Sunday, October 28, 2012



We come now to one of my most favorite chapters in Luke's gospel-chapter 9. Each paragraph pulsates with amazing power demonstrated by Jesus. The disciples not only get to watch, they have the privilege of participating in this demonstration of power. This chapter will take 9 or 10 days to cover with a surprising climax to it all. Let's get started:  
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: "Take nothing for the journey-no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them." So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, "I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?" And he tried to see him.

Herod seems to have miscalculated John's ministry. He thought that John was just a nut-case out in the desert. Therefore, Herod believed that if he were to kill John, then he could kill off this pesky movement. But Herod was very wrong. John represented Jesus, God's Messiah. He asks the right question, "Who, then, is this that I hear such things about?" Herod didn't understand what he was up against. John was just the one who introduced Jesus to the world.

NOTE what Jesus did with His disciples. Now, remember that these disciples are still trying to figure it out. Their faith is still in a very immature state, but Jesus sends out the 12 with a minimal amount of training.

The training consisted of empowering them and giving them authority over the demonic world and the power to heal the sick. They were to go in the name of Jesus to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal people everywhere. Think of it. This band of men were sent out to do some amazing, miraculous feats.

There are two basic observations that strike me in this mission: FIRST-The power to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal people everywhere didn't lie within the disciples who were sent out. The source of the power was unmistakably in Jesus. The disciples were willing to surrender their wills to His will in order to be conduits of His power to touch people. So, the power to do miraculous things comes from Jesus.

SECOND-It seems that the basic requirement for these disciples who were sent out was that they were interested and actually followed Jesus and His instructions.

Here's the takeaway for us. Our responsibility is to be interested enough to follow Jesus the best way we can. His responsibility is to supply the direction and the empowerment. What a deal! Here we go again, as we have seen so many times in the gospels, Jesus is looking for anyone who is interested enough to follow Him.

It's not following a set of beliefs; it's following a person who calls us into relationship with Him and with one another. Aristotle said, "Follow my teachings." Plato said, "Follow my teachings." Socrates said, "Follow my teachings." Mohammed said, "Follow my teachings." But Jesus came along and said, "FOLLOW ME."

The truth of life is not to be found in a principle or propositions or a system of beliefs. It's found only in a person. His name is Jesus. Are you interested enough to follow Him?