Podcast: Play in new window
In today’s episode Shaun Tabatt speaks with Tim Chaffey about his book ‘In Defense of Easter: Answering Critical Challenges to the Resurrection of Jesus’ (Midwest Apologetics, 2014).
About the Book:
Without the Resurrection, there is no hope.
We would still be in our sins, and the Christian faith could not exist. Jesus would be a fraud since He frequently predicted His own Resurrection, even designating it as His sign for an unbelieving world.
Skeptics and critics understand the magnitude of the Resurrection, and they have developed numerous theories in their desperate attempts to explain away the wealth of evidence. The early Christians focused uniquely on Christ’s conquering of death. Yet many in the church today only discuss this vital doctrine at Easter time—and some fail to mention it entirely when attempting to share the gospel with unbelievers.
In Defense of Easter is a biblical and timely apologetic resource that teaches readers:
- How history and archaeology support the Resurrection
- Why skeptical explanations come up short
- How the Resurrection provides hope and comfort
- Whether Easter is a pagan holiday
Equip yourself to answer today’s skeptical challenges and strengthen your confidence in the risen Savior. Discover why everything hinges on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
About the Author:
Tim Chaffey is a pastor, cancer survivor, author, and apologist, with a passion for reaching young people with the Gospel. He’s the founder of Midwest Apologetics and is a popular speaker at camps, schools, and churches.
Here are some of the places you can connect with Tim on the web:
Books by Tim Chaffey:
Podcast: Play in new window
If the prophets of old and the angels in heaven long to look and delight in the salvation through Christ, we – who are the recipients of this salvation – should be the most grateful and intentional about seeking to understand this salvation. John Dr. Cosby as he looks at 1 Peter 1:10-12.
Luke 20:45-21:4 is a comparison between false and true piety, one of which is condemned and the other praised.
The episode begins as Jesus issues yet another warning to His disciples regarding the Jewish leadership. In the presence of all the people, He tells His disciples to avoid becoming prideful like the scribes, who wear long robes, love to be greeted in the marketplace, and always have the best seats at the synagogues and feasts (vv.45-46).
Moreover, despite their outward appearance, these men took advantage of the weak—widows; and made lengthy prayers for show. Such men, Jesus warns, will be punished more severely (v.47).
Pious men like the scribes were to serve widows, and apparently some of them took it upon themselves to manage the affairs of widows, but in so doing took a large cut for themselves. Their long and pretentious prayers only exacerbated their wrongdoing; thus, the serious warning issued by Jesus.
God will punish those who claim to teach His ways but misuse their authority.
By contrast, God honors those who depend on Him in humility, such as a poor widow who gives everything she has into the offering box at the temple (Luke 21:1-3). Unlike the religious leaders, this woman is not looking for recognition. She only wants to serve God in reliance upon his grace.
Though the widow’s offering is small—maybe equal to 10 minutes of work at minimum wage—Jesus commends her gift, for she has given everything she has, while what the others have given will never be noticed, for they gave out of their pride and abundance.
Give God Everything
Luke is juxtaposing two spiritual realities that remain in our midst today. There is the false religiosity of the scribes that is prideful and preys on the weaknesses of others; and then there is the true piety of the widow who seeks no recognition and gives everything she has to God. One form of spirituality is condemned, while the other is praised.
False piety is condemned (20:45-47)
Jesus’ description of the scribes sounds eerily familiar to the actions of modern television evangelists who appear spiritual and in tune with God, but who also prey on people’s weaknesses by demanding their money while promising that God will bless them financially in return.
Such people appear holy on the outside, but are spiritually and morally bankrupt on the inside.
Much of what these men and women teach sounds biblical at first glance. That’s why they are able to take so much from people who have so little. These men and women teach the “Prosperity Gospel,” which, in my view, is wholly unbiblical.
Jesus warned His disciples about such people, and promised that false teachers will face a special kind of punishment. We should likewise be on guard against false religiosity in our midst. That means we should avoid following personalities who teach a form of prosperity gospel, such as Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and the like.
Many people prefer to stay home and watch these men on television. If this is you, please hear Jesus’ warning in this text: Such men are on the road to perdition—don’t follow in their footsteps.
True piety is praised (21:1-4)
Not all of us are required to give all of our money to God; that is not the point here (cf. Luke 19:1-10). Although, like the scribes, there are many today who could afford to increase their financial gifts to the church.
More to the point, however, is the contrast between the false spirituality of the scribes and the poor widow. She sought no recognition from her fellow man. All she desired was to give God everything she had, expecting nothing in return. Here was a woman who trusted God with her life.
Likewise, we ought to serve God in all humility, willing to serve with a spirit of joy without any recognition or desire for applause. We ought to be willing to get off the couch each Sunday (and every day for that matter) and give God everything we have in service to Him and others. We can’t do that if we stay at home, hear a shallow sermon on the television, and send our favorite personality a few bucks.
We serve God with everything we have by joining a local church, serving in some capacity there, and by supporting the mission and ministries of that church financially on a regular basis.
That is the type of service and piety that Jesus will praise. Is that you, Christian?
Podcast: Play in new window
This is sermon #3 in the Malachi series. In this sermon on Malachi 2:1-9 I preach on biblical wisdom, the fear of man, the fear of God and the glory and wonder of the Cross.
Luke 20:41-44 is a short, yet important, episode that reveals something about Jesus’ identity. Jesus is more than a man—He is the Lord of Lords.
This episode begins as Jesus turns and asks the scribes a question of his own, one that also raises a theological dilemma similar to how the Sadducees posed a dilemma to Jesus in the previous section (Luke 20:27-40). This dilemma concerns one of the favorite identifications of the Messiah: “Son of David” (v.41-42). Jesus is testing that descriptor, not as wrong, but as incomplete.
Jesus raises the dilemma by quoting from Psalm 110:1, a regal Psalm that pictures Israel’s ideal king. This is not an ordinary king, He is the Lord—the promised One of Israel who will rule the nations. Jesus wants to know how the title “Son of David” can be the best title for Messiah, since David has addressed this figure as “Lord” (v.44).
The dilemma is drawn from the cultural practice of respect for patriarchs—a father would not bow to a son. So Jesus questions why David shows the Messiah such respect and submits to him if the Messiah is David’s descendent.
The text ends with no answer. As Luke often does, it is left for the reader to ponder. The issue is Jesus’ identity—He is the Son of David, but He is more than that. He is also Lord, a title that expresses the sovereignty and power that he possesses as God’s Promised One.
Ultimately Jesus’ point is this: If David demonstrated such respect for the promised King, so too should the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus is supplying the answer to the question posed in Luke 20:2. It is by God’s authority that he works and teaches, an authority recognized by David.
Jesus: Lord of Lords
As with many texts in Luke, this one zeros in on Jesus’ identity. In no uncertain terms, Jesus ascribes to Himself the sovereign title “Lord,” and suggests that His title demands a certain response. Like David, we should be in awe of Jesus’ supreme power and submit to His authority.
Jesus’ Lordship requires submission
It seems here that Jesus is correcting faulty behavior which is the result of an incomplete view of Jesus’ identity. The Jewish leadership, perhaps, were unwilling to submit to Jesus’ authority because they only thought of Him as the Son of David—another human being—rather than the sovereign and divine Son of God.
This view of Jesus is rampant in the modern West, where many see Jesus as a great religious teacher, but one of human origin. It’s no accident that when people miss the mark on Jesus’ divine Lordship, they also miss the mark in crucial areas of doctrine and morality. Many people honor Jesus with their lips, but do not all honor Him as Lord of the Universe.
What does it mean to honor Christ as the Lord of Lords? It means to honor Him with our allegiance. It means submitting to His authority in our lives by living according to His Word. It entails a fundamental understanding that as Lord, Jesus will one day judge all humanity. It means recognizing that Jesus does not require committees or human approval to act, for He has been given special power by God to rule and reign over the earth.
Therefore, it means we should live with an understanding that we are not equals. Jesus is not my copilot or my best friend. Thus, our responsibility to Him surpasses all other authorities, for He alone stands at the right hand of God. In the end, it means that when we rightly understand who Jesus is, we will stand before Him in recognition that we are His subjects, and He is our Lord (Rom. 1:1).
Luke 20:27-40 is Jesus’ only encounter with the Sadducees in Luke’s Gospel, an encounter in which the Sadducees quiz Jesus on the doctrine of the resurrection.
The episode begins as a group of Sadducees approach Jesus with a dilemma concerning levirate marriage and the resurrection. The Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection and only accepted the first five book of the Old Testament as authoritative, propose a dilemma consisting of the seven marriages—each ending childless upon the death of each husband—of a particular woman, who marries the six brothers of her first husband (vv.27-30). The dilemma, according to the Sadducees, is this: Whose wife will she be in the resurrection (v.31)?
To the Sadducees, the dilemma demonstrates the lack of logic in the doctrine of the resurrection. Jesus’ reply is twofold. First, he notes that life after the resurrection is not like this one, for there will be no need for marriage and producing children to fill the earth because there will be no more death (vv.34-36). Thus, she will be no one’s wife in heaven.
Secondly, Jesus demonstrates why the Sadducees’ view of the resurrection is wrong by noting how God told Moses that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (v.37; cf. Exodus 3:2-6). If God is still the God of these men long after their earthly deaths, they must still be alive, for God is not a God of the dead but of the living (v.38).
Thus, their seemingly full-proof trap has been exposed as folly. More importantly, he has demonstrated from the Torah why the Sadducees are wrong, adding to their shame.
Jesus’ enemies are no match for him.
Sons of the Resurrection
The central focus of this unit is the doctrine of the resurrection. Here, Jesus makes two fundamental points about how the resurrection informs our lives today: (1) We live in light of the judgment to come; (2) We live victoriously in the hope of the resurrection.
The Resurrection implies judgment
In verse 35, Jesus implies that not everyone will participate in the resurrection that leads to eternal life. Others (Those deemed unworthy), he suggests, will be resurrected unto judgment. Elsewhere, Scripture completes this view by making it clear that all who live will one day be resurrected and stand before God (Rev. 20). Some will then spend eternity in eternal bliss, while others will spend eternity separated from God in eternal anguish (Rev. 20-21).
Many people today reject both the doctrine of resurrection and judgment, as did the Sadducees. For most in this camp, this life is all there is and all there ever will be. As a result, many who hold this view live life without any thought of judgment before God; “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die,” is their mantra, whether explicitly stated or not.
However, Jesus has another view of life that should cause each of us to pause and consider our choices. There will be a resurrection at the end of the age, which means that there is something beyond the grave. If that is true, then we will be judged in the next life according to what we did in this life.
There is no second chance beyond the grave. What is sowed in this life will be reaped in the next. Jesus calls everyone to sow a life of faith directed at him as the Son of God who died for your sins and rose to life on the third day. All who believe will be considered “sons of the resurrection” (v.36).
Are you a child of the resurrection? If not, this text is prompting you to consider your decision in this area wisely.
The resurrection implies change
Like many moderns in our day, the Sadducees were skeptical of the notion of a resurrection. But Jesus went right to the part of Scripture they deemed authoritative to demonstrate the truth of this doctrine. The resurrection, then, was not a new concept for the Jews. This was their hope—even if some had missed it.
Likewise, it is our hope as well—a hope that promises us change in the future and fuels a change in the present. The promise of the resurrection fuels our confidence that a day is coming when tears, pain, suffering, and death will cease.
If we truly believe in the resurrection we should be transformed to meet every situation in this life with a spirit of joy and confidence, knowing that no matter what comes our way, one day we will stand face-to-face with our Risen Savior in our own resurrected body.
If you are a Christian, this is your destiny. Believe it with all your heart and let it transform you in the same way it did Paul, who said under incredibly difficult circumstances, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).