Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 2/17/2008

Yesterday was the first in a new series of messages called The Road to Jerusalem. The message was called Roadblocks on the Road to Jerusalem, taken from Luke 9:51-62.

Luke 9:51-62 – 51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they went to another village.
57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (NIV)

The roadway of discipleship is the roadway of the cross. The main idea of the message was that we must overcome the roadblocks that stand in the way of our following Jesus in discipleship all the way to the cross. Here is a brief summary of the message:

I. The Roadblock of Rejection (51-53)

The people in the Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus, because he was heading for Jerusalem. The roadblock of rejection occurs whenever someone rejects Jesus outright and refuses even to consider walking the road of discipleship with him.

II. The Roadblock of a Judging Spirit (54-56)

James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans who rejected Jesus, but Jesus rebuked his disciples. You cannot walk to the cross with Jesus when you have a judging spirit. The purpose of the cross was salvation for man, not judgment. Jesus did not come to destroy but to save.

III. The Roadblock of Hasty Commitment (57-58)

This man boldly declared to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But he failed to count the cost of discipleship. Jesus did not come to earth to live in comfort and luxury. He came to suffer and to serve. And he calls us to do the same.

IV. The Roadblock of Delay (59-60)

The roadblock of delay is the opposite of the roadblock of hasty commitment. When Jesus called this man to follow him, he asked if he could first go and bury his father. The roadblock of delay seeks to put off the call of discipleship until a later time. But the call of Christ takes precedence over all other things, even the solemn obligation to bury one’s parents.

V. The Roadblock of a Divided Heart (61-62)

When Jesus called this man to follow him, he asked if he could first go back and say goodbye to his family. Eight hundred years earlier Elijah had let Elisha go back and say goodbye to his family. But now one greater than Elijah was here. Once you have made the decision to follow Christ, it must be all or nothing. The person who starts out with Christ, but then looks back has a divided heart and is not fit for service in the kingdom of God.

CONCLUSION: When Jesus walked the road to Jerusalem, he was walking to the cross to suffer and die. And he asks you to follow him. That is the meaning of discipleship. What roadblock stands in the way of you following Jesus today?

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

3 Comments

  1. Rachael says:

    Hi Pastor Ray,
    Good sermon, made me think a lot! I was wondering if you’ve heard of the “Luke Reports” its a radio drama done by Focus on the Family. It is the story of Luke as he writes the book of Luke. Obviously its fiction but REALLY good. I’ve borrowed the tapes from our Youth Group leader a few times.
    Your sermon just reminded me of it so I thought I’d let you know!
    RACHAEL

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I am glad you liked the sermon – thinking is good! No, I have not heard of the “Luke Reports,” but it sounds excellent. We have enjoyed other Focus on the Family radio dramas in the past.

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