Luke 13:1-9 Christ Conquers Behind The Scenes

We recently finished looking at the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Typically Jesus would speak to them in the following way:

  1. He would reveal something about Himself

  2. He would commend them for something good

  3. He would confront some sin to repent of

  4. He would give a promise to those who would overcome

Three Observations:

#1 Observation: Many of us may be prone to pay more attention to one of these points and to neglect some of the other points that Jesus made.

  • For example, when Jesus reveals something about Himself to us we may get so caught up in the beauty of that that we neglect to hear the other encouragements, corrections and responses that we are to have.

  • Some may be so focused upon the rebuke of Jesus that they fail to hear and remember the other things. Therefore they wallow in shame and condemnation.

  • We need to receive the whole counsel of Scripture.

#2 Observation: Jesus speaks to each of these churches in a personal way. To the churches that need more comfort, like the church in Smyrna, He speaks to them in an encouraging way. To those churches that needed a more severe rebuke, like the church in Laodicea, Jesus spoke to them directly and clearly about their sin and their need for repentance.

The apostle Paul knew how to do this same thing when he would address the churches that he ministered too. There were times that Paul would be to the Thessalonian church like a mother. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 - “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”

There were other times when the apostle Paul was more like a father to them. 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 – “For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.”

#3 Observation: The Holy Spirit will seek to apply the scriptures to our hearts in just the right way. Consider 2 Timothy 3:16, “Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Today, the Holy Spirit will apply the Scriptures to or hearts in a variety of ways. Therefore, let us always be praying for the work of the Spirit in this process.

This week, we will consider Christ’s words of correction and rebuke.

  • This is one of those topics that we would not naturally want to consider.

  • And yet, there is grace to be found even in these things. John Bunyan in his book entitled, The Fear Of God, says, “I should come now to speak of fear as it is a grace of the Spirit of God in the hearts of His people.”

  • Do you believe that godly fear is a grace of God? Most do not.

As Christ looked upon the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 He saw some things that made Him respond with warnings. Let us briefly review them together.

  • To the church in Ephesus Jesus said, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place unless you repent.”

  • To the church in Pergamum Jesus says, “Therefore, repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.”

  • To the church in Thyatira Jesus says, “I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed...and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead.”

  • To the church in Sardis Jesus says, “If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”

  • To the church in Laodicea Jesus says, “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

How does your heart react to Jesus’ words to these churches?

Does it surprise you that Jesus speaks like this?

Do His words intimidate and trouble you?

Does it shock you that Jesus speaks with such warnings and threatenings?

We should not be surprised if we find ourselves being corrected by the Lord. The Lord disciplines those whom He loves. Hebrews 12:5-6 – My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives..

Jesus spoke most harshly to the church of Laodicea but He also spoke to them in the most encouraging manner. He said to them, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:19-20)

In our text today we will see Jesus says some troubling things. And yet, it is my hope that by the end of this sermon we will be convinced that even such texts as these are being of grace.