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A Kingdom of Lambs

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Jesus juxtaposes two seemingly disparate analogies to reveal a stunning truth concerning the labor of the Kingdom.

Text: Luke 10:1-3
Date: 04/30/2023, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 103

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After turning His face towards Jerusalem and His imminent departure, Jesus' focus turns to training His followers to be radical disciples. After three examples of how not to be a disciple, Luke turns to Jesus' instructive commissioning of seventy-two disciples to go two-by-two into the surrounding areas proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Jesus uses two seemingly disparate analogies to reveal a stunning truth about the nature of the labor of the Kingdom. As He commissions these "apostlers", He describes the nature of the world they will go into, the overwhelming size of their task, the urgency of their work, the vicious opposition they will face, and the seeming helplessness of their work force. We will analyze all of these aspects of discipleship and come to a shocking conclusion: Jesus is purposefully preparing to fight overwhelming odds in the epic spiritual battle of humankind with nothing more than a Kingdom of lambs!

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 10:1-3.
A. Context
B. The sending of the seventy-two.
1. The commission, vs. 1.
a. Overview, Acts 8:7.
b. Looking at the words.
i. Another arbitrary designation of time.
ii. A sovereign commission.
1) The title of "Lord".
2) A divine appointment, Acts 1:24,26.
iii. The issue of the number.
iv. A host of messengers.
1) The first "apostlers".
2) Another group of messengers.
3) A vital piece of the puzzle, Luke 9:52.
v. Two is better than one.
1) Counting the reasons, Deut. 19:15.
2) The wisdom of Solomon, Eccl. 4:9-12.
2. The plentiful harvest, vs. 2.
a. The analogy.
i. The nature of the harvest, Joel 3:13, Rev. 14:19.
ii. The imagery of the harvest.
1) The expansiveness of the fields.
2) The condition of the harvest.
iii. The urgency of the harvest.
iv. The interpretation of the harvest.
1) God's work in the world.
2) Missionary outreach of the church.
a) The chain of apostling.
b) An epic, historical moment.
c) The ever-present prospect of judgment.
b. A prayer for more radical disciples.
i. Unpacking the prayer for laborers.
1) What the "therefore" is there for.
2) Fervent, earnest prayer.
3) The Lord of the harvest.
4) Thrust into service.
5) A call for Kingdom-builders, John 17:12.
ii. A prayer for true disciples.
3. Danger and helplessness in the field, vs. 3.
a. The emphatic command.
b. The imagery of lambs in the midst of wolves.
i. The "Sender" and the "sent".
ii. The destination.
iii. The "Good Shepherd" paradox.
1) A hard question, Matt. 9:36, John 10:9, 14.
2) An easy (though multi-faceted) answer, Psa. 22:16, John 1:29, 10:11,27-28.
iv. The stealth plan of the Kingdom, Luke 13:21, Matt. 16:18.
III. Application
A. How I would build the Kingdom, Dan. 2:34-35.
B. How Jesus built His Kingdom.
1. An army of lambs, Luke 9:47-48, John 15:5.
2. The example of Jesus, Phil 2:8, Luke 6:12-13.
C. Pieces of the puzzle.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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