“At Work in the Fields of the Lord”
Luke 9:1-22 Ministry expansion and development.
As Luke presented Jesus ministry in chapter 8, showing Jesus authority and miraculous power we now observe that authority delegated to the 12. Luke is the only Gospel writer who records this deployment of just the 12 although later records the sending out of the 70. Herein lies one of the chief kingdom of God principles: All authority is delegated authority.
The missional assignment is given in verse 2: “Preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick.” ______________________________________________________________________
Jesus also gives instructions for them to minister. The basic component is simplicity.
He tells them travel light. ______________________________________________________
Find a community where you can minister and let them be your host. __________________
He tells them that if they encounter rejection move on looking for better soil. ___________
Here, Luke provides no report of how well the ministry succeeded. He just reports that they preached and healed.
Now the text turns to Herod. The highest political and social strata of the nation is inquiring, “Who is Jesus?” This is really what preaching is all about. ___________________________
Herod has already had to deal with John and so we are let in on his speculation that perhaps Jesus is John raised from the dead. ______________________________________________
It takes more than second hand reports to settle the question, “Who is Jesus?” Herod’s instinct to see for himself is the right instinct.
Jesus gathers the 12 together according to verse 10 and they move to a desolate place.
I think Jesus takes the teaching an extra step here. This desolate location means that there is no nearby market or food source so the plea of the twelve, “send them away”, is a reasonable request. The logistics of feeding 5000 men would be an incredible burden for 12 men.
Jesus displays yet again His authority. It is Jesus who handles the bread and the fish and then distributes it to His disciples. He has had the large crowd subdivided into smaller groups and then the disciples move among them with what they have received from the Lord. That is the perfect picture of ministry in Jesus name. It all comes from Him. ______________________
We find Jesus and the 12 finally alone. Luke says Jesus had been praying. He asks them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” We have circled back to the Herod question. The disciples have been hearing the same murmurings and they report it to the Lord: John the Baptist, Elijah, another prophet. Jesus gets very direct then with the precise question that His ministry is all about. “Who do you say I am?” Peter gives the answer and we are familiar with it. ____________
The ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Peter identified as “the Christ” is centered on the answer to this question. Jesus presented Himself and the disciples and today the Church presents Jesus to the world. “Who do you say Jesus is? This is the great fundamental question.
Jesus ends this lesson for His disciples with a glimpse into events that must take place but events that will shatter their confidence. Once we answer the question who He is. We must trust in what He must do.
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