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The Scriptorium

Jesus and the Old Testament

The Old Testament points to Jesus. Luke 11.29-32

Luke 11, Part 2 (4)

Pray Psalm 2.1-6.
Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

Sing Psalm 2.1-6.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Why do the nations vainly rage, conspiring together from age to age?
Earth’s kings and all of their counselors stand against the Lord and His Right Hand:

“Now let us cast His yoke below, His Kingdom authority overthrow!
Throw off His Law, reject His Word; no more be governed by this Lord!”

The Lord in heaven laughs in wrath at all who embark on this cursèd path.
His angry Word to them is plain: “Yet shall My King in Zion reign!”

Read Luke 11.1-32; meditate on verses 29-32.


1. What were some people demanding of Jesus?

2. How did He respond to that demand?

Many of those who were demanding a sign from Jesus were the religious leaders of His day. Either they didn’t believe He could produce signs – concerning which, they must have been really stupid – or they thought that, if they could get Him to show a sign at their request, they might appear to own Him.


Jesus said they were “an evil generation.” Their primary evil consisted in failing to understand their own Scriptures and to see Jesus throughout the Old Testament (cf. Matt. 22.29; Jn. 5.39). So a brief lesson on “sign” was in order. Jonah was a sign. Solomon was a sign. They were signs pointing to Jesus, as He makes clear in these verses. But the people of Nineveh were a sign, too, as was the Queen of Sheba, a sign of what God can do in changing Gentile hearts. Each was a sign of true inquiry, honest seeking, and hearing the Word of God.

Jesus’ detractors were not like these Old Testament Gentile signposts – receptive to God’s Word. They were obscurantists and purveyors of lies. An evil generation.

The Old Testament is filled with signs pointing to Jesus. And yet Jesus is “greater” than all these signs, individually or taken together. True seekers and hearers, as they read the Old Testament, will see the signs pointing to Jesus, and they will repent from their sins, marvel at His wisdom and glory, and embrace Him as Savior and Lord.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The courage of Jesus to speak the truth in all settings is evident throughout the Scriptures. And in this passage, Luke is careful to note the setting in which Jesus uttered these words. “And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say…” (Lk. 11.29).

This time, He was not pushed out from the shore in a boat (Lk. 5.3) or speaking on a mountaintop to the exceedingly well-fed (Matt. 14.19-21); but He was amidst a noisy crowd, where loud inappropriate things were being shouted, and His message about demons and the need for repentance and the Holy Spirit had just been delivered (Lk. 11.24-27). This was not a subdued crowd. And right into this hubbub He lobbed the words, “This is an evil generation” (Lk. 11.29).

This is a situation where a lot of us might have been looking for a raincheck on our speaking opportunity. But not Jesus. He even added: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11.28). Yet another bubble to burst on the topic of easy living in the Kingdom of God. What He was preaching and offering was not merely a ticket to heaven by and by. No, it entailed a total life and focus change. And no boisterous and thickly gathered crowd deterred Him from His message.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1.7).
“The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov. 28.1).
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Josh. 1.7).

Filled with His Holy Spirit, we will be able to display the same courage Jesus had—whether alone, distressed, infirm, persecuted, or in a noisy crowd. Not because it is comfortable or easy, but because He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13.5; Deut. 31.6). And He promised, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And as Paul responded, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12.9, 10).

Jesus was courageous. He will strengthen us to be the same in our Personal Mission Field. What a Savior!

For reflection
1. What is your approach to finding Jesus in the Old Testament?

2. The Holy Spirit is our Encourager. How can we draw on Him for courage when we need it most?

3. Believers need to encourage one another to love and good works (Heb. 10.24). Whom will you encourage today?

Let us not desire more evidence and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us. We should pray without ceasing that our hearts and understandings may be opened, that we may profit by the light we enjoy. And especially take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness; for if our leading principles be wrong, our judgment and practice must become more so.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 11.29-32

Pray Psalm 2.7-12.
Pray for the people in your Personal Mission Field, that they will see the signs pointing to Jesus all around them in the world, and be open to talking with you about Him.

Sing Psalm 2.7-12.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Proclaim the message far and wide, that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son, Who has for us salvation won!

To Christ the Lord be given all who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes to break the prideful, sinful ones.

Rejoice with fear in Jesus’ grace, and worship before His exalted face!
Beware His anger and judgment grim. How blessed are all who rest in Him!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.He's the point of it. Luke 11.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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