The word I want to focus on today from this scripture ~ you may not even have noticed it… CROWD. This scripture is like a magic show in which the magician is getting everyone to pay attention to one hand, when in reality the card is quietly being changed in the other. We get caught up in trying to figure out what Jesus means by family, what he is saying to or about his brothers and sisters, when in fact, this message in Luke 8:21 is to the CROWD. It is a challenging message to the CROWD. It is an invitation to each person within the CROWD. It is an urgent message to let people know they can rise above the CROWD. Become more than just one of the crowd. Jesus is challenging each person in the crowd to go deeper, inviting each one to become like family. Jesus is pronouncing a relationship with him is Personal. Like family! The love them hate them people….the quirky odd family. We’ll talk more about those crazy families… first the Crowd….. the challenge is to go from the CROWD to a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. [Most won’t.]
The Qualities of Faith: Shine Bright. Be Open. Go Forward. 3rd point I especially appreciate.
Jesus is going from village to town introducing himself to the average person. He is inviting them to follow him, trust him, learn from him. Think of it, the powerless, average people who are struggling to make a living, people who are overwhelmed by two governments in their land posturing for power, political factions fighting, people who are not sure how they can make a difference. A word a lot of people can related to in todays world: STUCK! Waiting, waiting, waiting, no changes, caught between problems that you cannot seem to do a thing about. Do you ever feel STUCK?
[Adam] A truck driver, was driving along on the freeway. A sign comes up that reads "low bridge ahead." Before he knows it the bridge is right ahead of him and he gets stuck under the bridge. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally, a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks around to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, "Got stuck, huh?" [Adam] The truck driver, says, "No, I was delivering this bridge and ran out of gas."
Selective hearing. Hearing what you want to hear and ignoring what you don’t want to hear. Men are said to have selective hearing: the wife instructs her husband, “GO to the store; LAY DOWN the mulch, wash AND wax the car, GET the kids at school; rent SOME videos, and finish the REST of the dishes.” The husband hears, “Go lay down and get some rest.”
Jesus goes to villages and towns ~ crowds gather. What would it be like for the villagers to have the Lord visit them? You never know what a day will bring forth... He tells a simple story, “A farmer went out to sow…” The sower tosses his seed; it lands on four kinds of soil. The story is funny ~ no farmer would spread seed with no thought. If I plant a new lawn, I am far too cheap to push the seed spreader across the gravel driveway. There is one good choice ~ good soil. I want to see the Word of God take deep root in you!
Selective hearing is hearing what you want to hear. We do it with people, even the people we love ~ Do you have selective hearing with God? Today’s scripture ~ Jesus tells the parable of the Farmer sowing seed (a story with a deeper truth). After the parable Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear let him hear….” It’s about getting rid of selective hearing…learning to listen to the Word of God in its fullness.
(NOTE ~ introductory sermon on what's coming in series from Luke 8, "You Never Know What a Day Will Bring Forth: A Extraordinary God Invading an Ordinary World.")
Jesus Christ went to average people. He traveled about from one town and village to another (READ Luke 8:1). He was on the move… went to the common people. Went with common people. How Average Are You? Here’s a silly little quiz to help determine what you have in common with most Americans.
Do you believe in God?—More than 80 percent of American adults believe in God, and about 10 percent believe in a “universal spirit.”
How close do you live to the nearest McDonald’s and Wal-Mart? —Most Americans live within three miles of a McDonald’s restaurant and within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart.
Do you prefer smooth or chunky peanut butter?—Most Americans—83 percent—prefer smooth.
Are you a high school graduate?--About 85 percent of Americans earn a high school diploma.
How old is your car?--The average American’s vehicle is eight years old.
Do you own a pet?--Most American households—63 percent—have at least one pet, mainly dogs and cats.
What time are you regularly in bed?--Most Americans—74 percent—are in bed before midnight.
Are you happy?--Most Americans—80 percent—say they generally wake up happy.
Would you rather be in prison for one week or president of the United States?--Most Americans—52 percent—would prefer a week in prison.
Dwight L. Moody, comparing temporary happiness to deep joy, says it well, “Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about. The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.”
Joy is found in the Lord. Delight in him all day long. It is a gift. Receive it.
Carl Crouse, Pastor
At SACC we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Every Sunday the worship service includes a message from the Bible. My words are an attempt to understand and apply the Bible to our daily living. I post weekly sermons and other biblical messages on this page. May you find meaning and hope as you read through each message and seek to hear God's voice. Leave a comment to ask questions or inspire others with your insights.