Luke 22:53 The Hour has come

As I did my pre-reading for this Sunday’s sermon at Redemption Hill Church, the verse that moves me most is Luke 22:53. It has such richness that I cannot comprehend fully, especially when I read it in light of the rest of the scripture. I’m just blown away.

It is with regards to “the hour” that Jesus mentions, and I make a couple of observations.

What is this hour?

According to Mark 14:42, it is clear. It refers to the hour at which the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Mark 14:41

What is this hour an expression of?

This is where I’m most blown away. From scripture, two opposing ideas are expressed.

  1. Here in Luke 22:53, it says it is an expression of the power of darkness
  2. But in John 12:23, it says it is the hour for the Son of Man to be glorified.

And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

John 12:23

As such, scriptures attest that this hour, this expression of the power of darkness, is, at the same time, the hour of glorification of the Son of Man. It reminds me of Genesis 50:20.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

Genesis 50:20

What Judas will do, in his act of betrayal, meant for evil against Jesus, God meant it for good. And this is the truth that blows my mind.

My Application

It seems clear that God can use man’s greatest sin of killing the Son of Man to bring about His greatest good. If he can do that, surely He can make good of any smaller sins. This must also mean all the challenges I face are for my good, and most importantly, His good.

God use man’s greatest sin to carry out His greatest good

This truth is soothing to the ears and comforting to my soul.

Father, I pray that you help me understand your sovereignty. Help me see your hands in even the darkest moments of my life, help me know the good you are doing. Even if I don’t, give me that faith to journey on for your Kingdom.

A side note regarding Redemption Hill Church: at this church, the elders engage in mostly expository preaching. What I find is most helpful for me is that the leaders let us know the text that will be preached the following week. This allows me to actively listen to God’s word as I can then come prepared for each sermon. You can view the bulletin of each week’s worship to see this.

Exodus 1:8 New King, New Rules

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.

Exodus 1:8

As I read this verse, I make a simple observation. I see that Joseph’s and Isreal’s situation is about to change drastically, all because a new king has risen. What he has done previously, which benefited the previous king, is now seen as a threat. It is difficult to imagine Joseph’s response to this. One moment my life is going great, I’m well respected, given a high ministerial post, and suddenly at the whims and fancies of the new king, I am now the public number one enemy.

As I ponder on this, I reflect on how much my hope for my future is placed on the shoulders of another human. Are my hopes placed on my boss for my career? My spouse for my happiness? My children for my success? If so, this text, with such stark clarity, is warning me never to do so! Because when these people change, when their situations change, when their passions change, which are all entirely possible, all my hopes will be dashed!

It is no wonder Peter urges me to do the same. He advises me to set my hope fully, not partially, on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13

I have been disappointed by people. I have disappointed others too. But do we need more bad experiences to validate this truth? God has been gracious to show it to us in His Word.

Father, help me respond to this truth and help me place my hope fully on your Son Jesus Christ.

Luke 22:40 God keeps us from temptations

Luke 22:40 reorientates my perspective on how I stay away from temptations. Repitition jumps out at me and it is a common literary device that Jesus employs to emphasize a point. In verse 46 of the same chapter, Jesus emphasize this instruction:

And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Luke 22:40

If I am to be honest with myself, I am tempted frequently. When I hear friends earning more money, buying more gadgets, for a moment, I am tempted to pursue those things. My eyes are tempted too when random stories appear on instastory or facebook luring me unholiness.

But this verse is an eye-opener with two observations that I can make.

  1. Jesus claims that He is the one who keeps us from temptation.
  2. The solution to temptation is praying to Him.

As such, if I desire to grow in the ability to resist temptations, then Jesus’ instructions here are really constructive for me. I can apply this truth in 2 ways

  1. When faced with temptation, Jesus instructs me to pray. Whenever I start my day, knowing that temptations will come by, I ought to pray. And frequently throughout the day, I need to communicate with Him through prayer.
  2. I then need to, with conscious effort, resist that temptation.
  3. When I overcome my temptations, e.g., resist the temptation to click on a video, resist the temptation to neglect bible reading for something more “fun,” I need to thank God for being the primary source of my resistance. According to Phil 2:13, it is God who wills me to resist these temptations through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us.

for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:13

Father, I thank you for being the source of my resistance to temptation. It is because of your work on the cross that we who believe in You receive this source of strength to overcome our temptation.

Luke 22:31-34, 54-62 Peter’s Denial of Jesus

Thank God for the faithful preaching of the word here at Redemption Hill Church. Amazing text today from the Book of Luke.

My key take away are:

  1. Satan exists. This fact is so clear from verse 31, where Satan demanded from God for Peter to sift him.
  2. Satan will sift everyone. There will be tribulations (Cf. John 16:33). Beautifully pointed out by Pastor Edward, the Greek word for “you” is plural in verse 31. This means that Luke is trying to convey that Satan is out to sift every disciple. But subsequently, as Jesus turned his attention to Simon, the word “you” was singular in verse 32, referring to his eventual becoming of the leader of the Apostles.
  3. Jesus interestingly prays not to protect us from trials (Cf. Phil 1:6) but to preserve us through the trials. There is no prosperity gospel, no definite healing of illness or bankruptcy. But that through the cancer and the bankruptcy, our faith will not fail.
  4. Eventually, Peter denied Jesus not once but thrice. The sin of Peter boils down to the choice of who we deny when the push comes to a shove. We often choose to deny Jesus rather than deny ourselves.

Final Reflections

  • Like Peter, Great sins can accompany true faith (Cf 1Jo 1:8), but it does not excuse sin (Cf Rom 6:1)
  • Jesus is the one who preserves the faith of His sheep. (cf Jud 24)
  • Jesus protects us not from trials but preserves us through trials.
  • We will(not may) emerge from trials by the preservation of Jesus through his prayer so that we can strengthen others
  • Satan exploits our weaknesses. Jesus preserves us through His prayer.

My Application

Clearly, Satan had also asked Jesus if he could sift me in my trials, and it helps to know that God has allowed it. He guarantees my faith will never fail! I mean, if I know going into an exam that I won’t fail, surely I can rejoice better, even though during the paper I stumble over a few questions? He even gives me clarity on what to do after getting through my trial! How much more information do I need to be contented? I ought to ask myself this question.

Father I pray that you help these truths sink into my heart and allow me to apply them in my struggles.

Church: Redemption Hill Church

Preacher: Edward Sim

These notes are a summation of truths taught by the Preacher and my reflections from the sermon. It does not reflect the full message and intention of the Peacher.

Luke 22:57 Peter denied Christ

Peter was recorded to have denied Christ 3 times.

But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

Luke 22:57

And my mind is reminded of the statement in Matthew by Jesus himself.

but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:33

How do I reconcile this fact that Peter denies Christ but yet was made the chief of the Apostles?

I realized that the answer must lie in verse 62.

And he went out and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:62

As Pastor John MacArthur puts it, “The true Peter is seen not in his denial but in his repentance. This account reminds us of not only our own weakness, but also the richness of divine grace.”

God, in his divine grace, can cover all sins. But we ought not to take it for granted and make sins permissible.

How does this apply to me? The first question I need to answer is, do I, like Peter, deny Christ? The answer has to be a resounding yes! If I am to reflect on my day, I have denied Christ in my actions and words. For example, when issues of significance such as abortion are being spoken at the table, how many times have I not spoken out the words of Christ to defend the defenseless?Have I been complicit in my silence? When I use words like “lucky,” in that moment, I am denying God’s sovereignty in ordaining all that has happened in my life, either good or bad. As such, I realize I am no different from Peter.

Each time I catch myself doing so, I feel a sense of weakness, not to the extent of being disabled to go about my tasks, but it is a reminder of my massive inability. It drives me to the cross, the gratitude to the savior who continues to sustain me.

Father, I thank you for your grace and mercy. While I continue to struggle to give you credit in all that I do, you continue to sustain me.

Luke 22:32 Faith may not fail

As I pondered on this verse, I realized it has tremendous value in my life.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31–32

In a step wise manner,

  • Jesus tells Simon that he will be facing persecution.
  • Jesus tells what He will do for him – namely to pray that his faith may not fail
  • Jesus tells Simon what to do after emerging from the ordeal – namely to strengthen his brothers.

These short verses have tremendous impact on my life. Firstly it tells me that I will be facing challenges in all aspects of my life. Jesus does not promise that I will succeed in them, but he promises that my faith will not fail. I take it that when Jesus prays, He will be praying for His own will, and when He prays that my faith will not fail, it will not and cannot!

Jesus is clear what I am to do after each trial I undergo. I am to use that experience and strengthen my brothers.

Father, I pray that you will just let these truths sink in. Do not let my heart be discouraged by trials but show me what to do with these trials, to glorify your Name.

Luke 22:31 Sifting Like Wheat

Today I went through a little ordeal at work. I was admonished at work for something I did not do. I did not respond in time, and neither did those who were responsible voice out, and thus I felt a certain injustice.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,

Luke 22:31

Nevertheless, God had indeed allowed it to happen. As I read this verse, God tells me that He allows Satan to be at work sifting us like wheat and shaking our faith.

The picture of someone sifting wheat is aggressive shaking to separate the good wheat and the bad chaff. But God allowed it and is meant for good. He allowed it for Peter. He will allow it for me. I may not feel good now, but it is meant for good.

Dear Father, help my troubled heart fixed my eyes on you. Thank you that you are in complete control even as you allow Satan to sift me.

Luke 22:24 Why am I in dispute with others?

I find Luke 22:24 to be an enlightening verse and I am convinced that it holds the answer to the question “Why do I see disputes among me and others?”

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.

Luke 22:24

If I were to apply this verse directly to myself, disputes arises because of my desire to be regarded as the greatest. When I have a dispute with my wife on an issue, the underlying reason is because I feel “I have the better idea, I am greater” or “you have inconvenienced me. You shouldn’t inconvenience me because I am greater!” All permutations made me realize that all I am desiring is to be the greatest in the relationship, in that situation.

On closer reflection, such is also the underlying reason for many if not all of my disputes in other relationships. I want to be recognized more. I want to be desired more. I just want to be the greatest!

If indeed this is the reason for my contribution to disputes, and my desire is to reduce these disputes and glorify God, how can I eliminate such desires to be the “greatest”?

I think scripture is helpful for me. It tells me to channel my desire for greatness in this world to that of greatness in eternity. Scripture does not tell us to eliminate desires but to renew our minds and desires to that bound by scripture.

Learning from the subsequent verses, Jesus tells us that the greater is the one who is the “youngest” and the “one who serves”. I should not kid myself and justify how I am already serving like the rich young ruler, but to allow my conscience to drive me to despair and back to the cross. I rejoice.

I pray that God will let theses verses sink in such that I can understand and apply these truths daily.

Genesis 35:11 Do it because I am God

The way God sometimes speaks to His people can be really offensive if we do not grasp the full meaning of who He is.

If my Professor tells me “I am Professor of Medicine: go and do this set of PowerPoint slides”. I wonder what my response will be! Even if I do not say it, I will definitely be thinking that this guy must be so full of himself. So proud and arrogant!

Yet with God, it must be different. He is the only one who can demand such respect. It is because my desires and motives should stem from Him and his attributes. What I want to do should not be based on my circumstance but solely on who God is. He has spoken, why do I need more? Yet I find myself always looking for more in my circumstances.

Sometimes, as I am faced with a decision to do or say something for someone, I find myself thinking why should I when the other person has not reciprocated in the past? And at this point I find myself hinging my decision to “love my neighbor” on my neighbor’s response. But God is saying here – love your neighbor because I am God. Period. It does not matter what is the attitude of my patient, my friend, my relatives. But do as commanded because He is God.

This is not easy to swallow. It convicts me of my deep roots in sin. Thankfully with the grace of God, I have been forgiven and my guilt is washed away. And I’m free now once again to pursue holiness.

Luke 21:25-38 Watch for signs and respond

Thankful for the faithful preaching through this sobering text. Lian Arn gave an analogy of sailing and watching the wind. While he was at his sailing lesson, he realized that he could not physically see wind but he could see the signs. After seeing these signs, he needed to respond and adjust the sails accordingly. Not responding well lead him not to his intended destination.

Similarly, 2 observations could be made in today’s text.

1. There will be signs. (V25). Detect them.

Our tribulations and trials that we see around us, not just those that affect us directly, are a harbinger of the final judgment by Jesus. They are signs meant to draw our attention to Christ.

2. Respond to the signs (V34)

After identifying signs, we need to watch our heart responses to these signs. How are we stewarding our resources of time, money, relationships, opportunities? Are we complacent with his Word?

Watch and Respond

My application

  • It’s encouraging to know that God is gracious to give us these signs to prevent us from being distracted away from Him. If life is smooth sailing, I will tend to sit back, relax and take what God has given me for granted.
  • Now that I know why God has allowed these signs, I’m encouraged to respond wisely. I need to submit to his will to steward my time, finances and oppurtunities towards things of eternal value.

Father, help me respond to these signs you have graciously given us!

Church: Redemption Hill Church

Preacher: Lim Lian Arn

These notes are a summation of truths taught by the Preacher and my reflections from the sermon. It does not reflect the full message and intention of the Peacher.