************ Sermon on Luke 22:63-65 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on March 3, 2002
"Mocked as a Prophet"
The prophet Isaiah tells us about the Suffering Servant. We know that Isaiah, as a true prophet of God, was actually predicting what would happen 700 years later to Jesus. One of the things that Isaiah predicts is that Jesus will be mocked and beaten. Listen to what Isaiah says:
(Is 50:6) I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
(Is 53:3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
The psalmist, filled with the Spirit of God, also makes a prediction about the mocking of Jesus. Listen to what he says:
(Ps 22:6-7) But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people. (7) All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads ...
The Gospel writer Luke tells us that Jesus took the Twelve aside one day and predicted His suffering and death. Jesus said,
(Lk 18:31-32) "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. (32) He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him ..." (cf Luke 9:22, 43-45).
In fulfilment of all these predictions – of Isaiah, of the psalmist, of Jesus – we see that "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him" (Lk 22:63).
A When we look at what Luke writes about the suffering and death of Jesus, we see that mocking is a prominent theme. Jesus is mocked in the house of the high priest (Lk 22:63-65). He is mocked by Herod and his soldiers (23:11). He is mocked by the soldiers at the cross (23:36). He is mocked by one of the criminals who hung beside Him (23:39).
B "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him" (Lk 22:63). There is an old children's rhyme which says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Children say that when someone mocks them and taunts them. But who are they kidding? Words hurt. They hurt more than sticks and stones. Sticks and stones may break bones and bruise muscles but these can be splinted and rubbed and medicated and become as good as new again. Words, however, hurt the spirit and wound the soul and can destroy and devastate the inner core or being. That is why some psychologists assert every word of criticism said to a child should be followed by at least five words of encouragement and praise.
Let there be no doubt about it: the mocking Jesus underwent was part of the pain and suffering He endured as the Son of Man.
C "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him" (Lk 22:63). What does it mean to "mock"? In the Greek language the word that is used belongs to a large group of words for the disparagement or low estimation of others in word, attitude, or act. It includes things like contemptuous speech, scorn and insult, ridicule, speaking ill, turning up the nose, shaking the head, whistling, spitting, finding fault, dissecting, backbiting, dragging in the dust, mocking, whispering, ridiculing, disparaging, bantering, making fun, disdaining, deriding. Jesus was mocked because the scribes and Pharisees hated and despised Him.
D "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him" (Lk 22:63). I want you to notice that the beating is part of the mocking. The men guarding Jesus played their own version of "Blind Man's Bluff."
In Blind Man's Bluff a child volunteers to be the "blind man." He is blindfolded and the rest of the players form a circle around him. One of the children spins the blind man around three times. After this, the blind man randomly approaches one of the players. He touches her face and hair, and tries to figure out who she is. The blind man has three chances to guess the child's name. If he does guess her name, he takes her place in the circle and she becomes the next blind man. Otherwise, he stays inside the circle for the next round of play.Similarly, Jesus was blindfolded. The guards took turns beating Jesus. Every time someone hit Him, Jesus was supposed to guess who did the hitting. You can be sure that the guards gave Jesus more than just a gentle slap across the cheek or chest. Some of the guards punched as hard as they could – in the stomach, on the chin, against the chest and back, maybe even the nose and ears were boxed. "Prophesy! Who hit you?" they demanded of a blindfolded Jesus.
Luke indicates that this mockery went on until daybreak. It must have lasted for a number of hours.
What a vicious game! What cruel fun! What pain and suffering our Lord underwent!
E "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him" (Lk 22:63). Implied here is a contrast to Peter. In the previous scene Peter caved in and denied knowing the Lord under somewhat hostile questioning. But now, in the same place where Peter denied Him, Jesus does not cave in – He does not yield, even under the blows of blaspheming mockery. To quote Isaiah:
(Is 53:7) He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.What humiliation and degradation our Lord underwent as the Man of Sorrows. Yet, He did not strike back. He did not insult back. He could have called down 10,000 angels – warriors from heaven – to strike dead those who mistreated Him so; but He did not.
F This morning, as you know, we are celebrating the Lord's Supper. As we eat the bread and drink the wine our attention is being directed to the pain and suffering of the Lord.
We all know why He underwent this pain, don't we? He underwent the pain and suffering, He was mocked and beaten, He died, so we could be forgiven and saved and washed and cleansed.
Topic: ChristSimilarly, Christ laid down His life for us disobedient sheep in order to give us salvation and life.
Subtopic: Suffered and Died
Title: The Tiger and the Lamb
In a collection of Negro folk tales, William J. Faulkner relates the story of a disobedient lamb. A mother sheep had warned her little ones, "Do not go near the river, for a bad tiger lives there, and he will kill and eat you." One lamb kept toying with the thought that the grass near the river seemed to be greener than elsewhere and that his mother must be mistaken about a tiger being there. Finally, his curiosity and desire for greener grass led him near the river bank. After grazing for some while on the luscious grass, he scampered down to the water for a drink.
Suddenly he heard a gruff voice saying, "What are you doing, drinking from my river and muddying my water?" The disobedient lamb began excusing himself, but the tiger came closer, saying "I'm going to kill and eat you." As the tiger sprang toward the helpless lamb, the mother sheep ran between them, taking the death-dealing blows of claws and fangs in her own body. Thus, the disobedient lamb was spared and scampered up the river bank to safety.
II Mocked as a Prophet
A I want you to notice that in our Scripture reading Jesus was mocked as a prophet.
(Lk 22:63-64) The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. (64) They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?"Later on, Herod and his soldiers mocked Him as a king (Lk 23:11) but in today's Scripture reading He is mocked as a prophet.
B Why was Jesus mocked as a prophet? We know from Luke's Gospel that Jesus was hailed publicly as a prophet. Do you remember the story of Jesus raising from the dead the son of the widow of Nain?
(Lk 7:16) They [that is, the people who witnessed this miracle] were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people."
Do you remember the story of Jesus being anointed by a sinful woman? Simon, the Pharisee, said to himself,
(Lk 7:39) "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is--that she is a sinner."Simon evidently knew that the crowds acclaimed Jesus as a prophet.
Another time Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do the crowds say I am?" They replied,
(Lk 9:19) "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
Consider, too, Jesus' conversation with the men on the Emmaus road. Jesus asked them what they were talking about. They answered that they were talking about Jesus of Nazareth.
(Lk 24:19) ... "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people ..."
C Jesus also publicly compared Himself to the prophets. If you remember, at the start of His ministry Jesus went to Nazareth. On the Sabbath He entered the synagogue. He read from the scroll of Isaiah. When He sat down He said, "I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his hometown" (Lk 4:16-24). He said this to explain that the people of Nazareth would reject Him as a prophet.
Later on in the Gospel, Luke tells us that Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem (Lk 9:51). Jesus knew the danger of doing this – because the Pharisees and teachers of the law were opposed to Him (Lk 11:53) and because Herod wanted to kill Him (Lk 13:31). Do you remember how Jesus answered those who warned Him of the danger? He said,
(Lk 13:33) In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! Jesus declared that He must die as a prophet.
D Jesus was mocked as a prophet. Yet, when we think about it, it was not impossible for Jesus to go along with the game of Blind Man's Bluff being played by His guards. Didn't Jesus just finish proving Himself to be a true prophet? He predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the crowing of the rooster – and, that is exactly what happened. Furthermore, if Jesus knew the name of Zacchaeus before He ever met him, then – as almighty God – He certainly knew the names of the men hitting Him too (cf Luke 19).
E Jesus was mocked as a prophet. This, too, was part of the pain and suffering He underwent on our behalf. Don't forget, He is the wisdom of God and power of God. He is the Word of God become flesh. He is the chief prophet and teacher of His people. Yet, as a prophet He was despised and rejected by many of His own people. They refused to hear His Word. They refused to believe what He said about Himself.
This morning, as I already mentioned, we are celebrating the Lord's Supper. As we eat and drink our attention is being directed to the pain and suffering of the One despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. As we eat the bread and drink the wine our attention is being directed to the pain and suffering of the mocked and rejected prophet.
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