Luke 9: 37-56 He is still working on Me.
Intro: I think most of us probably have a picture in our minds of what the DISCIPLES looked like/ What do you Picture?
- Do you picture - do you see guys w/ long beards / do you see long flowing robes / see very deep set eyes / thinking deep theological thoughts
- Guys saying deep spiritual sayings ? Talking in deep voices to match their deep set eyes
- That so often is the picture that is portrayed in Sunday school materials & movies of these great men of faith.
- But I think when a person really begins to study scripture - you find a completely different picture is painted .
- What you find are men who look & act a lot like us .
- In Character / in their spiritual condition / in their behavior & style - these guys bear a striking resemblance to you & Me
Now that shouldnít surprise us because what we have in every gospel record - is the discipleship program of our Lordís 1st disciples.
- What is taking place is that these men are in the process of growing & learning & being discipled by our Lord.
Ĺ yrs. now
- At this point in Luke chapter 9 they have been in this DISCIPLESHIP PROGRAM for 2
- This part of Lukeís gospel puts us 6 months before - the Cross/ Luke gives us a very detailed account of those last 6 months
Ĺ yrs. / They are in that process of learning & growing / Challenged & stretched
- So these guys have been being discipled by Jesus for 2
- Do they have it down - do they have it together ? Letís see how much they have grown. read 43-56
Now what we have before us are 4 scenes that reveal to us the Disciples true colors
4 Scenes that reveal - that after 2 Ĺ yrs these guys really donít have it
down they donít have their act together .
- 4 scenes that reveal aspects - of their character & spiritual condition that
shows there is something lacking / missing
- Lacking in Understanding / Lacking in Humility / Lacking in Discernment/ Lacking in Compassion
- If you add the scene that we looked at last week - the man w/ the demon
possessed son / we also saw that they were lacking in faith & preparation
- Matthew's gospel makes it clear that the problem was their unbelief & the fact that they were not fasting & praying.
D) But we also saw last week that even though they were faithless / Jesus
remained faithful - He did what they couldnít do.
So after 2 Ĺ yrs of these guys following Jesus walking w/ Jesus / being taught by Jesus - we see they still have a long way to go / lot to learn.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- 2 Tim. 3:16,17 declares that
- Doctrine = what is right / Reproof = what is not right / Correction =
How to get right / Instruction = How to stay right .
- That is what occurs when we dig into the scriptures - when we study the
word - God is doing a work in us . 4 ways are always present.
- That is exactly what Jesus the LIVING WORD did w/ His disciples in training them - growing them up / using those 4 means -
- That is what see taking place in each one of these scenes we are looking at today - where we see the Disciples lacking
- We see Jesus responding in this manner to bring them to that place of spiritual maturity & growth.
Letís examine the first scene :
After this encounter w/ the demon possessed boy - the Disciples & the
crowds were probably pretty excited about the Lordís power.
- But Jesus uses the moment to remind His disciples of why He really
came - & where He was going - there was a cross in His future.
- 44 "Let these words sink down into your ears, ( GUYS GET THIS DOWN - LET THIS SINK IN ) for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men."
C) In other words I am not going to set up a kingdom now!
But 45 tells us that they did not understand this saying, and it was
hidden from them so that they did not perceive it;
Now When I first read this I understood it to mean that the Lord had hidden this from them . hidden supernaturally .
A) But in actuality that is not what is intended at all.
B) It wasnít the Lord who was causing them to not understand this
information/ He wasnít hiding it from their eyes
- It was their own preconceived ideas about what the ministry of Jesus was to be about - what He was seeking to accomplish.
- See And at this time these guys were still thinking kingdom. They were thinking rule - ( They were hanging w/ next King of Israel)
- When you study the gospel records as a whole you find that this was very much on the minds of these men.
- Their Messiah was a King who was going to rally the people to overthrow the Roman oppression.
- Jesus gives this heavy message about - him being betrayed /And He has already told them He was going to die.
- But they didnít get it because of their preconceived ideas of what was really suppose to take place.
As I read that I thought about - how much that too is like us / how we can miss out on things that God is doing- Because preconceived ideas
- I was so blessed - a few weeks ago by a brother in the Church who went to the M.A.C. - surprised that he went .
- I commented that I had heard it was kind of wild - / I loved his response - he said -
Yea it was different from what we do - but We took several of my sons friends one went forward & now is radically saved - another rededicated his life & is doing well SO PTL
- When he said that I thought - Lord let me have that same heart to never put you in box - limit you from working in my life / our Church.
- Some would argue that/ Iím saying the end justifies the means
But I would disagree
Because really I think that some of the things that we can get so bent out of shape over - are really just issues of style & preference
- Not issues of Doctrine or truth vs. Heresy / Not things that are black & white in scripture / style flavor / Pref.
E) I might look at a certain situation / like what took place there - moshing that went on w/ a band / never allow that here/ but hey - ok for them
But When we get hung up on those types of issues / we can really miss out on something the Lord might want to do .
A) An area that He wants to teach us in & grow us up in !!!!!!
- So here we see a LACK OF UNDERSTANDING in the Disciples because of their preconceived idea -
- Luke says that they were afraid to ask / again the idea is they were afraid to go deeper into this / because they didnít want to hear it
- They didnít like what Jesus was saying - they didnít want to go there because it didnít fit in w/ their preconceived idea.
- They were focused on A KINGDOM - They felt we are following the next KING / and the next scene in v. 46 makes this very clear.
D) After Jesus says He is going to die & betrayed what are they doing
Check it out they are arguing - about which one of them is the greatest -
which one will be greatest in the kingdom? / LACK OF HUMILITY
- Now I donít know about you but I have a sneaky suspicion that Peter started this whole conversation.
- I can picture him saying Now fellas we know that I will be his right hand man - I mean I did walk on water you know-
- I can hear the rest of them - saying - Yes & you sunk - you were all wet you big drip
- Peter snaps back - But did you walk on water? And who had the Revelation about - Jesus being son of God .
- Others respond - Yea & to who did he say - get behind me Satan.
And who did The father tell to be quiet on the MT.
- It cracks me up to see that these guys were thinking in this way.
- James & John sent Mommy - Lord when you establish your kingdom - can my boys sit one on right hand other on left.
Now I doubt very seriously that any of you are going to go out to lunch today after Church - have a discussion on who is the greatest in the Church
Can you picture that - / ALL KNOW THE MOMS ARE RIGHT.
- We would never do that - verbally - but we sure think stuff like that in our hearts - ( If I were teaching that passage - sure done it differently)
- I cannot believe they are using so & so to be involved in worship I am such a better singer.
- I caní believe that so in so is doing that - or is involved there - I am so much more together than they are .
- When we look at it in that way we realize we are just like these guys
- What did Jesus do? Lash out ? Condemn ? NO
He Gave some instruction : Neat little object lesson- you see Jesus knew what they were discussing / knows what we are thinking /
A) Jesus takes a little kid puts him on His lap - says
v.48 "Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
For he who is least among you all will be great."
B) Now this is interesting because of the way that we measure greatness / In sports we measure greatness / stats , records & achievements / wins & losses
- In Business - measured in much the same way - Sales & Income
- All that can go to our heads / Ali -I am the greatest - I am superman - Once flying - Fasten seat belts - Superman donít need no seat belt /
- Quick stewardess - Superman donít need no airplane
- Even in ministry we measure greatness in the wrong way - We measure
greatness by the size of a person's Bible study or Church.
- Really I think it has little to do w/ that individual & more to do w/ how God chose to work in that particular place & time.
What we see here is that Jesus gives us a new description of greatness
- But in Godís Kingdom Greatness is seen in becoming child like /
receiving others as you would a Child .
B) Listen go down to our toddler room hang out some time - learn a lot
problems in there/ messy diapers / sharing /
- There are PROBLEMS/ but status is not one of them. Those kids could care less about that.
- Doesnít matter to them if their teacher is the President of a major Corp. or a Garbage man. -
- They are not down there discussing w/ the 3 yr. Old class things like - Our teacher is a Corp. Exec. Who makes 100,000 a year
- YOUR TEACHER IS ONLY A POSTMAN. / Or our teacher drives a BMW / yours drives a pick up truck.
1) All that matters is who can help me color / When do I get my snack.
Jesus says whoever receives this child receives me - what is His point ?
- What can that Child do for you ? Answer is nothing -
I appreciate William Barclays comments on this
Now, a child has no influence at all. A child cannot advance a man's career, nor enhance a man's prestige. A child cannot give us things; it's the other way around. A child needs things. A child must have things done for him. And so Jesus is saying, "If a man welcomes the poor, ordinary people, the people who have no influence, and no wealth, and no power, the people who need things done for them, then he's welcoming me. And more than that, he's welcoming God."
- I think that is very true that the first mark of greatness is that you learn increasingly to have no respect of persons,
- to welcome people simply because they are people, to take no consideration of whether they can do something for you or not,
- and not to be concerned whether knowing them enhances your own prestige, so you can drop their names where it will do you the most good,
- but simply to be interested in people because they are people, & if born again because, they are sons and daughters of God himself.
See the minute that a person starts thinking they are greater than someone else or another group of people .
- That person will begin to look down on everyone else - & that is what Jesus wants us to stay away from.
- See the Bible says that we are all equal at the Cross of Christ & when that is our mindset then we can minister to each other more effectively
- That is why the one who perceives himself as the Least will be great - he
will come here seeking the Lord as to how he might serve everyone else
- Jesus said on another occasion that he who wanted to be the greatest let him be the Servant of all .
- So that would have made Jesus the greatest in this group - because He was continually serving the Disciples & everyone else.
But the person who thinks that he is great or important will come into a group like this thinking - what can they do for me - what is in it for me.
- Good question to ask - Do you come here - seeking to serve or be served
- Occasionally someone will visit the Church & after wards write or call - or come up to me - say something like , People in your Church are not very friendly - no one said hi to me today.
- My response is always - Well did you say hi to anyone - did you go out of your way to meet someone ? GOES BOTH WAYS -
So seen - Lack of faith / Lack of Prep./ Lack of Understanding / lack or humility / ( More & more they looking like us )
Next Lack of DISCERNMENT - v. 49 Now John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us."
- Now this is classic - because these other people were not in their group John didnít want to acknowledge them. Ever do that ?
- Ever find it hard - acknowledging that another Church might be doing a great Job - making a real impact if it not a Calvary Chapel
- They have an organ in that Church - & sing hymns - how could God be into that - we know He likes - Drums & guitars
- Or that preacher wears a robe when He preaches - How could God be into that ? We do the same thing John is doing here. / SO WRONG
When we moved to OR. Several yrs ago to start the Church - my only 2 experiences w/ Church were CCCM & CCCV - very similar / harvest 1
- Got to OR. I found out that some of the Calvaryís there were really different - their flavor & way they did things different
- Some were not as laid back - some were - more traditional - some had worship that was real piano oriented - than guitar like I was used to
- Some were more topical in their teaching style then I was used to
- Some guys - had pulpits / some didnít / some guys sat & preached / others stood / one guy walked back & forth
- At first I was so bothered by all this - IíLL SHOW THEM WHAT A REAL CALVARY CHAPEL IS LIKE.
- Call Brian - These guys are so different - WEIRD - What it really was & I am so thankful for this now - THERE IS GREAT DIVERSITY
- Also was reminded that other ministries God is using
- Community Church - great Job/ Missionary Alliance - fantastic -
1) We donít have the corner market on Church life & service
What does Jesus do when John makes this statement - Again - Instruction W/ a gentle rebuke 50 "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side."
A) Great thing to remember - he who is not against us is on our side."
51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
( FOCUS ON THE CROSS - MISSION AT HAND )
52 He sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
( CONFLICT BETWEEN SAMARITANS & JESWS / SAMARITANS WERE CONSIDERED HALF BREEDS / REBELS / LESSER PEOPLE)
- When the Samaritans - heard that Jesus was going to on to Jerusalem - onto where the true Jews worshipped they wanted nothing to do w/ Him.
- What happens next reveals A LACK OF COMPASSION on the part of AT least 2 of His Disciples .
54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?"
C) How did Jesus respond to this one -
55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 "For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them."
Rebuke & Instruction .
Now here is what is really interesting - to me is that in James in Johnís response we see some good things
- There is an element of faith - I mean they were suggesting a pretty radical thing - fire from heaven - ( anyone here done that lately )
- There is an element of faith involved here that they believed that if Jesus gave them the Ok - they would have had the power to do this.
- There is also Submission - Lord if you want us to do this we will - & if you donít we wonít - JUST SAY THE WORD - SUBMISSION
- FAITH/ POWER / SUBMISSION/ - all good things but the Spirit was wrong there was no COMPASSION
- Jesus says put away your fire balls - I didnít come to destroy menís lives /
but to save them. -
How often do we do the same thing - we come across in the wrong spirit - in our zeal - we might appear to be on fire .
- But our attitude is one of seek & destroy rather than seek & save
- We come armed w/ the truth ready to point out errors faults in others / ready to tell the unbeliever how wrong he is -
- Wrong Spirit - Wrong Heart - Zero COMPASSION
- Think someone rightfully said once that God has been the victim of a lot of Bad PR. & a lot of it has come from His friends .
- The Lord would say to us you donít know of what Spirit you are .
- Have you discovered that you have been the target of some gentle rebuke from the Lord lately - ( Correction in attitude / Reproof/ mindset)
- Take courage He does it because He loves us / He sees the end product & He desires to move us there.
I hope you have been encouraged today as we have looked at these 4 scenes - Disciples are just like us.
- Jesus didnít give up on them. / Hung in their w/ them - & He will w/ us too. ( His goal is growth - maturity - process is time. )
- Now I found myself thinking as I studied this - I wonder how I would have faired -
- if I had the chance to Physically follow & live w/ Christ like these
guys for 2 Ĺ yrs
b) Listen. How many of you have been saved for longer than 2 Ĺ yrs ?
- Now I became a Christian when I was 11 yrs old - but I would say that it wasnít until I was 17 that I became really sold out for the Lord.
- Summer before my senior yr. -
- Prior to that Jesus was a part of my life - but that summer He became the
- In that next 2 Ĺ yrs I developed a love for Godís word like I had never had before / great time of growing in my life .
- But it was also a time of a lot of ups & downs / dealing w/ a lot of issues / learning of a lot of lessons.
During that time I began to read a lot of the puritan writers / which are excellent - but can also be a bit legalistic - ( I became a legalist)
- Talk w/ Friends Pastor Chuck was too gracious - Doesnít know what He is doing -
- Billy Graham & Greg Laurie - didnít preach a true gospel - etc.
- On Thursday night - my family - watch Cosby show together - I came home from a retreat - announced - NO LONGER WATCHING TV
- Next Thursday I am in my room - trying to read my Bible & listening to them laughing - wanting to be out there so bad.
- So in thinking about my own - first 2 Ĺ yrs - I thought - I had some many ups & downs -
- times when made easy things complicated in an attempt to be a theological giant
- Times of unbelief - / times of great pride - judgmental spirits / lacking compassion & Godís heart .
But here is the neat thing - as I stayed grounded in Godís word / and seeking His face - He was faithful to adjust those areas - make changes
- To Rebuke / instruct / correct / & teach when it was necessary
- And 15 yrs later He continues to still do that work in my life.
- See it doesnít matter if you have been walking w/ the Lord - one week, one month , one yr. or 10 or 20 yrs
- TRUTH IS NONE OF US HAVE ARRIVED !!!!!!!
- We are all still in that apprenticeship program learning how to wait on & depend upon our Lord - growing / stretching / developing
- Being molded by His gentle loving but firm hands
- Needing to stay Child like in our mindset & thinking .
A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day, Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray. Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle, The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in awhile. His shirt was kind of shabby and his coat was worn and frayed.
The man knelt, he bowed his head, then rose and walked away. In the days that followed, each noontime came this chap, Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap. Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear, He decided to stop the man and ask him, "Watcha' doin' here?" The old man, he worked down the road. Lunch was half an hour. Lunch time was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.
"I stay only moments, see, 'cause the factory is so far away; As I kneel here talking' to the Lord, this is kinda' what I say:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKIN' IN."
The minister feeling foolish, told Jim, that was fine. He told the man he was welcome to come and pray just anytime. Time to go, Jim smiled, said "Thanks." He hurried to the door. The minister knelt at the altar, he'd never done it before.
His cold heart melted, warmed with love, met with Jesus there. As the tears flowed, in his heart, he repeated old Jim's prayer:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN. I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY. SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKIN' IN."
Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Jim hadn't come. As more days passed with out Jim, he began to worry some. At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill. The hospital staff was worried, but he'd given them a thrill. The week that Jim was with them, brought changes in the ward. His smiles, a joy contagious. Changed people, his reward. The head nurse couldn't understand why Jim was so glad, When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.
The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse's concern: No friends came to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn. Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up and with a winsome smile;
"The nurse is wrong, she couldn't know, that all the while Everyday at noon He's here, a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down, takes my hand, leans over and says to me:
"I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN. I ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY, I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY, AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS CHECKIN' IN."