Who, Then, Is This? (Part Two)

Luke 9:1-17

Summoning the Twelve, he gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick… So they went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere (9:1-2, 6 CSB).

Jesus is someone with a great vision (9:1-6).

He sent the twelve apostles out to expand his own ministry. This was a training mission for their later ministry. He taught them and provided them with the opportunity to apply and to practice what they learned.

Action Step: Every mature Christian should be looking and praying for a younger saint that he or she can mentor. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Timothy 2:2 NIV). We should see a plan for “four generational” ministry: Paul, Timothy, reliable people, others also. Women are to teach other women. Then they [the older women] can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God (Titus 2:4-5 NIV)

Notice that the apostles did the same things that the Lord did: preach and heal the sick. As Luke makes clear in his second writing, the book of Acts, they performed the healings through the name of Jesus (Acts 3:6; 16:18).

He taught his disciples the way of faith (9:3-4). They would have to believe that he had supplied them with the necessary power and authority for the mission. We, too, have authority to tell the good news of Jesus, the Son of God (Matthew 28:18-20). They would have to believe that God would provide the necessary physical support for their mission. As they went they would see God supply. God would speak to the hearts of people to supply the needs of his servants. This would prevent the apostles from looking for a better deal from the house down the street and from wasting their time. They would learn contentment and a gracious, appreciative attitude toward their hosts.

The fact that Christ commanded the apostles on a short-term to live by faith in this way does not mean that anyone else must. Consider that later he told the apostles to take provisions (Luke 22:35-36). The rest of the New Testament Scriptures clearly teach the proper support of ministers of the gospel.

Jesus demanded a change of mind in regard to the message of the gospel (9:5). The Jews in that time would often shake the dust from their feet when they left Gentile territory and reentered the Holy Land. So Jesus is saying, if they will not listen to you preach the gospel, treat them as cut off from God’s covenant people. They might be in Israel, but they are not God’s Israel (cf. Rm 9-11).

When God sends his servants into an area, it is not only a reason for joy and hope, but also for serious attention to the word of God. To reject the gospel is to ask God for his wrath to fall upon you (Matthew 10:15). The apostles followed this practice when people would not listen to the word of God (Acts 13:51).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord is not playing church or other religious games. We had better not be playing around. To live for the Lord Jesus Christ is to be on a serious mission in a dangerous place (John 17:14-19). Wherever you are, you are God’s witness and you are to testify for him.

Grace and peace