jesus?
- Do you believe humans are born good or born bad? What implication does this question have for a need for a savior?
- Read Luke 4:23. The people of Nazareth did not want to believe Jesus was the Messiah and did not believe the deeds they had heard Him do in Capernaum were enough to prove His identity. When have you sought more proof of who God is?
- Luke 4:18-19 NIV outlines Jesus’ mission, as foretold by the prophet Isaiah. He taught by declaration, then demonstration. Find the key ‘declaration’ words, then the key ‘demonstration’ words in those 2 verses.
- How can familiarity with having a Divine presence in our lives dull (or even blind) us to the amazing truth of the gospel, even for a seasoned believer? Read Revelation 2:1-4 NIV for extra context
- In your group read LUKE 4:23-27, Jesus relates the people of His hometown to those who rejected Elijah and Elisha. Why were they so offended at what He said?
- How would Jesus relate this to “the church” today and why?
- In verses 42-44, why was it important for Jesus to preach the kingdom of God to other cities?
- Read Luke 6: 27-31 What stops you from reaching out to people or a person you would consider an enemy?
PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus reads Isaiah 61:1-3. Who are the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, the blind and the oppressed today? Is God calling you to reach out to any of these?
- The people of Nazareth had known Jesus most of their lives and thought they knew him. This familiarity caused them to not see or believe His declaration as the Messiah. How has your familiarity with Jesus caused you to miss out on the awe and wonder of who He is and what He has done for you?
- Read Luke 4:25-30 NIV and Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV. Jesus is implying that the good news is to be shared even with those who oppose us. Naaman the Syrian was an enemy of ancient Israel. Who would you consider to be your enemies? Or people who are betraying your beliefs? What are the obstacles to you sharing the good news with them?
- What area(s) of your life do you not want Jesus to tell you how to live or what to think about?
- How does believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ cause us to relinquish control over our own lives?
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON
- Video | Kevin DeYoung | Hometown Disadvantage
- Video | The Chosen
- Book | Tim Keller | Loving The City
- Song | I Can Feel You
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TO TRY
We are in the final week of exploring the RULE OF LIFE. My prayer for you is that you were able to begin to examen your lefe and develop a practice or two, to create opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work in and on your life.
Develop a Rule of Life (ROL). A Rule of Life, is a simple pattern that we implement into our daily life. This pattern is designed to intentionally move you forward in your faith with Jesus and your spiritual life. Taking the time to develop a ROL will help create vision for your life. Living by it will lead to transformation. These Rule of Life are not steadfast unmovable block in your day to day, but rather pliable patterns to initiate growth and transformation. Their goal is your goal, to help provide direction and support as you develop in holiness as God desires. Romans 12:1-2 in the message translation encourages us to embrace Gods best in every area of our life. “Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” allows for regular space for the practice of the spiritual disciplines. – Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
These days, I believe it may be harder to believe in Jesus than ever. Our medical advances have practically perfected anti ageing, and there are very few things that doctors can’t cure. Answers to almost any question is just one Google away, and we have more entertainment and money than we will ever need. For those who have never believed, they may feel that they truly don’t need Him, that He isn’t good anyway with all the bad in the world, or that they or someone they know can help them solve any problem they come across. For those who are believers, we see that they are deconstructing at an alarming rate, about 1 in 4 church members.
Wrestling with the doubt of Jesus’ existence overall, much less His claims of being the Son of God, can be very real for those learning about Him for the first time or those going through a difficult time. It is very easy to question His goodness and sovereignty when you find yourself in a time of deep pain that could have been prevented, but wasn’t. However, I believe we all have a God-shaped hole that we are trying to fill. Many of us will fill it with hundreds of things until we realize that Jesus is the only thing that fits and sticks.
In John 20, we see just how Jesus handles the skeptic in all of us. In verse 18, Jesus has risen from the grave and revealed himself to his disciples in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Verse 24 sets the scene to follow, “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Thomas walked with Jesus nearly every day of his ministry. He saw miracles, healings, feeding of crowds, dead people raised, yet still doubted. He gets a bad wrap for being called ‘doubting Thomas’ for this moment. But in my opinion, he was ‘Left Out Thomas’. Jesus, being all knowing, could have waited until ALL his disciples were together, but he revealed himself to them in this history-making moment when only Thomas wasn’t there. If I were Thomas, I would be incredibly hurt. I would feel unimportant, left out, offended, and even a little mad. But how does Jesus approach Thomas? He does not yell and rebuke him, he does not hit him with a “oh ye of little faith” as he has done to others in the past. He met Thomas’ requests, even in his doubt and pain. If you are wrestling with doubts, no matter how long you’ve been walking with the Lord, and no matter what the reason, be encouraged that the Lord is not afraid of your doubts. He is patient and kind to us and already knows you intimately, including all your doubts and concerns.
I often wonder what I would have thought if I were alive when Jesus walked the earth. Would I have believed He was the Messiah? Would I have had faith? Or like the Pharisees, would I have loathed his rule breaking and lack of respect for Jewish traditions? Would I have doubted and denied him like the disciples did? Unfortunately, I identify with the Pharisees. Being a rule follower in nature, I can understand why the Pharisees could not believe. He upset the laws and traditions they held for hundreds of years in the name of ‘grace’ and seemed to hold no regard for their religious knowledge. I often feel simultaneous guilt over wondering these things, knowing I would have struggled, and also gratitude for being born in such a time as this, even in today’s backward culture.
I am encouraged in Jesus’ words in verse 29 “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have seen and not yet have believed”. I believe we are a uniquely blessed generation in that we believe although we have not seen his face. Do not fear your doubts, take them to the Lord with openness, honesty, and curiosity. – Your Digging Deeper Team
Praying for you to walk in the Holy Spirit’s power this week,
Pastor Rob Hans