The Gospel of Luke - Part 44: Disciples Love God — Luke 10:13-38
(These notes are based on lesson notes prepared by Rob Mahon for connection class leaders at Hoffmantown Church.)

Review:

Last week, we started into Luke Chapter 10. I introduced the teaching that Jesus was giving us in this chapter as how His followers behave, what they do naturally because of their faith in Him.

We noted that Jesus taught His followers by the "OJT" process. They spent time with Him, saw what He did, heard what He taught. And then He sent them out for trial runs of ministry.

I noted that this small group discipling, which I called spiritual multiplication, is how we also need to be teaching and learning. After class, Linda offered to coordinate and facilitate some small group discipling in the class, as I had challenged the class to do. We can provide study guides for this process, so I challenge each of you to get into a weekly small group to study and learn and grow in your faith. See me or see Linda after class to get involved.

As we study through Chapter 10 of Luke we will see that:

    A.   Disciples Labor
    B.   Disciples Love God
    C.   Disciples Love People
    D.   Disciple Learn

Last week, we got a start on the fact that Jesus’ disciples labor.  They work. We saw that Jesus sent 70 of His followers out to minister and that he sent them out without extra provisions, apparently to help them learn that they could depend on Him for everything they needed and perhaps to make it evident who was receptive to the message and who was not. As they spread the gospel, the people who were open would invite them in and house and feed them.

He told them that the harvest was plentiful, but the workers were few. That was the case then and it is true today. Far more people are open to hearing about Jesus and receiving Him into their lives than there are people to tell them about Jesus. That is why every one of us is sent out by Jesus to tell others about Him.

Jesus also told them not to force the message on anyone. If people in a city rejected them, Jesus told them to shake the dust of their sandals and go to a receptive city.

Here is what He said about those who are not open to the gospel:

“But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades! The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.” —Luke 10:10-16
Woe to you, Chorazin...Bethsaida...Capernaum...

All three cities are at the north end of the Sea of Galilee and were areas where Jesus spent a lot of his time during His ministry. Jesus specifically mentions cities where He apparently had ministered and performed miracles but that they did not accept Him.

There is no other mention of the city of Chorazin other than the record of this statement by Jesus recorded both in Matthew and Luke. But we know by this rebuke that He taught there and did miracles there.

We do have record of Jesus teaching and performing miracles in Bethsaida and Capernaum, but as is often the case today, their familiarity with Jesus caused them to dismiss Him, leading to this strong statement of condemnation.

But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you!

Tyre and Sidon were Phoenician (Gentile) cities located on the coastal plain between the mountains of Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea. They were ancient cities, having been founded long before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan. There are numerous references to both cities in the Old Testament. Jesus contrasts the three Jewish cities where He had spent a lot of time with two Gentile cities that Jews considered very wicked and pagan.

Jesus spent time in and around these cities:

Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. —Matthew 15:21

...and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and beyond the Jordan, and the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon, a great number of people heard of all that He was doing and came to Him. —Matthew 3:8

Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. —Mark 7:31
Sometimes we think, "If God would just do miracles today in our church the way He did in New Testament times, then people would believe."  We forget that the vast majority of people who saw Jesus’ miracles' did not believe. We'll talk more about the limited results of miracles when we get to Luke 16.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” —Luke 10:17-24
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us!"

We are continually reminded in the Gospels that we are involved in a spiritual battle against spiritual forces:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. —Ephesians 6:12
Verse 18 emphasizes again the victory Jesus has over Satan; and we share in that victory!

And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning..."

Then in Verse 20, he adds:

“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

Jesus reminds His followers to keep things in perspective. The greatest source of joy in our lives, what really matters is our personal relationship with Jesus and our assurance of eternal life.

In verse 21 and 22 Jesus raises a prayer of praise to God.

At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” —Luke 10:21-22
This is a short prayer by Jesus in response to how God had used the 70 followers. Let’s see what we can learn from this prayer of praise.

I praise you, O Father... that you have...revealed [these things] to infants.

Jesus shared His disciples' joy when they returned. But the truth that especially brought joy to Jesus was God's gracious revelation of the gospel that these people would believe.

Jesus not only praises His Father for what He is doing but also encourages His disciples to appreciate the priceless privilege of hearing the Gospel message.

Turning to the disciples, He said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” —Luke 10:23-24
Many godly people of the Old Testament spent their whole lives longing for what these disciples were experiencing. Jesus tells them:
For I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them.” —Luke 10:24
It's easy to take our salvation for granted. When is the last time you took time just to thank the Lord for saving you, for bringing you to a point in your life where you believed the message and were willing to respond in faith? You know, this is a side benefit of being a laborer. As we are involved in the process of seeing others come to Jesus and go on to maturity, we are continually reminded of this wonderful blessing and how good God is for doing this in our lives.

So, are you a laborer??

You ought to either be discipling someone or being discipled yourself so that you are able to disciple someone. Maybe this teaching from Jesus will be the trigger to get you started.

So we have seen that true followers of Jesus labor, they go out and do the hard, but rewarding work in the field, they spread the good news of Jesus. Now let’s go on to the second thing true followers do:

B.   Disciples Love God:

Luke now tells us about another event.

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” —Luke 10:25-27
There is another trait that Jesus expects to see in the life of every believer — love of God. Not just love the way the world defines it, but the love Jesus demonstrated and taught.

Rick Warren says:

The Old Testament tells us:
For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice,
   And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. —Hosea 6:6
The Living Bible says: “I don’t want your sacrifices, I want your love; I don’t want your offerings, I want you to know Me.”

More than anything else God wants us to pursue knowing Him and loving Him. Let’s look at all the verses in this teaching.

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. —Luke 10:25-38
Luke 10:25-29 is somewhat similar to Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:29-32.
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 22:34-40

One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him." —Matthew 12:28-32
These seem to be similar events, but, it is most likely a different event in Luke. This explains the differences in the conversation and why Luke alone records the story of the Good Samaritan.

Anyone who has shared the Gospel knows that certain questions come up over and over. So it's understandable that Jesus would address certain issues more than once and in different situations.

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test...

This guy was not a disciple. He wasn't there to learn. He didn't care what Jesus said or what miracles He performed. His goal was to trap Jesus by getting Him to give some answer that the Pharisees would condemn. There's probably a lot we can learn from how Jesus handled this situation.

The lawyer asked: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” —Luke 10:25

It's interesting how often this question comes up during ' ministry:

And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” —Matthew 19:16

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” —Luke 18:18
Jesus replied to the question: “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” —Luke 10:26

1.   First, notice that Jesus points this man back to the Bible. He affirms the authority of the Scriptures and that the Scriptures have the answers to the questions that we ask. The Bible may not give us the answer to every question we want to know the answer to, but it has the answer to every question that we need to know the answer to.

2.   Second, notice that Jesus answers the questions with a question. Why do you think Jesus does this? By the way He often did this, including when He was on trial prior to His crucifixion. Jesus takes control of the conversation and puts the man on the defensive. And He forces the man to think, to think about the question and the answer.

The lawyer answers:

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” —Luke 10:27
  Love the Lord your God...

The lawyer quotes two Old Testament passages in answering:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind..." —Deuteronomy 6:5
And he adds

  ...[love] your neighbor as yourself.

"You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord." —Leviticus 19:18
The man knew the right answer. We often think that our problem is that we don't know what to do. But usually our problem is that we don't do what we know is right.

Jesus really emphasizes the importance of these two commands in Matt. 22 and in Mark 12.

And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” —Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” —Mark 12:29-31
We need to take seriously how important these two commandments are.

I am going to break here to pick up next week.

Assignment:

Read through Luke Chapter 10 again to keep these teaching fresh in your mind.