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38 Luke 10.1-24

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Gleanings from the Master

Luke 10:1-24

v    This is the second time recorded in Luke that Jesus sends disciples out

Ø     First time was back in Luke 9:1-11

§        Sending of the 12

·        In that sending the central message was about Jesus…

¨     Sender

¨     Source of Power & Authority

¨     Subject of Message

v    But in this sending we learn more about the actual mission

v    Illustration: Dirty Dozen

Ø     Lee Marvin as Major John Reisman ordered to infiltrate deep behind Nazi lines using only 12 war prisoners

§        In other words…

·        He was given and impossible mission using difficult people

¨     Very much like Jesus with us!

Ø     The bulk of the movie is Lee Marvin preparing this “Dirty Dozen” for this mission

§        Major Reisman wants them to remember their mission

·        So…

¨     Puts into a nursery rhyme format

Ø     If you recall, they say it over and over again so that they will remember it

Ø     In this passage, Jesus is sending 72 disciples into enemy territory

§        A second sending with instructions once again

·        And he wants them, and us, to remember certain things about their mission

READ 10:1-24

v    In this section

Ø     Jesus wants us to Remember…

The Gospel is for the whole world (10:1)

v    Centers around the number 70

Ø     (KJV, NAS, RSV, Young’s, American Standard, Message)

Ø     RQ: Why 70?

§        A) Some believe it parallels the # of members of the Sanhedrin

·        Illustrates Jesus’ religious power

§        B) Some believe it parallels the # of elders appointed by Moses

·        Num 11:16

¨     Jesus being the second Moses

Ø     However, I think there is a more intriguing answer…

§        C) It represents the Gospel going out to the whole world

·        Genesis 10 ~ Table of nations

¨     Account of how the world was repopulated after the flood by the descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth

Ø     RQ: Guess how many nations are described in Gen 10?

§        70!

·        What Jesus is doing is sending 70 disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God…

¨     One for each nation

Ø     This then is the symbolic spreading the Gospel to the whole world

v    What Jesus wants us to remember is that our mission is to the whole world

Ø     He shows us implicitly here

§        But explicitly in every one of the Gospels as well as in Acts before he ascends

§         Matt 28:18-20

·        “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Ø     We talked last week about Christianity being exclusive or inclusive

§        You can’t get more all-inclusive than the whole world!

·        1 Tim 2:4 states that

¨     Jesus desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth

Ø     In God’s heart of hearts, he wants all people to be with him in paradise

Ø     And that should be our heart of hearts as well!

§        Our first reaction should be…

·        That person needs the love and salvation of Jesus

§        Our first reaction should be…

·        To see each person as Jesus does…

¨     As a lost soul, a dead man walking, a person without hope

§        Our first words should be…

·        Do you know Jesus?

v    Remember …

Our mission is to Proclaim the kingdom of God (10:8-9)

v    In the history of redemption…

Ø     This was a very exciting time

§        The kingdom of God has finally returned to earth

·        Not since the Garden of Eden was this the case!

¨     Physically left after the fall

Ø     Spiritually returning here

§        Eventually will return physically with the return of Christ

v    And we are to proclaim that kingdom

Ø     That kingdom we pray about in “The Lord’s Prayer”

§        “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”

·        That is our mission…

¨     To proclaim that kingdom

v    However, notice what is said in verse 9

Ø     “Tell them…”

§        Not persuade them, convince them or prove to them

·        But simply ‘tell’ them

¨     That is our mission

Ø     Tell them about the Kingdom

Ø     Tell them the good news

Ø     Tell them about Jesus

Ø     Tell them the Gospel

§        That is what we are responsible for before God

·        Just to tell the old, old story, as the hymn states

v    Rom 14:12 tells us that everyone will stand before God to give an account of our life

v    Matt 12:46 ~ Account of every word we say

Ø     The question put to you, put to me, will be…

§        Did you tell people about me

·        Not how many people did you lead to Christ

Ø     But simply…

§        Did you tell people about me

·        Because that is our mission

v    There is another very important part of our mission Jesus wants us to remember as we go about telling people…

We are lambs not wolves (10:3)

v    This simile gives us information that Jesus wants us to be aware of…

Ø     The mission he is sending us on is DANGEROUS!

§        Being a sheep among wolves is a very dangerous place to be

·        Sheep have no way of defending themselves

¨     No horns, no sharp teeth, no claws

Ø     They are easy fodder for a wolf

§        That is why wolves prefer sheep

·        Easy prey

v    If you look at the history of Christianity, you will notice that the danger is very real

Ø     Roman times

§        10 persecutions

Ø     Counter Reformation in 16th century

§        Catholic church lashed back

Ø     20th century

§        More martyrs than the previous 19 centuries combined

·        It is dangerous to be a Christian

v    But for some Christians, this will never be the case

Ø     Because they hide in the bushes

§        They don’t reveal themselves as Christians

§        They don’t say that anything is wrong, immoral, unethical

§        They don’t speak up

Ø     In other words…

§        They simply don’t enter any dangerous situations

·        Illustration: Saving Private Ryan

¨     Journalist sent to go get ammunition for one of his platoon-mates

¨     Comes back and sees Nazi go into the room

¨     Too scared

¨     Stays on the stairs

¨     Does not go in

¨     Friend dies

Ø     For some Christians, the Christian life will never be dangerous because they simply stay on the stairs

v    But we are called to be Holy = set apart

v    But we are called to speak up for what is right, not what is popular

v    But we are called to proclaim Jesus as the way the truth and the life…

Ø     Even if it is dangerous

                       

v    But we sit here in America and say…

Ø     That is not dangerous

§        Maybe uncomfortable, but not dangerous

·        We can say those things without fear of physical reprisal

Ø     To say we are lambs among wolves in America is silly

§        This is a Christian nation

·        Being a Christian is not dangerous

v    But as Bob Dylan puts it…

Ø     “The Times they are a Changin’”

§        America might call itself a “Christian nation”

·        But that is a changin’

¨     Look at what has happened in the last 40 years…

Ø     No prayer in Schools

Ø     Legalized murder and call it a choice

Ø     More and more accepting of the homosexuality

Ø     Battle of 10 Commandment in Buildings

Ø     Not saying Merry Christmas

¨     On the horizon…

Ø     Hate crimes law

v    In the not-to-distant future…

Ø     It will be dangerous to be a professing, proclaiming Christian

§        That is…

·        If we get off the stairs

Hudson Taylor, the great man of faith who founded the China Inland Mission, integrated faith and risk. He said, "Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith."

§        And Jesus is telling us here…

·        We are lambs among wolves

¨     There is an element of risk!

v    Another part of our mission that Jesus wants us to realize is that…

The stakes of the mission are high (10:10-16)

v    Here Jesus outlines what they are to do when their message is not accepted

Ø     Publicly shake dust from their feet

§        = Judgment

·        Acts 13:51 ~ Paul & Barnabus shake dust off feet of Pisidian Antioch because they reject the Gospel

¨     Indicating that the city has made a decision against the Gospel

Ø     They have chosen death not life

§        That the judgment will be harsh against those people

v    What Jesus wants us to realize is that the stakes in our mission are high…

Ø     Life and death

§        And there are no higher stakes than that

§        Illustrations:

·        This is illustrated in the Ingmar Bergman film The 7th seal

¨     The most famous moments in the movie is when a medieval knight plays a game of chess with Death, with the knight's life depending upon the outcome of the game.

v    When Jesus sent the 70 out to proclaim the kingdom

Ø     He knew that life and death was in the balance

§        Eternal life and death

v    You see…

Ø     In this life there is opportunity and then accountability

§        Hebrews 9:27

·        Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment

¨     This life matters

¨     There are opportunities in this life that effects the next

Ø     That is what we have to be aware of as we share Christ with our friends, family and neighbors

§        The stakes are life or death

v    When the 70 return from their mission, Jesus wants to encourage them

Ø     So he tells them something very important that they and we should remember…

§        Look at 10:18

The battle is already won (10:18)

v    We tend to talk of the cross as the decisive battle

Ø     And it was, in the battle over death

§        The great symptom of our spiritual condition was defeated

§        The great outward sign of the inward reality of all of us

·        That we are spiritually dead

¨     That was defeated at the death and resurrection of Jesus

·        That is what Paul is getting at in 1 Cor 15:54

¨     Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

Ø     But here we see another victory over Satan

§        Here we learn that through the mission of the 70, Satan’s power was defeated

·        Jesus says

¨     “I saw Satan falling like lightening from heaven”

Ø     Greek indicates that this action happened concurrently with the success of the 70’s mission

v    What Jesus was doing was encouraging his disciples by telling them the spiritual reality…

Ø     Satan’s power is gone

§        Symbolized by being able to trample on scorpions and snakes

v    That is something that we have to realize and be encouraged by too

Ø     Many times we give Satan too much credit, too much power

§        We tend to give him omnipresence like God

·        James 4:7 ~ Resist the devil and he will flee from you

§        We tend to attribute to him all-knowledge like God

·        Satan cannot look into the future

·        Satan does not know you like the Lord does

¨     Satan is an opportunist

§        We tend to give him omnipotence like God

·        1 Jn 4:4 ~ He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world

¨     And here we see his power is gone

Ø     V. 19

§        I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions (symbols of Satan’s kingdom) and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you

·        We fight an already defeated foe

A friend and associate of boxers, American writer Wilson Mizner was himself a talented fighter. One night Mizner and boxer "Mysterious" Billy Smith visited a San Francisco bar, where Mizner started a fight with some longshoremen.

At the end only one longshoreman was left standing. Although Mizner continued to punch him, he stayed obstinately upright. Suddenly, Smith noticed what was happening. "Leave him alone, Wilson!" he shouted.

On investigation it turned out that a punch from Smith had indeed knocked the longshoreman out cold, but had also wedged him vertically between two pieces of furniture.

Here's an accurate picture of our already-defeated but still standing enemy Satan!

 

v    The last thing that jesus wants us to remember is…

There is no more exciting time in redemptive history than right now (10:23-24)

v    That is what Jesus is telling his disciples in v. 23-24

Ø     You are living in an exciting time!

v    People have a habit of distaining the time in which they live

Ø     I have always said that I would much prefer to have grown up in the 40’s and 50’s

Ø     Carrie always wanted to live back in Elizabethan times

§        Until she found out the big collars they wore were to catch the dead bugs that fell from your hair!

Ø     I’m sure at the time of Jesus, many people looked back longingly at OT times

§        I wish I lived…

·        In the time of Moses   

¨     Miracles before Pharaoh

¨     Splitting the Red Sea

·        In the time of the Judges

¨     Gideon defeating the Midianite with 300 men

¨     Samson defeating the Philistines with a jawbone of a donkey

·        In the time of Joshua

¨     Conquering the land of Canaan

·        In the time of Elijah

¨     Defeating prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel

Ø     We do the same today, don’t we?

§        Spiritually, we long for the spiritual power of..

·        The reformation

¨     Luther, Calvin, Knox

§        The great awakenings in New England

·        Edwards, Whitefield

v    But what we have to glean from what Jesus is saying here is…

Ø     There is no more exciting time to live than right now!

v    Mother always told me…

Ø     Being a Christian is not an easy, but there is no more exciting life!

§        Psalm 34:8

·        Taste and see that the Lord is good

v    If you are living for Jesus

v    If you are living as a lamb among wolves

v    If you are sold out for him and doing his work

Ø     Then you will have the most exciting life you can imagine


Notes:

v    Remember …

Is to rely on Prayer and God’s Sovereignty

 

§        When the Kingdom of God came back to earth

·        That is what Jesus meant when he said in Mark 3:27

¨     In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house

 

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