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Home is Where the Heart is

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What is home?

5th Grade student, Wynn — “Home means an enjoyable, happy place where you can live, laugh and learn. It’s somewhere where you are loved, respected, and cared for. When you look at it from the outside, home is just a house. A building. Maybe a yard. But on the inside, it’s a lot more than wood and bricks. The saying “Home is where the heart is” says it all.”
Would you agree that “Home” is that place of safety…of refuge…of peace…where you can “let your guard down”....be yourself....and not have to worry about “appearances”?
Would you agree that “Home” is where you can make mistakes....learn from them…and grow?
That “Home” is where you find rest from the trials and struggles of life?
Would you agree that “Home” is the place that helps define who you are....and how you interact with the world? How you do things?
In our passage today, Christ tells a “scribe” that He has no “Home” [here on earth].
Luke 9:58 NRSV
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.”
I think there’s a lesson here for us.....
Let me ask you this — If Christ had no “Home” — no “place to lay His head” — no place to find rest from the “worries of this world” — Can we really be His disciples if we do? [NO!]
You see....if our home is in this world, then we will ALWAYS be focused on that “Home”.... and....
James 1:8 NLT
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Mark 3:24 NRSV
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Bishop Ryle — “…it is impossible to serve Christ with a divided heart. If we are looking back at anything in the world, we are not fit to be disciples.”
You see — the truth is — we are not residents of this world....THIS IS NOT OUR HOME.... We cannot serve the Kingdom, if our “Home” is in this world.”
(Read Lk 9:51-62)
Luke 9:51–62 NRSV
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 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.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
What?
Let’s break this down a little bit.....
The disciples (Peter, John, and James) have recently come from the transfiguration experience.... upon returning, they are immediately confronted with a crowd of people....
They had brought the remaining disciples a boy, possessed by a demon.... Luke tells us that this demon was destroying him.... Of course Jesus rebukes the demon and casts him out...
Mark tells us that when the disciples asked Him why they couldn’t drive it out, Jesus said:
Mark 9:29 NRSV
He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”
and
Matthew 17:20 NRSV
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
You see.... The disciples had been trying to “act” out of worldly methods, they had neglected the spiritual.....
Their “Home” was in the world…that is what they “saw,” where they lived, and defined “how” they worked....
Luke 9:51–56 NRSV
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
Notice that Jesus “set His face to go to Jerusalem”.... Jesus knew where He was going, and why? He was determined to go there, and nothing was going to stop Him. His home was in Heaven....Heaven had given Him a mission....and He was going to see it completed!
How awesome is that?! How awesome is it to know that we serve a God who loves us so much that He was not going to allow anything to stop Him from bringing salvation to us?!
That’s love!!! That’s commitment!!!!!
Because of that Love, He chose to take the shortest route possible, which meant going through Samaria.
Now, what is the significance in that? Samaritans hated Jews, and Jews hated Samaritans....
Yeah…yeah…you say, “but Jesus had already dealt with the Samaritan woman, and they accepted Him....” Don’t think that the racial prejudice was “one-sided”....
These Samaritans rejected Him! They refused to even follow accepted/expected hospitality protocol and provide shelter for a traveler....
The Samaritans refused hospitality… simply because of the tensions (hate, racism, prejudice, anger) between their race and the Jews....
Church — Whenever we refuse “hospitality” to people because of their culture, background, appearance, beliefs, race, etc.... WE ARE WRONG!!!!
It doesn’t matter what the “accepted cultural norms are”.... or the “historical reasons” are... We are wrong!!!!
Look at the disciples’ reaction:
Luke 9:54 NRSV
When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
James and John — the “Sons of Thunder” — judged the Samaritans..... They wanted to “punish” them for the offense they had committed.... all because they were operating out of their “worldview,” which was based in their earthly “home”.... with its biases, prejudices, and judgments....
How often do we do that?
I want you to notice something — Both sides are guilty!
Both sides (Samaritans and the Jews) are guilty.... they are guilty of hate, judgment, oppression, anger, mistreatment, persecution...... Neither side is Biblically righteous!
And Christ “REBUKES” them for it (vs 55)!
We do not know for sure what He said to them.... (the King James version is the only text that has Jesus’s words, and that part is not in the original text)
But.... we can be sure that He made it clear, neither James, nor John was operating out of a Kingdom mindset....
Let me tell you — “The gospel [command love] to become open-hearted to [our] historic enemies, especially those in our own backyard, is one of the gospel’s most important message to the modern world.”
God commanded us to “Love our enemies and to love neighbor, as ourself”
It is impossible for us to fulfill this command if our “HOME” — our mindset — is in this world.
“Love your neighbor” is a KINGDOM concept, not a worldly one....it requires unconditional love....which is only found in Christ!
God often calls us away from the familiar, away form the known…the comfortable…the safe… why? Because that is not our home!
Look at:
Luke 9:57–62 NRSV
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 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.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Christ had no “HOME” in this world.... His “Home” was in Heaven.... So is ours!!!
If we are going to follow Him, then we must “give up” our worldly “HOME” and embrace our new “Home” in Heaven.
There are three things that become evident in our lives when our home is in this world....
Three evidences of a worldly home.
I. There is a lack of power.
Back in (9:1-2), Jesus had given the disciples the “power and authority” to cast out demons, yet in verses 37-42, we are told they failed....
Why?
Because of a lack of faith....a lack of prayer and fasting.... You see, they had not been practicing spiritual disciplines....they had failed to keep themselves “plugged into” the Kingdom, because they had failed to understand....
We do not need to “plug in” to the Kingdom, because that is our home!
The disciples focused on their “home” in this world, with its rules and regulations, with its ideas and philosophies, and because of that, they lost their spirituality, and the power God had granted them.
Church — a “Home” in this world = a “loss” of spiritual “power”.... because it speaks in opposition to our “true Home” in heaven.
II. There is a lack of love.
When our “home” is in this world, there is a “lack of Love” in three areas:
Our enemies — This is the easiest to see.... this is the lack that causes people outside the church to accuse us of being “judgmental” and “hateful.” This is the lack of love that cause James and John to “judge” the Samaritans...
Within the church — the disciples argued about “who was the greatest”
Luke 9:46–48 NRSV
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.”
When they should have been building each other up in love..... We don’t ever do that in today’s church, do we?!
3. Outside the church — These are people whom we assume are not saved....because they don’t go to church....
Luke 9:49–50 NRSV
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”
John didn’t think this man should be allowed to do what he was doing simply because he was not part of their group..... When he should have been applauding and encouraging him.
A worldly home causes us to lack power and love, because it has no source for those things....
III. There is a lack of discipline.
Look at verse 57-62...
Luke 9:57–58 NRSV
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 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.”
Jesus told the scribe, who was eager enough to follow him that he openly proclaimed it, to “deny himself”..... “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
He told the second person to “take up their cross”....
Luke 9:60 NRSV
But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
He told the third to “stop looking back at your worldly home.”
Luke 9:62 NRSV
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The cost of discipleship is that we deny ourselves…take up Christ’s cross…and Follow Him into His suffering..... FOR THE SAKE OF OTHER’S!
Church....We cannot follow Christ if our “HOME” is in this world!
Let me put this into more current terms....more recent examples..... and there are a lot of them in the Church today....
Christ reprimanded the disciples (James and John) — for thinking out of a spirit of bigotry and persecution — because it is in direct contrast to the Spirit of Christ and the Kingdom.
You see, they were operating from their “worldly” home, their “home” was not in Heaven.... which is why the worldly ideas of hate, prejudice, and persecution were so prevalent in their thinking.
Let me tell you — It doesn’t matter if it is “Politically Correct” groups, “hate” groups, or “social justice” groups.... If phrases like...
“The White Church,”
“White Privilege,”
“White people need to understand,”
“Riots, vandelism, criminal mischief, arson, violence from ‘oppressed groups’ is protesting”
“White people need to shine black people’s shoes as recompense for....”
Are being said, THEY ARE NOT COMING FROM A KINGDOM MINDSET!
Think about it… If you replace the word “White” in any of these statements, does it sound racist…bigotted…?
That’s because it is!
Those thoughts…those actions…those attitudes…come from a “worldly” mindset, not from a kingdom mindset.
We need to look to Christ’s example in life..... We need to understand how our “true home” informs our actions and attitudes....
The Samaritans “shunned” Jesus....they "offended” Him....they “persecuted” him....yet.... He was civil to them.....
Christ did not repay evil for evil.
Jesus met racial prejudice — not with hostility — but with understanding and love.
He did not condemn and demand justice.... He simply moved on...
Let me tell you this — anyone who claims to be acting as Christ did, but justifies violence is not following Christ...
You see…Christ set the example.
He defined love…grace…mercy....
He understood that His home was not in this world, and that what the world needed was to “see” how His Home defines the world....
Let me tell you.... We have a home....but it is not in this world.
Let me tell you what our home is....
Revelation 21:2–4 NRSV
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:22–27 NRSV
I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Our “HOME” is not in this world..... It is in Heaven with our Lord and Savior.... We have a place in the kingdom, amen?
So, I ask you — Have you taken up residence there?
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