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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 9:51-62

 

“And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.  And sent messengers before his face:  and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.  And they sent to another village.  And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  And he said unto another, Follow me.  But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go bury my father.  Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.  And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.  And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

“‘…You filled our hearts with hope in regards to healing.  Lord, we didn’t ask for it.  You gave us your word, you told us that we were saved, we’re going to heaven, Lord, that would be enough.  It’s wondrous in and of itself, but you are the One who had filled our hearts and our minds with  the record of your raising the dead and healing the sick, and cleansing the leper, and opening the eyes of the blind.  Lord, then you told us you are the same, yesterday, today and forever.  So Lord, our hearts are responding Lord to what you have set in front of us, that we might hope Lord and believe that you are the same, yesterday, today and forever, Lord.  Touch these Lord, that we love, and heal them we pray, in Jesus name, amen.’ 

 

“The Son of man did not come to destroy lives, but to save them”

 

Luke chapter 9, we are at verse 51.  And we begin a portion of Luke’s Gospel that’s exclusive to Luke in the journey to Jerusalem narrative.  And we have many things here that we don’t find in the other Gospels that Luke gives to us.  And I think he has taken us into a mode of discipleship, he’s giving us a picture of disciples, he’s giving us a picture of human hearts and how they’re challenged by the things of Christ.  And he carries that thread through for many chapters now, it’s very interesting.  So, as we move into this, we’re coming off the heels of Jesus saying “Let these things sink down into your ears,” ‘listen to what I’m saying,’ challenging them, because they’re arguing about whose going to be the greatest.  And he challenges them about becoming as a child.  He challenges them because they said, ‘Lord, we saw somebody casting out demons and they weren’t from our denomination,’ and Jesus challenges them with that, ‘No, you’re either for me or against me, there’s no middle ground, if they’re not against us they’re for us.’  And now again we have the disciples, so much like us, manifesting their attitude about this experience they’re having with Christ.  In verses 51-56, and it says, “It came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers before his face:  and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.  And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?  But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.  And they went to another village.” 

 

Who were the Samaritans?

 

Jesus has set his face to go to Jerusalem, knowing the Passion that awaits him, the crucifixion, the shame, and the resurrection.  The Jews hated the Samaritans, and the Samaritans hated the Jews.  The Samaritans embraced the first five books of Moses, but that was all.  They claimed that their lineage, and their patron saint as it were, was Jacob.  And the Samaritans had come about when God had judged Israel [the northern 10 tribes, called The House of Israel], and used the Assyrians to carry them away.  And as the Assyrians carried them away, they then brought to the area of Samaria those that were not native to Israel, many cultures, including the Babylonians.  The Assyrians would do that as they engaged another army or another people, after the victory they would take the people that lived in that locality and transport them to some other part of the civilized world, and then bring other people to that area to destroy their nationality.  And as the Assyrians had brought others to live there in Samaria, what happened was, they said to the Assyrian government, ‘Look, we’re having trouble here, there’s lions, there’s difficulty with the crops, there’s wild beasts that are eating our children, we don’t know how to worship properly the god of this land.’  Because they believed in local gods, most of them were pantheists, and they thought there was a specific god that was over the land of Israel.  ‘So we don’t know about the god that watches over this place that you’ve carried us to, so you need to get us some information.’  So the Assyrians went and took some of the priests that should have been doing their job when they were in the land, and brought them back to the area of Samaria and said to them, ‘Now you teach these foreigners how to worship your god.’  So the irony of it was, here were Israeli priests teaching foreigners [pagans] to worship Yahweh-God back in the land that was rightfully theirs, and they should have been worshipping God there instead of idols.  [Comment:  To see the entire history of these 10-northern tribes and what happened to them, 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel, whom the Jews call “the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel,” log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html.  It is a very fascinating history.]  Well out of that was born an amalgamation of the Jews [Israelite priests, not Jews] that were brought back, and the foreigners that were placed there, and they were half-breeds [not even that, percentage wise, they were about 99 percent of pagan/foreign origin].   They worshipped Yahweh in their own way, and it had become deformed by this time, and the Jews in Jerusalem considered the Samaritans half-breeds, they considered them heretics, and there was a genuine hostility between the Samaritans and the Jews, the religious Jews.  And as Jesus now is going to Jerusalem, he does an unusual thing, he heads through the area of Samaria.  Normally the hatred is so great that Jews that were traveling south [from the Galilee region] would cross over the Jordan River to the east side of the Jordan River, travel down and then cross back over by Jericho and come up to Jerusalem, specifically to avoid the area of Samaria.  And Jesus just heads right through Samaria, it’s the shortest route, it’s the easiest route.  Well as he sends some of his guys ahead into Samaria to prepare for him, evidently to stay the night and lodge there in his journey, they will refuse Jesus, because they’re hearing he’s on his way to Jerusalem.  And the Samaritans believe that God was to be worshipped on Mount Gerizim.  Remember Jesus with the woman at the well, has this conversation, she says ‘Our fathers worship at Gerizim.’  Well they thought ‘We’re not going to be hospitable to him, because he’s going to Jerusalem.  We know that we should worship at Gerizim.’  So they then refuse any hospitality to Christ (that was normal in that culture, by the way). 

 

‘The Sons of Thunder’ verses ‘Being Ambassadors for Christ’

 

Well his disciples have the answer here, unlike us, of course.  “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said,”---they’ve got a great idea---“Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias [Elijah] did?”   ‘How about if we call fire down from heaven, burn ‘em up even as Elijah did?’  Now maybe because it hadn’t been long before that time in the transfiguration, when they had seen Elijah, we’re not sure why that is on their minds.  It’s strange, it’s not the first thing normally that you think, if someone won’t receive Jesus.  Maybe after a few years, if someone won’t receive Jesus, you’d think, ‘OK Lord, burn ‘em up.’  But normally you don’t think that right away.  Now, by the way, I can see a little of myself in the boys here who Jesus affectionately names the sons of thunder, because they want to call down fire on people, you know, the new evangelistic program of the disciples---‘Get saved or burn, now!’, ‘accept Jesus’ or ‘get consumed by fire, turn or burn’, it was immediate, these were the guys that started it.  ‘Accept Jesus, put you in front of the firing squad, preach the gospel and then shoot you.’  I can see a little of myself there, don’t you, kind of when you look around the world, you look at this world, it kind of grieves you sometimes, and you think, maybe even lately you’ve seen some things on the news, and you think, ‘Lord, a little fire would help right there, Lord.  They’re not gonna turn to you, just BOOM!---bring it down right there Lord!’  And Jesus rebukes them and says ‘You don’t know what manner of spirit you are of.  I didn’t come to destroy lives, but to save them.’  And it tells us [in John 3:16] that God so loves the world that he gave his Son.  And this was the world that was at enmity with him, this is the world that grates on us every day.  And by the way, it’s ok for it to grate on us.  We are to have our affections set on things above, not things of the earth.  It says that Lot, his righteous soul was vexed as he was in Sodom.  It isn’t wrong that the world grates on us [it had better, or it proves we are more of the world than of Christ], it’s because our citizenship is somewhere else [cf. Hebrews 11:8-10; 12:18-24].  But we always need to remember what “spirit” we are of, and that is ‘that God so loved this world, that he sent his Son.’   And until the Trumpet blows, and until we’re gathered home [to the Wedding Feast right after the 1st resurrection to immortality, cf. 1st Corinthians 15:49-54], out of this world, we are his ambassadors in this world.  And our message is not the message of what the two prophets will be during the Tribulation.  That will be “Turn or Burn.”  Our message is: that there is now salvation, that the love of God and the grace of God are available.  Certainly we set that in contrast to eternal punishment, I mean, it’s part of the Gospel.  Certainly we let people know that repentance is necessary [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm], that sin damns, that people need to turn away from sin and turn to God.  But our message to a lost world, a world that’s in darkness, is a message of the love of God, a message of John 3:16. 

 

“Be Angry and Sin Not”

 

Now, by the way, aren’t you glad God hasn’t given you this power?  Imagine if he’d had given his disciples power to call fire down from heaven, when they got aggravated with somebody.  Imagine what traffic jams would look like.  I’m just speaking for myself [the road filled with crater-blast-holes and burning vehicles].  You know, if the Lord gave me this power, I would give it back right away, before I did anything, before I went out of the house, I’d give it back right away, before I hurt somebody.  Because I easily forget what I was like.  Isaiah 51, verse 1 tells us we should remember, ‘the rock from whence we were hewn and the pit from whence we were dug.’  We should remember what we were like before we got saved.  [I carried a throwing knife around under the drivers seat of my car, and a shotgun and 30/30 in the trunk of the car, fully loaded J.  After baptism, I sold them all.]  We were like everybody who bothers us now.  In fact, I loved to argue with Christians before I got saved.  There was nothing that made me happier than getting a Christian mad.  And I didn’t even know they were blowing their testimony, I just enjoyed it.  I don’t enjoy it now when somebody does it to me.  And you know, you get saved for awhile, then you think, ‘Lord, get us out of here, we’re just waiting, you’re kind of letting riffraff in, it wasn’t like that in the days when I got saved, Lord.  The screening process has changed, I don’t know what happened here Lord.’  I’m glad he hasn’t called fire down yet.  I’m glad he waited until 1972, that’s when I was saved.  Since then, you know you think, ‘Close it down, Lord, I’m in, so this is what it’s all about, I in heaven, that’s what the ages have been waiting for, so now close it down Lord.’  Now I’m glad, Sunday, you see the people being saved, Sunday night, and what we’ve heard since, during the week, and think Lord, you’re so merciful, so gracious.  He’s so faithful to work in our hearts.  You know John ends up becoming the apostle of love.  You know if you have a problem with anger, don’t be discouraged, because your problem with anger is how you use it.  It’s not a problem with anger.  It’s because we do stupid things with anger.  And then you get tired of fixing sheetrock and gluing chairs back together, and painting before the relatives come, over the spackle.  I’m a human, I know.  If somebody told me you’re like that, I just kind of…Anger is God-given.  We are created in his image and likeness.  Jesus has anger.  He was angry when he saw the hardness of their hearts, when he wanted to heal the man with the withered hand [be sure to log onto that link on Agape, which covers that very set of verses].  He was angry when he overturned the tables of the money-changers.  Don’t let Satan condemn you because you have anger.  You need anger, anger is part of love, God is love the Bible says.  He created us in his image and likeness, he has anger.  Because if somebody messes with my wife or with my kids, and I can get my hands on them, love tells me I’d better be angry at that moment, or my love is impotent, worthless.  If it isn’t the kind of love that would stand in the gap, that’s the kind of love that Christ had.  Be angry at sin, angry at the Devil, angry at death and those things that would destroy our lives, angry at the hardness of the hearts of men that would turn people away from the Kingdom, angry at the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23 because they were shutting up the Kingdom of God, they themselves were not entering in, and they were making it impossible for others to enter in, Jesus was scathing angry when he said that.  But anger isn’t wrong.  The Bible says “Be angry, but sin not.”  The problem is, we get angry, and then we sin, and in different ways, by the way.  Some of you are seether’s, and you cook for awhile, and make somebody pay, trying to give them the same ulcers you’re getting.  Some of you are criminal, and you get it all over with at once, and have to repent as long as the other person’s stays mad.  But don’t be condemned because you have anger.  There’s a right time and a right place for it, as we see the injustice in our land, as we see bigotry, as we see abortions.  Anger is a proper motive and a proper emotion.  Without it we’d be worthless to a lost world.  But it’s how we use it that’s often so wrong.  These guys are a prime example. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Agape/Agape%20III.htm for an awesome study on anger management within the scope of God’s agape-love he wants to develop within us coupled to the enablement of his Holy Spirit.  That whole series on Agape is very good.  This study shows us some constructive ways we can use anger as well, and the differences between the proper use of anger and the improper use of anger.]  Be encouraged, because they were apostles.  That means God can use you in the ministry.  ‘God can use me with my anger?’  Hey look, these guys said to Jesus, ‘Hey, we told them you were coming, they wouldn’t listen, want us to call down fire and burn ‘em up?’  If God can use them, he can use us.  And he’s so faithful, as the years go on, to work in the life of John, and he finally becomes the apostle of love.  But he rebukes him here.  ‘You don’t know what manner of spirit you are of, the Son of man has not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’  They went to another village. 

 

Key to understanding what makes a disciple:  ‘This is not our environment, not our home’

 

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”  And Matthew tells us this is a scribe.  ‘I’ll go anywhere,’  “and Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”  Now this scribe is coming, he’s a scribe so he knows the Law.  He’s a scribe, so he knows the Word.  Evidently in great emotion, he’s watched the miracles, he’s listened to Christ.  And in his mind he’s saying ‘This is the One, this is the Messiah.’  Now his idea, no doubt is wrong, because of the challenge of Jesus.  He’s thinking ‘He’s going to overthrow Rome, he’s going to set up his Kingdom, this is the One, I recognize him, I recognize Isaiah’s prophecies on him, I recognize Zechariah’s prophecies on him, I recognize what the Scripture said on him, I see it in his life.’  And in emotion, he’s saying ‘I want part of this,’ he’s running in, saying, ‘Lord, I’ll follow you anywhere.’  And Jesus turns around and says to him, ‘Look, the foxes’ literally, ‘do always have their dens, and the birds of the air do always have their nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’  What he’s saying is ‘Look, this is not my environment, I’m passing through.  This is the natural habitat of the foxes of the field, they have their dens here.  This is the natural habitat and environment of the birds of the air, this is the world they live in, they have their nests.  But I have nowhere to lay my head.’  They just refused to receive him in Samaria.  There was no place for him when he was born, laid in a manger [stone feeding trough for animals], no room in the inn [caravansary].  The religious people wanted to kill him.  Those in Gadera begged him to leave.  The religious leaders wouldn’t receive him.  He was ultimately forsaken of his disciples [except for John], and then ultimately of course cried, so we never have to, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”.  And of course, it’s very interesting, by the way, he says “the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head”, and the next time it uses that word “lay his head” in regards to Christ is, it says, on the cross he said “it is finished, and he bowed”, that’s the word, “laid his head.”  He said, ‘In this world, the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’  He’s passing through, this is not his environment, this is not his home, he’s going back to where he came from with the glory of the Father.  And the only time in this world he found a place to lay his head is when he was finished the work the Father had given him to do, and then he said “it is finished” and he bowed his head and he gave up the ghost.  So I think you and I, in great emotion sometimes, and we say ‘I’ll follow you Lord, just show me, Lord, just lead me.’  Well what if it means we might have to sleep in a tent?  What if it means we might have to use an outhouse?  People want to be missionaries until they see the outhouse.  ‘I don’t want to be a missionary, I’ll be in the puppet ministry, as long as it stays in the United States.’  I mean, what will be the cost---if following Jesus means, you know, moving through where our environment is not what we want it to be?  We won’t feel at home until we enter that city. Abraham traveled through the Promised Land as a stranger, interesting contrast.  He was the man of the tent and the altar.  The tent defined his relationship to this world.  The altar defined his relationship to the next world.  Following Jesus is part of discipleship.  Holding on loosely, passing through, realizing that when we see that city, walls of jewels, streets of gold, the angels, the Lamb in the midst upon the throne, that there will come a moment when our eyes behold it, that we will be home.  Every color will agree with us, every hue, every emotion, every temperature, every color, every sound, every sight, all of it created and prepared for us.  But it isn’t this world [even though it will end planted squarely upon this planet, earth, cf. Hebrews 11:8-10; 12:18-24; Revelation 21:1-23].  It’s not this world.  [Comment:  Interestingly, the disciples didn’t fully realize Jesus wasn’t going to set up the Kingdom then and there either.  But he had just invested three and a half years in them, he didn’t have that amount of time to invest in this scribe right here just before his crucifixion.  More than likely this scribe ended up in the early Church after Jesus’ resurrection and that day of Pentecost, as many others that Jesus had interacted with did.] 

 

A Disciple of Christ Has Higher Priorities

 

The scribe started the conversation, Jesus starts the next conversation. He says to someone now, that’s really a privilege, and honor. The scribe had to come to Jesus, and said ‘I’ll follow you.’  But this is a privilege, because Jesus looks at this man, and says to him, ‘Follow me.”  What a privilege for Jesus to ask us that.  “And he said unto another, Follow me.  But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  Jesus said to unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (verses 59-60)  Now, you know these don’t go together well, “Lord” and “me first.”  You live there, so do I, but you know they don’t go good together.  Lord, allow me first to go bury my father…’  Now if course in your mind you get an image of his father laying somewhere at the funeral parlor, and the guy said to the funeral director, ‘Do me a favor, just keep him there, I’m going to hear Jesus preach today, and I’ll be back later.’  That’s not the idea.  “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead:  but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”  It was the responsibility of the oldest son in a family to be the primary care-giver of his father, parents in their old age.  Remember, Jesus challenged the Pharisees when he said, ‘You break the Word of God for the sake of your tradition, because in your tradition you say ‘It is Corbin, any responsibility that you have to your elderly parents can be absolved,’ the priests say, ‘if you give that money to us.’  Jesus said, ‘That’s not what the Word of God says, the Word of God says “Honour your mother and father”, and that didn’t mean just when you were little.  It meant when you were little they wiped your rear-end, they changed your diapers, they fed you, they took care of you.  And if the tables change and the day comes, there were no retirement homes back then (you know, it’s big money these days), no retirement homes in those days, the patriarchs, the old folks in the family were respected and cared for.  And they took care of you when you were young, and there was a time when it became your responsibility to care for them until they left this world.  And the primary responsibility was given to the eldest son.  He’s saying to Jesus, ‘Let me go and bury my father first,’ and Jesus says, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’  Because though they’re alive, if they don’t have the Spirit in their hearts and their lives, if there isn’t eternity in their hearts, they’re dead.  They’re alive physically, and they’re alive soul-ishly, but they are dead spiritually.  And Jesus tells us in another place, by the way, that God, the true living God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.  You see, the dead have their gods too.  The world is filled with people that are dead spiritually.  And it will be a moment before they step into eternity, how fast the seventy years go by.  I’m 47 years old [he’s 63 years old as I type this J]  I remember being 16 and thinking 25 is old, thinking ‘I’m never going to be 25.  Now I’m thinking, ‘I’m never going to be 25 again.  I wish I could be 25 and only know what I know now, and remember it, because I’m starting to forget what I think I know now, too.  The dead have their gods, whether it’s a Ferrari, whether it’s a career, whatever it is, and they don’t pay well, they may pay.  They may pay for a few years, but they don’t pay eternally.  Jesus says “Let the dead bury their dead.”  And isn’t it the struggle we have, sometimes with our family and our friends?---Especially if your family is religious in some other direction, not relationship, they don’t know Christ, but they’re religious.  And they want to know ‘What in the world happened to you?  You go to church Sunday [or Saturday] morning, you go to church Sunday night, you go to church Wednesday night?  What’s going on up there?  You having an affair with somebody?  They giving out money up there?  Why can’t you come back?  Why don’t you go to Atlantic City anymore?  Why don’t you go to the bar with your friends anymore?  What’s wrong with you?’  You think they would be happy, don’t you?  ‘Hey Ma, I don’t go to Atlantic City anymore, I’m not gettin’ drunk anymore, I’m not taking drugs anymore, I’m going to church.’  ‘What’s wrong with you?  What’s going on up there?’  You’d think they’d be happy.  They have their own gods.  And when you worship yours, it’s much different.  Jesus says “Let the dead bury their dead.”  And sometimes there’s a struggle with the family.  “Go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” 

 

Disciples don’t look back into the world they left behind

 

“Another also said” here’s someone else starting the conversation, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are in my home at my house” (verse 61).  There’s an outbreak of this,  the “me first’s”.  Big outbreak in my house once in a while, sometimes even on me.  But usually I’m not first when they break out.  But once they break out, I’m first.  I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are in my home at my house.  Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Now how often do we go through this?  ‘Me first.’  Now I’m not saying that, if Jesus was physically here this evening, and called you, you’ve got everybody sitting around here watching, and started to walk out the center aisle and said to you “Follow me”, everybody else would go ‘Wow, Jesus picked him.’  And you’d go ‘Jesus picked me,’ and you’d walk out right behind him.  But what do we do when we’re alone?  And the Holy Spirit says to us, “Follow me.”  Don’t we sometimes get an outbreak of the “me first’s”?  ‘Lord, let me do this first.’  I mean, let’s be perfectly honest.  How often are we alone and the Holy Spirit is ministering to our hearts saying ‘No, no, don’t go there.’  And we say, ‘But Lord, let me do this first.’  And we’re in this internal argument, but everybody’s not watching, because if everybody was watching, and the Lord said “Follow me”, we’d get up and follow him.  Because everybody would go, ‘OOOOh.’  And we’d go, ‘Mmmmm, me, he called me.’  But that happens every day in our lives, Jesus is speaking to us, by his Spirit.  Every day he’s calling us, not to rob us of anything in this world, not to rob us of family.  I guarantee, this young man, if he had followed Christ, the family may have gotten aggravated at first, they’d have said ‘He flipped out!  He’s a Jesus freak!  He goes to church Sunday [or Saturday] morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, thumps that Bible.’  But let me tell you what happens, Jesus honors your commitment, he loves your family more than you do.  He wears them down, and it may take until they’re on a heart-lung machine and they can’t yell at you anymore because they got something in their mouth, but the moment comes, and God is gracious, and he honors our commitment.  And he never makes us losers, we never owe him for following.  “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God” you can’t plough straight if you’re looking over your shoulder.

 

Luke 10:1-24

 

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.  Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few:  pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.  Go your ways:  behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves.  Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes:  and salute no man by the way.  And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it:  if not, it shall turn to you again.  And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give:  for the labourer is worthy of his hire.  Go not from house to house.  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:  and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you:  notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.  Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.  And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.  He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.  Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy:  and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes:  even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.  All things are delivered to me of my Father:  and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.  And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:  for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” 

 

Thirty-five pairs of disciples sent out---some ground rules for preaching the Gospel

 

“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, wither he himself would come.”  He said “also”, because he sent the 12, now he’s sending 70, to go 2 by 2, that’s 35 pairs, in case you’re interested.  So he’s moving towards Jerusalem, there’s the last six months of his life, time is short, shorter than that.  Now he takes seventy, and he endues them with power, like he had endued the twelve, and gives them exousia, and he sends them now to be his front-runners as he’s coming to this area, he’s moving down the Jordan Valley, to preach the Gospel, to heal the sick and so forth.  Verse 2 says “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few:  pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (verse 2)   Now, I like the way it presents this to us, in Matthew there’s a place where Jesus says to them, ‘Hey, look, the harvest is white, the harvest is ready to go, but the laborers are few.’  So he says to them there, “pray the Lord of the harvest would send labourers into his harvest.”   And then the next verse says, ‘so he sent them, ‘You guys pray that the Lord will send laborers into his harvest,’ so they went and prayed, ‘Lord, send laborers into your harvest,’  he said, ‘OK, you go.’  I like this arrangement.  Luke 10, verse 3 picks that idea up, “Go your ways:  behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” He’s sending them into the harvest.  ‘Behold,’ or ‘Consider this,’ he encourages them before they go.  “I send you forth as lambs among wolves.”  ‘Good, Lord!  I meant send somebody else!’  The emphasis I think in verse 3 should be, ‘I send you forth.’  The emphasis in your mind shouldn’t be ‘lambs among wolves.’  It should be “I send you forth”, because he promises to keep them. 

 

Follow the Spirit, not the menu---and, ‘Lighten your load’

 

“Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes:  and salute no man by the way.”  ‘Don’t stand around gabbing with everybody, you’ll never get anything done.’  “Whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it:  if not, it shall turn to you again.”  You’ll sense if they’re open, they’re receiving your word, you’ll know.  “And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give:  for the labourer is worthy of his hire.  Go not from house to house.  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you” (verses 3-8).  So if you come into somebody’s house somewhere, and they’re having spaghettiO’s for dinner, and you hear the folks next door are having broiled rack of lamb, don’t say, ‘You know, I think the Lord was leading us one more house, but we stopped short of that here because of a lack of faith, see ya, we’re going next door.’  No, he says, ‘Follow the Spirit, not the menu,’ you’re not supposed to be making your decisions as his representatives on simply in regards to what is best for you.  The interesting thing, he’s telling them ‘Lighten up.’  And I think, I think the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today, ‘Lighten up’ in regards to what we hold onto in this world.  You can’t take it with you.  You can send it ahead, but you can’t take it with you.  You know, in the ancient Far East, you know, have you ever heard somebody say ‘Well, that’s a white elephant’, the idea of a white elephant?  Where that came from in the ancient Far East is, if the king, if you found favor with the king, and some of the kings would raise these white elephants, and they bred them so the line was unusual, and he would honor you by giving you a white elephant if he loved you and liked you.  Now of course the problem is, you then had to honor the king back by taking care of the elephant.  That’s hard because they lived long and they eat a lot.  If the king liked you, he’d give you one white elephant. If the king did not like you, he’d give you a number of white elephants.  Because you had to feed them all and take care of all of them, and they might live longer than you.  That’s where that idea of white elephant came from, because some of us have white elephants today, something hung around our necks, some commitment, some debt, some love of some material thing, we have something that drives us when it’s not expedient, we could be freed up from those things, we could be realizing the foxes have their holes, the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of man, to follow him, there is a holding loosely.  Not that he doesn’t bless, Abraham was a wealthy man, Daniel was a wealthy man, David was a wealthy man, but they did not hold on to those things, they were not possessed by their possessions, they possessed them and used them for the LORD.  And they held loosely.  Jesus is telling them, ‘Move fast, something has to be accomplished, the harvest is ready, laborers are few, don’t get caught up, move on, do your work.’ 

 

Preach the Gospel---People are held accountable for the amount of Light they receive

 

Verses 9-11, “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.  But unto whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you:  notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”  Jesus says, they should use some of their own psychology.  The Jews, when they would leave the area of Israel proper, they would go into Samaria for something, they would go into Lebanon for something, they would go over into the area of the Gaderenes for something, when they came back into Israel they would stop at the border and shake the Gentile dust off of their feet, so as not to pollute the Holy Land.  And Jesus says to them here, ‘The Holy Land is where I send you, the Kingdom is what is holy.  And if you go into a Jewish city, and they won’t receive the Word of God, the preaching of the Kingdom, the message of Yeshua, the Messiah, then you shake off the dust of your feet as a very testimony against them.  Verses 12-15, “But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.  Woe unto thee, Chorazin!  woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.  But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.  And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.”  Now what he’s saying is this, you’re held accountable for the amount of light you’re given.  If you are given much light, and turn away, you are sinning against much light, it’s relative.  Tyre and Sidon, Sodom and Gomorrah did not have the light that Corazin had, Jesus was there, did miracles and preached to them.  Sodom and Gomorrah did not have the light that Bethsaida had, Jesus was there, he did miracles, he preached to them.  “Thou Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven”, that was his Headquarters when he was in Galilee, every day they saw the living Messiah walking in their midst, healing people, preaching the Kingdom, and yet they didn’t respond.  And it’s very interesting as Jesus curses these cities, the only city on the Sea of Galilee that he didn’t curse is Tiberius, and the only city on the Sea of Galilee today that is a functioning city is Tiberius.  Every other city, Capernaum, Corazin, Bethsaida, all of them are ruins.  You can go tour the ruins, but there’s not a street light there.  There’s not a store there.  There’s no life there, besides Christian tourists.  The only city that’s alive is Tiberius, it’s the only one that he didn’t curse.  “He that heareth you heareth me;”---as he sends them---“and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.”  So they go. 

 

Rejoice over the right things

 

Now in verse 17 they come back, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.”  Notice, with joy, ‘Yippee!  We get to boss devils around!  This is great stuff!’  and there’s people that are still like that today.  “He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (verse 18).  A very interesting statement.  Now did he mean in ages past?  Did he mean while they were preaching and casting out demons that he saw Satan’s kingdom falling?  Or was he speaking of Revelation 12, some future fall?  [Comment:  Revelation 12 speaks of a past fall, and a yet to come future fall.  It is very interesting, that all dinosaur life, and all life on earth right down to the single-celled microbe level, was snuffed out when two huge asteroids were hurled to earth 65 million years ago.  This could have been the galactic war alluded to in the beginning of Revelation 12, and alluded to by Jesus in Luke 10:18 here, as we just read, where Satan was cast back down to earth with one third of the rebellious angels, now called demons.  To view this period of time, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/dinosaurs.htm.  In all likelihood Jesus is referring to this event, especially since the statement is in past tense, “I beheld.”]  I think the only one that fits the language, because it says “I beheld Satan having fallen” and it’s more properly [translated] “I was beholding Satan having fallen,” describing it as something that had taken place in the past.  They’re saying, ‘Wow, Lord, this is great!  The demons are subject to us…’  Jesus is saying ‘Look, I beheld their boss, the most beautiful angel there ever was, the greatest malevolent power, I was beholding him, having fallen.’  Now, he’s the god of his world, we’re told now.  Certainly when Jesus came, it says he bound the strong man.  And yet there is a time in the future, Revelation 12, when he will be cast down to earth [a second time] which is different from his original fall.  He fell from his principality and power.  In fact, it tells us in Jude, he left of his own will, he left on purpose in rebellion and his arrogance, he left once and for all, their principality and their power.  They have not fallen to the physical world where they’re bound there, Satan is called the prince of the power of the air, there are demonic forces in the world.  There are.  Jesus says, ‘I beheld him, having fallen, like lightning.’  What an interesting statement. 

 

Christ meant something different than how we tend to read this

 

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy:  and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (verse 19).  Now, I have an idea that that means something different to Jesus than it does to us.  Because all of them were martyrs except John.  Jesus says, ‘Hey, Satan’s fallen, I give you power over the enemy.  Nothing’s gonna hurt you, not the lion when he chews on you, not the nails when they drive them through your wrists, not the fire when they set you on fire.’  I have an idea he’s thinking something different than they are.  Because you and I, when we get saved, we think Jesus makes us these kind of promises, abundant life, and when we go out and we get a flat tire we’re bummed out.  ‘Lord, if you love me, why’s it always my tire that’s flat?  The drug pusher down the street never has a flat tire, he always has a new car, me I work all week…’  We get bummed out over a flat tire.  Think of some of the things, read Foxes Book of Martyrs, that believers have gone through, through the centuries, for Christ, for his sake.  I think it means something different to him. 

 

Rejoice in deliverance ministries?---No, that’s not what he said

 

“nothing shall by any means hurt you.  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.  And in that hour Jesus rejoiced”---and it’s the only time in the New Testament where it says that he rejoiced, so you want to take note of this---“Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes:  even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight” (verses 20-21).  Those who are wise and prudent in their own eyes, no doubt.  “All things are delivered to me of my Father:  and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”  Now look what he’s saying here, here comes these guys back, the 70 of them, these are the front-runners, these are the apostles, these are going to be the pillars of the Church and the leaders of the movement after Christ ascends.  And they come back and they’re ‘Zipidy doo dah, they’re happy, ‘Oh the demons are subject to us,’ and Jesus is saying, ‘Boy, you know, what a perspective.  I saw Satan himself, fall.  And you have power over them, but don’t rejoice in the fact that the demons are subject to you.  But rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’  And you know what?  Isn’t the Church in some ways so consumed with power, ‘You need power!  And so much of it is in that vain.  Jesus is saying, ‘No, rejoice that your names are written in heaven, because deliverance ministries and healing ministries and exorcism is going to pass away.  People who are written in heaven are not going to pass away, they’re going to be here forever.’  Jesus understands, if your name’s written in heaven, you’re in one category, and if you’re name isn’t written in heaven, you’re in another category---  non-smoking, or smoking.  [chuckles]  Where will you be? 

 

God’s put one over on Satan

 

And he laughs, he says ‘Father, this is great, you’ve hidden this from the wise and prudent, and you’ve made this known to babes,’ and he says, ‘nobody knows who you are but me, nobody knows who I am but you, and the only way people are going to know you are the ones I reveal you to.’  Jesus, he looks around, he laughs, and he thinks, ‘Satan will never stop this.  You know, here these guys are, they’re bubble-heads, jumping up and down, the demons are subject to them,’ and Jesus is going, ‘Father, this is a great plan, who would ever think that you would use these guys?  Satan is going to be totally confused.  [laughter] We’re leaving the keys to the Kingdom to these guys.’  You know, Lightfoot says by the end of the first century, there were already episcopal, presbyterian and congregational forms of church government.  These are the guys who heard it right from the Lord how it should work, and they’re already divided up, the denominations are already going.’  I’m in favor of denominations, I think denominations have Satan completely confused.  If we were all one denomination he’d have stopped us long ago.  And Jesus just looks and rejoices, ‘Father, this is great, who’d have ever thought of it, you’re gonna use these guys, they don’t even know, they don’t even know what’s going on.  They’re babes, they don’t even know.  And you’re giving them the Kingdom, and you’re letting them loose on the world.  How’s Satan ever gonna track this program down?’  And Jesus would say to them ‘He who was least in the kingdom was greater than John who was the greatest prophet that ever lived.  He who is least in the Kingdom.  John the Baptist was greater than Elijah, he was greater than Jeremiah, he was greater than David, he was greater than Zechariah, greater than Abraham, the greatest prophet who ever lived.  But he whose least in the Kingdom is greater than…’  That’s because you have more clarity with what you understand than John the Baptist had, who said “Are you the One, or should we look for another?”, who was disappointed in what Jesus was panning out to be, he was disillusioned.  You and I have a clearer picture.  Here we sit, here’s the city of Philadelphia in front of us, and by the way, the fattest fishing hole right in front of us, each one of you know more than John the Baptist did.  Satan is chewing his fingernails, ‘Well I hope they don’t realize what they know.’ 

 

We’re not made for this environment---We’re Christ’s Ambassadors for God’s Kingdom

 

We’re down here saying, ‘Boogeyman, boogeyman, boogeyman, this deliverance, that deliverance, bind this and do this and do that, power! Power! Power! Power!’  Jesus says, ‘No, no, no, no, rejoice that your names are written in heaven, not that you have power over demons.’  What a great witness.  You know what it’s like if believers walk into a church and people are going ‘Come Out!  Come Out!’ you don’t take your friends to those places. [laughter]  But where are you going to hear about the love of Jesus?  But where are you going to hear that he loves you where you are, and whatever you’re going through?---and that there’s another Kingdom, and that it’s a place you were made for.  And the reason that you don’t fit in here, and the reason that you can’t find any satisfaction here, and the reason that drugs don’t satisfy, and sex doesn’t satisfy, and alcohol doesn’t satisfy, and money doesn’t satisfy---is because you were made for a different place.  You were made for someplace different.  Jesus bids us that are his own to rejoice that our names are written in heaven.  You know, tonight, if Saddam Hussein sets off a nuclear weapon, if everything starts going off, heard the other day that the Israelis are nuclear ready, because they know, that if we fire something at Iraq [now it’s Iran], he’s going to shoot at them.  They know what nuclear proliferation has created.  They know how instantly it is going to escalate onto their front porch.  We, Americans, so many of us oblivious, walk out the door, worried about getting to Friendly’s, worried about when’s the next time the Bull’s are playing, or wish the 76er’s would get off their five-game loosing streak.  I started to believe in them a week ago, and they disappointed me again.  Or, I hope the Eagles get somebody better next year---our minds are somewhere on earthly things, and Jesus is saying, ‘No, no, no, no, this is the place where the foxes are at home, and the birds of the air, they are at home here, they’re made for this environment, you are not made for this environment.  If you’re going to follow me, know this, that I am an Ambassador, I’m passing through, and you will have to be an ambassador, you’ll be a pilgrim, passing through this world to a better place.  I going to challenge you this evening, if you don’t know Christ personally as your Saviour, we’re sitting here, we’re laughing, we’re having a great time looking at God’s Word, I hope in your heart that you don’t see anything phony going on.  Because I believe that you don’t want anything phony.  The question is, can you be honest with yourself?  Honest enough to say, I’ve been there, I’ve done that.  Drugs doesn’t satisfy, sex doesn’t satisfy, money doesn’t satisfy, as much as I have these things, I am still empty.  As much as I have these things, I am still afraid of death.  And it tells us in Hebrews that men live their entire life in bondage to the fear of death.  The Good News is, that if you turn to Christ, your name will be written in heaven.  And no one can erase it, because it’s written in the blood of the Lamb.  I’m going to have the musicians come…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Luke 9:51 through Luke 10:24 by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

Related links:

 

“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”  When?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/dinosaurs.htm

 

Where the Samaritans of Christ’s day came from.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html

 

Once you come to Christ, ask him into your life, repentance and a repentant lifestyle is necessary.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/whatisgrace/whatisgraceintro.htm

 

“Be angry and sin not.”  To read an awesome Biblical study about anger, see:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Agape/Agape%20III.htm

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