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The Lord of the Harvest ~ Luke 10:1-16

July 13, 2014 ~ New City Church of Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson

Intro: Having lived not far from the Gulf Coast in the US, one of the things that always bafed me were the
reports of people who refused to get out of the way of a major hurricane. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit
Louisiana with devastating effects, leaving 1,833 people dead in its wake making it the deadliest storm in US.

Whats even more amazing is that 3 years later, Harvard University surveyed residents in areas affected by
Hurricane Katrina and found that nearly 1/4 of the people would refuse to evacuate for a storm if told to.

Can you imagine the sense of urgency given to people in the path of a deadly storm, only to have the
warnings completely ignored?

Such a sense of urgency is found in our text today from the Gospel of Luke.

In ch. 9, Luke indicated a major change in the direction of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. He has been
ministering in northern Israel, but now he has set his face towards Jerusalem and has begun his long
march to the Cross where he will make atonement for the sins of his people.

There is a sense of urgency that pervades our text. Jesus sends out advance teams to prepare the towns
to receive him as he makes his nal push towards Jerusalem. This is the last time that he will preach to
them about the Kingdom of God, and if they dont respond to his message, it may be too late for them. In a
very real sense, he is the last warning before a devastating storm of judgment hits the nation.

Exploring: The message of Jesus Christ that comes to you is an urgent message. It is both an offer of peace
and a summons to receive that offer. Jesus claims to be the mouthpiece for God himself, and that to reject him
is to reject God himself.

Christian: Youll learn more about how Jesus wants you to join Him in His mission, and youll be encouraged to
take practical steps towards making that a reality.

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into
every town and place where he himself was about to go. 2 And he said to them, The harvest is
plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

1. Workers: The 12 disciples (the main recruits) & the 72 disciples (others traveling & learning).

2. Instruction: Pray to the Lord of the Harvest for harvesters

The world is compared to a harvest eld, and precious souls are the harvest.
What is needed is not better techniques; not better recruiting strategies; but rather prayer. And prayer
for something special: workers for the harvest.

3. Warning: clear and present danger; there will be spiritual opposition to the message of Jesus.

4 Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you
enter, rst say, Peace be to this house! 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon
him. But if not, it will return to you.

1. Sense of urgency & the necessity of trusting in the provision of God for this trip (cf. Luke 22:36).
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2. Message of Peace: The message of Jesus was a message about Gods kingdom: it was about the kind
rule of God breaking into this world through the person & work of Christ, and it was preeminently a
message of peace that comes from receiving the offer of reconciliation to God through Christ.

William Blake, The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.

7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his
wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is
set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you.

Earlier, Jesus had authorized and empowered the disciples to preach & to heal (Luke 9:1-2).

In this particular instance, the act of believing the message of the Kingdom was accompanied by the
signs and wonders of the kingdom, namely, the healing of the sick.

10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 Even the
dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the king-
dom of God has come near. 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that
town. 13 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been
done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it
will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will
you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.

1. Enacted parable: When Israelites traveled outside the promised land, they would shake off the Gentile
dirt from their feet upon reentering. Jesus instructs his disciples to use this visual display as a teaching
device for those who rejected his messengers.

2. Prophetic speech: woes vs. blessings

3. The reality of judgment.

Hebrews 9:27, it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.

Tim Keller, Hell is simply ones freely chosen identity apart from God on a trajectory into innity.

CS Lewis, There are only two kinds of peoplethose who say Thy will be done to God or to those to
whom God in the end says, Thy will be done.

16 The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects
me rejects him who sent me.

The audacious claim:

God > Jesus > Disciples.
For better or worse, Jesus has designed the advance of his kingdom to come by hearing the Gospel.


So, why did Luke record these stories in his historical biography of Jesus?

Luke is writing to tell us about Jesus, and to persuade us to become committed followers of the Prince of
Peace. And why should we become followers of Jesus?

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Because Jesus is the mouthpiece of God. He was sent by God into this world to proclaim the kingdom of
God, and to invite the worst of the worst to come and enter this kingdom. But this kingdom must be desired.
Some will receive the royal summons, others will not.

Nevertheless, the world is a eld of harvest, ripe with precious souls that stand ready to receive the kingdom,
which means to receive the free gift of eternal life, the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God the Father,
and adoption into his family, along with a host of other gifts, including the gift of God himself.

Main Idea:
The Lord of the harvest sends workers into the harvest in response to our prayers
to extend the offer of the peace of His Kingdom

Application:

1. Receive the Royal Summons

Today, the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ falls upon your ears. Eternal life is yours to step into.
God offers a new relationship with you. Do you want it?

Do not harden your heart. Reach out the empty hand of faith and lay hold of the promises of Christ.

A change in your story: I once was lost in darkest night/ Yet thought I knew the way / The sin that
promised joy and life / had led me to the grave / I had no hope that you would own / A rebel to Your will /
And if You had not loved me rst / I would refuse You still // But as I ran my hell-bound race / Indifferent to
the cost / You looked upon my helpless state / And led me to the Cross / And I beheld Gods love
displayed / You suffered in my place / You bore the wrath reserved for me / Now all I know is Grace. //
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ / Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.

2. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest

Romans 10:13-15, But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to
believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

Jesus says to pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Practical tip: set your alarm to 10:02 am or pm as a reminder to pray Luke 10:2.

3. Engage the mission of Jesus

How could you see yourself as an answer to your own prayer?

2 Cor. 5:18-20, Godthrough Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and
entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his
appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation. Lets engage our city with the mission of Jesus!
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