Sermon: The Gospel of the Kingdom (Luke 9:1-9)

Luke 9.1.9 Audio

The Gospel of the Kingdom

Found in the 14th chapter of Isaiah is the account of Satan and his rebellion.

13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set

my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the

north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the

Most High.’ [1]

Satan was cast out of heaven and became prince of this world.

Luke’s purpose in recording the account before us today is to show that there are two kingdoms in the universe.  There is the kingdom of this world that is passing away and there is the Kingdom of God that is eternal.

Everyone who has ever lived begins life as a member of the kingdom of darkness.  It takes a work of God to transfer us from that kingdom to His kingdom.

As Christ’s disciples begin to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom many who were formerly part of the kingdom of darkness will be brought into the kingdom of light.  King Jesus will begin to rule in their lives, they will have a level of victory over sin.  This is but a sampling of the full reign Christ will have when sin and Satan are eventually destroyed.

As members of God’s Kingdom now, we experience victory over sin…

14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. [2]

As members of God’s Kingdom we will have victory over demonic activity…

17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”[3]

As members of God’s Kingdom we live in the power of the Holy Spirit…

28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. [4]

Eventually, Jesus will return and His kingdom reign will extend over all creation…

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.[5]

In our passage today, we’re shown the two kingdoms.  They are in opposition to each other.  The reality of our text is that people cannot live in both.  Either you are in darkness or light, you cannot live with one foot in the worldly kingdom and one in the heavenly kingdom.

Jesus is sending His Apostles out to engage in a rescue mission.  Some will be saved; others will remain in darkness forever.

Please hear God’s Word…

9 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him. [6]

By Grace, may we be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.

1.  The Real King

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

Jesus is the real King.  He alone has been given kingly authority.  He sends His apostles (official messengers) with a message to proclaim.  Their message is that there exists another Kingdom with another King, the real King and His name is Jesus Christ.  To prove that this is in fact a reality, Jesus gives them the power to do on earth as it is done in heaven.  In other words, they heal (in the Kingdom of God there will be no disease), they cast out demons (in the kingdom of God Satan is bound and then Satan is destroyed), and they proclaim the message that there is a real King who requires allegiance.  In this passage we are seeing the beginning of God’s kingly reign on earth, which pictures for us the Kingdom that will come.

The message these first missionaries proclaimed was the exact message Jesus preached and modeled for them…

but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”[7]

Their message was the message Jesus had preached.  It’s so important that as we go out and speak with folks about Christ and His kingdom that we are proclaiming the very same message as well.  I’m very afraid that in a lot of cases the message Jesus and His apostles proclaimed is not the message proclaimed today.  We must be careful to keep the message pure and proclaim it faithfully.

2. What is The Kingdom of God?

And he said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.”

God’s Kingdom is not of this world and they are going in the power of God not in the power of their provisions.  In other words, everything they were told to leave behind were things that came from this world.  Rather than relying on material things, they were to trust God.  Because they were ambassadors for the King, they could expect that He would meet their needs.  They were not to make provisions for themselves but to trust and be content with the things God alone would provide them with.

As they were going they were to be content with what God provided.  When they found a place to stay, they were to stay there and not spend time looking for another place or a better place.  Their time was short and the message was to be their priority.

The Kingdom of God is not a place with borders.  It’s not a location.  It is the authority of God and that authority reigning within us.  In other words, we know we have been admitted into His Kingdom when we submit to His authority.

Are we content with what God has provided or are we wasting time in a search for bigger and better?  Traveling light showed the urgency of their mission.  In this way, they would learn the great lesson of trusting in God for everything.

Jesus told them that when a town received them, stay there and proclaim the Gospel, heal their sick.  If a town did not accept them by rejecting their message, then they were to reject that town by shaking the dust off their feet as they left it.

The ancient Israelites symbolically cleaned the dust from their shoes if they had traveled through Gentile Country.  They taught that even the dust from a Gentile town was defiled.  So, Jesus tells His Apostles that the dust from an Israelite town that rejects the Gospel is worse than that of a Gentile town.  This would be a picture of their judgment.

3. How does the Gospel connect us to the Kingdom?

And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Do you want to be king or do you want to submit to the real King?  Satan wanted to be king.  We saw in the passage we read in Isaiah, he wanted to be like God.  He wanted to be in charge and exercise his will, even over, God’s will.  Since the fall, we too have an innate desire to be king.  We want to call the shots.  This is the picture of this current worldly system known as the dominion of the Devil.

John Piper says,

“The essence of the Fall of Eve and Adam and all of us in Adam, is the supreme pleasure we have in being independent and deciding for ourselves what is true and right and beautiful rather than finding supreme pleasure in God as the fountain of all that is true and right and beautiful.  The essence of the Fall is preferring to be God rather than to enjoy God.”

Piper goes on to say,

“When Satan tempted Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil so that they would be like God” he says, “So true and so false.  God Himself is a flower of truth and right and beauty but He needs no roots, He needs no water, He needs no sunshine, He needs no soil.  He Himself is absolutely self sufficient.  He doesn’t need anything supplied to Him to continue to be truth and life and beauty, but we are planted in God.  We get all of our water and all of our light and all of our nutrition from Him, and what Satan was saying is, ‘You can be like Him, you can be self sufficient, you can have truth and life and beauty and joy apart from Him.  You don’t need Him.’”

And Piper says this, maybe it will surprise you –

“Yes, yes, we can cut our stem and be like Him.  We can be our own source of life and light and truth and right and beauty.  We can…and die.  You can cut the rose from the bush and it will be beautiful…for a while, and then it’s gone.  It withers and dies, cut off from its source of nourishment.” Quoted from a Sermon on Luke 9:1-9 by L. Duncan

The Gospel is the message of the true King and His dominion.  The Gospel connects us back to the God who created us to be dependent upon Him.  The Gospel plants us back into His Kingdom where real truth and joy reign, not Satan’s worthless substitutes.  God is King and everyone is subject to His decrees and His just judgment.   That is why, John the Baptist, Jesus, and now His Apostles are preaching a message of repentance…

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” [8]

When Jesus talked about the kingdom, he didn’t emphasize its physical blessings or clarify its chronology. He focused instead on what people should do to be part of it. Tax collectors and prostitutes enter the kingdom of God, Jesus said (Matthew 21:31), and they do it by believing the gospel (verse 32) and by doing what the Father wants (verses 28-31). We enter the kingdom functionally when we respond to God with faith and allegiance.
In Mark 10, a man wanted to inherit eternal life, and Jesus said he should keep the commandments (Mark 10:17-19). Jesus added another command: He told him to give up all his possessions for the heavenly treasure (verse 21). Jesus commented to the disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” (verse 23). The disciples asked, “Who then can be saved?” (verse 26). In this passage, and in its parallel in Luke 18:18-30, we see several phrases used to indicate the same thing: receive the kingdom, inherit eternal life, have treasure in heaven, enter the kingdom, be saved. —Michael Morrison, PhD
All through the New Testament we have Jesus and others declaring that we must obey God rather than men.  We must lay up treasure in heaven not on earth and we must keep Jesus’ commandments.  Our allegiance must be to God.
The Gospel is the message that there is another King and He will hold everyone accountable.  This message must be believed.  So the Gospel is what people must believe.  The Gospel connects us to the Kingdom.
4. Earthly Kingdoms are Threatened
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had risen. Herod said, “John I beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him. [9]
We have a very good picture here of what happens when the real kingdom is proclaimed.   Luke explains that when Herod heard about the work of these early missionaries, he was concerned for his kingdom.
He was perplexed…
This is a very good indicator that the Kingdom of God is a threat to earthly kingdoms.  Herod heard all that was going on around him and he was worried.  He was troubled when Christ was born and now Herod was perplexed because the Kingdom of God was showing itself a reality.
This is exactly why we should not be surprised when we encounter resistance from worldly organizations.  Christ and His Gospel are not compatible with the institutions of this world.  When the Gospel is proclaimed worldly kingdoms and view points are threatened.
That’s why the media portrays Christians as poorly educated legalists.  They must do that in order to avoid the reality that God is calling all men everywhere to repent.
The overarching question for us today is this: If being apart of God’s Kingdom is submitting to His rule and reign by keeping His commandments and joyfully living under His rule and if being independent and exercising your will and living according to your standards is living in the kingdom of darkness, which kingdom do you belong?  Or do you prefer being deceived to think your independent or do you find joy in being dependent on God.  

LORD’S SUPPER…


[1] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Is 14:13–14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ro 6:14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Lk 10:17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 12:28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[5] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Co 15:24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[6] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Lk 9:1–9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[7] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Lk 4:43). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[8] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mk 1:14–15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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