Luke 9:57-10:12 by Pastor Dan Walker
In our world today, we have a lot of confused people, confused about who they are. We have men thinking that they are women and vice versa. We have the majority of Americans thinking they're Christians, but many do not even know how to become one according to the Bible. In this message, we look at what Jesus himself said about becoming his disciple or follower. It was not as easy as what some of the people thought. Learn some of the shocking statements Jesus made about being His disciple, a Christian.
Duration:36 mins 3 secs

Today our message is entitled “How to Know You’re a Christian.” Before we get to that question, we need to talk about how we know things We live in an increasingly strange world today. A world in which the concepts of right and wrong, truth and lies are blurred.

Judges 17:6 (ESV) In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

This verse speaks of an evil time in Israel’s history. A time in which there was no righteous authority or standard. So everyone did what was right in his own eyes. That is the kind of time that we are living in today. In other words, people live by what they think is right. What’s wrong with this kind of subjective thinking? Right and wrong on not based on what any particular person thinks.

Proverbs 21:2 (ESV) Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.

This verse tells us that there is an objective standard of right and wrong. And that standard is the Lord. He decides if what we think is right is really right. Let’s think about one of many examples in our world today.

Genesis 1:27 (ESV) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God’s Word tells us the truth. God created and continues to create two and only two genders, male and female. We understand by science today that men have XY chromosomes and females have XX chromosomes. Nothing a person does and nothing a person thinks can change the chromosomes they received at conception.

Today, some people think that they are the opposite gender of their DNA and bodily characteristics. This is a mental disorder called gender dysphoria and those people need help. Yet some today encourage and celebrate those who have their bodies mutilated to unsuccessfully change their gender. When what you believe about yourself is not in fact true, it causes major problems.

What do these issues have to do with our topic today – How to Know You’re a Christian? All though knowing whether you are male or female is important, knowing whether you’re a Christian or not is of supreme importance. Today, in America 69% of people believe they are Christians. 35% even identify as born-again Christians. Yet only 6% have a biblical worldview, which means believing basic truths of the Bible about God and themselves.

Do you see the problem here? This poll and many others tell us that many more consider themselves Christians than actually are Christians. Unless a person comes to realize they aren’t a Christian, they won’t become one. The end result is a person lost from serving God in this life and the next. So, today, we’re going to look at Jesus’ teaching on what it means to be a disciple of His, that is a Christian.

Put following Jesus first

Luke 9:57-58 (ESV) As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

In these verses, we’re going to look at some people who wanted to be Jesus’ disciples. The first one promised to follow Jesus through thick and thin. Jesus’ reply to him was that he had no regular bed to sleep in. In other words, to follow Jesus would not be easy, there would be hardship. Undoubtedly Jesus answered this way because he knew this would be disciple was not prepared for hardship.

Luke 9:59-60 (ESV) To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

This next person was called by Jesus to follow him. Yet, this would be disciple had an excuse, he needed to bury his father. Most likely his father was not dead now. But the responsibility of an eldest son was to stay around to arrange a suitable burial for his father. Jesus’ answer would have shocked his listeners, let the dead bury their dead. Jesus is speaking of the spiritually dead, who put family issues above Jesus. Jesus commanded this would be disciple to follow him by going and telling others about the kingdom.

Luke 9:61-62 (ESV) Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

This third person again says that he will follow Jesus. But he has to go home and say farewell to his family. Seems reasonable, right? Wrong, Jesus tells him that saying you’re going to follow Jesus and then going back to your previous life is not going work. This kind of thinking makes a person not fit to be in the kingdom of God. A true disciple, a true Christian puts following Jesus first.

As we study more about Jesus, we see that Jesus routinely shocked people with the truth. The truth is the following Jesus is not easy. Oh, it’s easy to say a prayer or to say that you are going to follow Jesus. However, in order to be true Christian, one must put following Jesus first.

In two of the three examples in this passage, Jesus makes it clear that He comes before family. A true Christian does not let his family distract him from obeying Jesus. A true Christian does not let his job distract him from following Jesus. And we could go on and on.

It seems as though Jesus was making it hard to people to follow Him, doesn’t it? Jesus says shocking things to get people to understand what it means to be a disciple. Maybe we should speak more like Jesus to those around us. To wake them up about what it truly means to follow Jesus. To help them to see that they really aren’t Christians in reality.

How to know you’re a Christian? You put following Jesus first in your life.

Your mission is the harvest

Luke 10:1 (ESV) 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.

Jesus had previously sent out the twelve disciples to do the same things that He did. Now, he sends out 72 unnamed disciples, two by two to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry in the towns He was planning to go to. They were sent out two by two for support and encouragement and safety. As we read this passage, we find that these 72 were to carry out the exact three things that Jesus did. Preaching about the kingdom of God, healing the sick and casting out demons. Jesus gives them further instructions as we go on.

Luke 10:2 (ESV) 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.

What is the plentiful harvest? The harvest is people who need to become followers of Jesus, to be saved. Jesus is telling these disciples and us that there are many people ready to believe. 

The problem is that there are not enough workers to bring them into the kingdom. How can they and we solve the problem of not enough workers? We must earnestly pray to the Lord, who is the Lord of the harvest, to send out more workers. And what happens when you pray that kind of prayer? You are the first ones that Jesus sends out.

Luke 10:3-4 (ESV) Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.

What is a disciple’s mission? It is to go. To go is to go from where you are at to where the harvest is. The harvest is not going to come to you, you must go to it. A disciple is like a lamb in the midst of unbelieving wolves, but God would protect them. In this instance, the disciples were not to take any provisions. They were to rely on the hospitality of those to whom they were ministering to. They were not to be distracted or delayed from their mission by unproductive conversations There and our mission is the harvest.

Let’s think about how Jesus’ instructions to the 72 apply to us. First of all, Jesus’ instructions to any of His disciples directly do apply to us as disciples today. Each believer is called to pray for God to send more workers into the harvest. And each Jesus’ follower is to be an answer to their own prayer. To be one of the workers in the plentiful harvest all around them.

You might ask, where is the harvest field? The harvest field for us is the people around us. Our friends, our relatives, our co-workers is our immediate harvest field. How do we go into that harvest field? We go by intentionally doing what Jesus and His disciples did for our unique harvest field. We share the good news of the kingdom, we heal the sick and we free people from demonic oppression. How to know you’re a Christian? You are on mission to the harvest.

Your message is the kingdom

Luke 10:5, 7 (ESV) Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ … 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.

Now the mission of these 72 was to go to people they did not know. They would bless the families that showed them hospitality. Jesus said that the laborer or workers deserves his wages. That means that those who are working in the harvest deserve to be paid a living wage. How are they to be paid? They are to be paid by the people who they are ministering to. Now, let’s look more closely at Jesus’ instructions about their message.

Luke 10:8-9 (ESV) Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

When the disciples entered a town, there were two possible responses. Either the town would receive them and give them hospitality, or it wouldn’t. What were they to do in the towns that received them? They were to bring healing to those who were sick. And where did that healing power come from? They were to tell people that the healing power came from God’s kingdom coming near. We’ll see next Sunday, as we go on in this passage, that the disciples were also casting demons out, as part of their kingdom healing.

Luke 10:10-11 (ESV) But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’

Some towns would not receive them. They would not offer them hospitality, nor receive the message of the kingdom. They were not call judgement down on them. But they were to wipe the dust off their feet, as a gesture showing they didn’t want the evil of that town to clink to them. And they were to tell that town that the kingdom of God had come near, but they had rejected it.

Luke 10:12 (ESV) I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Sodom was a wicked city in the Old Testament that was incinerated by fire from heaven in God’s judgement. It stands for a picture of the final judgment, which would be worse for that town then Sodom. Why? Because the miracles of the kingdom that were performed by Jesus and His disciples were far more powerful than anything that had happened in Sodom. How to know you’re a Christian? Your message is the kingdom.

How is our message to be about the kingdom today? When we speak about God’s kingdom, that implies there is a king of the kingdom, Jesus. People have a lot of kings in their lives, the most common is themselves. The message of the kingdom is that there is only one king. And Jesus requires complete obedience.

The kingdom is not just for this life, but for eternity as well. When a person becomes part of the kingdom in life, they will be in God’s kingdom forever. Not everyone will accept the message of the kingdom, that they need to repent. But we move on to those who are ready to accept the message.

Pray for the needs of those around you and believe God to heal, deliver and do miracles. Those are a sign that the kingdom is near. How to know you’re a Christian? You message is the kingdom.

 I believe it’s time for the church to speak the truth in love to the insanity of our present culture. We need to lovingly speak out against people doing what’s right in their own eyes, when it’s not right in God’s eyes. There is a standard of male and female established at creation. There is a standard of the unborn child being a person created in God’s image. There is a standard of what a Christian is and how they live life.

To speak the truth is to challenge the lies of the enemy. May God be with us as we go out like lambs in the midst of wolves.