- Sermon Notes
For Such a Time as This
January 31, 2021
1. Where does the title for my message come from?
2. It is found in the Book of Esther, words which were spoken by Queen Esther’s uncle, Mordecai.
3. When Mordecai said those words to his niece, the outlook for the Jews was bleak.
4. Israel had been in Exile for many years because of their rebellion against God’s covenant.
5. While some of their countrymen had returned to Israel after the Exile ended, many Jews had put down roots in foreign lands and decided to remain where they were, scattered abroad, away from their Promised Land.
6. The Jews had many enemies but one in particular stood out at this time, his name was Haman the Agagite.
7. Haman’s hatred for Mordecai and the Jews ran so deep that he devised a plot to have the Jews wiped off the face of the earth in one day and then convinced King Ahasuerus to issue a decree for it to be done.
8. Uncle Mordecai begged Queen Esther to tell her husband, King Ahasuerus, that she was a Jew and to reverse his edict.
9. But Esther was afraid to do so because she feared the king’s wrath if she approached him uninvited.
10. When Mordecai heard Esther’s hesitation, he told her. . .
Esther 4:13-14, Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place. . . And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?
11. Now, you might be wondering, what does the story of Esther have to do with Luke 10.
12. Well, as in the days of Esther and also the days of Jesus, we are living in perilous times.
13. And perilous times require a response, a response from men and women of courage.
a. A response from men and women of principle.
b. A response from men and women of faith.
14. As born-again Christians, we have a calling and we have been called For Such a Time as This.
15. Tonight, as we study Luke 10:1-24, we will discover what our calling is and how to fulfill our calling to the satisfaction of the One who has called us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
1. When we arrive at Luke 10, there was another major shift in Jesus’ ministry.
2. After Jesus had sent the twelve apostles to proclaim the Gospel (9:1-6), and had fed the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish (9:12-17), and had heard Peter’s confession that He is “The Christ of God” (9:18-22), and had been transfigured on the mountain (9:28-36), we are told in Luke 9:51. . .
Luke 9:51, When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. . .
3. To prepare the cities along the route for His arrival, Jesus selected seventy men to spread the news, “the kingdom of God has come near.” (9)
4. Now, I must state upfront, that there are some things about this passage which do not apply to us because Jesus’ directives and provisions were only for that group of seventy disciples.
5. That said, there are many important principles which we may glean from this passage and apply to our lives because they transcend the specific commission of the seventy.
6. We will begin with general observations and principles and then transition to specific observations and principles so that we may rise up and be used of God for such a time as this.
Transition – The first principle from Luke 10 is. . .
I. Let Christ Radically Transform Your Life
• To understand what I mean when I say, “Let Christ radically transform your life” it is essential for us to understand the context.
• When Jesus sent the seventy as His advance team to prepare the cities for His arrival, He had been ministering to these people for almost three years.
• This means that the men Jesus was sending out with His authority were men He had been transforming during those three years.
Transition – How were they transformed by Jesus?
• First, by becoming Christ’s disciples.
• Which means. . .
A. Discipleship comes first
1. The twelve were called “Apostles” which simply means “one who is sent.”
2. But before the twelve became the “Twelve” they were first Jesus’ disciples.
3. Now, just to be clear, the seventy were not the twelve, but like the twelve, they were first disciples of Jesus Christ.
4. What does the word “disciple” mean?
a. The word “disciple” means “one who is taught by another.”
b. It pictures one who follows in the footsteps of the Master Teacher which results in their lives being transformed.
APPL – There is great application for us in this principle.
• In order for us to be called by Christ for such a time as this, we must first be Jesus Christ’s disciples.
• Being a disciple of Jesus Christ requires that we follow in His footsteps.
Luke 9:23, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
• And to follow in Jesus’ footsteps we must be taught by Jesus.
ILLUS – Being a disciple means more than just being a student.
APPL – To be a disciple requires a heart of humility.
• We recognize our need to be taught because the way we were doing life is a dead end.
• We recognize our need to be transformed because when we look in the mirror we do not like the person we see, the man or woman we have become.
• God promises to personally counsel and train those who hunger for His instruction and thirst for His transformation of their lives.
Psalm 32:8, I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Transition – I believe many Christians want their lives to have meaning and purpose.
• They want to be used by God for greater things.
• But they question if God wants to use them because they have failed in the past and feel disqualified for use in the future.
• The good news from this passage is. . .
B. Christ qualifies the disqualified
1. Have you ever looked over the list of Jesus’ first disciples?
2. If not, what will you discover?
a. Were they the most powerful?
b. Were they the most influential?
c. Were they the wisest of the wise? No.
3. When you look at who these men and women were when they were first called by Jesus and then compare it to what they became after they had been with Jesus, you realize their stories were stories of radical transformation.
4. In fact, that is what Jesus meant when He praised His Father and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things form the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” (21)
ILLUS – A summary of Christ’s first disciples.
• With the exception of Judas Iscariot, these men were radically transformed into great men of God and God used them to radically transform the world.
• Like Esther, God had called them for such a time as this.
• They were called in the frailty of human weakness, but were transformed by the presence of our Savior.
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.
APPL – The truth is you can study and get sophisticated degrees and receive many letters after your name, but unless you have been with Jesus, there can be little godly change and you will never be prepared for such a times as this.
Transition – The next lesson that stands out from this passage if you wish to rise up and be used of God for such a time as this is. . .
II. Let Christ’s Authority Define Your Life
• Now, we are going to transition to more specific principles from Luke 10.
• The word “authority” is a loaded term.
• For some, it is a negative word because they were injured by those who misused their authority.
• For others, “authority” is something to be pursued at any cost because they want to be the master of their life and “lord over” others.
• Neither definition or application of the word “authority” fits this context.
• The Bible makes it clear that the safest place to be is under Christ’s authority.
Proverbs 18:10, The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe.
• In order to feel safe under Christ’s authority, we must remember His character and heart for us.
Matthew 11:28-30, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
APPL – How can we be sure that we are resting under the Christ’s authority and that His authority is defining our lives? Let me explain by defining the opposite. . .
• Jesus calls His authority a yoke. A yoke was used for beasts of burden, like oxen.
• A yoke would rest on the animals’ shoulders, uniting them together as they worked.
• When Jesus invites us to come to Him, He is inviting us to be yoked together with Him.
• When we rest under His authority, His yoke, we are yoked together with Him.
• When we are yoked to Jesus, His strength becomes our strength so much so that our weary souls find rest.
• When we are yoked to Jesus, it does not matter what life brings or what He calls us to do because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
• Once we realize who Jesus is and how blessed we are to rest under His authority, His strength, His peace, His rest, will begin to define our lives.
Transition – Please notice in verse 19 that Jesus gave the seventy authority over unclean spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness. This means it was and is Christ’s authority to give and that He chose to delegate His authority to them.
A. Christ’s authority is His to delegate
1. The authority that Jesus gave to the apostles and later to the seventy for their missions was specific to each group.
2. We also see in the Bible that God delegates His authority to accomplish His purpose.
3. Here, the Lord wanted Israel to know that the kingdom of heaven has come near so He gave the seventy authority to speak His message and to confirm it was God’s message by healing the sick and casting out demons.
4. In addition, Jesus was preparing the twelve and the seventy to have a place of authority in the kingdom of heaven.
Ephesians 2:19-20, So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but 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 corner stone. . .
B. Christ’s mission is His to direct
1. Though Jesus’ authority and instructions to the seventy were specific for their mission, there are important principles which can be applied to our mission for such a time as this.
2. While Jesus gave authority to the seventy to prepare the way for His arrival, Jesus has called us to go into the world and make disciples in preparation for His return. (1, 3)
Matthew 28:18-20, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
3. And like the seventy, we must pray to the Lord for the lost souls to hear the Gospel and place their faith in Jesus Christ. (2)
Romans 10:1, Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
4. And while we are not commanded to leave our money belts, luggage, and sandals at home, or stay with strangers and eat what is placed before us, there is a sense of urgency because the days in which we live are evil. (4-8)
Ephesians 5:15-16, Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
5. And like the seventy, when we are rejected for sharing the Gospel, we must remember they have ultimately rejected God. (10-16)
APPL – The bottom line is, God’s authority has been given to us accomplish His mission, not our personal agenda.
• Do not be a rogue disciple.
Luke 6:46, Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
• Rest under Christ’s authority.
• Let His authority define you and your mission.
C. Christ’s reward is His to give
1. When the seventy returned, they returned with joy because even the demons were subject to them in Jesus’ name. (17)
2. But Jesus responded, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” (20)
APPL – That is a good word for us, “Rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
• You have received Jesus as your Savior.
• You are His disciple.
• You may not have the title “apostle” or be included in the group of seventy.
• You may never cast out a demon.
• You may never see a person healed.
• But you have a divine calling and have been sent by God to make a difference in this world.
• Rejoice because Jesus has saved your soul and has called you into the harvest field to share Jesus with lost souls who need Him.
APPL – Who will go?
• Who will rise up, answer the call, and impact our world for such a time as this?
• May we answer like the prophet Isaiah. . .
Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me!”
Luke 10:1-24 NASB
1 Now after this the Lord appointed [a]seventy-two others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no money belt, no [b]bag, no sandals, and greet no one along the way. 5 And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 And if a [c]man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in [d]that house, eating and drinking [e]what they provide; for the laborer is deserving of his wages. Do not move from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is served to you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet [f]be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that city.
13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the [g]miracles that occurred in you had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in [h]sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades!
16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; but the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”17 Now the [i]seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us [j]in Your name!” 18 And He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless, do not [k]rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”
21 At that very [l]time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I [m]praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for doing so was well pleasing in Your sight. 22 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son determines to reveal Him.”
23 Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see the things that you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things that you hear, and did not hear them.”