Sermon #     69                                                          Luke Sermons


     Title:            Our Savior’s Only Joy

     Text:            Luke 10:21-24

     Subject:       The One Thing That Gives Christ Joy

     Date:            Sunday Evening – January 13, 2002

     Tape #         W-79b

     Readings:     Rex Bartley & David Burge



(Luke 10:21-24)  “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (22) All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. (23) And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: (24) For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”


There are five tremendous lessons revealed in these verses which deserve our careful attention. May God the Holy Spirit inscribe them upon our hearts. We will look at each of these five things briefly.


I. First, we learn from these verses that which is the joy of God our Savior. -- The only thing revealed in the Book of God that gives joy to the Lord Jesus Christ is the salvation of his people.


This is the only place on record in the four Gospels of our Savior rejoicing. We read, that in that hour "Jesus rejoiced in spirit." Three times we are told that our Lord Jesus Christ wept (Luke 19:41; John 11:35; Heb. 5:9). Once only we are told that he rejoiced.


And what was the cause of our Savior’s joy? It was the conversion of lost souls, the salvation of poor, needy sinners. It was the reception of the Gospel by the weak and lowly, the poor and despised, the downtrodden and outcasts, when the "wise and prudent" on every side rejected it.


Our blessed Lord no doubt saw much in this world to grieve Him. He saw the obstinate blindness and unbelief of the multitudes and wept. But when He saw a few poor men and women receiving the glad tidings of salvation, His holy heart was refreshed. He saw it and was glad.


The only thing I find in the Book of God that causes him joy is the salvation of his people. Yet, of this one thing we are assured repeatedly.


(Micah 7:18-20)  "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. (19) He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (20) Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old."


(Zep 3:14-17)  "Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. (15) The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. (16) In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. (17) The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."


(Heb 12:1-2)  "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."


A. This fact ought to encourage you who are yet under the wrath of God to seek his mercy and grace in Christ.


If he delights in mercy, if he rejoices in the salvation of sinners, if the conversion of lost souls makes the Son of God rejoice, why should any sinner doubt that he will be gracious to him?


B. Our Savior’s example in this ought to inspire us to seek such a heart of compassion and mercy toward needy souls.


Spirit of God, stamp my Master’s image on my heart! Give me the grace to follow his example!


·        Did the Son of God weep over the lost? – Shall we care  nothing?

·        Did he have compassion upon the rich young ruler who walked away from him? – Shall we harden our hearts against such?

·        Did he rejoice in the salvation of sinners? – Shall we not rejoice in the same?


I fear we find joy in the very things that ought to grieve us most and grieve over things that are really of no consequence. -- The multitudes around us are walking in the broad way that leads to destruction, careless, hardened, and unbelieving. – Few, precious few, believe to the saving of their souls! How we ought to rejoice in the conversion of sinners! How we ought to labor for it!


(James 5:19-20)  "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; (20) Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."


·        We do not realize the sinfulness of man sufficiently.

·        We fail, I fear, to look upon the conversion of lost sinners as a miracle of grace, -- a miracle as great as the raising of Lazarus from the dead.

·        Perhaps we find so little relish and joy in our souls over the salvation of sinners simply because we have begun to look upon the grace of God, the blood of Christ, and covenant mercy as common, ordinary things!


II. Second, we see hear a lesson about Divine sovereignty. -- Let us always recognize and bow to this fact. – The Lord God Almighty is absolutely sovereign in the exercise of his saving mercy.


(Luke 10:21)  "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight."


Yes, our Savior rejoiced in the exercise of sovereignty by the Holy Lord God; but he rejoiced in the exercise of sovereignty to the salvation of perishing souls. – It is not merely the concept of sovereignty that gives us hope, joy and peace, but the gracious exercise of it!


The meaning of these words has been twisted by many perverted minds. Be sure you understand what the Master’s words here mean. They do not express joy at the fact that multitudes perish, but at the fact that some are saved. – When the Master said, "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes," he was simply saying , “Father, I thank you that you have, in your infinite goodness revealed these things to these chosen babes, though you have in just judgment hidden them from those who, being wise and prudent in their own eyes, will not repent.” Similar expressions are found in Isaiah 12:1 and Romans 6:17.


(Isa 12:1)  "And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me."


(Rom 6:17)  "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."


Having said that, be sure you understand this. – The God of the Bible, the only true and living God is absolutely sovereign and always exercises his sovereign rights over men, especially in the exercise of his saving mercy, love and grace in Christ. This fact is as plainly revealed in Holy Scripture as the fact that God is! It is not a deep, complicated, indiscernible mystery, but a plainly revealed truth of the Bible. It is so plainly revealed that it cannot be denied or misunderstood except by those who refuse to bow to Divine Revelation. Yes, it is as high as heaven and as deep as hell. Yet, it is as plain as the noon day sun.


Why are some converted and others remain dead in sins? – Why does God send the gospel to one land and leave another groping about in the darkness and superstition of idolatry? – Why do some believe while others believe not? – No answer can or should be given to these question by any  mortal other than this: -- “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.


(John 10:25-27)  "Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. (26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"


(Rom 9:13-16)  "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (14) What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (15) For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."


Yet, the fact of God’s sovereignty does not, in any way, destroy or even contradict the fact that every man is responsible for his own soul. The fact is, if we are saved, it is all God’s fault, God’s work, God’s gift, and God’s operation. But if we are lost, if we perish, if we go to hell, it will be our own fault alone, our own work alone, our own blame alone.


This I know. -- Wherever the gospel is hidden, wherever eyes are blinded, there is a just and right cause. – Wherever grace is given, wherever Christ is revealed, wherever salvation comes, there is no cause except in God himself!


(Rom 6:23)  "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."


God's sovereignty does not nullify our responsibility. That same God who does all things according to the counsel of his own will; always addresses sinners as responsible and accountable creatures, -- whose blood shall be on their own heads if they are lost.


(Prov 1:23-33)  "Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. (24) Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. (28) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: (29) For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (30) They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (31) Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. (32) For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. (33) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."


(Prov 29:1)  "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."


(Mat 23:37-38)  "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."


III. Third, we learn something here about the objects of grace. – God commonly hides the gospel from the wise and prudent and reveals it unto babes.


I can see you scratching your heads and saying, “Well, what does that mean?” I’m glad you asked.


Our Savior said, "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes."


Those words do not imply that some are naturally more deserving of God's grace and salvation than others! We are all alike sinners, and merit nothing but wrath and condemnation. – Rather, our Lord is here simply stating a fact.


This is the fact he states. -- The wisdom of this world often makes people proud, and increases their natural enmity to Christ and the gospel. The man who has no pride of knowledge, or fancied morality, to fall back on, has often fewest difficulties to get over in coming to the knowledge of the truth. The publicans and sinners are often the first to enter the kingdom of God, while the Scribes and Pharisees stand outside.


·        Beware of self-righteousness!


Nothing so blinds the eyes of our souls to the beauty of the Gospel as the vain, delusive idea, that we are not so ignorant and wicked as some, and that we have a character that will bear God’s inspection.


Blessed is that person who has learned that he is "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Rev. 3:17). To see that we are bad, is the first step towards being made good. To know that we are ignorant is the first beginning of all saving knowledge.


·        God’s grace commonly comes to the most unlikely, most unexpected, and most despised. – Jacob! -- David! – Rahab! -- Ruth!


(1 Cor 1:18-25)  "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (20) Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (21) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (22) For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: (23) But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (24) But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (25) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."


(1 Cor 1:26-31)  "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence. (30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."


IV. Fourth, this passage shows us the pre-eminence of Christ. -- The Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner’s only Savior and Friend has all power put into his hands!


(Luke 10:22)  "All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him."


These words are intended to set before us a sense of the majesty and dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ, as that One to whom the Father has given all pre-eminence and glory! No man but the God-man ever used words like these!


·        They reveal to our wondering eyes a glimpse of the great mystery of our Lord's nature and person.

·        They reveal him, as the Head over all things, and King of kings: ‘All things are delivered to me of my Father.’

·        They declare that he is distinct from the Father, and yet entirely one with Him, and knowing Him in an unspeakable manner. ‘No man knoweth who the Son is but the Father: and who the Father is but the Son.

·        They declare that Christ is the great Revealer of the God to the sons of men, as the God who pardons iniquity, and loves sinners for His Son's sake: ‘No man knoweth who the Father is but he to whom the Son mill reveal him.’”


This great, glorious, exalted, sovereign God-man, this great Savior is exactly the Savior we need. Let us confidently rest our souls, yea our lives, yea all things upon him! He is one who is "mighty to save."


·        Many and weighty as our sins are, Christ can bear them all.

·        Difficult as is the work of our salvation, Christ is able to perform it.

·        If Christ was not God as well as man we might indeed despair. But with such a Savior as this we may begin boldly, and press on hopefully, and await death and judgment without fear.

·        Our help is laid on one that is mighty. (Ps. 89:19).

·        Christ over all, God blessed forever, will not fail any who trust Him.


V. Last, but certainly not least, I want to remind you of the great blessedness that is ours. -- There is no greater privilege afforded sinners on this earth than the blessed privilege of hearing and knowing the gospel of God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ.


(Luke 10:23-24)  "And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: (24) For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."


I am sure none of us will ever comprehend on this earth the full significance of those words. I am sure we have no idea how blessed we are to live in this gospel age. The difference between the knowledge of believers in the Old Testament and those of this age, we simply cannot conceive.


Without question, those saints in the Old Testament trusted Christ, looked for and to the coming Savior by faith. They believed the Gospel. They believed in the resurrection and a life to come. But the coming of Christ and the accomplishment of redemption by his death, his resurrection and exaltation unlocked hundreds of Scriptures which before were closed, and cleared up scores of doubtful points which before had never been solved. As Paul puts it, "the way into the holiest was not made manifest, while the first tabernacle was standing." (Heb. 9:8).


But there is more to be learned from these words than merely the advantages of this age over former ages. Our Lord would have us constantly aware that the privilege of hearing the gospel, the privilege of having a place of worship, a regularly established ministry, and the blessed fellowship of his people is the greatest privilege God can give to any sinner in this world. – The greatest curse would be for him to take from us this great privilege!




1.     How we ought to care for eternity bound sinners!

2.     What a deep sense of our own debt to God we ought to have!

3.     What a great sense we ought to have of our great responsibility!

4.     Let us strive to make a good use of our many privileges.

5.     Having the great privilege and benefit of the gospel, let us take care that we do not neglect it. -- "To whomsoever much is given, of them will much be required" (Luke 12. 48.)