Faithless and Twisted … What’s Your Excuse? | Luke 9:37-45

YouTube video sermon

What’s your excuse? Ask God to reveal it to you, repent and turn away!

Introduction

Luke 9:37-45 ESV  On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him.  (38)  And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.  (39)  And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him.  (40)  And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”  (41)  Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”  (42)  While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.  (43)  And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples,  (44)  “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”  (45)  But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

  • So, I am all about setting the setting… where are we at here?
    • Jesus and Peter, John, and James went up a mountain and stayed there overnight… on the mountain Jesus was transfigured into Glory and was met by Elijah and Moses.
    • Now it’s the next day, and on their way down from the mountain they are met with a great crowd, waiting for Jesus.
    • Out of the crowd a father comes bursting forth and cries out “PLEASE HELP MY SON! A DEMON HAS POSSESED HIM AND IS TRYING TO KILL HIM! I EVEN BEGGED YOUR DISCIPLES AND THEY COULD NOT CAST OUT THE DEMON!”
    • Then Jesus responds with this:

Luke 9:41 ESV  Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

  • “Oh faithless and twisted generation” WHOA! Those are some strong word’s Jesus!
    • I want to focus on this incredibly strong rebuke from Jesus this morning… but to do so we first need to understand who Jesus is talking to so we can properly apply it to our lives…
  • Now there are a few people Jesus could have been talking to here.
    • He could have been talking to the father, He could have been talking to the crowds, or He could have been talking to His disciples.
  • I don’t think Jesus was calling the father faithless and twisted…
    • You see the father did EXACTLY what he should be doing as someone who was not a disciple of Christ…
      • He was seeking Christ. He was steeping out in faith to not only beg the disciples but failing that he continued to pursue Christ until he could beg Jesus in person.
      • In previous stories in scripture this kind of action was considered “Great Faith”.
      • Plus I am pretty sure this man became a believer after seeing his son healed.
    • I don’t think Jesus was calling the crowd faithless and twisted…
      • Because the crowd was gathered and waiting for Jesus to come down from the mountain. They wanted to be with Him, they were on their way to becoming disciples.
    • That leaves one group of people who Jesus could have been talking to…
      • I think Jesus was talking to His disciples when He said “Oh faithless and twisted generation”.
      • “BUT BUT BUT” I can hear you protest “Maybe the disciples didn’t… Maybe they did not know how to… maybe they needed…”
      • And my response would be: What excuse could the disciples possible give to NOT casting out this demon?
        • That’s what I want to talk about today.
      • Show Title Slide
      • Church, what’s your excuse? I have heard many… I HAVE HAD MANY… what is your excuse?
      • What is holding you back from doing what you are supposed to be doing for the kingdom of God?
        • Today I want to share with you six of the most common excuses that I hear as a pastor for why people are not doing what they are supposed to be doing. But before we get into that, let’s pray.

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

Excuse One – I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing.

  • This is the number one excuse I hear… I hear it all the time, I see it all the time in so many Christian’s walk. An aimlessness to their faith.
  • They are just living their normal life, and being a Christian at the same time… no goal to their Christianity. No aim in life… other than to live and die and go to heaven.
    • How do you know if this is an excuse you have… I will make it really easy for you… if I asked you right now, and I want you to answer in your head, don’t answer out loud but answer in your head… if I asked you what is your calling from God, what is your God given mission… what would you say? Would you have an answer? If not, then you don’t know what you are supposed to be doing.
  • If Jesus asked the disciples “Why did you not cast out this demon from this boy” can you imagine if they said “ I didn’t know that was our job, Jesus!” WHAT A LAME EXCUSE! Especially considering what Jesus told them at the beginning of Chapter 9…

Luke 9:1-2 ESV  And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,  (2)  and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

  • The disciples KNEW they had a mission, a calling… it was to proclaim the kingdom of God while casting out demons and healing diseases.
    • Therefore if their excuse was “I didn’t know that was my Job” Jesus would be very well justified in calling them twisted and faithless… HE JUST TOLD THEM THAT WAS THEIR JOB!
  • If you don’t know what your job description is in Christ, let me help you. I am being very serious right now, if you don’t know your calling I want to help you with that, right now, in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit I don’t want anyone leaving here today as an aimless Christian, ok…
  • First, everyone in here who is born again has the same overarching job… it’s called the great commission. We all are called to this job.

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • If someone asks you what your calling is, there is nothing wrong with saying “My calling is to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey Jesus. And I know Christ is with me in this calling”
    • BOOM! Every born again believer can and should claim this as their calling from God, because this mission, this great commission, was given by Jesus to all believers everywhere.
  • But that’s just a starting point, we are all working toward that goal, but we each have a role to play. Once you have fully embraced your calling to fulfil the great commission, your next task is to figure out what role you will play in this goal… how does God want to use you to make disciples of all nations?
    • This is where the six fold ministries come in. Most people call these the five fold ministries, but I see six…

Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,  (12)  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

  • So there are the five obvious ones:
    • Apostles, those who plant and oversee many churches.
    • Prophets, those with visions from God to help guide believers, to help bring in unbelievers by speaking truth only God could know.
    • Evangelists, those who give there life to seeking and saving the lost.
    • Shepherds, the Greek word for shepherd is pastor, those who watch over a local church and the people there in.
    • And teachers, well, those who teach.
  • Now those are the five obvious ones, the ones that are clear and specific, that come with specific gifts and job descriptions. But is that all there is? I don’t think so, I think there is a sixth ministry here, and it comes from verse 12: to equip the saints for the work of the ministry…
    • That means that the job of the five fold is to encourage and equip and build up this sixth group, the saints who are doing the work of the ministry, in other words, the sixth fold ministry is ministers.
    • Those who do what needs to be done for Jesus. That may include cleaning toilets, or building websites, or leading worship, or being an elder, or simply helping church get set up and torn down every Sunday.
    • It is those who say “yes Lord, I am here, use me in whatever way I am needed”.
  • You see if everyone is a leader, then there is no one to lead! But those of you who are not called to be an apostle or prophet or evangelist or pastor or teacher… you are still called! You are called to serve Christ in any and whatever way He needs.
  • If someone asks you what your calling is, here is a great answer: “God has called me to make disciples of all nations, baptize them, and teach them to follow Jesus. And He has called me to help fulfil that goal in whatever way I can. I am a minister of Jesus, I exist to serve Him”.
    • NOW THAT’S A POWERFUL CALLING.
  • At the end of the day, if you don’t know what your calling is, you ought to ask, then you ought to listen, then you ought to read your word, then you ought to ask and listen again… and keep doing that until God speaks.
    • JUST DON’T LIVE YOUR LIFE AIMLESSLY.
      • You know what you hit when you aim at nothing? Exactly what you aimed for… Nothing!
    • Know your calling so you can live a life aiming to fulfill that calling. Never let “I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing” be and excuse for why you are not serving Jesus.

Excuse Two – I don’t feel Equipped to do what I am supposed to be doing.

  • What if the disciples said this, as the father comes begging them to cast the demon out of the boy “Well, you know… this is kind of out of our league… we aren’t really equipped for this kind of ministry… but I am sure if you wait for Jesus to come down the mountain He can help you.
    • WHAT?! YOU DON’T FEEL EQUIPED! Oh you TWISTED and FAITHLES generation… what did Jesus JUST tell you…

Luke 9:1 ESV  And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,

  • They had authority over ALL demons. Every last one! WHY COULDN’T THEY CAST THIS ONE OUT?!
  • It was a lame excuse from the disciples and it’s a lame excuse from us.
  • Has God not equipped us for every good work?

Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV  Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,  (21)  equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

  • Does not the Holy Spirit, who is God, live inside of us teaching and guiding us?

John 14:26 ESV  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

John 15:26 ESV  “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

  • Are we not more than conquers in Christ Jesus?

Romans 8:37 ESV  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

  • You see if you are making this excuse that means that you are trusting in your abilities over God’s ability in and through you.
  • If God is all powerful, and He lives inside of you and through you, then what can you not do that He has called you to do?!
  • Take a look at this one final verse for this point… and tell me what your excuse is:

Acts 4:13 ESV  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

  • You see what happened here? The Pharisees who were amongst the most educated people in the land, were astonished that Peter and John were able to so eloquently and powerfully preach the truth of God… why were they astonished? Because Peter and John were uneducated, which very likely means they were illiterate. They couldn’t read or write! AND THEY FLIPPED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN FOR CHRIST.
    • What’s your excuse?

Excuse Three – I have been waiting for the right time to do what I am supposed to be doing.

  • Imagine if the disciples, when approached by this boys father… he is begging them “please cast this demon out of my son before it kills him!” and there response is “well, it’s not really a good time for us right now… you see Jesus is up on the mountain, and, you know… we don’t really get a lot of time away from Jesus… maybe in a week or so we can cast out this demon, but for now we just don’t feel like it’s the right time”.
    • If that was there excuse would you be surprised with Jesus’s response?

Luke 9:41 ESV  Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

  • Yet so many people make this excuse church. They know their calling, they know they are equipped for their calling… but it’s not the right time.
    • I have meet people called to be missionaries… but they wanted to wait until their kids got our of college.
    • I have meet people called to be pastors… but they had to wait until their house was paid off.
    • Called to be evangelists… but they just got a promotion at work.
  • Jesus says “GO!” and we have the audacity to say “not right now Jesus, ask me again later”. LATER MAY NEVER COME!
    • So you are called to be a missionary but you want your kids to grow up first… how many people are going to die without knowing Jesus why little Timmy learns his colors in Kindergarten?
    • If you are called you are called, is God not strong enough and good enough to take care of little Timmy even on the missions field?
    • Did God not consider little Timmy when He called you? Maybe God just forgot about him… is that what you are saying?
  • So your upside down on your house… great, you don’t need a house in the depths of the Amazon, just a hammock.
  • Your called to be a pastor but you are worried about pay? JOIN THE CLUB! Jesus will take care of you!
  • Your called to be an evangelists but your new promotion is taking up to much time… no problem, Chick-fil-a on Edgewood is hiring and you get Sundays off! “But I couldn’t take that kind of pay cut pastor” you couldn’t take a pay cut to obey God?

Luke 9:41 ESV  Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”

  • You know I talk to people who sees how God blesses us… He has blessed us with a house, and two great vehicles, a baby grand piano, a nice TV, you know… worthless material stuff… but people see that and have literally said to me “How do I get blessed like this” The answer is to obey and listen to God no matter what.
    • When Amanda and I said yes to church planting we had been married only a year…
    • I had just gotten a promotion at work…
    • I was making more money then I may ever make again…
    • We lived in a beautiful city that we loved and were surrounded by friends and family…
    • WE LEFT IT ALL! We didn’t wait until we had children and a stable financial future…
    • We went when He told us.
    • We left money behind, and family and friends behind, to go to a nation we had never heard of, Singapore, to train to plant a church in a city we had never heard of in a state we knew nothing about.
    • WE TRUSTED GOD. WE TRUSTED THAT HE KNEW THE RIGHT TIME BETTER THAN WE DID!

CONCLUSION

  • In conclusion, the question arises once again… what’s your excuse?
  • We went over three common excuses today:
    • I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing
    • I don’t feel equipped to do what I am supposed to be doing
    • I have been waiting for the right time to do what I am supposed to be doing…
  • Maybe one of these excuses hit home for you…
    • If so, Praise God! If he revealed an excuse you have been making today, then turn that excuse over to Him, apologize, repent, and start running toward the calling He has for you!
  • Next week we will go over three more excuses people make, and by the end of that I hope we will be an excuse free church, amen?!
  • Gospel Call