If you are a Christian, you are a witness of Jesus Christ. We are always being a witness to Christ, whether we think of it or not, because people are watching us. It’s been said that our lives are the only sermon some people will ever hear. That’s true. But sadly, it’s not enough. People need to hear the gospel. They need to hear, not just see, our testimonies. Why? Because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Even then, some Christians will say that is the job of missionaries and preachers. The rest are supposed to be examples to unbelievers and invite them to church to hear from the preacher. However, I think we can see in Luke 10:1-11 that Jesus did not intend for this to be the normal way of witnessing. It’s good to invite people to come to church, but it’s critical that we also go to them with the gospel.
And, we’ll see in this passage, that it’s ordinary Christians that go. Let’s look and see how Jesus sent seventy nobodies to go tell people about Him. There are several evangelism lessons that we can apply to our own lives today. First, we learn that it is helpful to…
Luke shows us Jesus setting off for Jerusalem. It will take awhile to get there (He gets near Jerusalem in chapter 19), and there are many encounters on the way. Luke gives us three examples of encounters with different people. Each wanted to be a disciple of Jesus. Each fall short. In each case, it was a matter of divided allegiance. Jesus demanded full allegiance to Him. They had other allegiances they wanted to keep.
The call of Christ exposes our hearts. Are we devoted to God’s kingdom? Or are we divided in our allegiance? Jesus tells us that this is impossible.
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)
Mammon or money is not the only thing that can divide our allegiance with Jesus. What are things that divide our allegiance to Jesus? We see at least three in this passage in Luke 9:57-62. First…
A Boy Scout, a pastor, a technological genius, and a pilot were all on a small plane that suddenly had major problems. They realized that they would have to put on parachutes and jump. However, there were only three parachutes.
The pilot explained that he had a young family to care for and jumped with one of the parachutes. The technological genius argued that he was essential to the advancement of society. Why, he might even invent something that would save the lives of thousands of people. So he took a parachute and jumped.
The pastor, with grey head, looked at the young boy and said, “I am old, and I know where I am going when I die. You are young and full of potential…you take the last parachute.” The Boy Scout looked at the pastor and said, “Pastor, don’t worry about it, we have two parachutes. The technological genius just jumped out of the plane with my wilderness survival backpack.” (adapted from Tony Evans, Tony Evans’ Book of Illustrations [Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2009], 160)
Turn to Luke 9. We will be looking at verses 37 to 45, which recount the story of a desperate father bringing his demon-possessed son to Jesus to be healed.
Let me say at the beginning that I think the key theme in this passage is faith. Verse 41 seems to be a key text, where Jesus complains about the people being a “faithless and perverse generation.”
This theme of faith is also found in Matthew’s account of this event. There Jesus explains to the disciples the reason they could not cast out the demon:
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (Matthew 17:20)
And in Mark’s record of the events, Jesus encourages the father to have faith:
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23–24)
As we work through the narrative together, we will hang our understanding of it on the idea of faith. First, we’re going to see that…