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Sermon Notes & Slides
Fear Not, Little Flock
Tony Chute, Interim Pastor
Overview: Jesus’ ministry takes on an increasingly divisive yet pastoral tone as He draws near to Jerusalem. The crowds that gather and the disciples He has chosen must now understand they are not living in ordinary times as their decision to continue following Him will alter their lives forever. The very things they value—their reputation, their safety, their rights, their possessions, and their pleasures—will all have to be surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Such a radical requirement to be a disciple points to the fact that the Son of God has the ultimate claim on their lives. And yet, with great kindness, Jesus reminds them that this claim on their lives is one of unparalleled love coming as it does from the Father who delights to give good things to his children. Therefore, those who ally themselves with Jesus Christ have nothing to fear, nothing to defend, nothing to lose, nothing to worry about, and everything to gain.
01. God alone is the ultimate being who has the ultimate claim on our lives; therefore He deserves to be worshiped, loved and feared by all.
02. Though God is the ultimate being with the ultimate claim on our lives, He places infinite value on those who are his flock, his family, and his citizens.
03. Those who belong to God’s flock, family and kingdom are called to live faithfully in the present time while longing for the Lord’s return.
Questions For Discussion & Discovery
1. What is the meaning of the word “hypocrite”? How is the term used in separate contexts (verses 1 and 56)? What do these separate usages suggest about the way we see hypocrisy in others, but often not in ourselves? Are you open to others sincerely pointing out inconsistencies in your life?
2. In order to get a sense of the seriousness of Jesus’ teaching, take note of the various warnings in the text (see verses 1, 5, and 15, for example). Why do you think Jesus’ tone is so direct at this point in his ministry? Consider the preceding events in his ministry that point to his identity as the Son of God, and also consider the theme of his journey towards Jerusalem.
3. Are you ever concerned, nervous, or even ashamed for some people to know that you are a Christian? If so, what encouragement do you find in this text that can help you overcome your fears on such occasions?
4. What practical ways can you think of that indicate you are storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth? In what ways are you seeking God’s kingdom?
5. Is there anyone in your life with whom you need to be reconciled (verses 57-58)? What steps are you taking in order to ensure such reconciliation is possible before it is too late?
For Further Reading: Jonathan Edwards, Resolutions, and Advice to Young Converts; edited by Stephen Nichols (P&R, 2012).