When The Crowd is Too Big

Dr. Steven J. Lawson

Lead Preacher
June 16, 2024
Luke 6:17-23



All right, I want you to take your Bible and turn with me to Luke chapter 6. We are in a verse-by-verse study of the gospel of Luke for those of you who are visiting with us and you're catching us now in midstream; but this is a great standalone message. We want you to come back as soon as you can and be a regular part of the worshiping body here at Trinity Bible Church. We're in Luke chapter 6, Luke chapter 6, and we're going to be looking at verses 17 through 20. It's hard to know how far to wade out into the water; and I've got notes through verse 20, but I could keep going. But the title of this message is "When the Crowd is Too Big." 

Luke chapter 6, beginning in verse 17, "Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured. And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all. 

"And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, 'Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets." Let's go to the Lord in prayer. 

[Prayer] Father, we always need Your assistance and help by Your Holy Spirit. Father, when we open Your Word and look into it and begin to study it, we need the light to shine into our minds so that we can see with clarity what is transpiring here. And we need the light to shine into our own lives, that we can see ourselves as You see us, and that there can be a marrying of this passage with our lives. That knot can only be tied by the Holy Spirit. And so we pray for His active ministry this day. May He work in me as I would be a conduit for the truth of this text. And may He be at work in everyone's mind and heart and life here today. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. [End] 

In these verses that I have just read, we read what is the beginning of one of the greatest sermons to ever be preached in the history of the world. It was delivered by the greatest preacher who ever lived: the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was focused upon the greatest subject: the kingdom of God. And it promised and pronounced the greatest blessing, as four consecutive times He says, "Blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed." 

This sermon is the best of the best of the best by the greatest preacher who ever lived: the Lord Jesus Christ. And what He is announcing here are, "What are the marks of a true disciple? What are the marks of a true believer? What are the marks of a true Christian?" And the reason why it was so necessary for Jesus to preach this sermon is that the crowds were becoming too large. 

This sermon, in a sense, is sifting through this ever-swelling, larger crowd because people were coming for all different kinds of reasons, some of them good reasons, some of them not so good reasons. Many in this crowd were genuinely committed to the lordship of Jesus Christ and they're ready to follow Him wherever He would lead them. Others are committed or converted, but they're wavering a bit and they need some steel in their backbone. They need to have their feet more nailed to the ground. 

Others are here just because they're curious. They want to be where people are. It's just human nature. It's the way we are with a restaurant, with a movie, with a ballgame. You want to be where other people are. And no doubt, there is a group dynamic going on here as people are flooding to hear Jesus preach. 

Others are here to critique Him, even condemn Him. The scribes, the Pharisees, oh, they're here and they're ready to catch Him with one off-handed comment in order to disqualify Him from ministry. They're here for all kinds of reasons. And so it becomes necessary for Jesus to lay out why it is you should be here, why it is you should be following Him, because Jesus wasn't after just a larger crowd. He'll have that one day. It will be a larger crowd that will crucify Him and cry out, "Nail Him! Nail Him!" 

No, Jesus is interested in the quality of the person who is following Him, not the breadth of the crowd, but the depth of the people who are following Him; hence, this message. We need to hear this as well. We need to be reminded that it's not the size of the crowd that matters with God, it's the size of the commitment of the people who are in the crowd. Jesus never counted numbers, He always weighed the people, "How much substance is there?" 

What matters with Jesus is not how many, but what kind. What matters with Jesus is not the quantity, but the quality of the follower. Better to have a handful of diamonds than a truckload of hay. And so this really begins this version of what we would call the Sermon on the Mount which was the greatest sermon ever to be preached. So we're going to begin to wade out into the water with these verses. 

The Popularity of Jesus

So, the first thing I want you to see is "the popularity of Jesus." That's in verse 17 and the first part of verse 18, as we see His growing popularity. In verse 17 we read, "Jesus came down with them." He's been at the top of a mountain where He spent the night in prayer and where He chose the twelve disciples to be His apostles, and He has called them up the mountain to be with Him at the top that He might say, "You are one of the chosen apostles, disciples." 

And so we read here in verse 17, "He came down" – He came down the mountain that was mentioned in verse 12 – "with them" – and the "them" refers to the twelve, the men that He chose to be His disciples, the inner circle, and it says – "and He stood on a level place," – so He's come down from the mountaintop down to a lower plateau, either on the side of the mountain or at the base of the mountain, but He's now standing on a flat area – "and there was a large crowd of His disciples." He's now not remote up at the top, He's come down now where He's visibly seen and He's geographically accessible, and there was a large crowd, not just a crowd, a large crowd, great in numbers, a vast multitude of His disciples. 

Now, the disciples here in verse 17 do not refer to the twelve, though they are a part of this crowd, it refers to the huge throng of people who are now pouring out of all parts of Israel to come hear Him. And the word "disciple" does not in and of itself mean that they're converted and in the kingdom of God. We read in John 6:66 how many of His disciples would no longer follow Him. 

The word "disciple" simply means "a student," it means "a learner," someone who's listening to the truth that He is saying, but it does not necessarily imply that they've entered through the narrow gate and into the kingdom of heaven. So what we have here is a mixed crowd of listeners and learners, but not necessarily converted. There are also those who are converted, so it's the wheat and the tares are all a part of this group. 

And then He adds, "and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and coastal region of Tyre and Sidon." That takes it to a whole larger group. I mean, this pushes the fence posts out even further. I mean, it was already a large crowd, and now there's a great throng. There are easily thousands of people that are gathered here. I mean, you almost need to think of like a football stadium. Great throng, where "great" means great in numbers, and "throng" means a vast multitude. And again, it's not just a throng, it's a great throng. 

Where are they coming from? I mean, Jesus is out in the middle of nowhere basically. "From all Judea." Judea is the southern region of Israel, but not just bits and pieces from places in Judea. It says "all Judea." Virtually every city, every town, every hamlet, the people are just being drawn like a magnet to Jesus. 

And then, "and Jerusalem." "Hey, there's plenty of teachers in Jerusalem. Why are You leaving Jerusalem? That's the capital hub of the religious life of Israel. That's where the temple is. That's where the priests are." They're even leaving Jerusalem, which, no doubt, caused the scribes and the Pharisees all kinds of consternation. And travel was hard back then and was either on foot or on the back of a donkey basically. But they are just being pulled into the vortex of the ministry of Jesus. And no doubt, as many are leaving Jerusalem, they're coming to check this out. 

And then on top of that, "the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon." That's the western region along the seacoast of the Mediterranean Sea, Phoenicia, modern-day Lebanon. I mean, they're coming north, south, east, west. 

And we see at the beginning of verse 18, "who had come to hear Him." Never have they heard preaching like this: pure truth, sound teaching, powerful gospel presentation, heart-searching examination; preaching that was direct, pointed, clear, compelling. They're coming to hear Him. They've traveled a great distance, probably most of them on foot, on dusty paths and dirt roads just to sit under this kind of preaching. 

And then Luke the physician adds, "and to be healed of their diseases." "Diseases" here meaning "sicknesses." It's in the plural. All kinds of diseases. They are willing to cross streams, to climb down into ravines and back up, to cross desert just to sit under the preaching of the Lord Jesus and to be healed. 

Many of you traveled a great distance to be here today. The size of Israel is the same size as Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. And many of you have come from Fort Worth, Arlington, McKinney, South Oak Cliff, East, because the Word of God is so important to your spiritual life and you know that, and it resonates with you, and you are willing to get in a car and to drive some distance. It's very inconvenient to be here today and to be surrounded by other people who are just like you, who are here for a reason. And there is a depth of fellowship that happens when you are with like-minded people who have the same heartbeat that you have. And so I want to commend you and encourage you that the distance is worth the difference. Other preachers can preach the gospel better than I can, but no one can preach a better gospel than I can. There's only one gospel and that is the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And I just want to encourage you and say thank you for making the effort to be here. 

And that's exactly what we see taking place in this passage of scripture. I mean, our church is really not a neighborhood church, our church is really somewhat of a regional church, though we're not a large mega church. Nevertheless, everyone here has come not from across the street or down the block, you're here because you want to be here, and what is front and center is the preaching of the Word of God. 

The Power of Jesus

So, that's the popularity of Jesus. It would be hard for us to visually in our mind see this scene of people coming from all points of the compass to be here and to sit under His preaching. This leads, second, to "the power of Jesus." In the middle of verse 18, as the people came with needs, the power of God was more than sufficient to meet every one of those needs. 

So, we read beginning in the middle of verse 18, "and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured." The implication is all of them, all those who were troubled – that means tormented and disturbed with unclean spirits. These are demon spirits. These are vile, filthy, impure demon spirits. 

And it's in the plural, you'll note, "unclean spirits," not just a few isolated cases. And what is remarkable when we study the life of Christ, as heaven opened up and Christ came down, it's as though the gates of hell were opened as well, and it's a collision. It's a clash between light and darkness, and heaven and hell, and God and the forces of evil. And they've come out of closets, they've come dancing out of back corners, and there is an unusual activity now of demon spirits, "and they were being cured." Jesus is performing exorcisms, and demons are being cast out, and diseases are being healed, and traumas are being dispelled. 

Verse 19, "And all the people were trying to touch Him," – all the people, everyone. There is a press around Him and they were trying – the word "trying" means "they're striving." They're striving to touch Him, pushing their way. "And to touch Him," that's too weak of a word. The Greek word haptó, it means "to fasten onto Him," like they're going to lay hold of Him and they're not going to let go. They're going to cling to Him. They're going to lay hold of Him – "for power was coming from Him and healing them all." 

No one who needed to be healed was unhealed. Just think about that. No one who had a demon left with a demon, "for power" – dunamis, dynamite – "was coming from Him and healing them all." Jesus was sufficient, more than sufficient, to meet every need that they had. 

Some were troubled in body, others were troubled in mind. Some were troubled with diseases, others were troubled with demons. In all of these, all this plethora, this spectrum of issues and needs, there was one common solution, and it was Jesus. Whatever their need was, Jesus was the solution, Jesus was the answer. 

There are many needs here today: marital needs, emotional needs, guidance needs, guilt needs. There's only one solution. You don't need to look any further. It's the Lord Jesus Christ. He is all-sufficient to meet every need that you have in your life, and if He can't meet it, you don't need it met. He can do anything and everything. Amid the complexities of life, living in the 21st century, there is this one simple and all-sufficient solution, this one remedy to whatever is troubling you, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Preaching of Jesus

This leads now to verse 20 and "the preaching of Jesus." With this swelling crowd of people – and some coming just to be healed physically – Jesus needs to preach the gospel because healed people without salvation go to hell forever. They go to hell healthy rather than going to hell unhealthy, so they need more than just physical needs met. They must have their spiritual needs met. And in reality, they must be in the kingdom of God. And in reality, they must understand what is it to be in the kingdom of God. 

"And so Jesus," – in verse 20 – "turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say." Turning His gaze. "Turning" means "to lift up," "to raise up." "His gaze" means "His eyesight." So, the crowd is so large and so vast that they're not just right in front of Him, they're all around Him. And no doubt, they're probably going back up the sides of other hills so that they can see and so they can hear. 

So, He lifts up His eyes, He turned His gaze toward His disciples. And again, this does not mean the twelve, and it doesn't mean everyone who is, we would, say born again. It's everyone who's following Jesus in this vast throng who are listening to His words. And in the process of learning, some of them have already entered into the kingdom. Others of them have their foot right up to the narrow gate ready to enter the kingdom. Others are standing back waiting to see what will others do. 

"He began to say," – He began to speak. He begins to address their real need. He does not address the symptoms, He goes straight for the heart to address their deepest need, which is to be right with God, which is to be in the kingdom of heaven. 

And so, He begins, "Blessed are you." Has any sermon ever started more positive, bestowing blessing? And has any sermon ever shifted so quickly? "Blessed are the" – they're just waiting to hear, no doubt some of them, the rich and famous. Maybe some of them are wanting to hear a prosperity gospel message, to be healthy and wealthy. This is a stunner. This is shocking. 

"Blessed are you who are poor." What? Has anything ever sounded so contradictory? No doubt, the twelve, when they heard this, because the ministry is on the upswing right now, and the people are flooding from everywhere, "This is the golden moment, Jesus, for You to bring out Your best sermon and to give the people what they want." When the disciples heard this, "What? This this this is going to sink the ship. Who's going to want to follow hearing this kind of a message?" 

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Well, that kind of thins out the crowd pretty quick, doesn't it? Have you ever been happy when you were poor? What is Jesus saying? 

And He goes on to say, verse 21, "Blessed are you who hunger." I mean, who wants this? And then it gets worse. "Blessed are you who weep." It's getting worse. Well, look at the next verse, it gets even worse: "Blessed are you," – they probably think, "Well, now it's going to turn in a positive direction. We're going to end on a high note. We're going to finally end up on top of the mountain." 

And He says in verse 22, "Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you," – just cut you out of all their circles of friendships – "and insult you, and scorn you," – and belittle you, and mock you – "and scorn your name as evil," – "You're a son of the devil" – "for the sake of the Son of Man." You're going to have to wear this as a badge of honor. 

He says in verse 23, "Be glad in that day." Could anything sound more contradictory than this? "Be glad in that day and leap for joy," – just kick your heels in the air – "for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets." 

What is Jesus doing here? He is telling them the cost of discipleship. He's telling them the price of what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He's telling them that it's a hard and demanding road. He's telling them that "if you follow Me, all your problems are not going away. You will pick up some new problems." Jesus is saying to them that to enter the kingdom requires soul-searching and counting the cost. 

He will say later in Luke 14, "If any man shall come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me." It's also in Matthew 16:24, that you've got to come to the end of yourself before Jesus will begin. You've got to die before you can live. You've got to give up before you can gain. You've got to humble yourself before you'll be exalted. You've got to lose control of your life and lose your life if you're to gain life. And if you hang on to your life, you will lose your life eternally. 

Everything in the kingdom of God is so contrary to the ways of the world, and so Jesus is giving them a very sober message of what it is to be a true disciple, a saved disciple, a converted disciple. Not one just caught up in the crowd and a part of the periphery and having the goosebumps of emotion and excitement, but lacking the inner conviction of sin and the humbling of oneself to receive the riches and the treasures of His mercy and forgiveness and grace. That's what's going on here. 

And then to be out of the kingdom: He actually warns them in verse 24, "But woe to you who are rich." In verse 25, "Woe to you who are well-fed." The disciples were probably thinking, "He didn't have to say that." 

And then, verse 25, "Woe to you who laugh." Verse 26, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you." This is putting this crowd, for the most part, back on their heels that Jesus is pushing because He wants true followers, committed followers, converted followers. And He will say in Matthew 7:13 these startling words: "Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many are on it." And then He says, "The gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." 

So, Jesus does not assume just because you're in the crowd that you're on the narrow path that leads to life. Jesus is, in reality, an evangelist. Though He is the Good Shepherd, He's not pastoring one flock of people in one city for the three years of His public ministry, He's on the move. He's an itinerate evangelist, and He's continually preaching the gospel to religious people who think they are saved, when in reality, they are not, who have been duped by the scribes and the Pharisees and sucked into this dead religion with a dead orthodoxy that is shrouding the land of Israel. That's what's taking place here. 

Now, I want us to look just at this first beatitude because it's so important and it's intentionally first. He says in verse 20 – and we'll pick this up next week, the rest of these. But He says in verse 20, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." 

Let's just start with the word "blessed." What does the word blessed mean? Makarios in the original language. It's used four times here consecutively: verse 20, verse 21, verse 22, verse 23 – boom, boom, boom, boom, staccato fashion. What's interesting is this is also how the book of Psalms begins. 

Psalm 1:1, "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the, Lord and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, bears its fruit in its season. Its leaf never withers; and whatever he does, he prospers." 

I think there's an echo here of Psalm 1:1, which is the most important psalm of all the psalms. It's intentionally placed there first. It's not the first psalm to be written. Psalm 90 was the first psalm to be written. Psalm 126 was the last psalm to be written. There's a thousand years in between the writing of those two psalms. It took a thousand years to write the book of Psalms. It was compiled by men who were not the writers of those psalms. And so Psalm 1 is front-loaded first intentionally, purposely, so that this message would shine forth loud and clear that those who are in the kingdom of God are those who have been transplanted from a desert now by streams of water, and you are blessed, you are blessed, you are blessed. In fact, in the Hebrew, it reads, "O, the blessednesses." It's in the plural, the multiplicity of blessing. And so as Jesus now begins His public preaching, He begins on this same note. 

So, what does the word "blessed" mean? It would be way too superficial to tell you that it means what many popular Bible teachers today say that it means. Many say – and they just keep repeating themselves, it just goes from one preacher to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next: "Happy." That's not at the heart of the meaning of "blessed." There's a twofold meaning to "blessed," and the first is it's an eternal blessedness of a right standing before God, and to have the acceptance of God, and to be in the kingdom of God. Can you think of a greater blessing than that? I mean, "happy" doesn't even rise to that mark. 

The opposite of blessed is what? To be cursed. To be cursed is to be condemned. To be cursed is to be under the wrath of God. To be cursed is to be facing the impending judgment of God. That's the opposite of being blessed. 

To be blessed means that you have been saved from all of that. To be blessed means that you're reconciled to God. To be blessed means you have been redeemed out of the slave market of sin and you've been set free. To be blessed means that all of your sins are forgiven. 

And this primary meaning of blessed, it never changes. Once you're in the kingdom, you're in the kingdom forever. You'll never be expelled. And you could never be more reconciled than what you are the moment you enter into the kingdom of heaven. You could never be more justified than the very moment that you are a citizen of the kingdom of heaven. 

All of your sins are forgiven eternally the moment you enter into the kingdom of heaven, all your sins – past, present, and future. The penalty of that sin has been paid for in full by the blood of Christ and you now stand faultless before the throne of God both now and forevermore. That's blessed. That goes way beyond happiness at a birthday party. 

So Jesus is pronouncing this eternal blessedness, and we know that because of the end of this verse, "for yours is the kingdom of God." That means you're in. You're in the kingdom now, "is," present tense, forever. That's the first meaning of "blessed." 

If you're a Christian today, you are blessed. You are blessed immeasurably, more than you can even fathom. God has opened the windows of heaven, and He has poured out and lavished oceans and oceans of blessing upon your little head. A tsunami of blessings has been poured out upon you. 

The second meaning of "blessed" is an internal blessedness, which is an internal satisfaction in God. And in that sense, it is close to happy. But I don't even like the word "happy" because happy depends upon your happenings. And an unsaved person can be happy if their happenings are up. 

Far better accurate would be to say "joy" and "peace" and "contentment," things the world cannot give you. The world can give you happiness, but only Jesus can give you joy even in the midst of difficult circumstances. And the reason I say this, verse 23, He says, "Be glad and leap for joy." That is the parallel for "blessed" that is said four times in the three previous verses. 

And when He comes to the crescendo, He alternates the word "blessed," for "be glad and leap for joy." So it's a parallel meaning here. And so a part of being blessed is, one, your eternal blessedness, and the other is your internal blessedness, that you have a gladness that those who are in the world will never know and can never know. There is a quality of life for those who are in the kingdom of God that far surpasses those who are in the world. 

And so the prerequisite is, "Blessed are you who are poor." The word "poor" here, ptóchos, means it's the poorest of the poor. There are various words used in the Greek language for "poor" or "poverty." This is the lowest of the low of all of them. Some poor people still have things, they just live below the poverty level. There are other poor people who have literally zero who have nothing. That's the word that Jesus handpicks. 

The root word of it literally means "one who crouches and cowers." And the idea is of a beggar who has absolutely nothing, and crouches and cowers in a dark corner as people are passing by and extends an empty hand, and is too ashamed to even look up and make eye contact with those who are passing by, and just begs for mercy, who has nothing, who is nothing, who can do nothing, and is totally dependent upon the goodness of another who passes by to choose in and of himself to put something into the hand. To be poor like this is to be completely dependent upon the mercy of another, and you have no merit in and of yourself to justify. identify anyone putting anything into your hand. 

In Matthew's version of this, He says in Matthew 5 verse 3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," and I think that that is the needed interpretive key for this to use Scripture to interpret Scripture. There are many who think that this is just the poverty level physically. I think it goes much deeper, that it's talking about a poverty of spirit on the inside. But you realize you've come to the place where you realize, "I owe a debt because I have broken the law of God that I could never pay in 10,000 years, that I have no spiritual capital in my account to transfer to God, to pay off my debt, that I am a debtor, and this debt is accruing daily, and it is escalating to such amount that I'm just going further in debt and further in debt, and that I must declare bankruptcy. I must declare spiritual bankruptcy before a holy God, and, in essence, say to Him the words of the hymn, "In my hands no price I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling." Jesus says this is the place where everyone in this crowd must be. 

As He looked at the vast throngs of people, the thousands of people that were following Him, and soon to be even more thousands, "To be one of My disciples, to be a genuine follower of me, you're going to have to declare spiritual bankruptcy and come to the end of yourself and say, 'I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, that my life has been a failure before it can ever be a success with God.'" 

And it is the grace of God that delights in taking failures who have fallen short of the gold standard of the moral law of God, the Ten Commandments, and for God, by His grace, to take the riches of Christ secured through His sinless life and substitutionary death, and when you declare bankruptcy, God then takes the riches of the grace of Christ, the grace of His redemption, the grace of His reconciliation, and He transfers them over to your account; and in a moment, you go from being a pauper to a prince. But those riches will never be transferred to your account until you say, "God, have mercy upon me, the sinner." 

And so the result of that, at the end of verse 20, and we'll wrap it up here, "for yours" – and the idea is so emphatic: yours and yours only, yours and no one else, only Yours. "Yours" is present tense, right now, in this lifetime: "Yours is the kingdom of God." 

The word "kingdom" means "the territory over which a king reigns." And the "kingdom of God" is the realm of His saving rule in the hearts of those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ. And the moment you enter into the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God enters into you, and Christ moves into your life. The King sets up His throne inside of your life, and He now rules and reigns your life with wisdom and majesty and perfection. "For yours is the kingdom of God." 


This large crowd desperately needed to hear this, that you can be in a crowd and not be in the kingdom. It's a message that we need to hear today. You can be in a church and not be in the kingdom. And so as I close this, my question for you is, "If I could be this personal with you, are you in the kingdom? Is the kingdom in you? Have you come to see your own poverty of spirit? Have you declared spiritual bankruptcy before God and said, "In my hands, no price I bring"? Have you confessed that you're a sinner to God? Have you looked to Jesus by faith and clung to Him and laid hold of Him by faith? 

If you've never done so, do so this moment right where you sit right now. This is the most important issue in your life. And if you have done so, you are blessed. You are big-time blessed. You are blessed beyond what you could even imagine. No matter what else is going on in your life, you are eternally blessed. You are internally blessed. You are the most blessed person on the face of the earth. 

And if you're outside the kingdom today, come in. The gate is open. The narrow gate is wide open today. But you must take that step of faith and commit your life to Jesus Christ. Do so today, this very moment. 

Next week, we'll pick it up right here in what is arguably the greatest sermon ever been preached. It's a sermon I need to hear Jesus preach to me. It's a sermon you need to hear Jesus preach to you as well. 

[Prayer] Father in heaven, thank You for this goldmine of a passage of scripture. Lord, we couldn't be looking at anything more valuable than what we have looked at today. And cultivate in us over the next seven days an eagerness to hear, to learn, to live what these next verses will say to us. So, may we be disciples who sit at the feet of Jesus; and may we be true disciples, converted disciples, committed disciples. Father, pour out Your blessing upon everyone who is in this room today. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. [End] 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. God bless you. You are dismissed.