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Drop Your Agenda

When we come to Jesus with our own agendas, he asks us to lay them down and pick up the cross to follow him.


By the end of Luke's narrative of Jesus' life, opposition from the religious leaders is mounting, and Jesus' popularity among the people is growing. As a result, the leaders are afraid they will incite a rebellion if they arrest Jesus. So instead of attacking him directly, they come to Jesus with a series of questions designed to catch him in a misstatement that will discredit him either with the people or the Roman authorities. It seems on the surface as if these guys are sincere, but they have ulterior motives. They have their own agenda, including their own ideas concerning what the Messiah is supposed to do and what it means to be a part of his kingdom.

We, too, come to Jesus with our own agendas and assumptions. None of us comes to Christ with a blank slate. Instead, we bring opinions formed by a lifetime of experiences. Perhaps our agenda is political. Perhaps it is theological or intellectual. Perhaps it is racial or social. Whatever it is, we expect Jesus to buy in. If he doesn't, we're not so sure we want to follow him.

In Luke 20, Jesus has two encounters that force us to question to what degree we come to Christ with our own agendas. This passage forces us to ask, What cause am I trying to get Jesus to endorse? How does this reveal my own distorted view of what he is all about and what he came to do?

We come to Jesus with a political agenda.

In Luke 20, the religious officials question Jesus' authority, and Jesus responds with parables that indict them of their sin. Luke tells us in 20:19–20 that these religious leaders are looking for a way to turn the tables on Jesus. They send spies to ask Jesus a question they hope will catch him off guard.

It's worth noting that in the parallel incident in Mark ...

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Mark Mitchell is pastor of Central Peninsula Church in Foster City, California.

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Sermon Outline:


What cause are we trying to get Jesus to endorse?

I. We come to Jesus with a political agenda.

II. We come to Jesus with a theological agenda.


Jesus wants us to be part of something that transcends our own agenda—a kingdom without end, created not through political power, but through the cross; not through marriage or sexuality, but through the power of the resurrection.