Opening Thoughts: Have you very heard the phrase “There are two sides to every story”. This phrase is very common in a counselors office. The Bible often times will have two sides going on in a single story. Take for instance the one that we started last night in Luke 10, where Jesus gathers the 72 disciples together and instructs them to go and prepare peoples hearts for the Gospel. One side of the story was directed specifically at the disciples and their job of preaching the gospel. Another side of the story was directed at the hearers, when Jesus said that there is both a ripe harvest who will embrace the truth, as well as others who will reject the gospel and even persecute them.
- The reason I bring this up is because there will inevitably be people from both sides of the story that happen to read this post. Some of you who will be reading this are genuine disciples, meaning you are prepared and ready to go and lose your dignity through the proclamation of the gospel. God has granted you repentance and you have placed all your hope in Christ our Savoir.
- Then there will be some of you that are ripe and ready for harvesting unto salvation, and perhaps this is the post that will assuredly draw you to your knees in repentance toward God and you will from this day transfer all your trust from yourself and place it secure in Jesus Christ.
- Then sadly, their will be some of you that after having read this, will be angered, you may even roll your eyes and curse me out (it’s happened before). My prayer is that God will draw you to Jesus Christ and that you will look upon the Savoir and live.
Scripture: Luke 10:4-16 …  Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.  Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’  And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you.  And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.  Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’  But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,  ‘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.’  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.  “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.  But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.  And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.  “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.”
A Word to Disciples: I can’t speak for any of you, but when Danae and I and the kids take a trip anywhere, we do not pack light. I must say that Danae is getting considerably better over the past few years. When we first had our son Max we would go on a one week trip with 6 full size suit cases….. Crazy! Now we are down to 3 so we’re doing well. If you’re anything like us, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
When Jesus gives instructions to His disciples He tells them to carry no money, no suitcase, no sandals (no extra sandals)…. So all they had was the clothes on their back and the shoes on their feet. Why did Jesus do that? He could have easily told them to take extra things, you know just in-case every city rejected them and were left with no food to eat, but He didn’t. The reason Jesus did this was to demonstrate how a child is supposed to trust his parents, they were to trust God for all their provisions and needs. I wonder how many of us would leave our homes right now and head out into the mission field with only our clothes? Not sure I would.
Scripture: Matthew 18:3 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
My Story: When I was just 14 years old my family used to travel and sing. We didn’t have very much money back then and to operate a 40 foot bus was pretty expensive. I remember my dad felt so strongly that we were to go on the road traveling and singing, that we left our home with one full tank in the bus (cost $250 at the time) and $40 in my dad’s wallet. The only reason we were able to fill the tank on the bus was because an unsaved friend filled it up for us to help get the “Good Word” on the road, as he put it. My dad knew something that many people fail to realize, God is our provider and when He says go he means go, even if the odds look impossible. When the odds are impossible who gets the glory? It’s not a trick question, the answer is Jesus:-)
All true disciples have been called to risk at least as much as our reputations and begin to be bearers of the Gospel. How are you doing with that? What is holding you back from preaching the Gospel to your friends, family and neighbors, even strangers? Are you waiting until you have full provision for your ventures? If you are that will never come.
Be Grateful with what you are given: Jesus instructed his disciples to go and preach, and the first place that received them they were to stay with them the duration of their time in the town, even if the accommodations were less than desirable. “And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.  Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you.” Jesus said, “Don’t go from house to house” He wants us to be content and not covet a more lavish lifestyle. Our goal should be to deliver the gospel and not to be distracted by the fine things in this life.
With a growing Christian culture that says, “You deserve better” and “God want’s to give you an abundant life here on earth,” Pastors from mega churches all over America have capitalized on the health, wealth and prosperity Gospel, saying that “God want’s us to have our best life now” and that we should not settle for second best but we deserve the best. That’s not what Jesus says to His disciples and for good reason. If I go out and sell a flashy Gospel while sporting all the BLING that money can buy, who wouldn’t want that type of Jesus? But if I go like the disciples did, with one set of clothes, one pair of shoes and no food, I have nothing to offer people but the Gospel itself. When you go out sporting nothing but the Gospel, the world will hate you and those who are being saved will love you and provide your needs.
The other side of the Story: Have you ever been reading something or watching a movie and it appears to be pleasant when all of a sudden there is another side to the story, and it begins to turn a little dark? This is what happens here, Jesus goes from instructing the disciples on their own conduct, to talking about the people that will embrace them, to now talking about the people who will reject Him. His tone changes and it would do us good to pay well attention.
 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,  ‘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.’  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.  “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.  But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.  And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.  “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.”
Shaking the dust off your feet was something that the Jews used to do when they were forced to walk through a Gentile city. Many times it would simply be too long to walk around the city so they would have to walk through it. Upon reaching the other side they would shake the dust off their feet as indication that they wanted nothing to do with it. And that’s true of the Gospel my friends, when someone blatantly rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ you do not want to have any part in the judgement they will receive. The judgment for rejecting Christ’s message in it’s entirety is so sever that in the end people will be crying out for the mountains to fall on them rather than suffer the Wrath of the Lamb.
Jesus then begins to shock the disciples by telling them that His judgment will somehow be more bearable for Sodom than it will be for the the cities that reject the message of Christ.
Scripture: Ezekiel 16:49  Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
We Are Like Sodom: Perhaps most professing Christians would never even think of comparing themselves to the likes of Sodom. The very name of the city leaves a stench of bestiality, homosexuality, sex with corpses, the list goes on, these people were sick! But let me tell you how Ezekiel describes their sin! He says “they were proud, they had lot’s of food and money, but they did not aid the poor and needy” ouch! Here’s something to think about, next time you eat an amazing meal in your $300, $400, $500,000 home then get in your $30,000 vehicle and drive down town to an area with homeless ‘human beings‘, and they ask you for $.25, how do you respond?? The question we should all be asking right now is, “How much do I resemble Sodom? There is a really BIG issue in our Christians culture of magnifying the BIG SINS and sweeping the less obvious ones under the carpet. One thing is sure, on the day that the Lord returns all of those seemingly small sins will be pulled from under the carpet and all will be left bare before God. Examine yourself today and be sure that you are in the faith. 2 Corinthians 13:5
Lack of Repentance: Jesus then brings up two more cities, Bethsaida and Chorazin then compares them with Tyre and Sidon (Cities much like Sodom). He says, if Tyre and Sidon had seen all the amazing miracles that were done in Bethsaida and Chorazin they would have wept and mourned over their sin. Bethsaida is where Jesus fed 5,000 people, now He is saying the are in big trouble and in danger of Hell, because even after all the miracles that were done there, they lacked repentance and faith.
Maybe some of you are like Bethsaida , you thrive off miracles, signs and wonders. You want to see Jesus do amazing things in your life, however, the moment your sin is brought into the light you get defensive and nasty. If that’s you, I urge you to cry out to the Lord to change your heart, repent of your sin and trust Jesus today to save you and grant you the gift of eternal life.
Closing Thoughts: Maybe you grew up in church but you have never heard any one talk about sin, repentance, hell and judgement. This may be your day! The Bible says that we have all broken God’s holy commands. It says that even as much as one lie is enough to condemn us to Hell for an eternity. Jesus says that if you have hated anyone in your life you have already committed murder in your heart (because He judges the heart as well). The bottom line is, every one of us have broken God’s commands and are headed for a final day when we will be judged for every thing we’ve ever done, spoken or thought. You and I are criminals before a holy God having all broken His commands. The Bible also says that God is rich in mercy and over 2,000 years ago he sent Jesus Christ to be murdered on a Roman Cross for you. You deserved an eternity in Hell but God came down Himself in the form of a man and humbled Himself to death, even death on a cross. You broke Gods Law and Jesus paid your Penalty with His own blood, and that’s an amazing story of love. The question is, “What are you going to do with it?” If you repent of your sins, which means to confess and forsake them, He will forgive you and grant you the gift of eternal life. Please leave me a response if you have any questions about salvation or where you will spend eternity. Don’t wait, your life depends on it!
Preparing The Way