Summary: Jesus teaches us to proclaim God’s Kingdom and invite our friends to join it.
Luke 10:1-9 March 9, 2008
Lighthouses of Prayer
Proclaim the Kingdom
Review of Lighthouses of Prayer
On the first Sunday of the year, I introduced the idea of lighthouses of prayer. It comes from Luke chapter 10 where Jesus sends out the 72 Disciples to go into the villages around the country.
This is his commission: "When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.’ If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, … Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
From this passage we receive a way to impact our neighbours for Jesus:
The Luke 10:1-9 The Model
5-6 - Bless Your Neighbours
“When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.”
7-8 Develop relationships with your neighbours.
“Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you”
9a - Pray for their needs
“Heal the sick who are there”
9b – Proclaim the Kingdom
“…and tell them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
This is my final message in this series on being a lighthouse of prayer, or “Prayer Evangelism,” and I’m going to begin it with a confession.
All through the series, I’ve listed this point as “Share the Gospel,” or even “Preach the Gospel.” When I’ve presented the Lighthouses model before, I’ve talked about doing this by using different ways to describe to our friends and neighbours how Jesus died to pay the price for the things that we have done wrong in our lives, and how when we accept his death and resurrection, that he reunites us with God, and we can live in right relationship with God forever. We evangelicals often call this message, “the simple Gospel.”
This message is true and right, but it is not what Jesus tells his disciples to say as they are sent out! The message that Jesus sends the disciples out with includes personal salvation, but it is much bigger than that. He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
This message is not just about personal salvation – it is about worldwide regime change!
Often time we think of a kingdom as a geographical location – a nation like Nepal; which is still a kingdom. But when the Bible speaks of the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, the writers are talking more about the King who is in charge rather than the real estate that he is in charge of.
The people that the disciples went out to were wanting an regime change – they were tired of Gentile foreigners controlling the Promise Land – they were tired of the Jewish leaders appeasing Rome and oppressing the people. They were hoping for a return to the time when God himself was king of Israel. They were looking forward to the promise that Jesus quotes in Luke 4 when he reads from Isaiah in the Synagogue,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19 p. 727
Remember that Jesus sent the disciples out into the villages that he himself would be visiting soon. They are to prepare the way for Jesus. It is this subversive act of coming into villages and whispering to the people, “the revolution is beginning, all your hopes are just on the doorstep…the kingdom of God is near!” The fact that they are preparing the way for Jesus, tells the people that it is Jesus that is going to bring in this new creation where God is king. Jesus is the one.
The kingdom of God is Jesus’ main message – the majority of the time that Jesus’ teaching is described, it is written that he taught about the Kingdom of God, or spoke about the good news of the Kingdom of God. Most of his Parables begin with the phrase, “the Kingdom of God is like…”
What does the kingdom look like?
The disciples could say to the people “the kingdom has come near you, because it had. It had come near in the way that they had been behaving. The kingdom is a kingdom of blessing, of friendship with God and his people, and it is a kingdom of healing – physical, emotional, spiritual and even cosmic or environmental healing.
How does Jesus usher in the Kingdom?
Jesus demonstrates the Kingdom to us – a kingdom of Grace – acceptance of sinners – call to live the way they were meant to