Condemnation and Rejoicing

Condemnation and judgment are words that make us uncomfortable.  Why?  They speak of finality, lack of dialogue, and generally exploit our deficiencies.  However, it does not fall to believers to engage in the work of condemnation and judgment.  This is the work of Christ.  Jesus is very explicit in our passage that judgment falls upon those who do not receive the kingdom of God.  Judgement will actually fall heaviest upon those who have more revelation.  This indicates that there are differing degrees of sin which warrant differing degrees of judgment.
Jesus will judge.  There will be a final judgment (Matt. 25) and Jesus will preside over this judgment.  He will deal with believers and unbelievers and ALL parties will be subject to his piercing infallible judgment.  It is sobering.  It provides accountability for today’s work.  It also provides continued impetus for faithfulness in missions.
Strangely enough there is juxtaposed in this passage, condemnation and rejoicing.  Even as Jesus speaks about judgment on those who reject the message he urges his followers to rejoice.  While they were rejoicing in ministry successes, Jesus redirects their rejoicing to their relationship with the Father.  Which is the more constant?  Ministry successes (or failures!) or our standing in heaven?  Our joy must proceed from first things which are constant.  When we base our joy on success then we need to ready ourselves to have our joy dashed because success comes and goes.
In keeping with the theme of rejoicing, Jesus rejoices too.  What makes Jesus pump his fist, say “yes!”, do a fist bump, or dance?  Jesus gets excited when you receive revelation from the Father!  This is what excites him.  Why?  Hearing from the Father is essential to the redemptive life.  The restoration of our relationship with the Father is what this is all about.  So when the disciple hears from the Father, Jesus rejoices.  Do we rejoice when we hear from the Father?  Do we rejoice when those around us hear from the Father?  If we want to know where to place your rejoicing, this is it.
This message comes from Luke 10:13-24.  Want to listen? Here’s the online sermon archive.
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