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The Scriptorium

Hearing Us, Hearing Jesus

We can handle rejection when it comes to Jesus. Luke 10.13-16

Luke 10 (2)

Pray Psalm 35.1-4.
Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler,
And stand up for my help.
Also draw out the spear,
And stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”
Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor
Who seek after my life;
Let those be turned back and brought to confusion
Who plot my hurt.

Sing Psalm 35.1-4.
(Creation: The Spacious Firmament on High)
Contend, O Lord, with those who strive with me! My shield, my strength and buckler be!
Engage with spear and axe to fight and rescue me with all Your might!
My soul with Your salvation soothe, and vanquish all who oppose Your truth.
Let those ashamed and humbled be who would destroy and humble me.

Read Luke 10.1-16; meditate on verses 13-16.

1. What did Jesus say about unrepentant cities?

2. Who would be rejected when unbelievers reject God’s witnesses?

In these verses, Jesus is still giving instructions to the seventy who are about to go out extending the Good News of the Kingdom beyond where it’s been heard before. His words remind us of just how serious this Good News is, because it stands directly contrary to the bad news that comes with rejecting Christ.

The wages of sin, Paul reminds us, is death (Rom. 6.23). Not just physical death, but eternal death – separation from God and life and joy and peace, cast into an eternal misery of darkness and woe. This final disposition is chosen by those who refuse to consider the mighty works of Jesus Christ, repent, and believe the Gospel (v. 13). Choosing to exalt themselves and be their own god, they seal their doom of eternal death in Hades (v. 15).

What a solemn duty and privilege this is for us as messengers of the Good News! People who hear us as we tell them about Jesus and His Kingdom and call them to repentance and faith are hearing the Lord Himself speaking through us. If they reject us, they reject Him. If they hear us, they are hearing Him (vv. 15, 16).

Conversely, if they do not hear us because we are not talking to them about Jesus, and if our neglect or refusal leads to their destruction, then we must bear some of the responsibility for their demise (cf. Ezek. 33.1-6), and God will, in some undesirable way, require it of us. Jesus has called us to His Kingdom, and He has sent us to embody and proclaim it. We do not control the responses of those who hear us. But we do control whether we tell them.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
When all the elders of Israel were clamoring for a king, and thus putting Samuel their prophet/leader out to pasture, the LORD told him, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8.7).

Not much had changed by Jesus’ day. In fact, not just a prophet was among them, but God was in their midst, and they still chose poorly.

As Jesus said to them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me” (Lk. 10.16). Truly, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1.9).

And the people today? Yep. Same response. Humankind is so predictable and boring. God is so gracious to keep striving with us. But wait. Will He always? The LORD said these words way back in Genesis 6.3: “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…”

So “Woe!” to Samuel’s peers. “Woe!” to the people of Jesus’ day; and “Woe!” to those today who reject Jesus and the One Who sent Him.

The crowds today either through omission or commission are still crying out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!” (Jn. 19.15). Frightening predicament for them. “Woe!”

But we have been called to spread the message of Good News about living in the Kingdom of God and serving King Jesus. It is indeed “a solemn duty and privilege” placed upon us. We must not fail in our calling.

Make my life a prayer to You, I want to do what You want me to.
No empty words and no white lies, no token prayers, no compromise.
I want to shine the light You gave through Your Son You sent to save us

from ourselves and our despair, it comforts me to know You’re really there.

I want to die and let You give Your life to me so I might live
and share the hope You gave to me, the love that set me free.
I want to tell the world out there You’re not some fable or fairy tale
that I’ve made up inside my head, You’re God, the Son, You’ve risen from the dead.

(Melody Green, 1978)

Let this be what others “hear” of Jesus from you.

For reflection
1. What does it mean to reject Jesus? How can we know when we’re rejecting Jesus?

2. What can we do, as we’re listening to Jesus speak in His Word, to make sure we embrace rather than reject His teaching?

3. Why do we need the “bad news” in order to make the “Good News” clear?

…the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain, will be very fearful. Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despisers of God and Christ. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 10.13-16

Pray Psalm 35.22-28.
As you go into your Personal Mission Field, call on the Lord to guard and keep you, to embolden your witness, and to give you many opportunities to show His love to others. Pray that He will use you to encourage other believers in their walk with and work for Jesus.

Sing Psalm 35.22-28.
(Creation: The Spacious Firmament on High)
Stir up, O God, and wake to my right; defend my cause with all Your might!
And judge me in Your righteousness; let not my foes bring me to distress.
Let shame, dishonor be their gown who would Your holy ones bring down.
Let all who would themselves exalt be humbled, shamed, and brought to naught.

Let all rejoice triumphantly who would our vindication see.
Let them exalt the Lord above who love the ones that Jesus loves.
And let our tongues declare Your praise, and worship Jesus all our days.
Let those whom You are pleased to bless forever declare Your righteousness!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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