jesus and his disciples went onto the villages around caesarea philippi on the way, he asked them who do people say I am, they replied, some say john the baptist, others say elijah and still others, one of the prophets. But what about you? Who do you say? I am Amen. It’s good to be with you this morning. We are going to continue going through the book of luke. We’ve been working our way through this for a couple of falls and now winter and so we, we’ve been making our way through. But it’s amazing to just go through a verse by verse, section by section and discover God’s word with you today. I’m, I’m calling the sermon today the greater one and you’ll see why here. But I thought for a good example or just a good illustration might be um something that’s happened to me, I will just share a story, Maybe it’s happened to you. I wish I could say this has only happened once, but it’s actually happened multiple times. And it’s when I’ve gone to the fridge and I open the fridge and I’m looking for something, let’s say catch up. Right. And I open the fridge and I’m like, there’s no ketchup, Hey baby, is there any, do we have ketchup? Is there any ketchup, yep, it’s on the right shelf, like there’s no catch up. She walks in, you know, she’s like, it’s right here, you know, like, yep right in front of my face, right? It’s, it’s amazing how sometimes it’s like right there and you can miss it and I’m like how in the world did that just happen. And so I think that just gives us a little bit of as you’ll see. Looking at luke 11 26 2 39. What I’m talking about here. So let me read here, Luke 11, the first portion 1126 through 32. And then we’ll jump into that. It says as the crowds were increasing. He began saying, this generation is an evil generation. It demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Ninevah. So also the son of man will be to this generation, the queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon and look something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Ninevah will stand up in judgment with this generation and condemn it because they repented at Jonas preaching and look something greater than Jonah is here. And so it speaks about it a couple of times, just the greater one and initially, you know, we see in the crowds are increasing, it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger and most people would be like, yes, yes, right, we’re gaining momentum. This is exactly what we want, bigger, bigger, bigger more people and yet jesus kind of slashes that pretty quickly. We look back on verse 14, which was covered uh this last week and looking at, hey, why was it even getting bigger? Well, in verse 14, it talks about how he was healing a person who was mute, right? He had a mute demon in him. He cast that out and people were amazed and says they were amazed. And so they started gathering and it’s pretty easy, you have a street performer, a guy playing some music on the corner or whatever and right, if they’re really good, you can gather a crowd pretty quickly, people come around and if someone’s healing people doing some miraculous things, I don’t think it would take much to be like, tell your buddy, call your friend, gather people and all of a sudden you have a big crowd. That’s right. The crowd is getting bigger and bigger and bigger a lot of times we think, yes, bigger, right? More. And then jesus says, this is a wicked generation, alright, if you want to cut a crowd real quickly, go there, right, this is a wicked generation. And so that’s where he starts and he’s and and so he says, you guys is sin is right out there, it’s wicked, it’s evil. And no one, I get it right. No one wants to be called evil. No one likes to be called wicked. I mean, nowadays we would rather kind of flaunt our sin and accept it, right? Just promote it. No one wants to be called wicked or evil. I mean I don’t either, but yet we know it intrinsically inherently you and I know our wickedness. We know we’re so familiar with it. We might not like somebody else saying it, but we know it even thinking about an atheist, right? If they have no, what’s their moral code based on, I don’t know, but they would still have things like, hey, don’t kill somebody, don’t still don’t cheat them, right? They would still have this kind of moral code that they make up. And yet they break their own moral code. And so they even know everyone knows that inherently were born with this sin nature. And that’s really the beginning of the gospel, right? Because if I don’t understand that I have a sin nature. If I don’t see myself as a sinner, if I don’t see my own wickedness, what do we need a savior for? I don’t need jesus, I don’t need him. But when I recognize my sin, I also recognize my need for help, my need for a savior. And so as jesus calls us out, people, some people respond and they know that they, they say, yeah, jesus, we we need you, you are our savior. And some just say no, no, right? They reject him not. You were looking for somebody else. We’re looking for a different savior. And he called them wicked in this instance specifically because they keep demanding a sign mm In Luke 11 again as he cast out that demon. He then you know, they’re like amazed but then they say he’s doing this by the prince of demons, right? Like diesel bub. They’re like calling them satanic, your power comes from satan. So he’s doing all these signs and then they call him evil, they call him satanic and then they’re saying we’ll do another sign proved us right? Something more. I mean what do you what do they want him to do? Alright someone who the mute speaks death, here’s blind, see the dead are raised. The storm is calm to these thousands on crumbs like what do they want? What do they want? Right. They’re not gonna be pleased. There’s nothing he’s going to do that all of a sudden. I think that’s a good enough miracle. Got it, yep. You cross the threshold now are bad. There’s nothing they’re gonna do. And he talks about this in Matthew 13 to where he he says, what do we say about this generation? He’s like we we sang a dirge you didn’t mourn. We played a song, you didn’t dance. There’s nothing you could do, right. There is no nothing as a miracle. Nothing you could say that was going to make him happy. It was like a it was like a kid who wouldn’t be pleased no matter what And that’s what he says because they continue to ask for more and more and what he has done is never good enough dan. I’ll quote dan from last week, right? He said miracles do not produce faith and that’s so true. You know it’s derived from romans 10 7, 1017 Where it says faith comes by hearing right? And so that’s what’s our point, they could do anything. They want whatever miracle it is, there’s no miracle good enough that all of a sudden they’re gonna change their mind, their hearts were hardened, they were just hard and callused towards God, what did that say? I’m gonna give you the sign of Jonah Alright, that’s gonna be the final ultimate sign is the sign of Jonah. As Jonah was in the belly of a large fish for three days, vomited out, goes to ninevah, they repent right? So just as that he’s saying, I am going to be in the earth for three days and I am gonna be raised from the dead and I’m going to present myself to you and I am the greater Jonah, I’m the Greater Jonah, I am the Greater one. He’s going to come forward and so he’s pointing to himself that he is going to be the final, the ultimate sign miracle that these people can continue to look for his resurrection and it is also the final ultimate sign that we have today, We look back on that in history as the ultimate proof validating the words of christ that he rose from the dead, that is something we look for also. And then he then he goes on and says the Queen the Queen of the South, this is the Queen of Sheba Talk spoken of in first kings 10 the stories in there where she just had this slight understanding, she heard of same uh Solomon and his wisdom and the kingdom and his knowledge and all these things. And just even at that she recognized that this was from God. This was not just some smart man Who’s doing a good job managing a kingdom. This wisdom was different, it was from God. And so she packed up 1500 miles. Today would be Yemen goes to Jerusalem. This huge caravan probably took months and months and months in an astronomical cost. But she knew it was worth it to seek wisdom. And she went and found Solomon and then all of her questions were asked and all of them were answered. Actually it says that she was left without breath, she had nothing more to say. She was so amazed that the wisdom of God. And so she went out and found that in the jews right, they were looking in their spiritual fridge, right? They were looking and they were missing right what was right in front of them, Jonah or the queen. I mean they had much less, much less to go on than what the jews had and yet they sought out, they recognized what was in front of them and that’s what we need to do, right. We have to recognize what is in front of us. and it goes on to say in verse 31 and 32 that because they recognize they’re going to stand up at the judgment of these men of this wicked generation, they recognized the wisdom, they, you know, the queen pursued that, she gained wisdom at the sign of Jonah, the dynamite’s repented and yet there’s something greater and they’re rejecting him. There’s something greater than Jonah, something someone greater than Solomon. And they’re saying, no, they’re rejecting what’s right in front of them. They couldn’t fathom that jesus from Nazareth would be their savior. And it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty sharp indictment to them because not only were they foreigners right there, gentile pagans and one was a woman and they were the chosen people of God. Their pride was so high. They were so arrogant that they couldn’t see their savior that they’ve been looking for for hundreds of years. They didn’t see him right in front of him. And so these pagan gentiles are going to stand up symbolically and metaphorically at the judgment and condemn them offer much less. And so what what do we need to do that? What do we need to do? One is just a reminder as believers, we have to look with our spiritual eyes. There’s so much going on around us in our world that we can get taken off. Course we can get distracted, we can lose sight of what’s happening Matthew 13 tells us this and he’s speaking of why he speaks in parables but it is the same, still says those seeing they do not see though hearing, they do not hear or understand in them is fulfilled. The prophecy of Isaiah, you will be ever hearing but never understanding, you will be ever seeing but never perceiving for the people’s hearts have become callous, they hardly hear with their ears and they have closed their eyes otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them but blessed are your eyes because they see in your ears because they hear as believers are we hearing and seeing what God is doing amongst us. I mean God is moving, he is active. It’s amazing to see even in this church, this small church in Lincoln Nebraska we have people who hear the word of God and are changing their lives, they’re turning their lives to christ and they’re getting saved. Last time we had baptism we have six people walk through in obedience to God’s word and and be baptized right? There are marriages that are building on the foundation that christ has set forward, there are families that are raising kids and the fear and instruction of the Lord. There are people who are living out their daily lives at work in, in the community feel fulfilling the great commandment? The great commission, there is so much going on around us? Sometimes we have to pull back and remember and see what’s going on because we can be blinded and distracted by the things in our own world. How many times do we just focus on ourselves and and what’s going on? And then we don’t even see what’s happening. We have we have problems of our own, we have trials of our own, we have issues of our own, but sometimes we need to step back and see what God is doing alright. We can find ourselves just down these rabbit holes if we’re on social media or reading the news or the latest conversation and and it becomes this big thing in our lives. I mean I’ve heard it said that even a penny as small as a penny, right? A penny can block the sun if you hold it close enough to your eye and we hold our problems and our issues sometimes so close to our eyes that we don’t see the true light God and his work that’s going on around us. And I know that can be difficult because our lives are what seemed to be first and foremost in our world. And so hebrews 12 tells us we need to refocus says, fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Sometimes we need to recalibrate, sometimes we need a take a step back and look at what we’re focusing on, is it jesus, is it what he is doing? Is that the word of God, is it his truth, His promises. And so sometimes we just need to recalibrate. Right? So let’s look with our spiritual eyes. If you don’t see what God is doing around you, maybe you need to stop and take a step back and examine what am I focusing on? My focusing on God or myself that I can’t see where he’s moving. And then he goes on into the next next portion of scripture and it seems like kind of a standalone piece. But they do tie back into each other. And so I’ll read it Verse 33 says no one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar under a basket. But on a lamp stand so that those who come in may see its light your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness. Take care then that the light in you is not darkness if therefore your whole body is full of light. With no part of it. In darkness it will be entirely illuminated as when a lamp shines its light on you. And so yes, there’s two parts of this where yes jesus is the light? Right? So and we’ll talk about that, but there’s also another piece of it that says just like common vernacular, right? If I was that if I was in class and I was trying to explain something to a student and they’re just not getting it. But eventually they get it. They might say, ah the light came on, right, Like the light bulb came on. Or if someone is talking to me and I’m just not getting it. I may, I may say, I kind of feel like I’m in the dark over here. It means right, light and dark in these situations. I mean, I don’t get it. I don’t understand. I’m not comprehending. And so it’s used both ways in this portion of scripture. The first portion in verse 33 says no one lights a lamp and put it under a basket. Jesus is the light of the world, john 8 12 he says, I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will be, but will have the light of life. So he is the light. And what’s happening here is again, he’s proving this. He’s going out and he’s doing these miracles and he’s validating exactly what he’s saying. Everything he says is happening. And yet it’s not enough, right? And so they’re trying these religious people these days who are rejecting, jesus are trying to hide the light under that basket in the cellar and they don’t want people to see if they want to extinguish that. And so that’s bring going back to the wicked generation and jesus is standing here as a light and they’re trying to hide it and suppress it. And that’s no different as in our time, right? If you mentioned jesus, if you mentioned in the bible, it’s like, yeah, people will want to suppress it. They want to hide that. They want to bury that. And yet it doesn’t change. That, jesus is the light and the truth for our day. And it’s quite a again and it’s quite an indictment when it when we look at nine Nova and the Queen, as we said, they had much less information. They didn’t have the Bible, they didn’t have profits before that speaking to them. And yet they recognized what was in front of them and we are living in what the information age, there’s no shortage of information you can ask Siri about anything doesn’t mean you give the right answer, but right. You you can get information, you can get so much information. You don’t even know how to process and deal with all of it. But we live in an information age and it’s not information that’s always gonna be the catalyst of what changes you. It has to be putting your faith in christ, okay, We’re not going to be short of information. And I’ve walked through this even in evangelism, I can sometimes feel ill equipped and ill just ill equipped because I can’t answer this guy’s questions on geology and then this guy has a question on astronomy. This one has biology and this one’s psychology and it’s like, I don’t know all these answers and I’m not gonna know all the answers. And so do I feel am I ill equipped to share the Gospel? Because I don’t have all the information. No, God has given us enough. He has given us the playbook. He has given us the words in history to share the Gospel. We are not left short. It doesn’t mean that the bible doesn’t speak to some of these things and it doesn’t mean that science doesn’t validate the bible in its claims. And it’s proof. So this we’re just not gonna know everything all the time. And that’s where John three comes in. It’s like, well why is that? Why can I have a bunch of answers though? If I can answer your every question, won’t that mean you get saved? If I can answer all your questions, shouldn’t you just get saved. Right? So then if I can present enough information, everybody should get saved. Like no John three tells us this is the judgment the light has come into the world, but the people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil for everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it. So that his deeds may not be exposed. It doesn’t matter even for you in evangelism, you could give an answer to every question a person may have, but if a person loves the darkness and they love their sin more than they love jesus, they’re not going to turn and repent. That doesn’t mean we should be ill equipped, but it does mean that God has to draw them in. The bible says that God draws them in. We are we have been given that messenger responsibility right to proclaim the truth, but God is ultimately going to be the one who draws them in, not not you, and if you have enough information, and so we need to be presenting that to each person, knowing that God’s work will do the do the job to draw them in. In verse 34, it goes on and say, you know, talks about your eyes, it says, your eye is the lamp of your body, and when it’s good, your whole body is good. But when it’s bad, your whole body is bad. And I mean, just even as an organ, your eye, let’s light in to your brain and processes and it tells you what you see, right? It can then comprehend what is going on around you. But if my eye is bad, even if I went out and looked at the sun, it’s not gonna process that. It’s not gonna take it in, and I can’t comprehend it. So even though jesus is there some are seeing with their spiritual eyes and they’re taking that in and they’re seeing jesus as the Savior. Some it doesn’t matter. Their eyes are bad and even if even the light of the world standing there in front of them, they’re not processing that, they’re not taking it and they’re not internalizing it and they’re not going to get changed, they’re not gonna submit to christ as the savior. So then it tells us, okay, What do you need to do in verse 30 35 and 36? It tells us to be careful. Your version may say watch out in our text today. This is the only command. It’s the only imperative, right? So this is telling us do something, it’s telling you what to do, right? Take action here and what did he tell you to take action from tells us take care of them. That the light in you is not darkness don’t be deceived, but we need to watch out what we’re taking in because things can look good. They might even sound good but if they contradict the bible, they are not good. And again as we focus on the wrong thing, we might veer off, john piper said, you know there are many bright things in the world that keep us from seeing the true light of christ, just like the city lights, the streetlights can keep you from seeing the stars and so what are we focusing on because we can all be deceived, we have to know that and that is part of the strength of the body. But the hard part is we hear so much information again, we live in an information age. We hear more and more and more information. How can you validate all that? How can you cross check it? How can you go back to the bible and everything? And so what happens is we, we, we kind of ascribe to people, hey, they, they know what they’re talking about. They are, they are the expert, right? And so I’m just gonna listen to them, right? Maybe they’re a professor or a PhD or a pastor or when I was in the corporate America, it was right there ECM subject or smes subject matter experts. And so you just kind of like didn’t mess with that guy right? It’s like okay, he said to do it, I’m just doing it and we can do that same thing, right? We hear something oh that guy’s a pastor. So then it’s just true. But we need to be like the Briones and and take that back to the word of God is no, does the bible say that that is true. And I would say for me this is a, this is the most humbling thing ever to stand up here and and teach the word of God because there is a great humility and the fact that I am also proclaiming to you and you are listening and I’m saying there’s an understanding that we need to take from the bible and so there’s a weight and it says that teachers will be judged more harshly and it is a great responsibility and as you teach others as you share the gospels, you disciple people as you raise kids and you teach them, it’s a great responsibility to know and understand the truth of the word of God and this is the benefit of the church, right? Yes, we we preach the word of God and and we are held accountable as uh as a team even uh to doctrine and to studying the word and and preaching accurately, but also in your own quiet time. Are you reading the word? Are you taking that in our, in our community groups? This is where a lot of times, you know, it comes down to play is that our community group and our discipleship group and we’re sharing our thoughts, Are we helping each other? Are we pointing out scripture? Are we leading each other back to the word of God and and helping us so we don’t get off, that’s the benefit of the body of the church because satan is the deceiver. Right? Second Corinthians 1114 says even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, he wants to appear really great, he wants to appear um really attractive. I heard an old preacher once saying, you know, the greatest life sounds most like the truth, It’s just a slight variation, he wants to, he wants to appear like, yeah that that’s good and then just because we hear it, it sounds good or it might feel good or my feelings like I agree with that. It doesn’t mean it’s truth and that’s his tactic. He wants to just deceive us a little little by little and that’s why the imperative comes in to be careful because none of us are above being able to be swayed away. None of us are above being able to be taken off track. And so it is to be careful, watch out, hold each other accountable, what you read, what you take in what you listen to. It matters right? We can think, oh it doesn’t matter, but it does because what we meditate on what we think about impacts what we do impacts what we believe. And so we’re called to be careful on what we do. And satan is deceitful in a way that is really sly. Usually he’s not gonna just try to get you to do a 1 80 really fast because it doesn’t work. You can identify that, you can recognize it really quickly, yep. Got it. But what he wants to do is just kind of take you off a little bit like take you off course, just a little bit, so a little bit here and then tomorrow a little bit here and tomorrow a little bit there and then you start getting further and further away. You just, you start drifting away or believing things and that goes downhill quickly. You’ve probably heard the example of uh, you know what one degree does over time. So if I was in the military and I was trying to launch a missile and I’m off by one degree, probably 60 miles. I’m off a mile in the wrong direction. Alright. That’s that’s a big deal. Right? I missed my target. Mm hmm. And I think that’s the same thing except for, you know, I’m a finance guy. And so I would say I would compare it more to like compound interest where instead of just a straight trajectory of one degree over time and it’s straight, I’d say, you know, compound interest starts out. It goes up and up and all of a sudden it gains momentum and boom, it’s skyrockets. It takes you to a place you never thought you would be. And so little by little and then there you go. And so he wants to sway us. He wants to take us off course. I don’t know if that’s me or what, but it’s staticky. So hopefully you guys can still here. All right. But it’s taken us off course little by little and again, the body of believers, right? We can hold each other accountable by ourselves. We’re not designed to just run this race by ourselves. We’ll find ourselves in a ditch real quickly. But but together, right, When we, when we listen to the word of God, when we discuss it in our community groups, When we talk about it, when we point each other out, point each other to the bible. We hold each other on course so that we don’t drift. So in light of that, Right hold fast to God’s word. Hold it in high esteem. Go back to it. This is where we’ll find our truth. Read it. Meditate on it. Get in a community where you can do a bible study where you can hold each other accountable. This is going to matter in the local church again, get engaged because showing up on sunday morning is good. You hear the Word of God, you you can engage on sunday morning, but if it’s not happening regularly throughout your week, you’re missing a big piece of how God has designed the church, the benefit to our own lives, A benefit to the community, a benefit to everyone around us, to our families. So embrace these things, They are a blessing to us. Right the church. The word hold tight to this. Amen Lord. We thank you for this morning and thank you for your word that you are the greater one. You are the greatest one. And we can rest assured on that father. We just ask that you would help us to watch out. To be careful that we would hold tight to your word that we would know and acknowledge the truth and that we would not be deceived. Help us as brothers and sisters the to help sharpen one another, to engage with one another. To hold tight to the word into into the life of christ, living it out in our families, in our communities. Um, Lord, we just ask that you would, you would bless us in your name. We pray. Amen.