- Sermon Notes
Intro: Preparing for the possibility.
After telling His 12 disciples at the end of Matthew 9 that the “harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few,” Jesus summons them with instructions for service. Prior to their going out, Jesus made sure they knew that they were being sent out by Him alone and He prepared them to proclaim the ministry He himself was doing throughout the region. They were being sent with His authority to preach, teach, and bring about restoration to the sick and broken.
Read: Matthew 10:24-39
The disciples were living in a day when people needed to hear the good news, and our day is no different. As you prepare to proclaim the good news there will be a variety of responses or reactions you might hear, but I believe Jesus would encourage you this morning in the way He encouraged His disciples, to refrain from fear and know that as you go, He is watching over you, and as you go, you are proclaiming the message of salvation He himself proclaimed. The gospel (good news) has been given and entrusted to you and to me in this day and in this time; He has called you and me for a time such as this.
I.Hold onto His Call Alone
Matthew 10:24-25, A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
- Jesus had just told His disciples that they were going to be sent out, and that there would be a hard road before them.
- There would be those who would reject them (vs. 13), those who would not listen to them (14), those who would have them arrested (18), those who would betray them (21), hate them (22), or put them to death (21) as they went out with preaching, teaching, and healing as Jesus had done.
- Though there would be difficulty and opposition, Jesus made sure they knew that when they were arrested and placed before governors and kings for His sake, the Spirit with give them the words to speak, and though the road would have difficulty, the one who endures to the end will be saved!
- And in verse 24, we are drawn to the understanding that His disciples should not expect to be treated better than He Himself was treated.
- And for you and me, in our identification with Christ as Savior, we too identify with Him.
- The purpose of a true disciple is to learn from their teacher in order to become like their teacher.
Luke 6:40, Everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.1 John 2:6, The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
- Jesus said, if they have called me, your leader, Beelzebul, and you’re my disciple, walking in the same manner I walked, how much more might they say untruths about you?
- Beelzebul was originally the name of a Canaanite deity and meant “lord of the flies,” and was a term that was used by Jews as the name of Satan himself.
- Jesus knew no sin and they called Him Beelzebul (Satan).
- He is saying to His disciples, as you go out, people may call you some things, but this should not cause you to stop, listen to what they have called me…And for us, look at how He was rejected.
- Jesus is encouraging His disciples, and you and me, to identify with Him, even in difficulty.
Romans 6:5, For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
- Jesus is encouraging His disciples to identify with Him in whatever difficulty they may face.
Illus. Identification in difficulty.
Isaiah 43:2, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.
- Jesus is reminding His disciples, and you and me today that when we go out and share the gospel, we are walking the path He Himself walked, sharing with the world what He Himself shared with the world.
John 15:18, If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
- This is not an open invitation to provoke, rile up, or endeavor to make others hate.Rather, it is encouragement in the midst of pursuing Christ’s mission in the world, there is an identification with the way people responded to Him as He brought forth His message.
- The gospel message has been given and the Lord uses His people to ensure that the message is revealed.
- Those of you who have given your lives to Jesus have been the recipients of the gospel message. This being true, be one who pursues sharing that same life-giving truth with others.
A.Don’t conceal what He has for you to reveal
Matthew 10:26-27, Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.
- There may be many reasons we can think of to conceal what He has for us to reveal. Often, that list is anchored by fear.
- Here Jesus addresses this.
- Jesus’ followers can expect persecution, but never need to be afraid. “Do not fear,” Jesus said.
- Everything that is concealed, all that they don’t know, it will be revealed, it will not remain hidden, therefore, what He has for you to reveal, don’t conceal!
- Speak in the light (open) what He tells you in the darkness (privately), and what is whispered in your ear, shout it from the rooftops (Vs. 27)
Illus. What was whispered, would be spoken.
Luke 8:16, Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
- As God gives truth to declare, the opportunity for His followers is to make it known, not to hide it.
- Since we have His word, we know what is coming, it has all been revealed through Scripture.
- Our opportunity today is to orient our lives around what He has in store.
Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 1:16, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
John 14:6, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
- Jesus contrasts the fear of man and the fear of God in verse 28.
- It seems to me that He presses this point because He understands how silencing the fear of man might be for His followers.
John 12:42-43, Many even of the rulers believe in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of man rather than the approval of God.
- In contrasting the fear of man and the fear of God, Jesus is not saying that those who have given their lives to Jesus are to live in fear of hell (Romans 8:1).
- Rather, just as those who are in Christ should seek honor God more than man, they also should not fear men, more than God.
- Our perspective therefore, should be eternal, focusing on the One who has eternal authority, over our eternal destiny (Mt. 25:34,41).
- One’s response to the gospel is of eternal consequence. People might be able to kill the body, but they have no authority over the soul, God alone has that authority.
- There are people in our lives who aren’t able to stand on the promises of Christ and rather than take the approach of letting them figure it out somehow, endeavor to share with them now, don’t conceal what He has for you to reveal.
Illus. Stock up!
- As you go, Jesus wants you to know that the One, with all authority is watching over you.
- Two sparrows are sold for a cent, yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from the Father!
- And the very hairs on your head are all numbered!
Matthew 28:19, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
A.Take up your cross, no matter the cost
- In it all Jesus is saying is that the most important relationship we have is our relationship that we have with our Father in heaven. Our confession of faith in Him, is essential to our salvation.
- The disciples He is sending out would face earthly courts of law where they would have to publicly claim to belong to Jesus. This was usually at their own peril, going forward many were put to death.
- The very nature of Jesus’ claims would mean that people would need to make a choice, and not all would choose Him. The message of Jesus is a message of peace, yet, there is a division between those who choose it, and those who reject it.
Matthew 10:38, And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me
- To take up our cross means that we love God more than the world, more than anyone in the world, and more than life itself.
- For His disciples, there was no mistaking what Jesus meant when He told them to take their cross and follow Him.
- Death on a cross was a form of execution used by the Roman Empire for dangerous criminals and political prisoners. A prisoner would carry their own crossbar to the place of execution.
- We identify with Christs death on the cross, His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. For those who heard Him say this, it was a picture of death to self.
- For some, taking up the cross might indeed mean death, but for all, it means denying self. Soon they would all see Jesus take up His own cross, they would see as Jesus took up the cross Himself.
- In preparing to proclaim the gospel in your life and world, follow the example of Jesus, know that He is with you, an walk in His way, taking up your cross, no matter the cost.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”