In This Together – February 17, 2018
Introduction: Following Jesus -> James/John -> Sons of Thunder
Big Idea: We are called to follow Jesus together.
Scripture: Luke 9: 1-56 (CSB)
Luke 9:1-6 (CSB)
Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
“Take nothing for the road,” he told them, “no staff, no traveling bag, no bread, no money; and don’t take an extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. If they do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.
Point One: We Are Called and Sent Out
- Jesus sends the Twelve out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal people (they were to only take what they receive and trust God to provide)
- Their power and authority come from their faith in Jesus (if rejected, they are to shake the dust off their feet and move on – leaving the people’s judgement in God’s hands)
- Does this sound like the church today? (or do we get preoccupied with our own agendas?)
- We are to continue the mission of the Twelve by proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing people (lots of ways to heal)
Luke 9:49-50 (CSB)
John responded, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us.”
“Don’t stop him,” Jesus told him, “because whoever is not against you is for you.”
Point Two: We Are On the Same Side
- John and the others tried to stop someone who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name because they weren’t part of the group that was following Jesus from town to town
- How often do we see this today among churches and denominations? (we are called to follow Jesus together, even if it doesn’t look the same)
- Imagine how much more good we could do in our communities if we worked together in Christ’s name rather than constantly trying to one up each other
- We need to repair the damage we have done to Christ’s name by putting our differences aside in order to proclaim the gospel and heal people together
Luke 9:51-56 (CSB)
When the days were coming to a close for him to be taken up, he determined[m]to journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead of himself, and on the way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for him. But they did not welcome him, because he determined to journey to Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
But he turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
Point Three: We Are to Focus on Easter
- On their way to Jerusalem, Jesus and company are turned away by a Samaritan village (the Samaritans would have likely been insulted that Jesus wasn’t going to worship at their temple)
- James and John (aka Sons of Thunder) respond in anger by alluding to a passage in 2 Kings where Elijah calls down fire from heaven to consume his enemies (Jesus rebukes them)
- This marks the fundamental difference when it comes to following Jesus (we are to pursue patience and forgiveness rather than seek vengeance)
- Jesus came to break the cycle of violence and vengeance by paying the price for our sin on the cross (may we one day learn to lay down our lives for each other in the same way)
1. What are some things we can do as a church to stay in line with this simple mission?
2. Discuss a time when you saw churches working together. How can we promote more of that?
3. How can we be more like Jesus when facing rejection?