Luke 9:1-6-Jesus sends the 12 out to perform ministry in His behalf. He "…gave them power and authority over all demons, and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing." Notice that they were to minister in the same manner as He did. They would perform miracles…that validated the authority of their teaching. God will never tell us to do what He does not enable us to do. And, if we are not operating in His power, then our words will have little effect.
He instructed them to take no supplies. They were to accept the hospitality of those that they minister to, and reject those who rejected them.
Luke 9:7-9-Herod the tetrarch (who had beheaded John the Baptist) heard about the ministry of Jesus and was confused. He was uncertain about who Jesus was...some saying John the Baptist had risen from the dead, others Elijah, or one of the other prophets. He wanted to see Jesus, for himself. Herod was like a lot of people that I’ve met. They really are fascinated by Jesus. They are uncertain about Who He is and how He does such miraculous things. To some degree this disturbs them…”What if what they say about Him is true?” But that’s about the end of it. They would like to see Jesus…possibly just for entertainment sake. But they are either too busy, or too caught up in life to make the effort.
Luke 9:10-17-the Apostles return and give a report on their ministry. Jesus takes them aside to Bethsaida, but the multitudes followed Him. Late in the day the disciples told Jesus to send the people away so that they might find food in the neighboring villages. He told them to feed the people, but they only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. So, Jesus fed the 5,000 men (plus women and children) by multiplying what the disciples had. Afterwards, they picked up 12 baskets of leftovers.
Luke 9:18-22-Jesus asks the Apostles who people were saying He was. They say John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the prophets who has risen from the dead. He then asked who they thought He was. Peter's replies, "The Christ (Messiah) of God" (:20). Jesus warns them to not say anything about this to anyone. He knew that it would be grounds for the Pharisees to arrest Him. He then teaches them about His coming death, burial, and resurrection.
Luke 9:23-26-Jesus then discloses what will be required of those who decide to follow Him. He tells the Apostles that they too must be willing to die..."deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (:23-26). Jesus then identifies three characteristics if those who will follow Him. They must be willing to: 1.-deny themself; 2.-take up their own cross (Ryrie 9:23-“The first mention of a cross in Luke. The cross was well-known as an instrument of death, so it represents here the death or separation from the old life that must mark a disciple [Rom. 8:13].)”; 3.-follow Him. Jesus then gives three examples of the attitude that those who will follow Him must have. They must be: 1.-unconcerned about losing their life; 2.-unattracted to gaining the world; 3.-unashamed of telling others about Jesus.
Luke 9:27-There are some standing there that day who would be present at the Day of Pentecost…when the power of God comes into His church.
Luke 9:28-36-the Transfiguration (cf. January 24, Matthew 17). Peter, James, and John accompany Jesus up a mountain. While they are there, Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (representing the prophets) appear..."speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem." (meaning His crucifixion and resurrection). The three disciples had fallen asleep, but they woke up. Peter suggested they make three tabernacles…giving a relative sense of equality between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. But a voice from Heaven told them to listen to Jesus…showing that He was the ultimate and final authority over the Law and the prophets.
Prayer: Lord, there is so much in these verses. But as I read them I am aware that I must know and worship You for Who You truly are...and not be confused, or give any of Your glory to anyone else. In doing that, then I will listen to You, and You alone. And, I will be able to accomplish anything that You tell me to do. Lord, what would my life be like if You were truly the only source of authority in my life? If I didn't listen to anyone else, didn't allow their opinions, or ideas, or limitations to affect me? What if I didn't allow my longing to be accepted, and liked by other people to have any influence in my life? What if I truly, 100% followed You, and You alone? Why am I not doing that? Where am I not doing that? What are the places where, as Paul says, there is a difference between being "of the world" and being "in the world". How do I live in the world, and yet not be of the world? Holy Spirit, please identify these areas in me and help me to repent. I want to be Yours…and Yours alone!