SERMON SUMMARY. Some of us are very familiar with Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into the harvest field.” The focus of this sermon and study is to make clear that right now (not tomorrow) is the time for us to work for God and to be a blessing by ministering to others. During the sermon we asked people to stand if they had family or friends affected by poverty, crime, sexual abuse or exploitation, mental illness, violence, or drug abuse. Of course, all us were standing by the time we went through the list. God is telling us that those in are lives that are struggling with these issues (and others) are the plentiful harvest. And, while God is deeply concerned about the condition of our souls and where we will spend eternity, God is also concerned about our liberation and healing from the conditions that currently hold us back from being all God has made us to be. Thus, like God’s soldiers, let us see the harvest that is before us every day . . . lets us stand up . . . and let us move out to reap God’s harvest in service to others. Stand up; move out.
BACKGROUND/JESUS MAN OF ACTION. The Gospel of Luke is a gospel of action. Contrary to what some might think, Jesus was a man of action. From the moment of his baptism up until he sends the disciples out, Jesus is on the move and in the community. From chapter 4 on, Jesus preaches to people, drives demons out of people, heals people, calls the disciples, cleanses people, teaches people, forgives people, calms the seas and even raises the dead. Jesus is a man of action and is concerned about his people.
- Have you ever heard it taught (or said) that God’s people should only concern themselves with heaven . . . not worry about what’s happening in this world?
- What do we think about that teaching/ Why would somebody teach this?
- Was Jesus concerned about the condition of the people?
JESUS SENDS(v1). As we said above, Jesus was a man of action and he was deeply concerned about the people. He want them to hear the gospel and to be healed.
- Christ had and has all power. But how did he amplify his message and ministry? What do we think about the fact that he spreads his ministry through us . . . his followers?
- Christ sent the disciples two by two. What can we draw from that when we engage in ministry? Is it a solo act?
THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL(V2). This may be the most important point in the sermon. Jesus does not say the harvest will be plentiful in the future.
- When is the harvest plentiful? What does this mean for us to know that God can and will work in the lives of his people right now?
- When we consider the harshness of the world today, why is it so important that we ask God to send more workers for His ministry? Do you ever feel like you are alone?
THE WORLD IS ROUGH LAMBS AMONG WOLVES(v3). Jesus command to “go” is urgent. The greek word that he uses means “to drive or thrust” . . . there is great urgency. And, he notes that he is sending them/us as lambs among wolves.
- What does it mean to be sent as “lambs among wolves?” Was the world treacherous then? How is it treacherous now?
URGENCY(v4). It is treacherous, nonetheless he sends us out. And, he send them out with a sense of urgency. He tells them not to take too much. He tells them not stop long for idle chatter on the way.
- Consider this, if it’s challenging for us, and we have God in our lives, how much more challenging is it for those with no God in their lives?
- Do we know people who are suffering from the conditions described in the introduction? How urgently do they need a touch or a word from God.
VICTORY(v17-20). They were sent out like lambs among wolves but, nonetheless, they went with the urgency Christ sent them. And, they returned victorious. They had worked miracles in the lives of the people . . . the harvest. God liberate from from bondage. Souls were saved. They rejoiced.
- We can sometimes be intimidated by the task before us. But, what does verse 18 tell us about the power to move in the midst of this world? In whose power do we move?
- With victory can sometimes come a little arrogance or pride. What does Christ remind us of in verse 20. What causes us to rejoice in verse 20?
Remember that we are God’s laborers. The world is suffering from no peace, no joy, no hope . . . no God. Let us remember the harvest plentiful. Let us stand up and move out.