Summary: Learning to be disciples involves participation not observation
THE DIRTY DOZEN
A. LEROY EIMS WAS TEACHING A BIBLE CLASS IN ENGLAND, IT OCCURRED TO HIM ONE DAY THE STUDENTS WERE SPENDING AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF TIME AT THEIR DESKS AND IMMERSED IN STUDY.
1. He thought about the practicality that they were missing that went hand in hand with their studies.
2. So he checked with a church in a nearby city and asked if they students could come and gain some practical experience on the streets of the city.
3. When all the details were worked out he went to his students and shared the upcoming adventure with them. Immediately the class experienced a very strange epidemic – everyone got sick and couldn’t go.
4. One husky young man came to Eims and said, “I can’t go.”
5. “Why not?” Eims asked. “Because I’ve lost my voice,” the young man replied. “Why should that stop you from going?”
6. The young man said, “I can’t communicate.” But Eims countered, “You just communicated to me despite the fact that you’ve lost your voice, so you shouldn’t have any problems. Then Eims added, “Anyway, you haven’t lost your voice, you’re just chicken, you’re afraid.”
7. “No,” the young man insisted with even less of a voice, “No I’ve lost my voice.”
8. “Let me tell you something, You’re chicken, I’m chicken, everyone here is chicken, but we’re going!”
9. The young man looked stunned and then said with a fully recovered voice, “You’re scared!?”
10. Eims said he learned about two new spiritual gifts he had that day, discernment and healing!
B. LIFE IS A WONDERFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE! THIS IS BECAUSE WE LEARN IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND AT DIFFERENT LEVELS.
1. It is one thing to sit in the bleachers and read a book about the study of sharks. It is completely different to get into a cage and be lowered down in the water to get up and personal with them.
a. The first approach is academic and somewhat superficial
b. The second is practical and effective – assuming the learner survives the experience.
2. Life puts us in all kinds of situations from which we learn great truths. BUT if the TRUTH were known, we would never have learned them at all; because if it were left up to us, we would have avoided the learning experience. How many people are willing to get into the cage, let alone be lowered down into the waters?
C. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A MAJOR PART OF THE TWELVE’S DISCIPLING AND LEARNING PROCESS WAS EXPERIENCE RELATED.
1. Certainly there were times when they sat at Christ’s feet and learned the Word from Him, but it was in the hustle and bustle of working among the people that they GREW.
2. It was as they faced the challenge of applying what Jesus had told them to the harsh situations of life that they began to discover the TRUTH about their own abilities or lack of them.
3. They began to realize the superb resources available through their relationship to the Master.
4. Life was not be lived in a vacuum, and disciples aren’t made in a classroom.
D. WITH THIS IN MIND, THE LORD IN LUKE 9:1,2, “CALLED THE TWELVE TOGETHER...AND HE SENT THEM OUT TO PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND TO HEAL THE SICK.”
1. The Authority of our task, (vs 1)
2. Flying solo...where is our confidence? (vs 1)
3. Being reflected Light...(vs 2)
THE AUTHORITY OF OUR TASK
A. FOR THE CONFIRMING OF THEIR DOCTRINE – BECAUSE IT WAS NEW AND SURPRISING, AND VERY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THEY HAD BEEN TAUGHT BY THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, AND BECAUSE SO MUCH DEPENDED UPON MEN’S RECEIVING, OR NOT RECEIVING IT, HE EMPOWERED THEM TO WORK MIRACLES.
1. He gave them authority over all demons, to dispossess them, and cast them out, though ever so numerous, so subtle, so fierce, so obstinate.
2. Christ designed a total rout and ruin the to the kingdom of darkness, and therefore gave them power over all demons.
B. HE ALSO AUTHORIZED AND APPOINTED THEM LIKEWISE TO CURE DISEASE AND TO HEAL THE SICK.
1. This would make them welcome wherever they came and not only convince people’s judgments, but gain their affection.
2. This was their commission.
C. OUR GREATEST LIMITATION IS THAT WE DON’T RECOGNIZE THE SUPERB RESOURCES AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE MASTER.
1. Our dilemma is taking a superior message and sharing it in an inferior presentation
2. We are chicken
a. Paul says in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel for IT is the POWER of God for salvation to everyone who believes...”
b. Proverbs 3:26, “For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”