Sermon #134 Luke Sermons
Title: A Promise, a Prophecy
and A Problem
Text: Luke 18:28-34
Subject: Christ Prophecy Concerning His Death
(Luke 18:28-34) “Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. (29) And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (31) Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. (32) For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: (33) And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. (34) And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
In Luke 18:18-27 we read about the rich young ruler who came to the Lord Jesus, fell on his knees, and worshipped him saying, “Good Mater, What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” You are familiar with the story. The Master said to him, “Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” This rich young ruler looked at all that he had, looked at what Christ required, counted the cost and said, “No.” He chose to save his life and lost it.
There are three things that our Lord tells us are more likely to keep a person from faith in Christ than anything else; and this rich young ruler had all three of them.
1. Religion without Christ. — This man was a self-righteous religionists. He was like those who eat and drink unworthily in 1 Corinthians 11. He presumed that he knew God, but did not.
2. The Care of this World. — This man was a ruler among men. He had many great cares.
3. The Deceitfulness of Riches. — This young ruler, this lost, self-righteous religious man had great wealth.
When he walked away from the Savior, the Master said, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were astonished. They said, “Who then can be saved?” If it is left up to men, it is impossible. But, blessed be his name forever, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” “With God all things are possible.”
Now, look at verse 28. The Lord Jesus had just told the rich young ruler that would forsake all and follow him he would have treasure in heaven. Peter latched onto that and said to the Savior, “We’ve done that. We’ve forsaken all and followed you.” And Matthew tells us he then asked “What shall we have therefore.”
There is nothing in Peter’s question that implied pride, arrogance, ambition, or unbelief. He did not say, “I have forsaken all. What shall I have?” He said, “we.” And the Lord Jesus said nothing to correct him or chastise him. Neither will I. The fact is, if I had heard what Peter had just heard, I suspect I would have asked the same thing. In fact, I have asked the same thing. I am very interested in knowing what that treasure is that is laid up for us in heaven. Aren’t you?
Now, here is the Savior’s answer to Peter’s question. — “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting” (vv. 29-30).
Divisions: I see three things in verses 29-34, three things that demand our attention and are full of instruction for our souls.
1. A Promise
2. A Prophecy
3. A Problem.
I. First, our Savior here makes a broad, blessed promise to all who follow him regarding his all-sufficient, boundless grace.
(Luke 18:29-30) “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
What a blessed promise! It is not merely about the glory that awaits us, but is primarily about the grace that is ours in this world. Yes, in the world to come, we shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away and everlasting blessedness beyond the scope of human imagination. But our Savior here promises us that all who forsake all and follow him shall “receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” This promise refers distinctly to the life that now is. It is spoken of “this present time.”
Hear me, my brothers and sisters. We will never suffer loss at the hands of our Master! He promises us “manifold more” than we forsake by following him.
Does that mean that we will have greater riches, more property, greater fame, better health, a more tranquil life in this world, as the “health, wealth, prosperity” wolves of today promise? Of course not.
Our Lord’s promise obviously has a higher meaning. The “manifold more” of the promise refers not to carnal, but to spiritual things. Our Lord Jesus always gives infinitely better that he gets. He here promises us that he will give us, “in this present time,” indescribably more than we will ever be obliged to give up for his sake.
Yes, we must lose our lives to save them. We must forsake all, if we would have Christ. But giving up our lives is giving up nothing. The life we get is everything. What we forsake for Christ is nothing. What we get is Christ, who is all! For this Pearl of great price, any man who will not sell all that he has is a fool!
(Isaiah 55:1) "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
Illustration: The Pearl Merchant
Come, sell all that you have and buy the Pearl of great price, the Lord Jesus Christ, without money and without price, and you shall find everything your soul needs in him.
· No lack of Righteousness
· No lack of Atonement
· No lack of Holiness
· No lack of Grace
In Christ you will find everything your soul needs. Our Lord’s disciples found it so, and we shall, too (Luke 22:35).
(Luke 22:35) “And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.”
Hear me, my brother, my sister in Christ. — “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus!” He will give you, “in this present time,” such peace, hope, joy, comfort, and rest in sweet communion with himself, that you shall never lack anything. The Lord Jesus Christ shall be more to you than money, or property, or relatives, or friends.
· In our darkest hours, he keeps them in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed upon him (Isa. 23:6).
· He will give you grace to glory tribulation and take pleasure in reproaches, in infirmities, and in persecutions for his sake (Rom. 5:3; 2 Cor. 12:10).
· In your greatest heaviness, he will give you such joy unspeakable and full of glory that you will count it an honor to suffer shame for his name’s sake (1 Pet. 1:18; Acts 5:41; Rom. 8:28; 11:36; 1 Thess. 5:25).
Friends have often proved faithless. Great promises have often been broken. Riches have made themselves wings. But not one of Christ’s promises has ever been known to fall to the ground. Yes, “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus!”
(Romans 8:32) “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
In a word, you shall, no matter how long “this present time” shall last, no matter how what woes “this present time” shall bring, no matter how dark “this present time” shall appear, the Lord God, our great and gracious Savior, promises to all who forsake all and follow him, “My grace is sufficient for thee!”
God’s grace is sufficient grace (2 Cor. 12:7-10).
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10) “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
There is an infinite, super abounding, overflowing sufficiency in the grace of God to meet all the needs of all his people forever. No matter who you are, no matter what your needs may be, no matter what circumstances you are in, if you are a believer, if you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord God says to you — “My grace is sufficient for thee!” And I am here to tell you it is so!
· His grace is sufficient to sustain you in your trials (Isa. 43).
(Isaiah 43:1-5) “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. (4) Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. (5) Fear not: for I am with thee.”
· His grace is sufficient to uphold you in temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
(1 Corinthians 10:13) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
· His grace is sufficient to enable you to perform all his will (1 Thess. 5:25).
The providence of God will never take you where the grace of God will not keep you. — “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it!”
· His grace is sufficient to uphold, sustain, provide for, and protect his servants and to make their labors effectual to the souls of men. — “Our sufficiency is of God!”
· His grace is sufficient even for, no, especially, for his fallen saints (Psa. 37:23-25; Mk. 16:7).
(Psalms 37:23-25) “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. (25) I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
(Mark 16:7) “But go your way, tell his disciples AND PETER that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”
In your last hour, when you come to the swelling of the Jordan and are about to cross over to the other side, you will yet hear him say, “My grace is sufficient for thee!” When the world is on fire, you will look back over this world and all your life’s experiences and say, “He hath done all things well.”
“Now in a song of grateful praise,
To my dear Lord my voice I'll raise,
With all the saints I'll join to tell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
All worlds his glorious power to bless,
His wisdom all his works confess,
But O his love what tongue can tell!
My Jesus hath done all things well.
I spurned his grace - I broke his laws,
And yet he undertook my cause,
To save my sinful soul from hell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
Tho' oft my Lord his face doth hide,
To make me pray, or kill my pride,
Yet on my mind it still doth dwell,
My Jesus will do all things well.
Soon I shall pass this vale of death,
And in his arms resign my breath,
O then my happy soul shall tell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.
And when to that bright world I rise,
And join sweet seraphs in the skies,
Above the rest this note shall swell,
My Jesus hath done all things well.”
In that great day, should the Lord Jesus ask, “Lacked ye anything?” Our response will be, “Nothing.”
“Let us grasp this promise firmly. Let us go forward in the way of life with a firm conviction that it is a promise which is the property of all God’s people. Let us not give way to doubts and fears because of difficulties that cross our path. Let us press onward with a strong persuasion, that if we lose anything for Christ’s sake, Christ will make it up to us even in this present world. The well of living water is always near us, as we travel through the wilderness of this world. Yet for lack of faith we often fail to see it, and faint by the way (Gen. 21:19)”
J. C. Ryle
Oh, how unsearchable are the riches of Christ “in this present time.” And after this, in the world to come — “Life everlasting.” He gives us grace her, boundless, infinite, free grace, and glory in the world to come!
The Lord Jesus is a gracious Master. His service is sweet. I have proved it. These disciples found it so, and I have too. Oh trust the Lord! They who trust him lack nothing, neither in this world, nor in the world to come! All this and heaven too! — “And in the world to come life everlasting!”
II. Second, we have before us our Savior’s clear and detailed prophecy concerning his own death as our Substitute (vv. 31-33).
(Luke 18:31-33) “Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. (32) For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: (33) And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
The Lord Jesus, from old eternity, set his face like a flint to go to Calvary and die in our place, bearing our sins in his own body, that he might suffer all the wrath of God to the full satisfaction of justice, to put away our sins and redeem us from the curse of the law. Now, he says to his disciples, — “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
It was for this cause that he came into the world (Matt. 1:21; Heb. 10:5-14). He came here to give his life a ransom for many, to make his soul an offering for sin, and to bear our transgressions in his own body on the tree. He was born in Bethlehem so that he might pour out his life’s blood unto death at Jerusalem.
· Let our souls ever be clothed with wonder and amazement before our Savior and his great love for us.
(Romans 5:6-8) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
(1 John 3:16) “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
(1 John 4:9-10) “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. (10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
· Let us ever glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 6:14) “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
He never swerved from his path for a moment. He was straitened in spirit until he had finished the work he came to do. (Luke 12:50.) Such love passes knowledge. It is unspeakable — unsearchable! We may rest on that love without fear. If Christ so loved us before we thought of him, he will surely not cease to love us after we have believed.
Our Savior’s calmness in the prospect of certain death is an example for us. Like him, let us drink the bitter cup which our Father gives us, without a murmur, and say, “not my will but yours be done.” Believers have no reason to be afraid of death and the grave. Christ died to deliver us from the fear of death (Heb. 2:15; 1 Cor. 15:56-57).
(1 Corinthians 15:56-57) “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
· Because he died, we shall never die.
· Because he arose, we shall arise.
· Because he lives, we shall forever live!
III. Now, look at verse 34 and you will see, in the last place, a very sad, but very common problem among true believers.
(Luke 18:34) “And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
When the Lord Jesus described his coming sufferings and death, as he often did, his disciples didn’t understand a thing he said. Its significance was hidden from them. They failed to grasp what he was talking about. We read such passages as these with a mixture of pity and surprise. We wonder at the darkness and blindness of the Jews. We marvel that in the face of plain teaching, and in the light of plain types of the Mosaic law, the sufferings of Christ were not known. But when we read of the ignorance and unbelief of these disciples, these who truly forsook all and followed him, who truly trusted him, we are amazed. These were saved men, the apostles of our Lord!
What pride, arrogance, and hypocrisy that fact reveals in us. We have greater light than they had, we have the whole volume of Holy Scripture. We walk no longer, as they did, in the dim light of types, shadows, ceremonies, and carnal ordinances. We have the full sunshine of God’s complete Revelation. Yet, we are terribly ignorant, fearful, and unbelieving!
Why did God the Holy Spirit inspire Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to tell us so much about the ignorance and unbelief, the weaknesses and fears, the falls and failings, and even the denials and abandonments of these faithful men? He did so to teach us…
· That were he to leave us to ourselves, we would all soon perish. — But, thank God, he will not leave us to ourselves! — The fact is, if ever he strips you naked before him, he will never quit stripping you, until you are with Christ in Glory.
· That our salvation is not dependent upon the strength and quality of our faith, but upon the strength and quality of our Savior.
· That it is not our knowledge that saves us, but Christ.
· That salvation is altogether the work of God’s free grace.
· That God’s saints in this world, as long as we live in this world, are still weak, sinful, failing, and ignorant men. — Nothing more!
· And that we must, as long as we are in this weak state, live by faith in Christ. — “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
Yet, it is to us, weak, ignorant, sinful, unbelieving believers, that the Lord Jesus Christ made the promise we read in verses 29 and 30. It is to us that he says, — “Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
(John 13:31-33) “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. (32) If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. (33) Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.”
(John 13:36-38) “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. (38) Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”
(John 14:1-4) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
I Asked The LORD That I Might Grow.
I ASKED the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.
[‘Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust, has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.]
I hoped that in some favoured hour,
At once he’d answer my request;
And, by his love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart,
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea, more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
“Lord, why is this?” I trembling cried;
“Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?”
“‘Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”
“These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayst seek thy all in me.”
 Date: Danville — Sunday Evening — November 14, 2004
Todds RD Grace Church — Lexington, KY
Wednesday PM — November 17, 2004
Tape # Y-48a
Readings: Bob Poncer and Larry Criss