*He sent them out*
· Here in Luke 9, He calls His disciples to do the same things He was doing – to go out and */preach the Kingdom of God and heal the sick/*.
o Later, after His death, burial, and Resurrection, in John chapter 20, Jesus will tell His disciples, “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
o That call to follow the Lord’s example and walk in His life and power extends to us this morning.
o “Preach” just means to /proclaim/, to tell others about what Jesus has done for you and who He is.
§ The /best/ preaching never takes place inside a church!
*…and gave them power…*
· “God’s commandments are God’s enablements.”
o God never commands us to do something without giving us also the /ability/ to do it
o Not in our own strength & wisdom; but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
*so they departed*
· They actually did it!
We can hear Jesus’ word to us all day long, until we actually step out in faith and */do it/*, it does nobody any good.
*I myself had John beheaded*
· *[Guzik]* Herod’s confusion comes from his own guilty conscience.
It is hard to see clearly who Jesus is when we are in sin and rebellion.
· Again, notice the frequency with which Jesus retreated.
o *[Guzik]* Jesus wanted to take them aside privately into a deserted place, to minister to their needs.
Whenever we are serving Jesus as He directs us, He always wants to minister to us.
*You give them something to eat*
· Jesus not only attended to the peoples’ /spiritual/ need (He “[spoke] to them about the Kingdom of God” in v.11), but also their /physical/ needs (He also “cur[ed] those who had need of healing,” and here desires to meet their legitimate need for food.)
o It’s not somehow “unspiritual” to seek God and ask Him to meet your material needs.
· When Jesus blessed before the meal, He wasn’t blessing the food.
He blessed God for supplying it.
The idea of praying before a meal isn’t to bless the food; it is to bless - that is, to thank - God for blessing us with the food.
*So they all ate and were filled*
· When the disciples gave what little they had into the hands of Jesus, and He blessed it and broke it, He multiplied it – abundantly */ beyond/* what was simply */needed/*.
o Seemingly, the miracle happened in the hands of Jesus, not in hands of the disciples - they simply distributed what Jesus had miraculously provided.
o That’s important – because we often get frustrated when we can’t change, or we can’t change the situation, or we can’t help, or we can’t find the strength to do what needs to be done, or…or…or…f
o But when we get frustrated like that, it’s because we have a /wrong view of what Jesus is asking for!/
He’s not asking for */us/* to do it */by ourselves/*, but for us to place our insufficient, weak, not-at-all-up-to-the-task provisions, our resources – our */lives/* – into His hands so that He can bless /and break/ them, so that He then can supply for whatever need.
§ What we have in ourselves to give others is insignificant, but when we put it in Jesus’ hands, He can do great things with our gifts and talents to touch the lives of others.
· The assurance that Jesus can provide - even miraculously - for all of our needs should be precious to us
o it was to the earliest Christians.
On the walls of the catacombs, and other places of early Christian art, loaves and fishes are common motifs.
· One more thought here: If anyone left hungry, it was either because they refused the bread from Jesus, or because the apostles didn’t distribute the bread to everyone.
Jesus */supplied/* plenty for everybody.
*…while He was praying…He asked them…*
· It’s significant that the great revelation that Peter has about Jesus comes in the context of joining with Jesus in prayer.
*…must suffer many things…*
· An important word here is */must/*.
This isn’t just a plan or an idea or a prediction; this is the fulfillment of what was planned in the hidden councils of the Trinity of the Godhead before the world began for our salvation
o …but on the heels of declaring the gritty reality of His mission – to suffer and die for the sins of all of humanity – He also declares the ultimate, glorious victory of His mission
§ Not only will He suffer in our place, and die in our place, taking our sins upon Himself and bearing them in His body, suffering the penalty of the death sentence that’s on */each of us/* because of sin
§ …but three days later, He will conquer the last enemy, crushing death itself under His heel, and will rise again from the grave, never to die again!
· …and we who have placed our lives in His hands, accepting the payment of His death in our behalf, will */also/* rise victorious from death, because */He/* rose.
§ So death no longer has any hold on us; we have no need to fear it any more.
§ And so we can live our lives to the fullest, and with boldness, as we yield to His Spirit.
*…deny himself…take up his cross…*
· The cross isn’t a nice piece of jewelry; it was an instrument of public, unrelenting torture and death
o In the two thousand years since Jesus spoke this, since He then /went/ to the cross and suffered and died there for all of us, we’ve rehabilitated the cross, sanitized it, made it more acceptable.
o If Jesus were speaking to His disciples today, He’d likely put it this way: “If you want to follow me, you */must/* walk down death row */daily/*.
You */must/* surrender yourself, your flesh, your self-centered, self-focused existence, to execution, to death, daily”
· This goes very much against our modern culture and way of thinking; everybody talks about “self-esteem” and “self-affirming” and self, self, self…
o The cross isn’t about self-promotion or self-esteem or self-affirmation.
The person carrying a cross knew they couldn’t save themselves, and that self was destined to die.
§ Denying yourself means to live as an others-centered person.
Jesus was the only person to do this perfectly, but we are to follow in His steps.
*For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it*
· This is the flip side of dying to self – if we do this, if we “walk down death row daily” and give up our self-centeredness, our self-esteem, our self-focus…we then get to */really live/* – not only in this life, as we then experience the freedom of living in Jesus and living for Him and for others – but in eternity, in glory.
o This is the real secret to living life and that more abundantly – not living for self, but for the Lord and for others.
· It is perhaps one of the greatest apparent paradoxes in life – that to truly /live/, you must first /die to self/.
o …to lay /your/ dreams, ambitions, plans on the altar as a sacrifice
o …so that the Lord can then pour /His/ life, /His /purpose,/ His/ plans, /His/ power, /His/ love, /His /goodness into your life.
o Amazingly, the people who live this way before Jesus are the ones who are really, genuinely happy.
Giving our lives to Jesus all the way, and living as an others-centered person does not take away from our lives, it adds to it.
*…some standing here…*
· *[Guzik]* Walking with Jesus doesn’t just mean a life of death and crosses.
It also means an */abundant/* life of the power and the glory of the kingdom of God.
o Jesus promised some of His disciples would soon see a glimpse of that power and glory.
· translates a word that has the idea of "flashing like lightning."
Jesus’ entire appearance was transformed in a brilliant radiance of light.
· Again – very significantly – in the context of prayer, the veil which hid Jesus’ true glory was pulled back for just a moment, and the disciples which were fellowshipping with Him in prayer got to see a glimpse of Him as He truly is.
o Not just a humble carpenter!
o For this brief moment, Jesus took on an appearance more appropriate for the King of Glory.
§ How did it happen?
It wasn’t a /new/ miracle, but the temporary pause of an */ongoing/* miracle.
The /real/ miracle was that Jesus, most of the time, could /keep from displaying/ His glory!
· Why does Jesus do /this/, */now/*?
Why this preview of coming attractions, as it were?
o Because He’d just laid on them a pretty heavy thing, speaking about the true cost of discipleship, and what following after Him truly entailed.