Our message today is entitled “Do You Have Jesus’ Values?” The dictionary defines values as “a person’s principles or standards of behavior, one’s judgement of what is important in life.” What you value in life determines your priorities, your thoughts and your actions.
Proverbs 10:2 (NIV) Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death.
Treasure that is accumulated by sinful methods has no value in God’s eyes. However, righteousness, living rightly before God has great value, as it is able to deliver a person from eternal death.
Matthew 13:45-46 (ESV) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
In this short parable, Jesus likens the kingdom of God to a fine pearl of great value. Actually of the greatest value, greater than everything else in life. So, the merchant sold everything else he had, for it was of less value than the pearl of great value, order to buy it. The point of Jesus story is that entering into the kingdom of God is of the greatest value.
We must value that more than everything else and give up all else for the kingdom. Now, there are good values that we should have, the things that God values. And there are bad values, things that God does not value, things the world values.
Luke 16:15 (NIV) What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
There is much that our world today values that God detests. The world values a woman’s so-called right to choose to kill her unborn child. God detests that selfish value and places great value on every child from conception. The world values children being manipulated into choosing a different gender and having their bodies surgically mutilated. God detests those values and values every boy and girl that He has created in His image. The world values homosexual behavior and celebrates it. God detests homosexuality and desires for every person to be set free to live out the their lives in sexual purity as men and women created in His image. The world values money, pride and fame. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Today, we want to learn about what Jesus values from His teaching. We want to learn what Jesus values so that we can make His values our values. This will make our values different than the values of the unbelieving world. But God will use the light of His values shining through us to push back the darkness. To set those captive to the world’s values free to live by Jesus’ values.
Luke 14:1-2 (ESV) One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.
Jesus loved to eat with different types of people, from the lowliest to the highest. In this incident, he ate at a dinner party after Sabbath worship hosted by a leading Pharisee. The other Jewish leaders at the dinner were carefully watching him. They were not watching him to learn, they were watching to try to trap him and cancel him in the eyes of the people. At the dinner party a man suffering from dropsy, a serious swelling disease often caused by heart or liver problems. Most likely, the Jewish leaders had planted him there to see what Jesus would do.
Luke 14:3-4 (ESV) And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away.
Jesus, knowing what was on their minds asked them the question “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” In other words, did the word of God forbid someone to be healed on the Sabbath. You see, the Bible, did say that no work should be done on the Sabbath. The intention of that command was that everyone should have at least one day of rest from their regular work every week in order to worship God. Yet, the Jews had invited all kinds of rules to determine whether something was work or not. As the Jews did not answer Jesus’ question, He laid his hands on the man, who was immediately healed. It says that the man was sent away, implying he was not a dinner guest, but had been planted there to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath.
Luke 14:5-6 (ESV) And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things.
Jesus asks the others at the dinner party a second question. If you have something of value, such as an ox or even a son and they fall into a well on the Sabbath, what will you do? You would certainly rescue either an animal or person from harm on the Sabbath. And they had nothing to say, because that is what they would have done. Jesus’ point was that this man who was ill had great value. So, Jesus healed him to bring him to wholeness. Jesus values healing about man-made rules and regulations.
So, let’s bring this Scripture into our world today. Jesus knew that if He healed the man, He would get in trouble with the Jewish leaders. But He did it anyway. Why? Because He had great value in healing, to show the power of the Kingdom and help people. Jesus valued healing because He valued people who were hurting.
What do we do when we see someone who is sick, disabled or ill? Do we stop whatever we’re doing and pray for them to be healed? Why not? What are the first thoughts that come into your mind when you think about praying for someone? What will they think of me? Maybe they’ll think I’m a religious fanatic. What if I pray for them and nothing happens. It might affect our relationship.
And we could go on. Who are all those excuses about healing focused on? They’re focused on you and your feelings, not the person suffering and in need of healing. They’re focused on you and not on Jesus’ values. They same situation occurs when we consider whether to witness to someone, to provide spiritual healing. Jesus didn’t care what other people thought about Him and neither should we. Our values should be Jesus’ values and Jesus values healing.
Luke 14:7 (ESV) Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
Jesus is still at this diner party where He had just healed a man from a serious disease. Jesus was watching all the dinner guests and saw how they seated themselves. Apparently, they were jockeying for the best seats, those next to the dinner host or Jesus. There seeking to choose the best seats in the house revealed their values.
Luke 14:8-9 (ESV) “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
Jesus then began to tell them another story, but the story was aimed right at His fellow dinner guests.
He told them not to seek out the places of honor when invited to a dinner. If they did, the host may come and take you to the lowest place and bring someone else into your current higher place. Rather than being honored as you wished, you would then be shamed.
Luke 14:10-11 (ESV) But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Rather, you should sit at the lowest place, the place farthest away from the head table. Rather than exalting yourself, the host may come and have you sit at the head table. The principle is that if you exalt yourself, you will be humbled. And if you humble yourself, you will be exalted. Jesus values humility over pride and so should we.
A proud person values himself above all those around him. Not only does a proud person value himself above others, he seeks to let others know that he is better than everyone else. Pride is a value of the world. Humility is what Jesus valued and so should we. A proud person is very concerned with what other people think of him. The fear of man is rooted in pride.
A humble person is only concerned about what God thinks about him. The fear of God leads to humility A proud person desires to be served by others. A humble person seeks to serve those around themselves. A humble person considers others as more important than himself. A proud person doesn’t want to serve others, whether in their family, at work or in the church. A humble person is always looking for ways to serve, In their family, at work or in the church. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Jesus values humility and so should we.
Luke 14:12 (ESV) He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.
Next Jesus turns to the host of the dinner party he had been invited to, a prominent Jewish leader. He told him, when you give a banquet, don’t invite all your friends, relatives and rich neighbors. That was exactly what the Jewish leader had done. The feast was filled with influential people. Why shouldn’t a person invite all these people? Because the motive is to invite people who can benefit yourself, who can repay you, who can invite you to their dinner parties. Rather …
Luke 14:13 (ESV) But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
The poor, crippled, lame and blind are people that are not going to be able to do anything for your fame or fortune or career. When you invite these kind of people, you are doing it not for yourself, not for what you’re going to get out of the dinner. When you invite the poor, you are being generous and thinking about giving, not receiving. In fact, there was one lame person at this dinner party, but not as a guest. The man with dropsy had been invited to seek to trap Jesus, but the trap had failed. What will be the result when you are generous, not seeking a return for yourself?
Luke 14:14 (ESV) and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Jesus tells us that those who are generous are not going to miss out, they will be blessed. They won’t be financially blessed by the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. But the generous will be blessed in this life by God and will be repaid many times over in eternity. You see, being generous is a mark and value of the just or righteous, who will inherit eternal life. Being stingy, only helping those who you think will help you, is a worldly value. Jesus values generosity and so should we.
Generosity can apply to money, possessions and time.Do we hoard these things to ourselves, or do we share what we have with others. Do we only give to someone or something if we think there will be a return in it for us? Or do we give because we value generosity and trust God to meet our needs. A generous person gives tithes and offerings to the church to help the needy in St Louis and around the world. They are not going to be able to repay you, but God will bless you and meet your needs. A generous person gives of their time to serve others in need, both in their church family and in the rest of their life. A generous person gives, not expecting a return from the recipient, but only a blessing from God. God has called us to value generosity and trust Him to be our source.
Our message today was entitled “Do You Have Jesus’ Values”? After studying Jesus’ teaching this morning, we can all agree that we have room to grow in having Jesus’ values. God desires for us to value healing, because Jesus did. To value bringing healing to others more than our worries about what others may think of us.
God desires for us to value humility with our lives. To think of others as more important than ourselves and to serve them. To not seek to elevate ourselves above others, but to be a servant of all.
Finally, God desires for us to value generosity, to make it a priority in our lives. To give to others, even though we know they cannot repay us. Our faith is in God who supplies us with everything we need in life. May each of us say this morning. Yes, I want to make healing, humility and generosity values and priorities in my life. May God help us to grow in becoming more and more like Jesus.