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Notes on Sermon preached at PCF on 17 October 2010
Priority and Power – Luke 6 v.11-19
As we look at the person of Jesus in Dr Luke’s narrative a picture gradually emerges of a divine person who lived his earthly life with priorities in mind. By this we mean that whatever business confronted Jesus, whatever needs there were that had to be met, Jesus had priorities that shaped the things he did and the choices that he made.
It is easy to be controlled by circumstances and situations, to be swept along by the events that come across our path, so that the things that really matter – the things that are important, but not urgent – fall by the wayside. In this session we take a look at the priorities of Jesus, and challenge ourselves to live by the same priorities.
What priorities do we observe in the life of Jesus?
1. The Priority of PRAYER
Throughout Luke’s gospel we see Jesus retreating away from the business of ministry. It becomes clear that an absolute non-negotiable for Jesus was time spent alone with his heavenly Father. Is that a non-negotiable for you?
We see that the priority of prayer comes forth in every life for Jesus – but this time, when he is faced with a major decision. How do you and I approach the major decisions of life?
2. The Priority of PLANNING
Dealing with the priority of planning sounds more like the sort of subject you may have on a business efficiency course. It is of course true that the most effective people in every walk of life are those who plan ahead. This principle clearly shows in the life of Jesus. Why does he choose, select and spend a vast proportion of His ministry training just twelve men, when there is a whole host of need around him? The answer is that He knew that there would be a day when he would not physically be there any more. Who would be the starting point for the new church? Jesus was planning for a situation that would occur two years or so hence when He would physically be taken away from the scene.
What about the choices that you and I make – do we plan for the long-term? Are we making choices that will store up for ourselves treasures in heaven?
And what about the people that Jesus chose – what can we learn from this? We can take encouragement that they were ordinary people – not superstars, supersaints or headline hitters, just the ordinary people around who Jesus chose to start his church. Jesus chooses ordinary people to build his church with. There probably is not much significance in the fact that they were all Jewish – the early church was 100% Jewish. Neither was there much significance in the fact that they were probably all Galileans – Jesus started his ministry in Galilee and the people he chose were from that area. But we have to note in passing that there was great significance in the fact that they were all men. We know that there were many female disciples amongst Jesus immediate entourage. He broke every taboo that there was and he would not have hesitated to appoint women if that was in his plan. The fact is that there is an abundance of ministries, roles and uses which Jesus has for the ladies in the kingdom of God. It is just that governmental, authoritative leadership is not one of them.
There is one more very sobering point that we have to make about Jesus’ choice of his twelve: one of them was Judas Iscariot. It is possible for someone to be amongst god’s people, to live like them, with them and serve with them, but for them to never really be one of God’s people. Judas was lost. We need to make sure that we press onto the very end “to make our salvation sure”.
3. The Priority of PEOPLE
Never forget that it is people that Jesus loves, that he came for and that he died for. He stands at the right hand of the Father interceding for people. This is demonstrated by the hours that Jesus spent ministering to the most unlovely and the most needy people, the sessions he spent teaching and helping, and the times spent with his apostolic team equipping them for ministry. Jesus ministry is all about people.
So – what about us? Is ministering to and helping people a priority in our lives and service?
4. The Priority of POWER
The account of the way that Jesus ministered to people in the sermon on the plain is truly awesome. Whilst recognising the uniqueness of the earthly ministry of Jesus, we too can aspire to experience the power of God in our lives. Paul asks God that we may “know the power of his resurrection”. Whilst we can not determine what that will look like, we can and must expect that the power of God is available to us and will be demonstrated as we believe God for it.
5.The priority of PREACHING
The account says that they came hear him – not just to receive their healing. And after this amazing session of healing and deliverance, Jesus launches into one of the most famous teaching sessions in the Bible. Is hearing and responding to the ministry of the word a priority in our lives and in our church?
So Jesus lived his life by priorities. Do we?