Sermon Notes - July 2
Introduction: The reading from Matthew may seem benign. We are simply told that when one receives a messenger of Christ one will receive a reward. This example hearkens to a deeper understanding of Jesus being the proclaimer of the kingdom of God. One expects a king or dignitary to have ambassadors that reach out to other peoples on their behalf in order to create relationships that either are deepened or even begun so that they might have an effective relationship.
I) Discipleship, Jesus warns is dangerous work. As a follower of the one who will be vilified and ultimately crucified one cannot expect to escape that which has happened to the Master. Jesus now goes on to state that a disciple is to be given hospitality as a prophet, righteous person or simply because he is a follower of Christ even if by being a follower they have no real position of power.
II) The implication for those going out on Jesus’ behalf is twofold. First that they are to trust in the hospitality and generosity of others and second that their reward is not a given amount or something that is earned so much as it is a gift or grace.
III) As heralds of God’s Kingdom we are called to proclaim God’s good news to the people around us. Just what is this ‘good news’ or Gospel you have been called to share on Jesus’ behalf? How do you let others know that you have some wonderful news to share with them? Personally, when I am excited about something it is hard for me to contain myself! I can hardly wait to share how my team won the big game or what my child just accomplished! All of us have news that we are busting at the seams to let others know about. How do we share the good news we have in Jesus? What is our expectation for how this news will be received?