Following Jesus: What's Ahead
From God our Father through Jesus Christ his only son on our only Lord and Savior. Dimension just a few moments ago. The Gospel reading for today is a continuation of what we began looking at last week the end of Matthew chapter 9 in to chapter 10. Now today, we look at the most of the rest of chapter 10 going to have a quick review and kind of connect the dots and then move forwards as this and we follow along with narration from the life and the ministry of Jesus. Jesus is going through the towns and Villages of gallery and that's how it started last week. She's teaching. He's preaching he's healing and yes, you can imagine he is developing a a following IT Crowd. So then you saw that crowd And you saw something very interesting in that crowd and all those people. He just didn't see a Sea of Faces you saw that they were member. harassed and helpless when you saw all those people who are developing a following after him because he saw them as being harassed and helpless. They were confused. They were uncertain what to believe what to do. They were beat up or beat down. They were living like sheep without a shepherd He further saw and noticed they were without leadership. They were without wisdom there without guidance. And so after he saw that Reviewed them with compassion but I made a little distinction last week between seeing and viewing he viewed them with compassion and compassion might be a very Noble thing. If you get right down to the basic, meaning of the word compassion means to suffer with It doesn't mean to be nice. It doesn't mean to be kind LOL. That's obviously included but when you are really compassionate you are suffering with. The other person with the other people so he had compassion on them. He was suffering with them. That's what it means and he wanted his disciples to see and to view these people in the same way. And that's what he said. The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Look at all these many people who are harassed and helpless for living like sheep without a Shepherd. Do you see that now pray to God to send out workers into his Harvest rated god with flying people of compassion. Google go to these people and work with them and and bring them closer to himself. And that's usually where in most churches that's with everything comes to an end, but not last week we kept going and I'm really glad the last week we kept going because Jesus didn't just see the crowd view them with compassion and tell the disciples to pray that's not where the story ends the story continues and we're told he called his 12 disciples to him. He gave them authority to do certain things and then he Sent them out. Okay, another words if you wanted them to see if you wanted them to view you wanted them to pray and then he wanted them to go and that's why he named them Apostles. You know what the word Apostle basically means that when we were say the word Apostle we three think of one of the twelve Heroes on high person the earliest the story of the church very close to Jesus. So on and so forth the word Apostle basically means I sent one. word Apostles a very fancy way of saying missionary But we would say that I'm so pleased with the disciples whom he died named Apostles. The Bible that gives us the list of their names and what he wanted for his disciples and apostles. I believe he wants for us as well. the Seether harass crowds of people which we are living in the midst of the review them with compassion. Meaning to suffer with them to pray for people who will go work with them and talk to them and help them along the way but then also before he wants us also to go.
And to be part of the solution not just pray for the solution not just pay for the solution but to be solution. and if we really listened to him and if we take the heart what he is saying if we if we internalize for ourselves what the gospel of Matthew was telling us here in chapters 9 and 10 We're going to maybe ask a couple of questions if we really internalized this and we really do this. Like Jesus said to do we're going to have to ask ourselves whether if we actually see and View and pray and go. What movie encounter?
What are we going to run up against? What is ahead for us?
George we kind of think about those things. Maybe let's quick take a first to look at what the disciples encounter because I'm sure they thought about it to what will we encounter? What will encounter if they actually see and do and pray and go. What's ahead for them? What was ahead for them?
Fortunately in the reading from Matthew today, Jesus tells them. And therefore there by you also tells us what's ahead for us. What's ahead for them? This Gospel reading in Matthew? If you read the whole thing, it's it's part of a discourse. We call it a discourse kind of a speech kind of on a lecture if you will wear Jesus prepares his disciples for what's ahead for them? And you also therefore is preparing us for what's ahead for us if we're actually going to do this. If we're going to take his words to Heart seriously, and what's interesting about the various discourses of Jesus in Matthew and and other Gospels. He has a way of weaving together and one discourse. The present and the future in other words the things that are pertaining to the disciples in our situation and also the things pertaining to us in our situation in the future. So he and we have to be skilled if you will or smart enough for trained or North Discerning enough to kind of pick that out. So let's do that. Let's take a look at some highlights from this discourse of Jesus that tells the disciples and tells us what the head.
Let's begin with the first 21 and I'm just going to paraphrase. I'm not going to court the whole verse. I'm just going to paraphrase a basic cuz there's going to be a lot of betrayal imprisonment and death.
If the disciples were to actually do what you just asked them to do if we're going to do with Jesus is asking us to do we should expect that. There will be a lot of betrayal imprisonment and. And this is in fact the way it is for many Christians around the world and has been for quite some time. And was the case for 11 out of his Twelve Apostles with 11 of the 12 died violently. There's no other nice way of saying it by the way, I think starting next week. We're going to be looking at those Apostles. And and and who were they and how did they live and what did they do and what became of them so I think we're going to start going to pick that up. We went to never finish. So I was starting next week. I think that kind of a natural flow from what we're talking about right now. Verse 22 the first part 22 a summarized is it and says you will be hated by all for my namesake. That's the reason why there's going to be a lot of betrayal and imprisonment in that because you will be hated by all.
for my namesake So back, 20 30 40 50 60 years ago in this country. That's not happening here. You know this. Not anymore. Anybody notice? These words are coming true. You will be hated by all for my namesake. It's finally happening here. We're not dealing with imprisonment and that's yet, but we're getting very close to betrayal and imprisonment.
because of the name of Jesus if we take his words to heart and we do what he says to do. See the view to pray to go.
I don't know how this happened exactly I should know but I don't but somehow in this country and a couple of other maybe Western countries. People Christian people especially have been misled to believe that Christianity is somehow connected to happiness.
You know that God's will for your life is for you to be happy. No, that's never been true. But somehow we have begun to believe this.
And we have gotten ourselves stuck. In this place where if I'm not happy something's wrong with God something's wrong with my relationship with God and and and other weird kind of Divergent engines that we get ourselves stuck in. No, no, no God's will is not your happiness. Sorry God's will is for you to see people who are harassed and helpless living like sheep without a Shepherd to view them with compassion to suffer with them to pray for workers that will go to them. And then for you to be part of the solution for you to go into that Harvest and work with the folks that you're suffering with because they are harassed and helpless. And what's going to happen to you then on that kind of Journey is not happiness, but joy.
And there's a difference.
First 20 to be the second half of that verse Jesus Ben says the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Discipleship is tough. Christianity is tough. It is a journey of endurance, but the outcome of endurance is salvation. The outcome of endurance is the Salvation of our souls the disciple of Jesus is on a journey of endurance those 12 were and so are we unless of course all we think of ourselves as being a church members.
church members that might offer some endurance till go to church people can be kind of funny with each other.
But that's not the calling we have from God to call me we have from God to be a disciple to be a missionary to to see you interview went to go and to pray and then to go. But the end result of this journey of endurance is Paradise. The end result of this journey of endurance is seeing God face to face forever.
The end result of the Journey of endurance is a life that is worth living because it is a life that has blessed others along the way in the name of Jesus not in my name not in your name, and I don't know her name, but in his name. Okay, leaving of discipleship 10 verse 25 first part A says Jesus says it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher. That's the definition of a disciple that I've been working with all these years. Okay. Remember what's a disciple? A disciple is a copy of the master in the making. What is a Christian same thing a Christian disciple is a copy of Jesus in the making? That's what we are going to go through and and just as a disciple is is formed as a b image of Christ that disciple that Christian can expect to go through what the master went through. Our journey of endurance is going to involve going through and experiencing some of the things that Jesus went through and experienced. And what were the some of those things? Swelling verse 25 B. They called him baal-zebub. That's a whole lot of the linguistic play on words going on here. I don't have time to get into all that stuff. But basically baal-zebub is a fancy way of saying Satan. Prince of demons and they called him Satan if if if Jesus was called the prince of demons even more so with his followers me. And that gets back into the Betrayal in prison with in-depth thing that he started off talking about. I don't know what you guys realize that the Jesus was told that he was called the drunken. He was called a glutton. He was called a Friend of Sinners and somewhere along the line. It was called Satan. By the people who live in his day the prince of demons. If he was cold that how do you think people see us?
In March after 3:22 it says there's that the teachers of the law from Jerusalem said he is possessed by Beelzebub by the principal demons.
What do you think they're saying about us if we seriously internalizing and doing what he asks us to internalize and do which is to see their view to pray and to go. But then verse 26 but have no fear of them. These people are going to be so mean to you. They think that you're going to be the devil incarnate to them. Don't be afraid of them. You just go do what I'm asking you to do. Why well already he said whoever endures to the end will be saved. But then he says even more he says you don't have to fear them do not be afraid of those who can only kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
I need to I need to return Redbox. Want me to internalize that no matter what people can do to you on Earth. They cannot do anything to you an eternity.
Write do not fear those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Once you have transitioned from this life into the next life you are safe. They cannot touch you. Nothing can touch you. In fact that that's because your Eternal Destiny is secure. Your Eternal condition is secure is been guaranteed to you by the life in the death of Jesus Christ himself. That's why we don't have to be afraid of what people say and what even date people can do because of blood he shed on the cross takes away any doubt of where you're going to be when you die and also takes away any doubt out how you're going to be in when you die. When Jesus said to the thief he was dying next to him today. You'll be in meet with me in Paradise. Keep men's. Today you will be with me in Paradise.
and safe insecure forever in the presence of God
But until we get there until you get there until the disciples those Twelve Apostles got there. He is forming you into a copy of himself. Getting back to Old after that whole discipleship, but he is forming you went to a copy of himself in a way that is unique to you. Christians are not cookie-cutter copies of Jesus. We are not cookie-cutter copies of each other. We are not this massive Army where we all look the same speak the same think the same what the same act the same. We are unique copies of Jesus. There are so many facets of Jesus that he can reproduce himself in each one of us in a unique way and yet I still be him
And I said that because it was 30 where it says even the hairs of your head are numbered. What's the joke is that in my case? That number has to be adjusted every time I take a shower.
but the point is he knows you as an individual. He knows you as an individual. He created you as an individual. He has redeemed you as an individual and he is uniquely forming you into a copy of himself as an individual. This is true for you. This was true for the 12 that he sent out into the Harvest with prayer and with compassion. And he told them what was ahead for them and he's telling us what is ahead for us. Even if he knew what was ahead for them self.
Can you start what awaited him in a cup of very few short years was betrayal. He knew that what awaited him was prison. He knew it or what awaited him was a kangaroo trial was condemnation. He knew that what awaited him was division as he suffered on the cross. He knew that what it was I had for him was suffering. He knew that what was it had for him was death. But she did it anyway. He went through it anyway.
for love He did all this for love and you what was ahead and he did it for love. He did it for his for that compassion that he himself has he saw you.
He loved you. He suffered with you. Compassion fee suffered for you on the cross and he saved you and he made you his in a way that nothing can divide and separate and tear apart. Now, he's calling you to follow in his footsteps. Just like he called his 12 disciples name them Apostles sent them out into those Harvest Fields the practice that was practice. What they what they were going to do later in their lives when he ascended into heaven, he would follow in his steps. Just as he sent them he is also sending you.
Unless all you want to be is a church member that that's different.
What are you sending you into this Harvest? Not to change the world people sometimes get that wrong about Christianity change the world. We're not here to change people. We're not here to save the world that's already been done. We're not here to save people. That's also already been done. What we are sent out into the world to do is to connect harassed people to their Shepherd by bringing his compassion to them so they can live with hope and joy, isn't it? Just about to say every single Sunday? Well, this is where we got it from he is sending us into the world that so that Harvest of harassed helpless people to connect them to their Shepherd. And we do this by bringing his compassion to them so that they can live with some sort of Hope and joy here in this world and ultimately forever with him and with us.
No matter what's ahead for us.
Why would we do that?
For the same reason that Jesus did it for us he knew what was ahead for him. You went ahead and went through it for love. We would do this.
for the same reason for Love For Love of him and for love of our neighbor.
God help us and guide us and strengthen us on the way as he guided and strengthen. It was first $0.12 ones. amen, amen It is time. I wonder by folks to make an offering if they haven't online I guess cuz those of us who were here. There's a there's a tray in the back of offering plate in the back on the right hand side for your offering and as we pause for the offering in the service. Let's watch this video.