The Open Door

SCRIPTURE: Luke 9:1-6, NLT

One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Then He sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.

INTRODUCTION

I enjoy reading the commentary of Warren W. Wiersbe. The man fascinates me: he pastored the Moody Bible Church is Chicago, Illinois and somehow managed to write a commentary of both Old and New Testament. What is more amazing: He practice an open door policy. When people called him for help, he laid down his studies and helped. He said, “I was tempted once to get an unlisted number but the night  before, a desperate man called who was contemplating suicide. I like to think that I had something to do with saving this man’s life.”

Jesus did not have an unlisted number and He was a very busy man with important things on His agenda; yet He never refused to help anyone who called on him in humility and faith. He did spend the night alone at times and rise long before sun up which is the best way to get your quiet time in but it encourages me to know that there are others like me who feel a call to respond to needs.

TRANSITION

Luke begins chapter 9 with Jesus sending out the 12 on a mission as an extension of His ministry and as a glimpse of things to come. Notice the sequence…

I. JESUS CALLS THEM TOGETHER

{As and object lesson, call your staff or deacons to come forward and them gather them around you. Huddle, whisper an encouragement to them and send them back out into the congregation} Then make the following points. The Disciples were…..

  1. They were called out–out of the world, the masses at large.
  2. They were called to–gather. Called to Jesus!
  3. They were called for–A Mission {Heal, cast out demons, proclaim the gospel}

II. JESUS GIVES THEM POWER AND AUTHORITY

  1. Power–dynamis {dü’-nä-mēs} The power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature,

    power for performing miracles, moral power,  the power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts. The English definition of ‘dynamic’ is relating to energy, motion, or physical force always active or changing. We generally think of dynamic as the power of force like a hydroelectric dam.

  2. Authority–exousia {eks-ü-sē’-ä} The power of choice, leave or permission,

    the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege), the power of rule, authority over mankind. Examples would be congressmen, judges, State Troopers, Police, Military.

  3. Power and Authority delegated: The disciples did not have inherent power, they had only the power that Jesus gave them. Their authority came from their call, commission, the fact they were sent by Jesus Himself.

III. JESUS INSTRUCTED THEM

It is not fair to send a delegation on a mission without some training or instruction: Jesus gave His disciples both. Jesus instructions were–

  1. Take nothing for your journey. {Material things can slow us down, encumber and weight us down–the lighter the load, the more speed on the road}
  2. Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.
  3. Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. {Don’t waste time, your mission is urgent}
  4. If a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” The Jewish Rabbis would shake the dust off their feet when leaving Gentile territory. Most folks believe that Jesus is saying, “Treat those who reject like pagans and keep moving.” We have to look for fertile soil. As a young preacher, I thought my job was to go after the most notorious sinners in the community and of course, many of these had been witnessed to by a dozen preachers and showed no signs of repentance but only wanted to argue. I had evangelist Junior Hill come and help me in Revival. It was a very small church: we were tickled when we had over 50 in SS. Junior and I had been knocking on doors for a couple of days when Junior said, “Jack, you are visiting the wrong people. We have not visited a soul who has any interest in the kingdom of God.” He instructed me to keep my head up during the invitation and get the names of those who raised hands. We began on Wednesday to visit the ones who had showed interest and before the meeting was over {Friday night}, we had seven professions of faith.

IV. JESUS SENT THEM

There are some great things about being sent especially by someone greater and you can’t get greater than Jesus…

  1. There is no pressure to succeed. The disciples were given detailed instruction. Their responsibility was to comply with the instructions. Obedience was their focus. Jesus did not say, “If they don’t respond, I am holding you responsible.”
  2. There is no pressure to be popular. Popularity has nothing to do with your mission. Simply obey instructions–preach the gospel of the kingdom and leave the rest to your Commander and Chief.
  3. There is no fear of rejection. They are not rejecting you, they are rejecting the one who sent you.

CONCLUSION

Example: I grew up as a little brother which means I had two older brothers. Trust me, they never responded to my commands but when sent by Mother or Daddy, there was some authority in the message. Had nothing to do with me delivering the message but everything to do when the one who sent the message.

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