- Sermon Notes
Those that are Sent
At this point in our study through the book of Luke it would be good for us to step back and see the big picture of what God is doing. God sees the condition of the world and He alone is doing something about it. He sent His Son so that the world might be reconciled to God, find hope in a world that is lost and broken, have everlasting life, and have the fullness of joy that comes from a relationship to God even now.
The scripture tells us that when God looks at the people of this world He feels compassion for them because they are distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.
God sent His Son into the world to be that Shepherd and to tell of His heart of compassion and love and to invite the lost and lonely and hurting and empty to receive life. Jesus then sends that message to the world through the disciples, and now He sends that message to the world through us.
In Luke 10 Jesus sends out seventy others in teams of two saying, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
When God looks out at the people of this world He sees humanity as a harvest to be gathered in. There are actually several places in the scriptures where this same pictures given. In John 4, after Jesus had spoken to the Samaritan woman and revealed to her that He was the promised Messiah, she went into the village and a great crowd of people came out so that they too might meet Jesus. While they were coming He said to the disciples, "Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the field, that they are white for harvest."
When He sends out these seventy, He sends them with instructions and insight that we should understand as well. When Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest," could we be some of those laborers, some of those workers that Jesus refers to?
Therefore, we need to pay special attention to these words because they could very easily apply to our lives if we would be willing to be used of God and to be about our Father's business.
I. God Does Radical Transformation
- Jesus is sending these men out after ministering among them for almost 3 years. He's sending them out with His authority, but also sending them out as people that He's been transforming.
- It's really amazing when you stop to realize who the disciples were when Jesus first called them.
A. Discipleship comes first
- The twelve are called Apostles, which simply means, “one who is sent.” What's interesting is that we are all called "ambassadors for Christ" which has essentially the same meaning.
- But before they were called apostles, they were first called disciples. Before we are called "ambassadors" we must first become disciples, which means, “one who is being taught.”
- It means more than simply being a student. I can take one class at PCC and be called a student, but a disciple of Christ is someone who is being transformed to become like our Teacher.
- As we saw last week, this requires a heart of humility so we can recognize that we need to be taught, that we need to be transformed. We also need a heart that is teachable; that desires the instructions of the Lord.
Psalm 32:8-11 God instructs in the way we should go
- God wants to send us to make a difference in other people's lives, but before we can lead, we must first learn to follow. If we try to instruct others too quickly, we may be of no help at all.
Illus – Can you imagine what it would have been like if Peter or James and John the “sons of thunder” had been sent out too early?
1 Timothy 5:22, Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others;
Illus – When Matthew was first called to follow Jesus, he called all his sinner friends to come and meet Jesus. Matthew didn't presume to instruct them, for him it was simple, they just needed to meet Jesus.
B. Not many wise, not many noble
- When you look at the list of apostles and know who they were when they were first called and then realize who they became, it's a story of radical transformation.
- The truth is that we all need radical transformation.
Illus - One of the criticisms that the world likes to level against Christianity is that it is a crutch for the weak. The underlying assumption behind that accusation is that if a person was just stronger they wouldn't need to be a Christian.
When God looks out upon humanity, He knows that their problem is not just that they are weak; their problem is that they are dying. My problem is not just weakness; it's death. I don't need a crutch, I need a new heart.
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Ezekiel 36:26, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from within you and give you a heart of flesh.”
- Then, when you see who Jesus called, you realize that there weren't any notables amongst them. As we know, Matthew was a tax collector, several of them were fishermen.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 God has chosen the foolish things
- When you see who these guys were, you see is radical transformation.
- The list of 12 always begins with Peter.
- He is the one with the foot shaped mouth.
- He was a fisherman and knew how to cuss.
- He tried to correct Jesus to which Jesus said to him, “Get behind me Satan.”
- He was clumsy with the sword and took off a man’s ear; then Jesus had to put it back.
- Later, he denied the Lord three times.
- But this is also the same one of whom Jesus said, “Your name will now be called Peter, which means, ‘Rock.’”
- James and John were brothers and called, “Sons of thunder.”
- Last week we saw that when they were traveling through a village in Samaria, the folks there wouldn't receive Jesus because he was traveling toward Jerusalem. James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven.
Luke 9:55-56, But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”
- Matthew was a tax collector.
- Simon the Zealot was a Zealot. These were revolutionaries who were patriots and Zionists who plotted actively against the Roman oppression. Can you imagine how Simon the Zealot would have felt about Matthew the tax collector?
- With the exception of Judas Iscariot, these men were radically transformed into great men of God and God has used them to make a difference throughout the world.
- They were called in the frailty of human weakness, but their strength was in being with Jesus.
Illus - You can study and get sophisticated degrees and receive many letters after your name, but unless you've been with Jesus, there can be little godly change.
Acts 4:13, Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
II. Authority is His to Give
- In verse 19, it says that He gave them authority over unclean spirits, and to heal every kind of disease and sickness.
- It was His authority and He chose to give it to them.
Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
A. This authority He gave specifically to them
- This authority that Jesus gave to the apostles on this mission was specific to this group of men.
- What we also see in scripture is that God gives His authority to accomplish His purpose. Here, he wants Israel to know that the kingdom of heaven has come near and gives signs to verify.
- He is also preparing them to have a place of authority in the kingdom of heaven.
Ephesians 2:19-20, You are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.
- When we think about the authority of Jesus and consider the authority that He gave His apostles, it also causes us to desire to understand the authority of God in our lives as well.
- We may not have the title apostle in the sense that these did, but we do understand that we are called of God and sent of God to make a difference in this world by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
- And the greatest key to understanding authority in the believer's life is found in the principle that we have authority when we are under authority.
Illus- A Roman Centurion understood authority
- To be under authority means that we respond to his instruction and direction and desire in us.
Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
- What Jesus taught was certainly radical, but it's also extremely powerful.
Matthew 20:25-26, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you…”
- For example, if we act puffed up or have a critical heart or a divisive spirit, then we are not under Christ’s authority because He wouldn't ask us to do this.
- God's authority is also given to accomplish God's purpose. It is not given for our own personal agenda.
- From verse 3 we realize that it's absolutely necessary that we be under the authority of God for truly we are sent out as lambs in the midst of wolves. We are also told to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
C. Rejoice that your name is written in heaven
- The 70 returned with joy, rejoicing that even the demons were subject to them in Jesus's name.
- But Jesus responded, "Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
Jeremiah 9:23-24, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord."
- Understand what's truly valuable. The kingdom of heaven has come near. What's more important than that?
Luke 10:1-24 NASB