1 – Luke 9:22-26 (ESV) 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
RAF: Being a disciple of Jesus, to follow Him, will unavoidably mean several things. But at the center of it all, will be rejection by those whom one would imagine to be most invested in Christ too – those who are steeped in ruling God’s people, serving God’s people, and know the Word. For He must be served and followed even above any system about Him. We must be willing to be rejected, even by the ones we know that in their own hearts and minds think themselves to be serving God in the very act of rejecting us. To love them, while losing our lives to follow Him. To be unashamed of His words, even when that means others will not understand. To lose the lives we would like to have among them, that we might walk with Him with abandon.
2 – Luke 10:1-2 (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. 2 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.
RAF: There is to be no competition in genuine Gospel ministry. We are to desire as many to be about the work as possible. We cannot reach them all ourselves. If they are preaching salvation by faith alone, through grace alone, because of Christ alone – they are fellow-laborers. May God multiply His work force in the world ten-thousand times ten-thousand fold.
3 – Luke 10:10-15 (ESV) 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘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.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.
RAF: It is greater sin to reject the Gospel, than merely to remain in darkness and unbelief. All who hear, are responsible above those who have not heard.
4 – Luke 10:16 (ESV) 16 “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
RAF: One simply cannot reject Jesus as the Christ, and have God too. They are one. To reject Jesus IS to reject God. For all our discussions about Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnessism and a hundred more – we must always come back to this absolute. For the Christian, Jesus Christ is our God. This is what men need to be confronted with. Is Jesus your God? Without that as a foundation, Christianity is merely another religious opinion, and all roads lead to Heaven. Nor, can any in these discussions deny the Holy Spirit as God, nor the Father as a person distinct from the Son and the Spirit yet the three in one, undivided Godhead. This is the mystery of true Biblical Christianity. We dare not run from it. This is the revelation of Christ in this world. A truly tirune God. Anything less is not Christianity. Anything less, is not God. Anything less, is not salvation, on any level.
5 – Luke 10:17-20 (ESV) 17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” 18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
RAF: They were amazed at seeing the demons subject to their delegated authority. Jesus tells them not to be so impressed. He has seen much higher and greater things than that – even Satan being cast down from Heaven. And yet there are some things which are to be regarded as even more wonderful than any such visions – it is the knowledge that our names are written in Heaven., This truly deserves our awe.
6 – Luke 10:22 (ESV) 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
RAF: Election is a multi-faceted thing. Not only has the Father designated indivudals from all eternity to be “in Christ”, but there is a work of the Son where He personally choses and reveals the Father according to His own will. These end as one and the same. Whom the Father elected, the Son chooses and reveals the Father. While each acts independently, there is perfect oneness. All of this does not yet take into account the work of the Spirit – whose domain it is to make all these things reality in the lives of individuals. He it is who applies all of this to us – works all of this in us. Salvation is a gloriously triune accomplishment. The work of all three as one must be wrought out in their proper spheres.
7 – Luke 11:1 (ESV) Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
RAF: Having observed Him praying before, one wonders, does the question arise because He did not pray out loud, but silently? If they were used to hearing Him pray, it seems this question would be superfluous.
8 – Luke 11:2-4 (ESV) 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread, 4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
RAF: 1. (1-4) The PRIORITIES of Prayer
a. The Father’s Glory
b. The Extension of The Father’s Rule
c. The Father’s Appropriate Provision
d. The Father’s Pardon – for Intimacy
e. The Father’s Heart – Toward others
f. The Father’s Purity
Notice first the PRIORITIES of Jesus’ prayers here. We get much insight into the mind of Christ Himself through it. It is as though He is saying, “OK, so you want to pray? Let me tell you the things that most burn in MY heart and mind in prayer.
a. The GLORY of the Father. “Father, hallowed be your name.” When the Father is most revealed, when He is in His proper place in men’s hearts and minds, mankind is at the very apex of blessing. For God can give us nothing higher than Himself. Pray that the fame of My Father’s name be restored. Nothing is of greater value to the universe.
b. The RULE of the Father. “Your kingdom come”. The source of all evil and woe, of every pain, sorrow, heartache, grief and ill is rebellion against the loving rule of God the Father. Pray He rule in the world of men through their hearts. Nothing can be better for them. Nothing is more right, more glorious, more good. May the Father extend His manifested rule everywhere and in all things at all times.
c. The perfectly appropriate PROVISION of the Father. “Give us each our daily bread.” Who knows better our need as we expend ourselves in seeking His kingdom and righteousness? Not too much lest we grow drowsy. Not too little lest we grow faint. Just right in every way. We are to look for His perfect provisions for our every need. If we have no provision for it – we don’t need it.
d. The Father’s PARDON. “and forgive us our sins.” It is against the Father we sin. And our intimacy with Him can only remain intact as we obtain His forgiveness for our often failures. How gracious He is. And how intensely He delights in our close fellowship.
e. The Father’s IMPARTATION. “for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” Oh that we might have His own heart, to forgive as He delights to forgive us. How we need that from Him. He alone can make it so.
f. The Father’s PURITY. “And lead us not into temptation.” Holiness. Knowing, anticipating our own weaknesses, and pleading that He might grant grace to keep us in a place where His name is protected in our behavior. Casting ourselves upon Him entirely.
These are the burning priorities in the bosom of Christ Jesus. We would do well to make them our own.