Ignoring Truth

Success in Godliness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  55:25
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We are finishing up Luke 22 and as we have been going through in these past few weeks we have found Jesus arrested in a clandestine manner. He was arrested in secret under the cover of night. This was done because the religious leaders who wanted Jesus out of the way were afraid of the people they were supposed to be leading because the people believed in Jesus. Last week we saw that Jesus was beaten before any sentence was even passed. His accusers brought Him to the high priests home for a hearing which Luke never records for us but Luke does record the beating Jesus endured that very evening. Jesus was completely innocent and even by Jewish court He was innocent but His accusers punished Him anyway.
This morning as we look at Luke's account of Jesus' trial we will see a rejection of truth for a lie. We will see how people who say they want the truth only want to use it against you and there is nothing you can say to convince them otherwise. We will see this morning how when people are confronted with the reality that Jesus is who He says He is that people will just ignore Him. Still through the truth being ignored Jesus is still exalted.
Let's go ahead and look at Luke 22:66-71,
Luke 22:66–71 NASB95
When it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer. “But from now on THE SON OF MAN WILL BE SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND of the power OF GOD.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”
In verse 66 Luke begins by telling us that "when it was day." Luke doesn't record for us the trial proceedings at night which took place in the high priests home. We know that from Matthew, Mark and from John there was a trial that happen at night immediately following the arrest. The problem with having a trial at night, and especially one with a capital punishment such as this one, is that it was illegal. So there was a trial in the evening in which they had found a verdict against Jesus but they couldn't pass sentence until morning. Now morning has arrived and we find they reconvene and they reconvene in the appropriate place to have a trial, Luke here tells us "they led Him away to their council chamber," which would have been in the temple.
Now there is some debate on whether or not the proceedings we have here in Luke happened at this very time or if they only happened at night. Matthew and Mark record this interchange during the evening trial where as Luke records it here when the council convened. There is no reason why it couldn't have happened twice. First at night and then a second time during the day because the evening proceedings were not deemed legal so there is no reason why they would't have had this conversation a second time.
Still the fact remains this trial that is taking place is not a trial which seeks after the truth for the sake of setting an innocent man free it is actual a trial looking for the truth so the truth can condemn an innocent man. Even with the truth these religious leaders ignore the truth and instead they twist truth for their own devises. Ignoring Truth, begins oddly enough with Seeking Truth.

Seeking Your own Truth

Look with me at verse 67, the religious leaders ask Jesus a very point blank question. "If You are the Christ, tell us." Wow here we are these men just want to know is Jesus their long awaited Messiah, the anointed or chosen One of God. The Israelites have been looking for a political leader from the line of David and they have heard the buzz from the people that Jesus is this man. Jesus has even proved that He is Messiah with making the lame walk, and causing the blind to see and the deaf to hear. So now these men want to know from Jesus' mouth are you the Christ the One Israel has been waiting for.
The evidence has been there and in fact this question also came from someone else earlier in this gospel remember John the Baptist who was in prison was curious about Jesus. Look with me at Luke 7:18-23
Luke 7:18–23 NASB95
The disciples of John reported to him about all these things. Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” When the men came to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, to ask, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?’ ” At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He gave sight to many who were blind. And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
Notice the evidence Jesus provides for these men to take back to John. These men had just witnessed exorcisms, healings and heard the preaching of the gospel and these were to be the proofs for John that Jesus is who they have been waiting for. This wasn't an isolated incident, this happened continually. Not only did these events happen on a continuous basis but the reason why Jesus even mentioned these things is because of the description of the long awaited Messiah in the Old Testament says this;
Isaiah 35:3–6 NASB95
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah.
And here is Jesus doing these very things. He is performing these glorious miracles, proofs that God is doing something miraculous. This is what John's disciples were to report back to John the evidence of the truth they sought. They weren't out to make up their own truth they wanted real truth. They sought out the source of truth and they witnessed the evidence of truth and they reported it back to John.
You would think with this much evidence and Luke is filled with this kind of evidence, which the religious leaders have seen, that they wouldn't have need to ask for the truth. The problem with this question and the seeking of the truth in this case is that it is only for the purpose of incriminating Jesus. These men don't really want to know Jesus' identity all they want to do is catch Him in something they can use against Him. These men were seeking truth but they were seeking truth with the wrong motive. As we will see they have already made up their minds on what the truth really is.
Jesus, being God in the flesh, knows their hearts and knows their motives so He responds to their search for truth and this is a very powerful response. He tells in them at the end of verse 67 and verse 68; "If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer." This isn't the first time the religious leaders have sought to incriminate Jesus with Jesus' own words. They have done it before and Jesus has silenced them continuously. Jesus knows they are not out to learn truth they are only out to use truth against Him and this is the fact.
This is exactly how Satan and the World work they see with their eyes what is before them and they use it to their advantage which is to further themselves and their power. Jesus will not waste His breath defending Himself. He knows that if He says He is the Christ they will just use it against Him and not have faith in Him and faith in God and God's master plan. Which is actually what is going on. This was God's master plan. These men seeking their own truth fall in line with what Satan is doing and it also is moving the events in God's favor. They have made up their minds before they even brought Jesus in to be tried.
When Jesus first began His Passion week we find that these men were looking to destroy Him.
Luke 19:47–48 NASB95
And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said.
Later in Luke 20 we find that they still can't catch Him;
Luke 20:26 NASB95
And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.
And it wasn't until Judas came on the scene that they were even able to get close to Jesus. Listen Judas never testified against Jesus, He only led Jesus enemies to Him. Judas gave them opportunity they needed to bring Jesus to this unjust mockery of a court. Jesus knows and understands this, Jesus knows they have already rejected Him so He will not entertain their questions He in actuality stays silent.
As much as these religious leaders think they are in control of these proceedings the reality is they are not, Jesus is still in control.

Provision of Truth

Let's look at Jesus' further response in Luke 22:69, "But from now on," meaning from this point on Jesus has reached the end of His earthly ministry. Again Jesus is in control. He continues, "The Son of Man will be seated at the right Hand of the power of God." Jesus is quoting here psalm 110:1
Psalm 110:1 NASB95
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
I don't want you to miss the irony in this, Jesus who is truth is standing on trial for who He is and what He is by men who are only out to defame His name and character to suit their own needs. The Righteous Judge is being falsely judged. This is a battle between truth and lie, and the truth will win over all. These men who stand accusing Jesus right now will One day stand before Jesus accused and Jesus will be their Judge. They are about to put Jesus on the cross which will exalt Him to His rightful place at the Right hand of the power of God. Jesus is providing for them the truth of who He is and what is truly going on that even though they will kill His body for a very short time, He will be glorified.
Now Jesus sitting at the right hand of God means He will be seated with Power, and it actually places Him on the same leave as God. God is the only true Judge and Jesus that power is given to Jesus as well and He will Judge all nations and tribes. It is only through Him that people can even escape the verdict of guilty and be sent to hell.
The religious leaders of the day had the truth before Him, Jesus Christ. They also had the truth before them in the Scriptures. Daniel the prophet points to this very truth about God raising One up to His right side. Look with me at Daniel 7
Daniel 7:13–14 NASB95
“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
You would think the religious leaders who are to be the ones who are the spiritual leaders of the Israelite people would have been wanting to see this happen. You would think that if they were students of God's truth they would be longing to see this take place. Here is a man who has demonstrated with undeniable evidence that He has come in the power of God and now tells them He is to be exalted to God's right hand and you would think this passage would come to mind. But even with Jesus providing truth about who He is and what is about to happen because of this event they simple ignore the truth.
They take Jesus' saying and instead of looking at the truth and really thinking through what He has said they decide to ask Jesus another question, still looking for Him to incriminate Himself. So they ask in verse 70, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Notice they aren't pondering on the truth, they aren't thinking what does He mean He will be sitting at the right hand of power, what does this mean for us. No, they are just looking for their own truth. They are trying to clear their own conscience by acquiring proof from Jesus' mouth to put Him to death.
Jesus' response to this is not an affirmation or a denial. Basically what Jesus says is, whatever, you said not me. It is a basic shrugging of the shoulders throwing your hands in the air and giving up on the argument because the person you are arguing with is just not listening to what you are saying. The truth has been provided and they are just going to distorted.
Now the problem with ignoring truth is first you make up your own truth, then even when truth is provided you don't believe and lastly and most sobering is even if you ignore truth, Truth still Condemns.

Truth still Condemns

Let's look at how the religious leaders handle Jesus, "yes, I am." Verse 71 says, "Then they said, What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth." What, what have they heard from His own mouth? He hasn't said anything. The only thing He did was quote a Scripture from the book of Psalms, that is enough to claim blasphemy. They asked if He is the Son of God, and since Jesus didn't deny it and they didn't believe anyone could have the same character as God as Jesus was claim to have they saw this as blasphemy. This truth condemned Jesus to the cross. The funny thing is this same truth is what will condemn those men who sentenced Jesus.
There is only one way to heaven and that way is by believing the truth of the gospel message. Believing this actual claim that Jesus is the Son of God who takes away the sin of the world. The problem that is happening here is these men are ignoring this very truth and they are looking at it as a means of putting Jesus to death and the funny thing is this is their claim to blasphemy and they never bring this up when they bring Jesus before the Gentile rulers. Their only accusation is that Jesus claimed to be the King of the Jews.
They were condemning themselves with the truth. The truth of God is what brings about condemnation. Look at what Paul says in Romans 1:18-32
Romans 1:18–32 NASB95
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
The truth of who God is and the evidence of who He is throughout recorded history proofs that man is condemned by sin but look at what Paul says later in Romans about sin.
Romans 8:1–4 NASB95
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
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