Summary: Jesus talks to the Disciples following the Transfiguration.
Jesus Talks with the Twelve
Rev. Phillip A. Wright
Introduction: This morning we will visit the University of Heaven. Today, we will learn as Jesus gives his lecture directly to the Disciples.
Attention: In the period immediately following the Transfiguration Jesus will address several very important topics and flow through pretty quickly. He is preparing to send the Disciples out on their own to share their faith. He will shortly send seventy out in pairs. Can you imagine sending out thirty five witnessing teams?
Let’s read: Luke 9:43-50: 43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 "Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men." 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. 46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great." 49 Now John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us." 50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side." (NKJV)
Need: Every believer needs to understand that although many of us think that we are the most correct form or expression of the Christian faith, the fact is that we may not be correct. In today’s passage Jesus strictly forbids sectarianism “a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination; "he condemned religious sectarianism" [syn: denominationalism]
Textual Idea: In our passage, the Lord points out that He will soon be leaving them; he warns against prideful arguing about one’s position and he forbids sectarianism.
Sermon Idea: When we take a broad view of what the Lord wants to accomplish in this world and how he wants us to participate; it becomes an adventure not a safari. An issue of National Geographic included a photograph of the fossil remains of two saber-tooth cats locked in combat. To quote the article: "One had bitten deep into the leg bone of the other, a thrust that trapped both in a common fate. The cause of the death of the two cats is as clear as the causes of the extinction of their species are obvious. When Christians fight each other, everybody loses. As Paul put it, "if you keep biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other" (Galations 5:15). Peter A. Alwinson.
Interrogative: So let me ask this morning’s question: Why would Jesus (in what is clearly a near classroom setting) give such a broad array of comments in rapid succession if they weren’t about to use it? So when Jesus exposes you to a variety of things in a short period, watch out.
Transition: Our text this morning discusses three things that will help us to understand Jesus’ expectations of believers as witnesses and as members of the church body.
1. Jesus Lectures on a Distressing Topic
Explanation: The followers who are present witnessed Jesus as he healed a boy possess by a spirit which made him go into convulsions and caused him to throw himself to the ground. They observed that you can’t just yell at a demon and it will listen. This demon, Jesus taught them could only be over come by prayer and fasting. Fancy that, most New Testament Christians today don’t even want to know about fasting; it must be outdated. No it isn’t. Try it. If you do not know how ask, me, I will be delighted to help.
Illustration: When I was in my first graduate program, I took a management class and one of the exercises – aimed at teaching the importance of planning – required us to map out our lives, from birth to death. Yes, we had to predict the date and circumstances surrounding our death. We all read our papers in class and no one said, I will die next week in a car wreck, or next year in a war, or any other seemingly early death. Everyone – including me – died at a ripe old age of natural causes.
Argumentation: That just isn’t realistic. Somebody dies every few minutes in this country. Guess what, they are not all elderly. In this congregation alone, several of you have buried friends and family members early in their lives. Here we have Jesus doing just that. He is predicting his own death.