Sermons

Summary: Harvest, Courage, Urgency, Salvation

FAITH OVER FEAR - Like Sheep Among Wolves

Luke 10:1-12 (p. 724) October 15, 2017

Introduction:

Jesus and his disciples are walking down the road to another village when a man approaches Jesus and says, “I’ll Follow you wherever you go!”

And Jesus wants to make sure he knows what he’s in for.

“Foxes have dens and birds have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Basically Jesus is telling this man… “If you choose to follow me it won’t be comfortable…you’ll have no real home here on earth.”

And then Jesus looks at another man and says, “Come follow me…” but the man says “Lord, just let me go bury my dad.”

Sounds like an important priority doesn’t it? I’ve buried my dad…it’s an emotional subject…But we need to understand…His dad’s not dead…He wants to oversee family affairs and settle inheritance issues in the future…He’s the eldest son who gets a double portion…He’s saying, “Let me get my inheritance and then I’m all in…” Jesus cuts to the chase.

If you want to live for me…If you’re alive spiritually…let dead people bury dead people…you go proclaim the Kingdom of God as the most important thing.

And then another guy jumps into the conversation…“I’ll follow you Lord, but just let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

Jesus replies…“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”

Like Lot’s wife…he wants one more glance at his old home…one more look at his old life…Jesus says: “You cannot serve in my Kingdom if you keep doing this!”

The Apostle Paul came to understand the power of this truth when he set his priorities…One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14)

Trying to look back while you’re stretching for the finish line is a recipe for failure.

Immediately after these encounters, Jesus appoints 72 others and sends them out in teams of 2…they go ahead of Him to every town He intends to go…His advance teams.

I always wondered if any of those 3 men were in the 72…It doesn’t tell us what their choices were…fear would have had them headed home to their own beds, becoming administrators of their family assets, and renewing relationships with old friends and family…Faith would have had them not even taking a purse or bag or sandals on the journey of a lifetime.

Following Jesus is still the journey of a lifetime…It’s abundant and absolutely filled with a harvest…but few choose it…Why? Because:

I. IT’S DANGEROUS TO BE A LAMB LIVING AMONG WOLVES

The first thing Jesus tells His advance team is: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field…Go…I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves.

What??? That doesn’t sound like the pep talk I’d want to hear from Jesus in this situation.

I like the big harvest part…but being small in number and surrounded by wolves isn’t that appealing at all.

When Matthew records this same commission by Jesus he gets even more specific about how dangerous it will be.

MATTHEW 10:16-18 (p. 681)

Sheep among wolves..shrewd as snakes but innocent like doves…Be alert, you’re gonna get beat on…you’ll be arrested and have to testify on my behalf.

Jesus knew that if we live with Him as our King…and we preach His Kingdom of salvation in this world of sin and selfishness, the response would not be kindness…but hatred.

He even said, “As the world has hated me…so it will hate you as well.” “It hated me first.” (John 15:18)

Darkness hates light…evil hates righteousness. Oil and water do not mix. It’s a world filled with wolves…you are to be sheep.

Jesus is the most truth speaking teacher that’s ever lived…He is the truth…so it’s important we as His followers, then and now, understand that “real Christianity” lived out in the real world, will not be comfortable or popular.

What’s His advice…be shrews…be innocent…be on your guard. But Go!!!

[When I was a freshman at Johnson Bible College I played the part of Jim Elliot in a play called “Bridge of Blood.” They would make a movie about Jim Elliot and 4 other missionaries (Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian) called The End of the Spear.

These men left their homes and the comfort of America to share the gospel with the Waodoni tribe in Ecuador….Nate Saint, their pilot landed their plane on a sandbar of The Currency River…communication was slow but everything seemed to go well, until one of the tribe members lied to the chief about the missionaries’ intentions…10 warriors were sent with spears…and they massacred the men on that beach…Jim Elliot’s famous quote is… “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose.”

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