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September 22, 2022 12:00 am
Jesus commissioned 72 of His disciples to preach the gospel in towns and cities across Israel and God blessed these men with profound spiritual victories. But even in the midst of this mountaintop experience, Jesus had some lessons for His followers to learn—lessons about rejection, faithfulness, and pride. Whether times are good or bad, whether we feel useful in God’s service or stagnant in our walk with God, these truths remain unchanged.
Something to get excited about, not how perfect your ministries going but you seem to be accomplishing know the fact that your name has been entered by God in the heavenly registry you're a citizen of that kingdom you been enrolled in the registry of that eternal state and God does not have an eraser. He writes your name there in permanent marker are less broadcast.
Stephen began his exposition in the message called an honest portrayal of the harvest. This is part two of that message and Stephen called it. Problems and perspectives. Jesus commissioned 72 of his disciples to preach the gospel in towns and cities across Israel, and God bless these men with profound spiritual victories, but even in the midst of this mountaintop experience.
Jesus had some lessons for his followers to learn these lessons about rejection, faithfulness and pride are important lessons for us as well. Walter Payton was one of the most proficient running backs in professional football for many years. He held one of pro football's most coveted records the all-time rushing record of nearly 17,000 yard one author I was reading pointed out that that many carried the ball 9 miles over the course of his career, but the impressive part is that he was knocked down every 4 1/2 yards. Imagine any rights running 9 miles but being tackled every 4 1/2 yards. What makes the record truly remarkable is that he kept getting up and running again. What is he going to his coach after his first game and said every time I try to run someone's chasing me down if I quit, of course not. That's part of the game today is not a pep talk on how to be a good football player were involved in the great commission and it isn't a game, the stakes are high heaven or hell. Now, here in Luke chapter 10 the Lord is giving us a training manual for those who will represent them in the harvest fields of the world. Now, you push the pause button at verse nine.
After verse nine where the healing ministry is going to allow them to preach the kingdom of God is near.
But now for the day we arrived at this little conjunction in the text. That little word but it's about to introduce an entirely different subject in the training session of the 72 Disciples You Could Cir. the word the beginning of verse 10, but telling you these things, but all of the Lord does not negate his promises or his principles following the conjunction. He he is about to train them with what will call problems and perspectives.
The promises and principles are true.
But now I want to talk to you about problems and perspectives is the first one to consider. There will be times when your gifting and your ministry are not appreciated nor desired.
Let's take a running start by going back to verse nine and read heal the sick in it and say to them the kingdom of God has come near to you. That's thrilling, miraculous ministry. The kingdom is just around the corner.
This great or what, but but whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, wait a second.
Is that possible income on what were performing miracles were emptying emergency rooms and cancer clinics. The label walk the blind will see, somebody's got to want us. That's right get ready for it.
Enter a town and they will not receive you. Is that possible Jesus effectively says is not just possible, it is predictable expected anticipated. Get ready for as if the entire population of that city says get out. We don't want you expect there to be times when a friendly face will never show up when your needs will be ignored. Remember that no money, no provision, no carry-on knapsack covered but no home opens up no hard either. They turn you away. There will be times in your ministry that the only friendly face is is Jesus. But he's invisible and that's I going to help all that much a time. No wonder this was a reminder to them by the way that no matter what they said or did. Even if it was miraculous.
It might not be received. And that's because there message that accompanies the miracles is convicting its a message of salvation and grace, but it is also a message of sin and guilt that everybody's ready to listen, which is why the second perspective I want to principal lies hear something disciples of every generation need to remember here is number two. The message of the gospel not only provides an invitation. It delivers an ultimatum. Jesus says here in verse 10 of that village or town you know doesn't receive you go into its streets and say even the dust of your town that clings to our feet.
We wipe off against you. Nevertheless, know this that the kingdom of God is come near.
This is a public warning in these days they were to go into the streets. You could translate that into the into the wide thoroughfares not just one of them, but several of them.
That is wherever the greatest number of people will be present to you this verdict hear the words. Watch your action. The word pate refers to a well traveled road. In other words, you know, don't go to some little side street and sneak out of town. No go out into the middle of Highway 55 going to the middle for a line go to Glenwood Avenue and deliver this prophetic illustration of judgment because of their unbelief defiance against the king and his messengers.
Notice what he says further in verse 12, I tell you it will be more bearable.
On that day for Sodom than for that town.
Now when he says this understand everybody then just like everybody to this day knows about Sodom city given over to homosexuality. The apostle Peter referred to this city as being filled with those who were indulging. He calls it in the filing passion. They became known for their sexual immorality that face this unique judgment of fire and brimstone.
Everybody knew about Sodom, which makes this message all the more shocking did you catch it, read it again. I tell you it will be more bearable. On that day for Sodom. Then for that town that refuses the disciples message at stunning this text by the way, clearly indicates degrees of punishment in hell.
As far as God is concerned the sins of sexual immorality, evidently, are the worst, so to speak, deserting the greatest judgment. These cities that refused the messengers of Jesus, these villages that had received greater revelation and miracles as well as the opportunity to believe, but rejected it all will end up facing a more severe judgment on that day we boil it down even further descendents even shorter. People who live in Sodom, will face lighter judgment than those of you who are sitting in your synagogue. That's true to this day there is a greater judgment based on greater revelation invective unit day refused Jesus Christ.
The message of the King delivered by this messenger of the king you will face a greater judgment in having refused, and someone who had little lights and less revelation, I fear for you today because you are only adding to the condemnation you may face one day. If you reject Jesus. What is delivering to these people see delivering the gospel is and then really just offering an option. It's delivering it ultimatum, it's heaven or hell of a perspective here in this kind of delivery is not anger or hatred, it is sorrow.
In fact, if you could've heard Jesus pronounce these woes. You'll notice the next few verses refer to that the word woe is a is a sorrowful lamenting declaration if you could've heard the tone of Jesus, you would've heard this lamenting warning slide. By the way when he rides into Jerusalem one day very soon on that unbroken call that everybody is singing Hosanna he's weeping decries all the way into the city because he knows their judgment is going to be so great.
Jesus says here in verse 13 notice. Woe to you, cruising woe to you bedside up for the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes, but it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon, then for you again is very shocking. These primarily Jewish audiences. This is turning religion on its head. Here they knew about Sidon, they knew that it was the hometown of Jezebel. But wicked cleaner died of violent death of judgment some 840 years before the birth of Christ. They know they knew the city of Tyre was the ancient city that it worshiped more or less whose idols were crafted with open bellies in which they they stoke hot fires and then laid their babies in those bellies to be burned as sacrifices so Sodom and Sidon and Tyre are going to get off easier in the final judgment. What about the city of Capernaum Jesus as a special order them in verse 15 and you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven, you shall be brought down to Hades. This is shocking to the citizens of Capernaum.
This is been the city that was the home base of Jesus they know he had taught in their synagogues he'd healed in the city. Peter and Andrew are from this town Capernaum I there's ever a city that is a head start in the kingdom of taught it's Capernaum. No rejecting their Messiah. They're not going to be heading for heaven exalted to heaven there heading for Hades. I want to point out 1/3 perspective to keep in mind is Jesus prepares the 72 disciples number three. Remember the projection is not necessarily personal, it is ultimately spiritual notice verse 16 is true again for every disciple today.
The one who hears you hears me and the one who rejects you rejects me, Jesus and the one rejects me rejects him. My father sent me. So ultimately this is this is the rejection of the kingdom of light by the kingdom of darkness. And Jesus is training his disciples to understand the rejection is to be taken personally. Even though we feel it personally and it hurts never feels good, but Jesus is giving them and us the right perspective, these cities and villages are rejecting the king's representatives because they are rejecting the king we have in our church family, a diplomat from South Korea. I talked with recently signed here to an embassy in the capital city of our states and is been posted for just a few years and will be reassigned and it it it it occurred to me that how our country views her is tantamount to how our country views her country. She represents her nation is the idea here. The villages that reject the diplomats of the king are ultimately rejecting the king and his country coming kingdom.
By the way, this was a subtle warning to the 72 disciples the rejection of their message did not mean that they were than to change their message they want to come to the conclusion that they they need to tailor it better or to the felt needs a little better their audience or tone it down or make it a little more appealing to the masses know the message remains the message and the truth is, our message is becoming more and more unwanted are our morals are becoming to our world more and more offensive.
Our viewpoints are becoming to our world more and more repulsive.
Jesus told his disciples and they faced it. John 1518, the world hated me before it hated you see Jesus is training his his disciples not to be appreciated not to be applauded but to be rejected.
The following verse 16.
You need another sometimes takes place when a given how long, but following this first they leave these teams. These pairs of disciples head out more than likely, they spent several weeks not much more than that. And then they all return which implies that Jesus had given them a specific date on which they were to return. Now evidently, in spite of everything that they've experienced and were given very little information on what the experience. We are told that they all returned excited. Verse 17 says the 72 returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name not everything that happened this is the most exciting it's almost like childlike in their enthusiasm, their reporting, even the demons obeyed. Now, you would expect Jesus to say way to go. I mean, I must've been amazing. No here's the right perspective to keep in mind will be given to before I read his response when ministry focuses on accomplishments.
Pride is hovering nearby verse 18. Here's a large immediate reply and he said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven you realize Jesus just revealed his pre-existing. He was there at the beginning days of creation. You and saw a few demons depart from tormented lives. I want you to know I saw their leader defeated in his attempt to unseat triune God. I was there I watched Satan fall like up streak of lightning to earth. Verse 19 behold, I've given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. Scorpions are used in the Bible to describe demonic forces no daddy speaking metaphorically. Satan is referred to in the Bible is that old serpent syndrome is 11 deadly dangerous enemies. So Jesus is essentially telling the personally immortal until their jobs done. The task is nothing can stop you but it's broader than that, nothing will stop the mission I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We operate from the vantage point of victory. Those skirmishes are daily is another perspective to keep in mind number five your joyful spirit must not depend on ministry perfection or completion but on your final destination. Look at verse 20. Nevertheless, even I just told you even get to do more don't rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. So there's something to get excited about. Not perfect. Your ministry is going but you seem to be accomplishing know the fact that your name has been entered by God in the heavenly registry you're a citizen of that kingdom you been enrolled in the registry of that eternal state, and God does not have an eraser. He writes your name there in permanent marker should all get so caught up with what you're doing on earth and forget the joy of your reservation and everything else pales in significance. With that, Jesus begins to rejoice. Notice typically separate disease follow immediately. Verse 21.
In that same hour he rejoiced in the holistic triune God in one verse mention specifically you have Jesus, God the son rejoicing is accompanied in prayer God the Holy Spirit in their giving praise and thanksgiving to God the father.
All three persons of the triune God are in this joyful concert together, but to give you another perspective number six encouragement in the harvest field depends on the mystery of God at work in the world is really all up to him. Verse 21. Again, I thank you father, Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children. Yes father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my father and no one knows who the son is except the father or who the father is except the son and anyone to whom the son chooses to reveal him know that means that means we don't understand why some believe and some do not, except for this is the mystery of God's gracious will. But if the father son and Holy Spirit are having this little joyful parties, so to speak, and what they rejoicing over people who are saved.
People who are childlike, that is humble in their faith there excited about souls saved, which is another way of saying you in the harvest field are not working alone. In fact, the triune God is more work than we could ever imagine. But just take it from this text, you're not working alone and whenever somebody comes the faith. There is celebration among the three persons of the Godhead is another source of encouragement to me put it this way. Number seven, and this is the last one.
The unique privilege of where we are in redemptive history invites us to give praise the God. Verse 23 then turning to the disciples, he said privately. Blessed are the eyes and see what you see.
If I tell you that many prophets and kings desire to see what you see and did not see it and hear what you hear and did not hear it went. We ought to thank God for the dispensation were in were able to take our Bibles and turn to the gospel of Luke, the book of first Corinthians the book of Revelation the completed canon of Scripture that that's true to this day.
Imagine what God is revealed to you in this dispensation. Even the prophets didn't know Isaiah the Kings didn't know King David. They don't know half what you what you've learned from Jesus. Imagine what God does through you. You beloved, get to introduce to the world the Messiah by name. Imagine what God is done for you is redeemed you, your name is been entered into the registry of heaven here citizen of his kingdom and that's reason enough. By the way when you're tackled when you're not down rejected to get back with the truth of the gospel in hand and keep pressing on the goal line. The coming kingdom of Christ, which is just ahead.
These are the principles and promises and problems in perspective. Lives that keep us heading in the right direction for the right reason for serving the harvest field of our world to Stephen called this lesson and honest portrayal of the harvest field part two problems and perspectives. It comes from Luke 10 if you want to hear part one. Please visit wisdom online.org because we've posted there. Stephen will continue through this section of Luke in the days ahead. Between now and our next broadcast, we'd enjoy hearing from you. If you have a question or would like more information about our ministry. You can send us an email if you address it to email@example.com or use that address to give us feedback about our ministry and how God is using it in your life. If a special place in our website where we post Stevens answers to questions that have come in from listeners like you. Thanks for listening. Join us next time-more wisdom