28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to Him. 31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:28-38, ESV)
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?”
BE DISCERNING OF GOD'S DIVINE OPPORTUNITIES
35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
BE JOYFUL IN SOWING AND REAPING!
36 Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2, ESV)
38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”
BE REMINDED THAT YOU GAIN WHAT OTHERS HAVE WORKED HARD FOR!
Week 8 – God’s Purpose for His People
This weekend’s sermon was about discovering the importance God’s purpose for his people. It is of primary importance to the Church because understand God’s purpose for us promote a vision and obedience. Sometimes, however, when we lose sight of God’s purpose for us, our vision becomes more personal and worldly than it is GODly. If we really want to understand GOD’s purpose for us, we need to look at the life of JESUS--specifically at His words to us about purpose, vision, and obedience. Today’s study will look at JESUS’ own words in the Gospel of Matthew.
When people think of purpose and vision and their place in the Gospel of Matthew, many think first of The Great Commission in Matt 28:19-20. The Great Commission is a huge part of GOD’s purpose for us and the reason why JESUS came, but is the final statement--the Grande Finale if you will, not the entire story! As a group, let’s start our study at the beginning of Matthew.
As a group, turn to Matt. 4:18-20 and read the passage aloud.
1. In v18 Simon and Andrew being identified as fishermen is important because it makes v19 really jump off of the page. In v19, what is JESUS saying the difference is between their main, secular vocation and what HE is calling them to?
2. How is JESUS’ statement in v19 demonstrate our purpose?
After our purpose has been defined and disciples have been called and have begun to follow JESUS, the next few chapters (5-9) give us a glimpse into how JESUS taught the disciples. In chapter 5, JESUS covers anger, lust, retaliation and treatment of enemies. In chapter 6, generosity, prayer, fasting, possessions, and faith. In chapter 7, judging others, communication w/ GOD, treatment of others, how to evaluate spiritual conditions and JESUS’ authority. Chapters 8 & 9 are all about JESUS modeling and living out for them what HE taught in ch 5-7. Now we arrive at ch.10 where we see JESUS return to our purpose. As a group, read 10:1-8.
3. How does what JESUS says in 10:5-8 relate to what He said in Matt. 4:19?
4.The typical response to this would be, “but I am still not ready. I don’t know enough…give me some more time and training.” How does Matt. 10:1 answer this objection?
We have learned so far that vision is future-oriented, others-centered, and ultimately for the Glory of GOD! But there are other purposes for a true biblical vision. Read Matt. 10:16-25 as a group.
5. What do we learn about our purpose from v16-23 this passage?
6. Now, look specifically at v24 & 25 of ch. 10. What else is essential to JESUS’ vision?
Finally, let’s look at Matt. 28:19-20. Read this passage aloud as a group. This is the Grande Finale of JESUS’ vision and purpose for us. It is the complete fulfillment of all that JESUS has called the disciples to, all that He taught them, modeled for them, and had given them authority to do themselves. There are however two distinct differences between what we read here and what we read in Matt. 10:5-8. The first difference is the people to whom the disciples are tasked. In Matt. 10:5-8, the disciples are instructed to go “nowhere” among the Gentiles, but in Matt. 28:19-20 they are instructed to go to “all nations”.
7. As a group, discus what has changed between Matt. 10 and Matt . 28?
Vision is very important to the Church. So much so that we see JESUS, throughout the Gospel of Matthew, both casting and laying the foundation of vision to those who will be responsible for fulfilling that vision after He ascends to Heaven to be with the Father. He called them, taught them, and modeled what he taught for them. JESUS then sent them out, under His supervision, to practice what He had taught them, in preparation for His impending ascension. What is amazing is that to this day, healthy churches are still practicing this same vision…preaching, teaching, and baptizing!