We say, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. I will do anything you ask me to do. Oh Really? The Lord says. What we don’t realize when asked by the Lord to do something, or when making a promise to the Lord to do something, is the urgency. Someone, or many are about to be harvested. Someone, or many stand in the balance.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 9

I Will Follow You Jesus. Oh Really! Luke 9:57-10:2

By Delbert Young

I Will Follow You Jesus. Oh Really!

Sermon video

audio

I Will Follow You Jesus. Oh Really! Luke 9:57-10:2

Scriptures: Luke 9:57-62; Luke 10:1-2; Joel 3:10-14; Matthew 13:30; Matthew 13:39-43; Revelation 14:14-20; Matthew 24:21, 34

How many of us believe the Lord has at some time asked us to do something – anything? It may have been something seemingly small, or it may have been something like moving to LaFayette, Georgia and beginning a church, or going to Africa as a missionary. How did you do? Did you get right on it or did you tell Jesus the reasons you couldn’t do it… right now? Also, how many of us promised the Lord we would do something he didn’t specifically ask us to do? You may have been in a mess making a deal with God, or you may have been feeling his loving presence and simply wanted to serve him. How did you do? Did you fulfill your promise to God?

How do you do with people? When someone asks you to do something how do you respond? Do you find excuses not to? It’s according, right? When you promise someone you will do something, do you? Do you put it off, find excuses, etc.? Probably we all do some.

As you recall, Jesus finished the Galilee ministry and was traveling a strange route going through Samaria to Jerusalem where he would be crucified and “taken up to heaven.” Only a few months remained before he was glorified. A Samaritan village rejected his coming so he was moving on to another village (Luk 9:56).

Luke 9:57-62 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I WILL FOLLOW YOU wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but THE SON OF MAN has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “FOLLOW ME.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but YOU GO AND PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” Still another said, “I WILL FOLLOW YOU, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the KINGDOM OF GOD.”

Doesn’t this seem a little rough? What exactly did they do to tick Jesus off? I mean, why can’t you go bury your father if you’re a disciple? Do we do something wrong when we bury a loved one? You can’t go “say good-by to family” if a disciple of Jesus? You can’t even have a place to lay your head if a disciple? Is it wrong to have a nice house? No, but with those things be more important that to follow Jesus.

I’ve gone many years attempting to understand this passage. It seemed so out of context for a merciful loving Lord to be so abrupt and insensitive to people. I want to discuss these verses a little more shortly, but first I want us to see the larger context than the obvious.

We do know chapter breaks in the scriptures are man made, right? Jesus didn’t stop after Luke chapter 9 verse 62 and say, “Ok. That’s all for chapter 9. Begin chapter 10 verse 1 now.” Chapters were not inserted into the Bible until the early 13th century and verse numbers were not inserted until the mid-16th century. They were added to assist in referencing and locating a specific passage. But, one of the largest helps in understanding the Bible is to not allow chapter breaks and verse breaks break your train of thought as they definitely will as is the case here. The very next verse, i.e. chapter 10:1-2 says,

Luke 10:1-2 AFTER THIS the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL, BUT THE WORKERS ARE FEW. ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THEREFORE, TO SEND OUT WORKERS INTO HIS HARVEST FIELD.

So, “After” what? After Jesus seemed abrupt and insensitive to those three guys just prior. The emphasis here wasn’t those three guys. The emphasis of Jesus was the “harvest.” Actually, those three guys seemed to have stimulated Jesus sending out the “seventy-two others.” It was “after” their responses Jesus “appointed seventy-two others and sent them” out.

Still, why so abrupt with them? Why did Jesus seem so insensitive? Why was his response to them in such a rebuking and uncaring way as if to say, “You’re not serious about following me? You’re making excuses. You don’t really care. You’re playing religion.”?

Have you ever felt the Lord might be saying something like this to you? I have. He may have been saying, “You’re not serious. You’re playing religion.” “You’re priorities are not in order.” Perhaps we can acquire some understanding about this. The answer and understanding lies in understanding the harvest and “harvest field.”

Luke 10:2 He told them, “The HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL, but the workers are few. ASK THE LORD OF THE HARVEST, THEREFORE, TO SEND OUT WORKERS into his HARVEST FIELD.

The Lord of the Harvest is Jesus the Son of Man. It was a time when people should be asking Jesus to send them out, not giving excuses or having reasons not to go no matter what the reasons or excuses.

We are taught to think of “the harvest” in terms of lots of people ripe to be saved. But, in the harvest, Jesus’ concern is not the saved. So, to what is Jesus referencing?

Joel 3:10-14 Beat your plowshares into SWORDS and your pruning hooks into SPEARS. Let the weakling say, “I am strong!” Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. BRING DOWN YOUR WARRIORS, O LORD! “Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I WILL SIT TO JUDGE all the nations on every side. SWING THE SICKLE, FOR THE HARVEST IS RIPE. Come, TRAMPLE THE GRAPES, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow — SO GREAT IS THEIR WICKEDNESS!” MULTITUDES, MULTITUDES IN THE VALLEY OF DECISION! For THE DAY OF THE LORD is near in the valley of decision.

I wrote a thesis on the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is always the Day of Judgment. We’ve discussed many times and will much more, how Jesus knew and said again and again an annihilation of the Jews would happen before that generation passed in the form of great tribulation (Mat 12:41, 42; 23:36; 24:34; Mar 13:30; Luk 11:31, 32, 50, 51; Luk 17:25-26; 21:32). A few verses down from here in this context (v 10-16), Jesus will speak woes of warning over cities where he ministered that did not follow him. He will instruct his disciples if not received to publicly knock the dust off their feet. Jesus saw devastation on the horizon coming upon lives and great horror in those people’s disastrous futures.

Jesus told a parable about the harvest. Jesus said, speaking of the wheat and tares (wheat and weeds),

Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the HARVEST. At that time I will tell the harvesters: FIRST COLLECT THE WEEDS AND TIE THEM IN BUNDLES TO BE BURNED; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'”

The harvest is about judging the wicked and protecting the righteous. Jesus explained exactly what the harvest is.

Matthew 13:39-43 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The HARVEST IS THE END OF THE AGE, and the harvesters are angels {aggelos – messengers}. “AS THE WEEDS ARE PULLED UP AND BURNED IN THE FIRE, SO IT WILL BE AT THE END OF THE AGE. THE SON OF MAN will send out his angels {aggelos}, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. THEY WILL THROW THEM INTO THE FIERY FURNACE, WHERE THERE WILL BE WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

What is the harvest? The end of the age – in this case Judaism. The Son of man is the Lord of the harvest. When Jesus spoke about harvest, he spoke about an urgent situation.

Revelation 14:14-20 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was ONE “LIKE A SON OF MAN” with a crown of gold on his head and A SHARP SICKLE IN HIS HAND. Then another angel {aggelos} came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “TAKE YOUR SICKLE AND REAP, because the time to reap has come, for THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH {ge – land, nation} IS RIPE.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth {ge – land, nation} was HARVESTED. Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. Still another angel, WHO HAD CHARGE OF THE FIRE, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its GRAPES ARE RIPE.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into THE GREAT WINEPRESS OF GOD’S WRATH. They were trampled in the winepress OUTSIDE THE CITY, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.

The sickle was the instrument of harvest. We studied all this back in the late 90’s in our three-year study of the book of Revelation. The harvest refers to God’s wrath and judgment and the harvest of the lost, not the harvest of the saved. It was urgent!

Matthew 24:21, 34 For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be… Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.

The context of Matthew 24:21 – 24:34 is exactly this “harvest.” Devastation was coming upon that generation worse than anything since the beginning of the world or would ever be again. When those three guys back in Luke 9:57-62 gave their reasons to Jesus why they could not, or would not, do what he asked them to do, Jesus put it into perspective. He was abrupt. He was somewhat unfeeling to their excuses in comparison with what was about to happen to people. In this light we understand the seemingly rough insensitive response of Jesus, but actually it wasn’t Jesus who was insensitive and uncaring. It was the three guys. It’s us!

Let’s try this on ourselves. Jesus came to our generation and told us how our generation will not pass until the most horrific event ever came upon us. This event will be so horrific your relatives and friends will beg rocks fall on them and kill them to end their suffering. Women seeing the horrible things happening to their children will wish they never gave birth. Your wife and daughters will be raped. Your sons and husbands will be executed and slaughtered. Unimaginable tortures will take place to people you love. If Jesus is Lord we believe what he says is true, but instead of urgency for people about the harvest and the coming kingdom, we are more concerned about our comforts – a place to lay our head. Who’s the insensitive one? “I can’t go right now Jesus. I need to tell someone bye.” Who’s the non-caring one? “I’ll go, but I need to wait for my dad to die so I can bury him.” The dead will bury the dead if you don’t go now and preach the kingdom.

There is the message of the text. How sensitive are you and I to the urgency of the harvest? Knowing people will experience unimaginable horrors in this life and burn in hell when they die, how urgent are we? When was the last time you preached the kingdom to someone? When you felt the Lord ask you to do something did you sense urgency and souls were in the balance? When you promised the Lord you would do something, did you realize there were souls in the balance?

So, we say, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.” “I will do anything you ask me to do.” Oh Really? The Lord says. What we don’t realize when asked by the Lord to do something, or when making a promise to the Lord to do something, is the urgency. Someone, or many are about to be harvested. Someone, or many stand in the balance. I wonder what would have happened to some of us and our children had Judy and I not come to LaFayette and preached the kingdom of God. I wonder what would have happened to me and my family had my pastor not touched my life. There is urgency. It doesn’t tell us how those three guys responded to what Jesus said to them. That’s on purpose. Each one of us has to search our hearts to see and ask how urgent people and souls are to us. What does Jesus say to you when you tell him you will follow him, or he asks you to do something? I pray it’s not, “Oh really!” Where are we when it comes to saying I will follow you Jesus.

Other Related Sermons:

Revelation Chapter 18, Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon video audio notes

Revelation Chapter 6, Horse and Four Horsemen – video audio notes

Weeds and Wheat – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapters_and_verses_of_the_Bible