Summary: If you want to know what someone is all about, just listen to what they say. Jesus once said: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The Living Bible puts it this way: “Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech”.
Text: Luke 10:25-37
Introduction: If you want to know what someone is all about, just listen to what they say. Jesus once said: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The Living Bible puts it this way: “Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech”.
Sometimes I just enjoy listening in to conversations. My favorite radio programs are those where two or more people are discussing issues. It is as if you are eavesdropping.
Today I want us to “eavesdrop” on one of our Lord’s conversations. It is found in Luke 10. I think we will find some powerful lessons for living encapsulated in this conversation.
While Jesus walked on the earth, He often met those who would try to “verbally spar” with Him. That is, they would like to try to trip Him up or trap Him into saying something wrong. In John 7, we find an instance where the Pharisees and chief priests sent officers to get Jesus and bring Him to them in order that they could interrogate them. When the officers went to arrest Him, they heard Him speaking and were so impressed that they returned to the Pharisees without Him. When asked why they came back empty-handed, they responded: “Never a man spake like this man.”
Then there was the time when the “religious” crowd – those who had been described as “beautiful mausoleums – full of dead men’s bones, and of foulness and corruption” – tried to trap Jesus with the woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. The story is found in John 8:3-11 (NASB). Let us read that story.
You see, Jesus was well aware of the fact that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” Proverbs 18:21 (NASB)
Turn with me now to Luke, chapter 10 and we will find Jesus answering one of life’s most important, penetrating questions. We will begin reading at verse 25.
25And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
There it is. That is the most important question known to man. That is a question that should be constantly at the forefront of our concerns. The Philippian Jailer asked Paul & Silas the same question in Acts 16:30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
I do not believe there is a more important question in life than this question. It has eternal consequences. I do not know what you have been asking yourself lately … Perhaps you have been asking, “What will the rest of 2006 hold? What will 2007 hold in store for me and my family? will I be promoted on my job? Will I get a pay raise on my job? If you are single maybe you have been who will I marry? What University will I attend?” All of these questions wane in significance when placed beside the ultimate question: What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Notice, though the lawyer was not serious. He was only testing the Lord. Look at the Lord’s reply:
26And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" 27And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 28And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE."
“This do” -- What do? Love the Lord your God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself.
Now we find what was in the heart of the lawyer: Look at verse 29.
29But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
Somehow, I feel this is a question the Christian world is asking today. Just what is my responsibility? Who and how many people do I really have to love. Who do we really have to care for? Is not it true that we are only to care for the “household of faith?”
I feel a misunderstanding of this issue lies at the place where the Christian church departed from the path upon which it was placed on the day of Pentecost. The church was never meant to be a “secret society” or an “exclusive group of elites.” We were never meant to exist for Sunday! We were never meant to be a club of positive thinkers who would tell each other how good we are. No, the purpose of the church today is as it was in the days of Jesus. How clearly He articulated our mission in His teaching on the Mount found in Matthew 5: 13-16 (NASB)
There is a reason for our saltiness and for our illumination. We are not simply to be salt and light for salt and light’s sake. Look at verse 16: “Let your light so shine before men” – WHY? “.. So that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” There is a PURPOSE FOR LIVING!