Summary: A Call to Discipleship!!! What God will work with and what He will not.
Eads and Haswell United Methodist Churches
July 1, 2001
“no way, yeah but, and whatever you say”
I sat down to write this sermon and found myself almost finished with it,
When it dawned on, man, even I am bored.
Those poor people who have to sit and listen to me preach.
There really is nothing new here.
This is not the most dynamic story I have ever heard in Scripture.
No one dies, nothing gets blown up,
There is nothing really all that life changing.
What am I supposed to do with this thing?
Then God spoke to me.
John, did you bother to ask me what I think of this story?
Well God, no not really.
Maybe I should.
Yes John. Maybe you should.
So I prayed about it,
And saw something here that I have never seen before.
What a great story!
I mean it.
There is a lot more here than meets the eye.
Okay, so maybe it really isn’t all that enlightening from our own human perspective,
But from God’s point of view, there is really a lesson here for us.
I call it…
“no way, yeah but, and whatever you say”
These are the three types of people we run into this mornings Scripture.
And they are also the three kind of people that God has to deal with on a regular basis.
Let’s take another look…
Scripture tells us that Jesus was on a journey to Samaria.
Actually, in the literal Greek,
It uses the word journey 6 times.
This is obviously important to the story.
Jesus is going somewhere.
He is not a drifter.
He is not a vagrant.
He is not a wanderer.
Jesus is the man with a plan.
He even has his own VIP PR team that he has sent out ahead to make
Reservations for the Ramada Inn where they will be staying,
And the largest football coliseum that he can address as many people
Here we come to our first response that God often hears from us.
Get out of town.
Pack it up and leave us alone.
Like I said, this is the first response that God is used to hearing from people.
No way God.
You are not welcome here.
We do things around hear the way that I want.
Keep on going.
Now take a look at the response…
The response of the disciples is complete indignation to the point of absurdity
And great amusement.
Jesus, let’s call fire down from heaven and nuke these ingrates
Back to the stone age.
We’ll show them.
I have to tell you that I laughed out loud when I read this for the first time.
I can only imagine Jesus’ reaction.
Scripture tells us that he rebuked them.
I wish someone was there taking notes that day
So we could all here what a scolding from the Son of God
Would sound like.
The second time I read the story though,
I did not find it to be quite so amusing.
Even as absurd and ridiculous as this request was,
It tells us something else…
Those who were the closest to Jesus, still had no clue who he was.
That makes me sad.
Jesus was truly alone among these people who did not understand him.
This is a point that I will revisit later in this sermon.
Rather than responding according to the disciples wishes,
We find that Jesus shows us the way that God responds to people who are not interested
In him… The “no way” folks, He passes right on by.
He does not stop…
He does not with them…
He does not punish them…
He does not go out of his way to proselytize them.
He just says, okay, if that’s the way you want it for now,
So be it…
And he keeps right on going.
Remember, we are on a journey here.
Jesus is the man with the plan.
He is not going to beat the door down to go
Where he is not wanted.
Jesus is a gentlemen in this story
Just as he still is today.
He does not force himself where he is not wanted.
Then we come to our second type of person in this story.
I will call them the “yeah, butter”
Yeah but this…
Yeah but that…
Yeah but, yeah but, yeah but.
This is another person that God has become well aquainted with.
In Scripture, it looks like Jesus is well aquainted with them too.
Let’s look again…
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." 58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." 59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." 60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." 61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." 62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (NRSV)