Summary: We all want to feel like we matter in some way, and sometimes that can take the form of “other people do not matter.” Jesus taught that everyone matters. Success in his eyes is very different from the world’s view of success.
Jesus’ Surprising Teachings About Service
1. Sometimes it DOES take a Rocket Scientist Scientists at NASA have developed a gun built specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity.
The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields. British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.
Arrangements were made. But when the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, crashed through the control console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin.
Horrified Britons sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield, and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.
NASA's response was just one sentence, "Thaw the chicken."
2. We live in a morally declining society. Gay marriage is now legal in Indiana, and we are heart broken about it. A marijuana shop opened up next to a church building in Colorado. The world cannot gather the force to stop ISIS from taking over in Syria.
3. It is into this world at this time that God has called you to be a servant. It is no mistake that you live right now in these times. We are to love him & love others.
Main Idea: We all want to feel like we matter in some way, and sometimes that can take the form of “other people do not matter.” Jesus taught that everyone matters. Success in his eyes is very different from the world’s view of success.
Jesus meanders and interweaves his teaching here, so be prepared for rabbit trails!
I. Serving OTHERS In Jesus’ Name is the Way to Greatness (33-41)
A. Being the servant of ALL (33-35)
1. Their argument
2. Jesus’ statement of principle
3. Demonstrated when he washed the disciples feet (one example)
4. Jesus’ principle illustrated with a child
B. Appreciating others who serve him with faith but less KNOWLEDGE
1. True believers? They SUCCEEDED in casting out demons in Jesus’ Name
—Unlike the failed exorcists of Acts 19
—Unlike the disciples who had just failed to do so
—Perhaps not true believers, but we must allow room for that possibility
2. Not always sure: sometimes LOST people or SEEKERS aid and assist Christian efforts
3. The promise of REWARD to those who help Jesus’ disciples
[Note: Some of Jesus’ response could be based upon Numbers 11:26-30]
II. Showing Special COMPASSION for Children In Jesus’ Name Pleases Him (36-37 repeat, 42-48)
A. Receiving them is receiving JESUS (36-37)
B. “Those who believe” implies EVANGELISM
C. Leading children ASTRAY is a most serious sin
D. Their PROTECTION is a priority
E. The EXTREME importance of this is illustrated
1. Our sin problem is not caused by eyes or limbs, the heart
2. Removing one eye means still seeing with the other, etc.
3. Obviously not literal, but illustrates the serious nature of these sins
4. Whatever keeps you from repenting and turning to Jesus’ cannot be as valuable as eternal life…
Isaiah 66:24, “ “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
F. The nature of GEHENNA (hell)
III. Becoming SALTY in a Bland World Is Our Calling (49-50)
Illustration: The Country Cook Inn
A. Everything will experience the PURIFYING salt of fire
1. Unbelievers in hell
Judges 9:45, “And Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He captured the city and killed the people who were in it, and he razed the city and sowed it with salt.”
2. Believers in judgment of works for purpose of reward
I Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
B. The salt of GODLINESS
1. As a living sacrifice
Ezekiel 43:24, “ You shall present them before the Lord, and the priests shall sprinkle salt on them and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.”
Exodus 30:35, “and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy…”