The sermon on Sunday really touched me...it was on Joy and Rejoicing (which, despite my great life and how much of it I don't deserve...I'm not really into being Joyful). Anyway, our church has been doing a long series on Luke, and we're only into Chapter Ten. The text of this sermon comes from Luke 10:1-24. Unfortunately, that is a LENGTHY passage...so I won't be able to copy and paste it here...you'll need to grab your Bible and read along :) (which is good to do anyway). This passage starts out with the so-familiar situation of Jesus sending out the Seventy-Two, two by two, and Jesus' saying: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.". That is where that saying comes from...and although it may be difficult to actually see, Jesus isn't saying that with despair. In this passage from the Bible, we have several reasons to Rejoice. So what is the first one?
Well.... I. Rejoice Because The Harvest Is Huge.
(but the laborers are few). Well why should we Rejoice in this? Doesn't it sound like there aren't enough laborers to reach out to the World? Exactly. Rejoice in the Mission...The 'Harvest' is getting the message out into the world. What comes next is pretty interesting...Jesus is sending them out, but he also tells them to pray EARNESTLY to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers INTO His harvest. The interesting thing that's going on is that they're praying for Laborers...and then they're set out to go into this 'Harvest' and labor. So really what they're doing in this (at least in MY interpretation) they are in a 'way' asking God to bring them into His harvest...to bring His message everywhere, which leads us to the second reason to Rejoice. What is this second reason?
Well... II. Rejoice Because The Peace Of God Is The Message.
Truly though, the Disciples aren't really getting what's going on...but they will after the Crucifixion. But what 'Peace of God' am I talking about? Well, right now in our culture, Peace really simply just means 'no war'. When a country is in 'Peace', that nowadays will usually imply that the country is in a state without war. Hmmm...okay, there may not be a war going on, this is true. But that's only the relative meaning of the word Peace. Peace is of prosperity or good health, easy of mind and not having battles inside of you etc. Nowadays, even if a country isn't at war, they are. Wait a second...what do you mean, you might ask. Well, they may not BE FIGHTING against another country...but they are at war with themselves. No matter where you look, even if a country is prosperous and peaceful, they're still dealing with war inside of themselves. Truly, the 'Peace of God' is the Gospel. We Rejoice in THIS because the Gospel is the only thing that can TRUTHFULLY bring PEACE. Trust me...I've been involved with different things...I could find no peace but in this...that I'm a sinner in need of a Savior, because I try to do better...but then I just fall. If I can't do it, then someone has to...and that someone is Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord of All.
Before I move on though, I want to point out something else. Quickly flip back to Luke 9:51-56. This and the verses of 10:10-15 really coincide. In the 51-56 verse section of chapter 9, Jesus does not 'call down fire' from Heaven onto the Samaritan Village because that wasn't his mission. The section that I just pointed at in Ch. 10 is interesting. Soon, the Son of Man will be handed over to be executed...although no one knows this yet, His actions would save mankind from their spiritual and physical destruction. What he's really saying is, that if anyone of these cities denies him, it would be...well, His message would be in front of them. Unlike the cities before in the Old Testament, these guys could see everything...and if they wouldn't, they'd be worse off then those who really couldn't know about Jesus' Sacrifice. I find that interesting. Anyway, the next point to Rejoice comes in the section of verses 17-20 of Ch. 10.
III. Rejoice Because Heaven Is Your Destination.
The Disciples have just returned from being out in the 'Harvest'. They are Joyful and in Awe that the demons were under their power in the Name of Jesus. I REALLY love Jesus' response. What Jesus was implying when he spoke of 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven' is that Satan has been hurt by this 'Harvest' and will be COMPLETELY defeated after Jesus' Crucifixion and rising from the Dead to conquer Sin in Death forever. Satan, the power of Sin...is broken. On The Lord's Day spoken of in Revelation, that will be when Satan shall be thrown away, never to make any problem again. Although he is defeated, he still tries to deceive the world's occupants from the Truth...and that's all he can do. God could just do away with him now...but he wants us to go out and proclaim the Truth with His power...to be used to radiate His light into the abyss that Satan has attempted to create. That too shall break...and those who come to know Jesus' Gospel and believe in it will stand with us in Heaven. Their names too shall be on Heaven's book...but let us Rejoice that our names are in that book...not on account of what we've done, but what our Savior has done for us so that we could put our belief in him and go up to the Father. Very quickly before I move on, read verse 19. What does this mean? That nothing will ever hurt us in life? No. It means that we are above those Hostile Creations, that the outcome of our lives is secure: That we will be in Heaven.
This has been going on into one long post...but read the final verses down to v. 24. It is interesting because here is where you see the Godhead Three In One in action. Very interesting indeed.