Luke 10: 25-37 &Mark 9:14-27
In the first week, we said that we, like the Good Samaritan, must begin with a VISION of a new way, and then COMPASSION when we see the needy and hurting. Then we pay ATTENTION to those needs and apply healing oil – the healing that comes through the power of the spirit – UNCTION – symbolised by the oil – and the power of the blood of Jesus [symbolised by the wine] – PURIFICATION. Then we finally spoke about PERSEVERING in our application of good works – as the Good Samaritan also followed through with the needs of the injured man.
In Luke 10:35 we read that the Good Samaritan paid for the expenses of the further care of the wounded man.
There was, of course, a cost to the Samaritan for his actions – a cost in time, effort and money.
The stories of the New Testament are peppered with the costly work of evangelism. In Luke 8:3 we read of Mary, Joanne, Susanna and many other women who supported the disciples out of their own means.
Judas carried the money for Jesus and the disciples to fulfil their mission.
In Acts 11:28-30 the disciples in Turkey sent gifts to the disciples in famine-ravaged Judea through Barnabas and Paul.
Even Paul himself speaks of supporting evangelists in 1 Corinthians 9, but particularly in verse 14: ‘the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel’.
The people of God must generously support and be involved in the ministry of evangelism in this church. The Gospel, as we know, is free but evangelism costs time, effort and money. That is, PROVISION involves sacrifice.
Over many months, there has been a number of forums and meetings with the congregation and committees and church users on how we better utilise the properties we hold in trust for the church for the growth of the kingdom and spreading of the Gospel.
A building program in Kiama – which had its origins in plans and meetings over 15 years ago – is finally moving forward.
But many of the changes and amendments to those plans have been based on a lack of PROVISION:
- We don’t have enough money
- too many of our people are on a fixed income
- we don’t have the expertise
- we are too old
- there’s not enough interest from the congregation to realise a new vision.
PROVISION, however, is a choice we make, while we cleave to the unending PROVISION of our Lord and Saviour [which leads us to talk about trust – which we will in our final sermonette coming up shortly.
We owe it to those who have made provision for us, so we can meet here today and we owe it to those who will come after us to leave a living legacy.
We should not just maintain, but grow our VISION – even if there is a cost in money, time and effort.
On our website, I have written a paper which I would ask you to read. Primarily it is about our properties and plans and provision.
I would appreciate your comments but more importantly I would appreciate your prayers for this church and to ask God what part you discern for yourself in its future provision.
Let’s think about this again through the parable of the Good Samaritan – but this time not through the Good Samaritan who puts his trust in the innkeeper to be honest and the man to improve in health.
Instead, let’s think of the Good Samaritan as Jesus himself and how he reflected or rather initiated the 8 keys in his own mission.
- Jesus like the Samaritan is an outsider who comes into the Holy Land.
- Jesus too is the one who sees with both eyes and heart.
- He longs for something better and
- He pays attention to the hurting.
- He is anointed by his father to do the work and
- He is able to bring healing through his purity. The wine is his blood which he gives freely for the sake of others.
- He persevered in his mission, sometimes against his own will [think of the Garden of Gethsemane scene].
- He suffered on Good Friday at great personal cost.
- But ultimately when he looked up to Heaven, when he prayed to his father, and when we called out from the cross, he placed his trust in God.
- After the resurrection he placed his trust in the disciples to carry out and continue his mission which we inherit today and which we hand forward to tomorrow.
- Trust and anticipation for Jesus is writ large in the passage from Mark – as it empowers his – and our – actions.
Important words on the journey to trust are enveloped in the Markan passage we have just read WONDER (verse 15) and PRAYER (verse 25) and BELIEF (Verses 19 and 24) but most importantly is the sentence from Jesus when he says “Everything is possible for those who believe”.
We are – like Jesus – empowered to do great things and should anticipate that this is possible if we trust in the Lord
The Good Samaritan thinks the best of the other (in this case the Innkeeper) for he hands over money to him before the innkeeper has fulfilled his service and even promised to give more, if necessary, upon his return (maybe another reference to the resurrection).
The apostle Paul understood the link between belief and trust and anticipation of God’s grace when he says these words in Romans 10:10-13:
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Evangelism is our calling – if we utilise the eight keys or call them God-given gifts if you like – then we will preach and live out the Good News for others.
For following on from Pauls quote above comes these wonderful words to round off our sermon series: Romans 10:14-15
“14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”