Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles
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.
Herod Is Perplexed by Jesus
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.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
On their return the apostles told him all that they had done. And he took them and withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida. When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding villages and countryside to find lodging and get provisions, for we are here in a desolate place.” But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ
Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
Jesus Foretells His Death
And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.
Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
Jesus Again Foretells His Death
But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Who Is the Greatest?
An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
Anyone Not Against Us Is For Us
John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”
A Samaritan Village Rejects Jesus
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.
The Cost of Following Jesus
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It’s called the comfort zone. We all have one and if we’re honest live within its confines as much as possible. It’s the place where we feel very safe, secure, and without stress. Like a mother bird with her babies there comes a point the nest is too crowded and it’s time for them to get out on their own. A robin for instance goes from just freshly born to the size of his parents in 13 days! The nest becomes way too crowded and almost like an internal drive, each robin jumps off. How many robins were born in that pack of babies – once one leaves the nest the rest follow suit.
The nest is empty in 24 hours. Their jumping off though is a precarious situation for each bird cannot fly yet. It’s one of the more dangerous times for each baby as they need time and a safe place to practice flying. The mother watches over their departure as the birds must build muscles and adult feathers. From their fledgling start to their ability to fly and be what they were each destined for as a bird, it takes 10-15 days to be strong enough to do so.
Jesus is the Master ‘kicking us out of our own comfort zone’ guy! Each and every one of us has that point through circumstance usually, where He pushes us out of our comfort and leads us to a place or into a situation we would have never chosen. He’s trying to teach us to fly.
There was this moment for the disciples as He gathered them together and basically gave them a test run. He gave them power and authority to drive out demons, cure diseases, heal the sick and go from town to town preaching the Kingdom of God. Can you imagine what this ragtag group of one-time fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, and the like felt at that moment?
As I reflect on this, it was the perfect mentorship. Jesus was still around physically to celebrate their stories when they returned. He was still there to help, encourage and even give pointers and teachings from some of the issues they encountered. In fact, after they returned they got a bit bent out of shape with their position in the Kingdom and also wanted fire to destroy people who were rejecting Him. In both situations, Jesus confronted their mindsets and redirected their thinking.
For each of us, Jesus has a calling. And for each and every one of us there comes a point where He ‘crowds us out of the nest’ to go out and invest and become what God has intended for us to be. The beauty is we have the Holy Spirit who celebrates, encourages and instructs us through the entire ordeal. You see, we all have purpose and mission that won’t be found in our comfort zone. We need to learn to fly!
Luke 9 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Feeding of the 5,000
This sign/miracle of feeding the 5,000 is recorded in all 4 Gospels. Matthew 14:21 specifies 5,000 males, and further emphasizes the point by adding, “Besides women and children.” Many Bible scholars believe the actual number fed that day could have been 15,000-20,000 people.
The over-arching idea here is that feeding the people came from Jesus, not the disciples. The vision was cast by Him, and it would be only in Him and through Him that it would be accomplished. This is why it is so important for us today to be rooted in the Word of God. The Word is living and active. It’s a verifiable supernatural revelation, and when we read it, the Holy Spirit will apply it to our lives.
For some reason, in our culture, individual revelation is looked at as superior to Biblical truth. Scripture is a personal revelation. This is why when you hear good Biblical teaching you leave and say things like, “I felt like that Pastor was speaking directly to me.” It wasn’t the Pastor. It was the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
Jesus could have simply snapped his fingers and fed the bellies of these people, which is usually our expectation of God, and how most of us pray. But there was tension, struggling, and wrestling. And when they were on board, Jesus went as far as to let the disciples hand out the food to the people.
The miracle was inclusive for the disciples after they engaged in the responsibility of trusting Him. Where does this speak to you today?
Jesus and Jerusalem
In the OT, Jerusalem was a place of victory and power. Many of the Jews read the Old Testament literalistically and this led to a misguided interpretation of who their Messiah would be and what He would look like when He came. They expected the Messiah to restore Jerusalem to her former glory, however, in the New Testament, Jerusalem does not become a place of glory but a place of death and destruction. In fact, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (Luke 19).
In Luke 9, when the text says that “Jesus set His face toward Jerusalem,” it means that He is setting His face upon not only His own death, but the death of the old dispensation. The New Covenant had come and the old was being done away with. Interestingly, the Samaritan village on the way foreshadowed His coming rejection. Though this story is short, it is highlighting major themes that would play out over the rest of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
Jesus would experience rejection in Jerusalem just like in the Samaritan village. That rejection, however, was not to be condemned as the disciples wished to do. They ask Jesus to call fire down from the sky to destroy these people! That was not the way of Jesus. He would accept the rejection and ridicule because He came to save sinners, not destroy them. It is a fascinating reality. Even though humanity rejected Jesus, and Jerusalem would be destroyed, something new was taking place. The church would be established in the power of His resurrection!