July 03, 2016

Pastor Bernt Tweit

Bible Reading; Deuteronomy 6:4-7 & 17

Bible Reading; Romans 13:1 - 7

Bible Reading; Ephesians 1:18 - 22

Bible Reading; 1 Peter 2:15-21

Sermon Text; Luke 10:1-12 & 16

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He, Himself, was about to go. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to sent out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house!' And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, 'The Kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the Kingdom of God has come near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects Him who sent me.”

These are your words. Heavenly Father, lead us in the way of truth. Your Word is truth.


As you look at the picture on the front of our bulletin, do you know what it is a picture of? You see some toes. You see the bottom of a garment. You see a chain coming out from the bottom of that garment. And, the very last link of that chain is broken. Do you know what it is a picture of? It is a picture of the Statue of Liberty.

Usually, when we think in terms of the Statue of Liberty, we think of one arm being raised, with the torch. We think of the other arm holding an open book, with the date, July 4th, 1776. We think of the sunshine crown on the head of Lady Liberty. But, did you know that at the base of the Statue of Liberty is Lady Liberty with a chain shackled to her ankle? The last link of the chain is broken.

When that gift was given to America from the French in the late 1800's, it was a gift to show freedom from tyranny. But, it also came at the end of the Civil War. So, it is also a symbol of freedom from slavery.

It is this weekend that we are celebrating the freedom we have as citizens of this country. Freedom from tyranny and freedom from slavery. It is also this morning, as we gather together for worship, we know and understand that we have freedom in Christ.

It is our text that is going to walk us through those freedoms we have in Christ. I am going to just pick out a few words, a few verbs from our text, and also share with you a whole bunch of examples, as I share God's Word with you.

In our text for today, Jesus is sending out seventy-two people whom He appointed, and commissioned to go two by two into the towns in front of Him. This is over, and above John the Baptist. This over and above the twelve disciples. It was John the Baptist who was to prepare the way of the Lord. It was these seventy-two who were also to go before Jesus, into the towns and villages before Him, and to prepare the way for Jesus, who would be coming.

Our text for today follows right on the heels of what Pastor Bartels preached on last Sunday. Last Sunday Pastor Bartels told us there were people who were willing to follow Jesus, but they gave excuses. They said, “First, let me bury my father”. “First, let me go and say good bye to my family”.

But, here Jesus wants to send out these seventy-two, without excuse. They were sent out to prepare the way for Him.

That is actually what the word 'apostle' means. It means 'one sent out'. And so, here go these seventy-two, two by two, ahead of Jesus. Jesus was sending them out, because He knew the people they were going to were bound in sin. He knew they were bound in the slavery of their sin. God's Word says,

“God wants


to be saved,

and come to the knowledge of the truth.”

God wanted these people, who were bound in the slavery of their sin, to be free. Jesus wanted these seventy-two to share those freedoms with them. Jesus recognized there were many people out there who had not heard of Him, just yet. And so, Jesus shares a phrase, as He sends them out, which is very familiar to you.

“The harvest is plentiful...”

 “...the laborers are few.”

You see, Jesus understood there were many people out there who had never heard about Him. He also knew there were so few people who were willing to go out, and share Him with others. Such was the case of last week's lesson, with those people who had the excuses.

As Jesus was sharing these words, it was an agricultural community. They understood what it was Jesus was saying.

Just imagine this for a moment. Imagine you are a farmer, here in Dane County, Wisconsin. You raise corn. The year for raising corn is just a tremendous year. There was plenty of moisture in the soil, over the winter. You planted the crop at a wonderful time. The rains came at the appropriate times. The sun shone at the right times. It is now Fall. It is now the time to harvest that bountiful crop.

And so, you go out to people in the community where you live. You need 30 people, let's say. You need 30 labors to come, and help you take in this harvest of corn. You tell them the day to come. You tell them the hour in which to show up.

That day comes. It is time to harvest that crop. But, only a couple of people show up. You needed many laborers, but only a couple show up. What would you say? You would say what Jesus said,

 “The harvest is plentiful,

but the laborers are few.”

Jesus is encouraging, appointing, and commissioning these seventy-two people to go out in His name, and to be a laborer for Him, so that many people can come into 'the harvest'.

Now, I understand it sometimes can be a little scary to share Jesus, with other people. Sometimes there may be excuses we can give why as not to share Jesus. And yet, as Jesus sends you out, He prepares you to do that.

Let me give you just one example. We have started a new venture here at Holy Cross. It is our Early Learning Center, Kids' Crossing. Last Fall, I think, or last Winter, there were some green packets prepared so that anyone who received this packet could know what our Early Learning Center is all about. There was a member who took one of these green packets to a very, pregnant neighbor of theirs, and shared the packet with her.

In the meantime, that very, pregnant neighbor has had her baby. Since that time, they have reached out to our Early Learning Center, Kids' Crossing. That child is now enrolled in Kids' Crossing. They have talked about a baptism for their baby, which will happen in a couple of weeks, and they are interested in going through the New Member Class, here at Holy Cross! Why? All because somebody took a simple packet for our Early Learning Center, Kids' Crossing, and shared it with a very, pregnant neighbor of theirs!

Sometimes, it can be as simple with our missions and evangelism with sharing Jesus in ways such as that. But as Jesus sends us out, He doesn't send us out empty handed. There is something Jesus encourages us to do, before we are sent out. Here is another word from our text. He tells us to 'pray'. He tells us to “pray earnestly”. I'll admit, I will be the first one to admit my failures in going before the Lord in prayer, before missions, and before evangelism And yet, every time we pray The Lord's Prayer, every time we pray the petition, “Thy Kingdom come”, we are praying the very thing Jesus encouraged the seventy-two to do. He encouraged them to “pray earnestly”.

Now, the first part of that petition has already come true in your life, “Thy Kingdom come”, because God's Kingdom has come to you, whether it was through your baptism, or through the hearing of God's Word. God's Kingdom has come to you. Jesus, your Savior, has come to you. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, you believe that.

But, there is a second part of that petition that we also need. That is that God's Kingdom would go to other people, as well. And so, today we “pray earnestly” that God would use us to share Jesus with others.

As He sends them out, as He tells them to “pray earnestly”, Jesus also gives the imperative to them, as He says, “Go your way”. He gives the imperative, “Go”. That was the same imperative Jesus gave to His disciples, before He ascended into Heaven.


and make disciples of all nations,

teaching them...”

But as Jesus tells them to “Go”, notice the little caveat He gives them. He says,

“I am sending you out as lambs

in the midst of wolves.”

Share with me your first impression. What chance do lambs have before wolves? What chance do they have? The first thing you may be thinking is, “They have no chance at all, right?”

And yet, remember Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, so as He sends us out as lambs before the wolves, we have Jesus, as our Good Shepherd, to guide us, to guard us, and to protect us along the way, as we go out in Jesus' name, sharing Jesus with other people.

The disciples were to say,

“Peace be to this house!”


“The Kingdom of God has come near to you.”

If people listened to what they had to say, they were welcomed into those homes. If they didn't want to listen to what they had to say, they were to shake their sandals in the middle of town, to leave that town, but to still say,

“The Kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Not everybody would listen to what it was Jesus had sent them out to say. Whether they listened, or whether they didn't listen, it all depended upon Jesus. It all depended upon Jesus, because the freedom they had, the freedom we have, only comes because of Jesus.

This last week, I was going to teach my son a life lesson. It was simple. I said, “Son, we are going to change the oil in your car. I am going to teach you a life lesson.”

We propped the car up. We drained the oil. No problems to this point. But, we now have a car with no oil in it.

It is time to take the oil filter off. It is in a little bit of a precarious place. So, I put my hands to it, and tried to turn the oil filter. But, I couldn't do it. He took his hands to the oil filter, and tried to turn it, but he couldn't do it. We have a problem.

Over the years, I have used some tricks to get oil filters off. So, we attempted a couple of those tricks. One is a belt. If you put a belt on an oil filter, and cinch it up nice and tight, you can get it so that it can break the seal. You just have to get it to move, just a little bit. So, we put the belt on, and we both tugged as hard as we could.

Guess what happened? The belt broke. We have got a problem!

I have done this, before, too. I have taken a large screw driver (don't do this), taken a hammer, and punctured right through the oil filter, to try to get just a little bit of leverage. I did that, and pushed on the screw driver to get leverage, and ripped right through the oil filter. We have got a problem!

No oil in the car. A damaged oil filter. It won't even hold any oil, anymore. We have got a problem!

So, jokingly I said to my son, “What life lesson have you learned?”

He said, “I am never changing oil in my car.”

That is not the life lesson I wanted him to learn. The life lesson is this. We need help. We need help! We can't do this on our own. I have a great mechanic, who can come to help out.

The next morning, I went to him, and said, “We need help!”

He came and he provided help.

From a spiritual perspective, we need help. We need help, because we have a problem.

The problem is our sin.

We are bound by sin. We are chained to sin. We are in slavery to sin. We need help! The Bible says this about our sin,

“Your iniquities have separated you

from your God.

Your sins have hidden His face from you.”

We have a problem, because of our sin.

Well, Jesus is the remedy to our sin.

Jesus is the solution to our problem.

       -It is Jesus who came, and has given you freedom from your sin, by His death on the cross.

       -It is Jesus who has given you freedom from death and,

       -it is Jesus who has given you freedom from the power of the devil.

We have freedom in Christ.

The Bible says, in the book of Galatians,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.”

Because of what our Savior, Jesus, has done for us,

       -we are no longer chained to sin.

       -We are no longer bound by sin.

       -We are no longer slaves to sin.

The seventy-two that went out in Jesus' name, didn't have the same advantage you and I have. They went out before Jesus died on the cross to share Jesus with other people. But, here we sit today, as people who now live after Jesus has died on the cross, to free us from the slavery of our sin. Just as Jesus told John the Baptist to go out, just as Jesus commissioned the twelve to go out, as He appointed the seventy-two to go out, Jesus also commissions, and appoints you and me to go out into His name, and share with other people who He is.

“The harvest is plentiful,

but the laborers are few.”

The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom. On this weekend, we celebrate the freedoms we have, as we live as citizens in this country. But don't forget the freedom you have in Christ,

       -the freedom that we are free from sin.

       -We are free from the power of the devil.

We have freedom in Christ!