Matthew 10 - 5/28/2023
Introduce, set timer, welcome, introduce series
In Chapters 1 and 2 we were introduced to the king, and Matthew gave us proof that he is in fact the rightful heir to God’s kingdom.
And in chapters 3 and 4 God comissions Jesus and he goes out and he states his purpose. Preach the message, “repent” for the kingdom of heaven is near.
And then in chapters 5 through 7 we got a full look at the values of the kingdom.
-All the ways in which the King wants us to live. Matthew 5-7 is the first major speech.
We can think of it like this, there are five major speeches in Matthew.
-And in between those speeches we get the story of Jesus’ life.
-You can almost imagine it as two seperate story lines running parallel to one another.
And then in chapters 8 and 9 we were shown that our king has the authority to do it. He has authority over disease, over demons, he has the authority to forgive sins, he has authority over the religious teachers. He even displayed his authority over death. He went to Jairus’ daughter and raised her from the dead.
He has authority over all of it.
And at the very end of chapter 9 we get a shift.
Then Jesus went throughout all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and sickness.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest-ready fields.”
Which lead us into chapter 10, which is the second major speech of Jesus. This is the second pillar.
The sermon on the mount was the first pillar, where we learned the values of the kingdom.
And matthew 10 is going to show us what it’s going to take to be a part of this kingdom.
-And here at the end of chapter 9 we’re introduced to the first “problem” if we want to call it that, that Jesus is facing.
-And it’s not an authority problem. It’s a logistical problem.
-Because even though Jesus is fully God, he’s also fully man.
-Meaning, quite simply, he can’t be in more than one place at once.
-And he’s on a mission to change the world. And this mission needs workers.
-He’s on a mission to clean up the mess of sin and darkness in the world, and he has decided that he is NOT going to do it alone.
-He’s inviting us to participate with him. to Join him in the kingdom. To participate with Him in the redemption of the world. Us, followers of Jesus. We’re the workers he wants to send out into the fields.
-And so in this moment in history, he comissions his first followers, the twelve, to do just that.
Jesus called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits so they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness. Now these are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (called Peter), and Andrew his brother; James son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows: “Do not go on a road that leads to Gentile regions and do not enter any Samaritan town. Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’
-Now at this point we need to understand that these are specific instructions for the twelve in that moment. Go only to the lost sheep of Israel.
-That’s an instruction specific to the twelve.
-But we also need to understand that the principles behind these instructions are timeless.
The mission statement, as you go, preach this message, the kingdom of heaven is near, is timeless.
And we need to understand that by sending them only to the lost sheep of israel, he’s giving them a focus. He’s giving them a group to be laser focused on because that’s who needed to hear the message of jesus the most in that moment.
-This whole kingdom thing, it’s going to expand to the gentiles too at some point, but right now, this is where I want you to focus your energy.
-As we go out into the world, and we preach the message “The kingdom of heaven is near” We need to ask ourselves. Do we have a focus?
-Do we have specific people in mind that we want to reach out and impact? Do we have a laser focused mission with goals?
-Or are we just wandering around aimlessly throwing the gospel at the wall and hoping it sticks?
As a church we need that focus. We need to identify who our lost sheep are, so that we can have that laser focus, and reach out and serve them and give them the good news.
-As individuals, we need to look around us and look at the people in our life and ask “Who are the lost sheep in my life?”
-Don’t just say “I want to spread the gospel”
-Don’t just say “I want to grow the kingdom”
-I want to spread the gospel to frank at work.
-I want to spread the gospel and serve young women who are facing a crisis pregnancy.
-I want to go after the lost sheep in our prisons.
-The lost sheep in our hospitals who are battling cancer.
-Because when you focus your efforts, you’re more effective and spreading the gospel.
-you’re more effective and sharing the same joy that you have received.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
-And what we find is that when we have laser focus on a goal of sharing the joy of Christ with the lost sheep in our lives,
if we want to be successful, it’s going to require dedication.
Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for the journey, or an extra tunic, or sandals or staff, for the worker deserves his provisions. Whenever you enter a town or village, find out who is worthy there and stay with them until you leave. As you enter the house, greet those within it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And if anyone will not welcome you or listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet as you leave that house or that town.
-Now again, these are specific instructions to the twelve
-Do we need to go out without extra clothes or money, probably not.
-But the principle. The principle is that we need to shed off anything extra that is holding us back from the mission of the kingdom.
-I can’t tell you what that is in your life.
-For you, maybe it is gold and copper and silver.
-Maybe it’s a habit.
-Maybe it’s the plans that you have for your life.
-That’s the kind of thing that you and God need to sit down and have a conversation about.
-And say God, this thing, this thing that is holding me back from the values of the kingdom, I’m giving it to you.
-God I am going to put this in your hands. My plans my money, my status, my job, where I live, whatever it is in your life, and say “God I’m goiving it to you.
-I’m going to shed off anything that is holding me back.
-And the reason we need such laser focus, the reason that we need to shed off everything that is holding us back from the kingdom, is because the stakes are high.
I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town!
-You know what happened at sodom and gomorah?
-We’re talking about matters of life and death, not just in this world, but for all time.
-When you’re dealing with life and death, you want someone who is all in.
-When you go to get surgery, do you want surgeon who barely squeaked through medical school, and only does maybe one surgery a month,
-And spends his time buying and selling real estate. Because that’s his real dream.
-and he only does surgery because he needs to pay off student loans?
-or do you want the surgeon who eats, sleeps, and breathes surgery. The one who put in the extra work, who Aced all of her classes in med school.
-That’s who I want when I’m going under the knife.
-Why should it be any different for us?
-We’re talking about life and death, and we’re talking about going into enemy territory.
“I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of people, because they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them and the Gentiles. Whenever they hand you over for trial, do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time. For it is not you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “Brother will hand over brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved! Whenever they persecute you in one town, flee to another! I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, nor a slave greater than his master. It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house ‘Beelzebul,’ how much worse will they call the members of his household!
-Because once you have that laser focus, once you throw off everything that’s holding you back from the mission of the kingdom, once you recognize how high the stakes are...
-You’re going to find out really quickly that virtually everything and everyone is going to be against you.
-Because what you’re doing when you proclaim he kingdom, is you’re injecting truth into a world full of lies.
-Everything we read in Matthew 5-7, that’s the truth. The standards Jesus gave us in the sermon on the mount, that’s the truth.
-But the world doesn’t like that truth.
-Spoiler alert, the idea that we should give up everything, and focus on others, and that the first should be last, and that we should love the people that everyone else hates,
-Those are not popular ideas.
-The world wants everything to be about me me me, power, status, climb the ladder, get your before somebody else does.
-And the enemies that we are up against are powerful. Kings, rulers, authorities. Big wigs.
-The credit card industry pulls in 175 Billion dollars a year on the basis of me me me, buy buy buy.
-Advertising is a 300 Billion dollar industry.
-Political advertising alone is a 13 billion dollar industry. Vote for me, put your faith in me, I’ll be your salavation, and all you have to do is vote for me.
-And when you work for the kingdom, all of that stuff needs to play second fiddle. and God’s kingdom comes first.
-And the world does not like that.
-That’s ok. Let em.
Let them not like it. Let them fight back. Stay the course.
“Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.
What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light, and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Now I know at first glance this seems like a scare tactict, like a threat almost.
-Like god is saying “do what I say or Go to hell”
-But you have to read the whole passage to understand it. To get the full picture
Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Even all the hairs on your head are numbered. So do not be afraid; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
-God knows you. He loves you. He knows everything about you.
Every hair on your head, every scar on your hands. Every thought every dream. He knows when you stand up, when you sit down.
-And he loves you and he cares about you.
-American express doesn’t care about you.
-The democrats and the republicans don’t care about you.
-Facebook doesn’t care about you.
-Hollywood doesn’t care about you.
-Fox news and CNN don’t care about you.
-and you know it’s funny because I’ve heard people say this and then say “yeah they care about me. That’s why I vote third party. That’s why I watch this other news site instead of fox and CNN, that’s why I use this other thing that’s not facebook.
-Can I give you a tip?
-none of them care about you either.
-They just want to use you to make money or gain power.
-They don’t know every hair on your head. But God does.
-We are called to swim upstream. To be counter-cultural.
-And it’s gonna stir the pot.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword!
For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.
-Swimming upstream requires sacrifice. It requires giving over to God every single aspect of your life.
-Not 75 percent, not 80 percent, not 99.99% of your life. All of it
-Because from what we’ve read so far, God has invited us to participate with him in the healing of the world. To go out into the fields as his workers.
-And the harvest is plentiful. He tells us it helps if we have laser focus. If we have direction. If we have mission .
-Identifying who the lost sheep are and then going after them.
-And in order to do that he wants us to throw off whatever it is that we’re holding onto, and rely on Him.
-Because we’re in for the fight of our lvies.
-We as Christians are going against the grain on purpose and it is going to require sacrifice.
-Because satan is against us, the world, the culture, everthing is against us.
-And it’s not new.
-Don’t get this idea that “all of a sudden the world is very hostile toward christianity/
It has been that way since rome. Christains have always been against the grain, we have always been counter-cultural.
-That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. That’s on purpose.
-Jesus promised the twelve that they would have enemies on all sides.
-And yet, you know what I’ve noticed?
-I’ve noticed that far too often we as christians spend more time fighting and arguing with other christians than we do growing the kingdom.
-We fight. We argue about stupid things.
-we argue and fight with other denominational groups.
-Y’all we are already under fire from the outside.
-We can not afford to crumble the church from the inside out too.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple, I tell you the truth, he will never lose his reward.”
That’s called unity.
-That’s called take all of the debatable issues, all of the style issues, all of the minor points, and saying
-Hey do you follow Christ? yes I follow Christ. Do you believe the bible is the word of God? yes I believe the bible is the word of God. Do you believe nobody come to the father except through the son? yes I believe nobody comes through the father except through the son.
-Sounds like we’re on the same page when it comes to essentials.
-if you take nothing away from this sermon, i hope that you realize that Jesus words here in chapter 10 give you a sense of purpose.
-I know everyone here has priorities and their own money issues to deal with, and their own family issues.
-and everyone here has their own personal battles that they’re dealing with.
-and maybe you’re at this point where you’re thinking, “how can I be of value to the kingdom? what do I have to contribute? this is a big calling, i cant take this on.
-Ive got bills to pay, and a job to worry about, and ive got to put food on the table. Im dealing with internal physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion. Im dealing with grief. Im dealing with pain, I'm dealing with anxiety.
-I can’t afford to to go all in.
-and that’s fine. I get it.
but let me tell you something, you cant afford to NOT go all in.
-youre saying to yourself I cant go help the lost sheep when Im a lost sheep myself
-you dont think matthew thought he was a lost sheep, working for the romans, being hated by his own people?
-you dont think peter and andrew and james and john felt like lost sheep, overwhelmed. trying to fish for a living, doing hard work day in and day out only to be taxed out their eyballs by rome?
-Jesus called them out of being sheep, and said follow, youve got a job to do.
the fields are ready for harvest.
and god is just waiting for you to go to work. and to participate with him in changing the world..