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Missionaries of Mercy

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning that even though judgment is a reality, Christ came on a mission of mercy!

Text: Luke 9:51-56
Date: 04/16/2023, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 101

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In our text for this message we reach a turning point in Luke's Gospel as Jesus "turns His face" towards Jerusalem and the Cross. But even though the focus changes, the lessons Jesus is teaching His disciples continue to cascade into one another. Jesus begins this journey in a Samaritan village where the residents refuse to receive Him and His followers. James and John, the fiery "sons of thunder", want to see harsh judgment passed on the citizens of the village in the form of fire from heaven. But Jesus rebukes them and instead simply goes to the next village. We will analyze this short scene both in its literal sense, and more figuratively as a "living parable" of the nature of the Kingdom of God and Christ's ministry. Is the message of the Gospel one of mercy, or of judgment, or both? Ultimately we will learn that mercy cannot be separated from the truth, and therefore the balance between mercy and judgment is a crucial understanding for the missionaries of mercy.

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I. Introduction, John 20:21, Matt. 28:19-20, 21:41-44.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 9:51-56.
A. Context
B. The "Sons of Thunder" learn mercy.
1. Destined for Jerusalem, vs. 51.
a. A turning point.
b. Looking at the words.
i. An arbitrary designation of time.
ii. Looking towards the Ascension.
iii. A determined mission, Isa. 50:7.
2. Passing through Samaria, vs. 52.
a. Sending messengers ahead.
i. In a literal sense.
ii. In a figurative sense, Luke 3:4.
iii. In a conjectural sense, Luke 19:28-30.
b. The problem with Samaria.
i. A troubled history.
ii. An act of mercy.
3. Another rejection, vs. 53.
a. The expressed reason for the rejection, John 4:20.
b. The figurative significance, Isa. 53:3.
4. Anger from the Sons of Thunder, vs. 54, Mark 3:17.
a. Seeking severe punishment, Rev. 20:15, 2Kings 1:10-12.
b. Disturbing misunderstandings.
i. Misunderstanding the Kingdom of God.
ii. Expecting a Davidic Kingdom, Psa. 18:37-42.
iii. Misunderstanding the times.
5. The Kingdom of mercy, vs. 55.
a. The rebuke of arrogant exclusivity.
b. Cascading lessons, Luke 9:48.
6. Moving on, vs. 56.
a. Illumination from Scripture, Luke 10:10-12.
i. The mercy is "now", Acts 8:5,12.
ii. The judgment is eschatological, Luke 4:23-24, Matt. 13:30.
b. Illumination from a copyist, Luke 9:55-56.
C. Interpretation
1. The intent, Matt. 25:34.
2. The determination, 1Pet. 1:10-20, Phil. 2:7-8.
3. The messengers, Gen. 3:15.
4. The rejection, Luke 2:7, Matt. 2:13-14, John 1:10-11.
5. The Kingdom of mercy, Rom. 6:23, John 12:48, Matt. 25:41.
6. The glorious eschatological ending.
III. Conclusion, Rev. 3:20.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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