Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 30th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 9

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-17

  1. Intro:
    1. Share about German Cable TV interview last week. [Thanks for your graciousness]
  2. A DOZEN SENT! (1-11)
    1. SENDING! (1-5)
    2. Now Jesus sends them out to do what they had seen Him do.
      1. Q: Ever have someone represent you? That’s risky! {maybe your child, a friend, a lawyer}
    3. (1) Power & authority – “Power is the ability to do something; authority is the right to do it!” (Warren Wiersbe; Expository Outlines on the NT.)
    4. (2) Was their work to cast out demons? And to heal the sick? No!
      1. He didn’t send them out to cast out demons. He didn’t send them out to heal diseases(all this was incidental). They were sent out to preach the kingdom of God!
      2. He sent them to preach what he preached. What John the Baptist preached.
      3. They were sent to declare its availability to all men.
    5. (3) This was no vacation, they were to travel light & live by faith!
      1. Their only wealth was their message, their power, their authority, & the fact that they represented Him! (G.Campbell Morgan; pg.120)
    6. (5) Jews would shake the ritually impure dust of a Gentile city from their feet upon leaving it & returning to the land of Israel. (i.e. they had no fellowship w/them)
      1. Here, Jesus disciples are doing this to other Jews, symbolizing their refusal of the Kingdom of God & consequent refusal to be part of the genuine Israel. (Jewish NT Commentary.)
    7. WORKING! (6-9)
    8. They went! – The details are obviously unimportant. (interesting, no stats!)
    9. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great. Jesus latter calls him “that fox”.
      1. Tetrarch (lit. “4 ruling”) his area was Galilee & Perea(4bc-39ad).
      2. See Lk. 23:6-12 for the sad scene when Jesus & Herod finally meet.
    10. RETURNING! (10,11)
    11. They reported to Jesus all they had done. (debriefing)
    12. Rest was needed, but he received them & spoke to them regarding the Kingdom of God, & healed those who needed it.
    13. He desires us to: Be with Him; then Go for Him; then Return unto Him!
  3. A MULTITUDE FED! (12-17)
    1. Q: What is God trying to communicate about Himself? The fact that He can feed a bunch of people? Jesus is greater than His disciples?
      1. Q: What’s the underlying message? Is there one? Jn.6:22; 26,27; 33-35
      2. So, the miracle was a symbol of our Lord’s higher spiritual work.
      3. Jn.6:63 “the words that I speak to you are spirit(ual) & they are life.”
    2. [1] Deep Hunger! (12)
      1. The people have journeyed far into the desert!
      2. They are weary & weak through lack of food.
    3. [2] Man in himself can’t satisfy this Deep Hunger! (13-14a)
    4. The disciples are helpless & request Jesus to “Send the multitude away” & admit “we have very, very little to give them”.
      1. Ok, we send them away…but where?
      2. After the Bread of life discourse Jesus asked Peter, “do you also want to go away?” To which he answered, “Lord to whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life!” (Jn.6:67,68)
    5. Putting the accounts together we see: The 12 said “send them away”; Philip worried about the budget; & Andrew started w/what they had & brought it to Jesus!
    6. It is an absolute impossibility of providing anything to meet this deep spiritual need…except through Christ.
    7. The needs today are overwhelming. We realize our task to fill them is almost beyond imagination.
    8. [3] Only The Father can satisfy this Deep Hunger! (16b)
    9. He blessed & broke them.
    10. “The secret of today for the task of today is that service is not measured by human ability but by Divine enabling.”
    11. [4] The Bread of Life Satisfies! (17a)
    12. Jn.6:33-37.
    13. We also see that he is always concerned with both physical & spiritual needs.
    14. “Twas spring-time when He blessed the bread, Twas harvest when he brake.” (G.Campbell Morgan; pg.121)
    15. [5] The Bread of Life is always desirous of making us Co-Workers! (13,14)
      1. “you give them something to eat”; “make them sit down in groups of 50”.
      2. Co-Workers:
      3. Ps.25:14 “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.”
      4. In Gen.6:13 God choose to work now through Noah in judgment of the earth.
      5. Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
      6. Jn.15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
      7. 2 Cor.6:1 “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.”
    16. He does the miracle, they just distributed the blessing.
      1. Christ is looking for clean hands that he can fill!
    17. He could have worked w/o us, but instead He has been pleased to permit us to carry His Bread to this world!
      1. Remember the Helm Bakery trucks delivering fresh bread & donuts? The aroma, the freshness of product.
      2. If you weren’t here in the 60’s, how about Albertsons when the French Bread comes out of the oven?
      3. Sharing Christ should be like holding a fresh baked pie under someone’s nose for a minute!
        1. They should walk away with smelling His aroma, feeling His warmth, & wanting more! J
    18. The worth of Christian work is in exact proportion to the devotion of God’s people.
      1. Christ must be all in all or not at all; if he is not Lord of all he is not Lord at all. (Griffith Thomas)
    19. [6] The Bread of Life uses Our Means & adds His Power! (13,16)
    20. In both Testaments God most always uses already existing agencies & then supernatural power is added.
      1. The miracle is not a new creation then, but simply the use of available resources as a channel of His Divine power.
    21. An important lesson: No situation is impossible if you take what you have; give it to God w/thanksgiving; & share it w/others.
    22. Our Means, His Power:
      1. ​​​​​​​Moses ordinary Shepherds Staff – Ex.4:2,3 “Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake,”
      2. David’s 1 Rock –became a laser-guided missile w/pinpoint accuracy!
      3. Elijah’s Mantle/Cloak – became filled w/a double portion of God’s Spirit when passed off unto Elisha.
      4. Elisha & the Widow from local Bible College – 2 Kings 4:1-7
        1. What do you have in the house? - Nothing in the house but a jar of oil!
      5. Samson found an ordinary donkey Jawbone – but it became a (WMD) Weapon of Mass Destruction in his hand. (killed 1000 Philistines)
      6. An ordinary_________ became a supernatural___________!
        1. Size never determines power!
        2. John adds, “small fishes” & tells us it was a little lads lunch!
          1. Yet, “little is much if God is in it!”
      7. Today, he might want to use your? (vehicle, your pocket change, your time waiting in line to strike up a conversation, your…whatever you’ll offer Him?)
    23. The Lord today will take us as we are & will utilize what we have, for His glory! (Griffith Thomas; pg.156)
      1. We just have to bring what we possess to our Master. If we don’t, “Loaves unblessed are loaves un-multiplied!”
    24. Illustration: In St. Nicholas Church Tower in Amsterdam is a keyboard struck by wooden gloves. In that room it only sounds like clatter & clanging. Yet over the city floats the most exquisite music & men at work pause to listen.
    25. [7] Plenty of “This Bread from Heaven” to go around still! (17b)
    26. “They all ate & were filled & 12 baskets of the leftovers fragments were taken up”
      1. Enough & to spare (still true today!)
      2. His Compassion, Capability, & Care – is beyond our need, beyond our deserving, & beyond our comprehension.
    27. Christians have what the world needs, because Christ Himself is behind every word He says. (Jn.6:6)
    28. It started with his 12 carrying His bread to the Jews; & ends with us taking what was left over, to the Gentiles. And yes, there is still plenty of him to go around!
    29. Much of the church today believes Christianity is the story of “the multitude that loafs & fishes.”
      1. No, He desires to send us forth to fill & satisfy hungry souls!
    30. He is saying to the Church today, “Give them to eat!”
      1. ​​​​​​​The hungry masses are dying of starvation because they lack the Bread of Life. Give them to eat!

Verses 18-26

  1. Intro:
    1. Timing – The teaching in Jn.6 had turned Christ’s popularity & had increased the opposition in Galilee, so the character of His ministry underwent a change at this point. (Griffith Thomas; pg.160.)
      1. He abandoned the performance of miracles & devoted Himself to the 12 Apostles.
      2. Together they took longer journeys to Tyre & Sidon.
      3. And now they take off for a long walk up north to Caesarea Philippi.
    1. At this stage of their understanding the disciples saw Jesus as the Messiah of popular Jewish expectations.
    2. (18) He was alone praying –
      1. Only Luke puts this in the context of Jesus’ prayer life.
      2. There are 7 x’s Luke shows Jesus praying. Each at major crossroads in His life.
        1. Before His baptism; when His fame was growing abroad; before He chose the 12; here, at Caesarea Philippi; in connection w/the Transfiguration; when He gave His disciples instructions on prayer; in Gethsemane.
      3. Ever notice Jesus praying “with” his disciples? Maybe He did? But, maybe He prayed on such a different level, such a pure, in perfect fellowship.
    3. (18b) Who do the crowds say that I am?
    4. Jesus said unto them, “Who do you say I am?” And they replied, “You are the eschatological manifestation of the foundation of our being, the kerygma (ker-IG-ma) in which we found the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationship.” And Jesus said, “Come again?”
    5. Not: who do the rulers, or priests, or kings, or the governors, say that I am.
      1. He was concerned about the people!
    6. Answer: John the Baptist; Elijah; or, one of the old prophets.
      1. This revealed they at least thought there was something special even supernatural with Him!
    7. (20) Who do you say that I am? – Do you agree w/these reports?
    8. Jesus wanted the 12 to have not the opinions of the crowd, but rather personal convictions of their own.
      1. Q: Do you look for the popular opinion or the apostolic position?
    9. (20b) The Christ of God! - How simple.
  3. HIS CROSS DECLARED! (21-22)
    1. (21) Don’t tell – because they didn’t completely understand it? They weren’t ready?
    2. This is the 1st time he tells them plainly He would be killed & resurrected.
    3. Matthew tells us that Peter opposed the plan(“not so Lord”).
      1. Peter was a saved man, but he knew little about discipleship, taking up a cross, & following Jesus.
    1. Confession of Christ as Messiah is step #1. Step #2 is discipleship.
      1. It is not enough to know the truth about His Messiahship, they must conform to His program.
    2. Discipleship – Learner or pupil.
      1. It referred to the adherent of a particular teacher or religious/philosophical school. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.35)
      2. Disciples of the rabbis could select their teachers.
      3. Jesus often demanded extreme levels of personal renunciation.
        1. i.e. loss of family, property, etc.
      4. He also asked for lifelong allegiance as the essential means of doing the will of God.
    1. Results of Discipleship?
      1. That we grow to experience the abundant new life.
      2. That we “bear the family resemblance” of His Son.
      3. That we express the very stamp of God’s own heredity.
    2. Salvation is God’s gift to us because Jesus died for us on the cross. Discipleship is our gift to Him as we take up our cross, die to self, & follow the Lord in everything.
    3. [1] Deny himself - not think about his own good.
    4. Doesn’t mean: Self-rejection, self-loathing, or turning away from everything you enjoy because, “If you like it, it must be bad!”
      1. 1 Tim.6:17 God “gives us richly all things to enjoy.”
    5. Not denial to self, but denial of self!
      1. Deny everything rooted in the old life.
    6. [2] Take up his cross daily, that is, admit that the One for whom he carried the cross was right.
      1. When the Roman Empire crucified a criminal or captive, the victim was often forced to carry his cross part of the way to the crucifixion site.
        1. Carrying his cross through the heart of the city was the admission that the Roman Empire was correct in the sentence of death imposed on you, & that Rome was right and you were wrong.
        2. So when Jesus enjoined His followers to carry their crosses and follow Him, He was referring to a public display before others that Jesus was right and that the disciples were following Him even to their deaths. This is exactly what the religious leaders refused to do. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of thescriptures (2:243). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
    7. Some define our cross to bear as personal tendency’s: Like, your temper you struggle with, or your battle with constant worry.
      1. These aren’t crosses, but sins!
    8. It meant surrendering one’s will to God and so “losing” the old life in exchange for one that is different and new.
    9. Your cross is God’s unique will for you! [He didn’t say, take up MY cross!]
      1. It’s saying, “whatever thou wilt Lord; wherever thou wilt; whenever thou wilt!” (Richard Baxter)
    10. Daily – Each day, every day, you are to decide to do God’s will.
    11. “If you’re not going to carry your cross, don’t make the trip.” - James Dobson
    12. [3] Follow Jesus.
    13. No doubt many thought the disciples were throwing their lives away. They had given up their sources of income and were in danger because they associated with Jesus.
      1. Jesus assured His disciples that they were doing the right thing.
      2. They had chosen the proper values.
    14. Phillips, “If anyone wants to follow in My footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day & keep close behind me.”
    15. The Message, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.”
    16. This is both the way & the necessity of discipleship! (The Teachers Commentary.)
    17. I guess the opposite of this would be: to embrace your “self”, lay down any cross that comes your way, follow your heart, & do all to try to save your old life!
    18. (24) Loses His life…will save it! (Divine paradox!)
      1. What we gain in following Jesus is far more than we lose.
    19. Drifting snow and bitter cold threatened the lives of Indian evangelist Sadhu Sundar Singh and his Tibetan companion as they crossed a Himalayan mountain pass. Fighting the "sleep of death", they stumbled over a mound in the trail. It was a man, half dead. The Tibetan refused to stop but continued on alone. The compassionate Sadhu, however, shouldered the burden the best he could. Through his struggling, he began to warm up, as did the unconscious man. But before reaching the village they found the Tibetan -- frozen to death. The principles that Jesus taught are still true: whoever shall save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it!
    20. (25) Gains the whole world…is himself destroyed or lost.
      1. The potential self can be lost.
      2. We can choose to live the old life, & let the new remain unnourished, buried deep w/in us.
      3. If we choose this route what we lose is ourselves, the person we could have been.
    21. (26) Ashamed?
    22. If I am ashamed of Him I am ashamed of everything pure, high, noble, beautiful!
    23. End: Earlier we saw a great choice each person must make: “Will I accept Jesus’ offer of life?” - Now we see a 2nd choice: “Will I become a disciple, put the old life behind me, & become new?”
      1. Q: Will you lose your old life, or are you determined to hold tightly to it, to try & save your “self”?
      2. Q: Or, will you let go, turn away from the old for Jesus’ sake, & in so doing become the new, the true you?
    24. Lord, I’ll take any cross that you have for me…but do you have any that are padded? I’m looking to be relevant you know.

      No, how about a small one I could fit in my pocket, so I’m not so obvious? No, my choice is just that ugly wood one? That’s pretty shoddy workmanship; my construction buddy’s will laugh.

      What's that? It's either one of these or forget the whole thing? But Lord, I want to be your disciple, I mean, just being with you; that's all that counts; but life has to have a balance, too. But you don't understand -- nobody lives that way today! Who is going to be attracted by this self-denial bit? I mean, I want to; but let's not over do it. Start getting radical like this, and they'll have me off to the insane asylum. Know what I mean?

      I mean being a disciple is challenging and exciting and I want to do it; but I do have some rights, you know. Now let's see -- no blood -- OK? I just can't stand the thought of that, Lord... Lord? Jesus? Now where do you suppose He went?

Verses 27-36

  1. Intro:
    1. Independence Day – A holiday commemorating the formal adoption by the Continental Congress, the Declaration of Independence. And thus, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
      1. Spiritually, our personal Independence Day is when we declared our independence from a kingdom, the kingdom of darkness.
      2. And then, declared our Dependence on Jesus!
    2. As a Nation we have experienced Glory!
      1. Glory – from battles won, to countries helped(rescuing of Kuwait), to the Billions of $ in aide we give annually to neighbors around the world.
        1. House Passed $21.3 Billion Fiscal 2007 Foreign Aid Spending Bill.
      2. We even call our flag “Old Glory!”
    3. As Individuals we have all experienced moments of Glory! Q: Which come to your mind as your tops? [well, depends on categories]
      1. Spiritual moments of Glory – Your kids give their life to Christ. Got baptized.
      2. Sports moments of Glory – My Jr. year football(1978). Suiting up in Angel Stadium locker rooms. (St. Paul vs. Bishop Amat; Pat Haden on the side lines)1.3.3. Hobby’s moments of Glory 103 lb. Halibut up in Alaska; & most recently my 250 lb. Wild Bore up in Paso Robles.
        1. But pick you best moments of Glory…& that’s what they were… “moments”! – Fleeting moments at best.
        2. This morning we’re going to get a taste of what 1 day will be not fleeting Glory, but Permanent Glory!
  2. A FORETASTE OF GLORY! (27-36)
    1. Remember, Jesus has now abandoned the performance of miracles, & devoted Himself to the 12 Apostles.
      1. Longer journeys. This case, their up in Caesarea Philippi.
    2. (27) Jesus was possibly speaking of the 3 apostles who would accompany Him up the mountain of transfiguration.
      1. The transfiguration was a foretaste of the glories of the kingdom. (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of thescriptures (2:230). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)
      2. They would never forget this experience – Read 2 Pet.1:16-18.
    3. He loves taking us to the mountain tops also!
      1. Look who he took here! Peter with his blunders(1 just happened, “not so Lord”) & the “sons of thunder” who before this chapter is over will ask to call fire down from heaven on the very people Jesus came to save!
      2. Here Mnt. Hermon, but usually Mnt. Olives.
        1. Every Christian should have their own Mnt. Olives!
        2. Daniel did in his room with a view of Babylon.
        3. Peter found a rooftop in Joppa.
        4. Martin Luther found an upper-room in Wittenberg, a place still considered sacred.
      3. Perhaps he will take you today to the mountaintop!
    4. (28) Which mountain? – We’re not positive but just above Caesarea Philippi was Mnt. Hermon. (border of Israel & its northern neighbor)
      1. Just as high altitude transforms a landscape in the physical world, so does real prayer in the spiritual realm.
        1. You climb to the top, & things you thought so massive are now so puny! Other objects you greatly underestimated look very impressive now. (out airplane window)
      2. So spiritually, [G.H.Knight] “from the mountain-top of secret prayer we get a “God’s-eye view” of everything; & it is marvelous how that makes many great things look small, & small things great; how all mere worldly ambitions look surprisingly poor, & heavenly ambitions the only ones worth having.”
    5. (29) As He prayed…face was altered…robe became white & glistening –
      1. Reminds me of when I was praying the other day…Well, no it doesn’t!
      2. Both His personal appearance & His garments changed.
      3. And note: rejection in Galilee behind & in Jerusalem ahead, He solicits no human sympathy…only Divine approval.
    6. Altered – other accounts “transfigured” or “transformed” [Greek – metamorphoo]
      1. For that brief moment they saw Him as the heavenly Lord.
      2. The prefix “Trans” means literally “across” (Transatlantic flight)
      3. In the Transfiguration a limit or barrier was crossed!
        1. It was the crossing the line between the natural & supernatural; between human & divine.
    7. (30) Moses & Elijah – not as patriarchs, but as spiritual heroes.
      1. They are God-given guides! (Jesus’ spiritual counselors)
    8. Moses – represents the Law. Jesus was the prophet Moses foretold(Deut.18:15);
      1. As Moses led the Jews out of the bondage of Egypt, So Jesus leads believing sinners out of their bondage to sin.
    9. Elijah - represents the Prophets. Jesus was the Messiah whom Elijah would precede(Mal.4:5) [This would be the end of the Law, & fulfillment of the Prophets!]
    10. Decease - Gk exodos, literally, His “departing”.
      1. His death, resurrection, & ascension, route.
      2. Interesting they’d come to talk about death...both remarkable as to their deaths!
        1. Moses’ death was mysterious(only man God buried, Deut 34:6); Elijah’s was miraculous(the original, Chariots of Fire, 2 Kings 2:11).
          1. One was a natural death but Divine burial; the other bytranslation.
        2. Symbols of 2 classes of believers at 2nd coming of Christ?
        3. Jn.11:25 “I am the resurrection & the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
      3. This would give Christ’s human soul encouragement to go on, because of the sight of the two who had passed on to glory!
    11. Also we lean from them showing up:
      1. Saints that have died: are still the individuals they were (i.e. they aren’t extinct); they have continuing personalities (Moses was still Moses, & Elijah still Elijah. There was personal identity & recognizable differentiation); still human beings (didn’t grow wings, or become angels, remained human just like Jesus after His res.); alive consciously (nothing here of soul sleep, unless they were walking in their sleep! But then the greater miracle for both to be sleep walking at the same time, in the same place, & talking in their sleep about the same thing!); in glorified bodies (which can suddenly appear or disappear; similar to, yet different from, the bodies they had {like Jesus’} “similar in structure, different in texture”); enjoyed fellowship (here with Jesus); in touch with earth (They were alive to concerns here on earth, especially matters of salvation).
    12. (32) Heavy with sleep – possibly occurred at night!
    13. They saw His glory“A snapshot of humanity being glorified!”
    14. For that brief moment they saw Him as the heavenly Lord.
      1. Heb.1:1 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory & the express image of His person”
    15. [1] Moses Glory – Ex.33
      1. Moses’ face shone with Reflected glory.
    16. [2] Jesus Glory – Christ didn’t reflect the brightness of divine glory, but His glory is the brightness of divine glory.
      1. Jesus didn’t reflect light but was the source of light!
      2. This is the glory He willingly veiled…for us!
    17. At crucial moments the splendor of Jesus’ deity burst through the cloak of His humanity! (R.C.Sproul)
      1. This was an open display for the disciples to see Jesus’ glory that He had before the Incarnation; & also a foreshadowing of Jesus’ resurrection & return.
      2. Jn.17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with(alongside) Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
      3. This was His own glory showing through!
        1. Not just a reflection, not just His clothes.
        2. This showed plainly His divinity…glory from within.
        3. This is “glorification of humanity by divinity!” (Griffith Thomas)
    18. [3] Our Future Glory What is it! What is us being glorified?
      1. We are promised on Paul’s golden chain of Redemption found in Rom.8:30 “whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
        1. Past tense because final step is so certain, that in God’s eyes it is as good as done!
    19. {a} Its’ just like His Glory! – Phil.3:20 “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body
      1. Jn.17:22 “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one”
    20. {b} Our nature is made whole; Our heart is set free; our sin is completely eradicated; the possibility of sinning is forever extinguished; it is not fleeting but permanent.
    21. {c} Its’ timing? – At Jesus 2nd coming!
      1. 1 Cor.15:22,23 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
    22. {d} It’s reaching our final state!
    23. {e} It’s the believers great hope for the future!
    24. (33) Three tabernacles(tents) – Peter wanted to make the event into a perpetual Feast of Tabernacles.
      1. From, “not so Lord”(in regards to his suffering & death); to “let’s immortalize this moment of Glory!”
        1. Let’s stay on this mnt of glory, & not go to Jerusalem & die!
        2. Now that’s how I like my Messiah, a glorified one, not a dead one!
          1. We like our heroes’ bright, shiny, strong, w/capes, that can fly.
    25. (35) Hear him – the Father interrupted Peter to remind him…“Hear HIM!”
      1. Especially to the cross…hear Him!
    26. (36) Jesus was found alone –
      1. Jesus came & touched them – Mt.17:7
      2. Saw no one but Jesus only! Mt.17:8
        1. Jesus only! The Law & Prophets are gone!
    27. Lessons:
    28. Suffering leads to Glory!
      1. Peter emphasizes in his 1st Epistle in 1:6-8,11.
      2. So I guess Peter, “Deity & Death are not irreconcilable after all!”
        1. They are not a contradiction, but consistency!
        2. A means to a great end!

Verses 37-62

  1. Intro:
    1. Someone asked an ex-paratrooper how many jumps he had made. He said, "None! I was pushed out 18 times!"
      1. In our text this morning the disciples didn’t fail 18 times…only 6!
      2. So we’ll be talking about failing!
    2. Think you're the only one that's made mistakes? Hardly!
      1. Imagine if you had been the president of a Michigan bank who advised Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the new motor company, assuring him, "The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty."
      2. Or there was Gary Cooper's comment about Clark Gable accepting the role of Rhett Butler which he had turned down: "Gone With the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling flat on his face and not Gary Cooper."
      3. We all make mistakes, including the experts. The key is not to live in the mistakes of the past, but to move forward learning from those mistakes!
  2. FAILURE TO PRAY & FAST! (37-42)
    1. The only Son heals an only son.
    2. (40) The 9 waiting below the Mount of Transfiguration were in trouble.
      1. They couldn’t heal a demon-possessed boy brought by his father.
      2. On top of that religious leaders were arguing w/the disciples(Mrk9:14)
        1. They were probably also ridiculing them for their feeble efforts.
    3. (41) What strange words from Jesus! “How long shall I be with you & bear with you?”
      1. Yet we’ll see Him bearing with their/our unbelief & failure(here); w/spiritual blindness(43-45); w/pride(46-48); w/lack of love(49-56); & lack of dedication(57-62).
      2. Q: Haven’t you ever said the same(or at least thought the same) regarding your own children?
        1. You were frustrated…but you knew the answer…forever! Yes, forever! [w/the son struggling with his pot or cocaine addiction; w/the daughter that continues to cut herself]
        2. And we have the following verses to prove Jesus’ answer was the same!!!
      3. Q: Is Jesus blessing you or bearing with you? (www)
    4. (42) So they were given the power in vs.1 of this ch. but something had happened?
      1. Apparently they stopped praying & fasting!
      2. Their faith had become weak!
      3. Read Mark 9:22-25 & 29.
    2. This is the 2nd time He explains His passion(yet right after Moses/Elijah discussed it w/Jesus).
    1. ​​​​​​​Did the failure of the 9, & the privilege of the 3, create a jealous rivalry?
    3. A humble, childlike trust & a tolerant spirit toward others are the marks of followers of Jesus. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.38)
      1. See, whenever there is trouble over who is the greatest there is trouble over who is the least!
        1. Most of us know that we’ll never be the greatest; just don’t let us be the least! [never hear, “I’m last, I’m last!”]
    4. Pastor Armando shared last week about the choice God gives all of us…“walk humbly, or be humbled!”
      1. Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?”
      2. Jesus showed that true greatness comes from being insignificant in the eyes of the world.
      3. Love always stoops! – True greatness in serving lowest & least.
    5. Phil.2:3,4 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
    1. Did you see John quickly change the subject?
      1. He was far more at home struggling w/a knotty theological problem.
    2. SECTARIANISM! [dogmatic and intolerant: rigidly adhering to a particular set of doctrines and intolerant of other views]
      1. How to love others who are not part of your special group!
    3. John thought he was being spiritual by forbidding the anonymous man from serving. [sounds like Numb.11:24-30]
    4. (50) Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.
    5. It isn’t ours to forbid any work done, however imperfectly, in Christ’s name.
      1. Take heed to this sober warning saints!
      2. To me this is our “Non-Denomination’s Denomination” biggest sin.
        1. You mean God accepts other denominations? Amazing!
        2. Let it be never said of us! – Rejoice in Rancho Community’s beautiful new building; the growth at Revival & Cornerstone.
        3. But they do things differently”…So What! [same purpose; same love; same Kingdom we’re fighting for; same King!]
      3. They may say shibboleth instead of siboleth(Judges 12:6); his accent may not be your accent; her method may not be your method; but if done in the name of Christ…be careful!
    1. ​​​​​​​A new section starts here, but I include it hear because it records more failure.
    2. (51) He set His face to go to Jerusalem – a Hebraism implying fixedness of purpose, esp. in the prospect of difficulty or danger. He made His decision.
    3. (53) They did not receive Him –
      1. Same issue in the same place today(Samaria/Palestinian occupation).
      2. Most Arab nations will not admit tourists you into their country if they’ve been in Israel.
    4. (54) James & John’s response shows just how far they were from sharing Jesus’ commitment to the way of the cross!
      1. Known as “the sons of thunder”(possibly for their thunderous temperament) they seem to want to be also known as “the sons of lightening!”
      2. They were given the power back in vs.1 of this chapter.
        1. And they were eager to duplicate Elijah’s feat in 2 Kings 1.
        2. Especially because they just saw Elijah 8 days ago!
        3. As kids they would have grown up hearing the incredible stories from these OT heroes! {better than any comic book hero!}
    5. James, John, this is no way to turn your enemy into a friend!
      1. Story: John & Lisa when 1st got to Belize we’re told by many missionaries, “don’t buy at the Supoul family’s shops, they don’t like missionaries & they hike up the prices.” John turned to Lisa & said guess where we’re shoppin! – Paid extra for a long time…but won their friendship & now very good friends.
    1. ​​​​​​​3 prospective disciples who lacked commitment!
      1. Discipleship is not a frivolous decision.
      2. His disciples must 1st count the cost before making such a commitment.
      3. These 3 promise to follow Him, but then draw back!
    3. He volunteered to follow Jesus anywhere…till Jesus warned that discipleship might be uncomfortable!
    4. Hardship keeps him from following! “Let me count the cost before I shoot of my mouth!”
    5. “A person desiring to follow Him must give up what others consider necessities.” (The Bible Knowledge Comm.; pg.232)
      1. So He asks him, can you give up some of the comforts of life?
    7. Kinship keeps him from following! “Let me wait & bury my father”
    8. The father hadn’t died yet! Because they buried them the same day & he would have been home with dad in that process.
      1. The son wishes to go home, live in comfort with his father till his death (perhaps years away), collect his inheritance, and then at his leisure…become a disciple.​​​​​​​ (Stern, D. H. (1992). Jewish New Testament commentary (Mt 8:21))
      2. We spell this P-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!
    9. (60) Let the spiritually dead, bury the physically dead.
      1. The proclaiming the kingdom of the God was so important that it could not wait!
      2. So He asks him, can you give up the warmth of family ties?
      3. This man was concerned with the wrong funeral! (see 9:23)
    10. D. L. Moody spoke against certain parts of the church of his time for its misappropriation of energies. He said, the church reminded him of firemen straightening pictures on the wall of a burning house.
      1. We can’t forget our basic activity given to us by the Lord…“preach the kingdom of God!”
      2. See, only the spiritually alive can save the spiritually dead.
    12. He just wanted only a little time to say goodbye to some of the home folks, then someday soon, he would follow. I’m sure it will be, tomorrow! tomorrow! tomorrow!
    13. “I will” “but” – I will but I’m too afraid of losing friends; I will but it may cause them displeasure about me going on the mission field.
      1. What is our “but”!
    14. Kinship also keeps him from following! “Let me say goodbye”
      1. Long involved goodbyes…he might be liable to forget his call & not return. Feelings change when one looks back.
      2. So He asks him, can you set your eyes in the right direction?
    15. PAUL THE PLOWBOY! (62)
    16. Jesus wants “now disciples!”
      1. He is looking for disciples who will put his/her hand to the plow, w/o looking back, move straight out to do God’s will! (The Teachers Commentary.)
    17. Looking back is a waste of time, it slows you down, your path goes crooked.
      1. That blade must stay level & steady. Only by looking ahead, with eyes fixed on your guiding marks, can you get your job done.
      2. So Jesus says, fix your eyes ahead on Me, & don’t look back.
    18. Q: Are you looking back to your spiritual yesteryear? Holding on to yesterdays spiritual accomplishments as today’s spirituality?
      1. We cannot live & serve on the basis of past victories!
    19. Q: Why do we think God had changed & now accepts weak commitments?
    20. To all the excuses the bible has answers.
    21. Some Christians are so afraid of failure that they become reserved, overly cautious, and uninvolved in life. They follow a policy of guarded living, holding back time, talents, and treasure from God's service. Their motto is: To keep from failing -- don't try! On the other hand, those who are willing to make mistakes and risk failure are the ones who ultimately achieve great things. Instead of being filled with fear, they go forward in faith. Problems are challenges. While they may not all be solved, these courageous people would rather live with that reality than have a clean record of no failures and no accomplishments. Benjamin Franklin said one time, "The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all…doing nothing."
    22. In Yorkshire, England, during the early 1800s, two sons were born to a family named Taylor.

      The older one set out to make a name for himself by entering Parliament and gaining public prestige. But the younger son chose to give his life to Christ. He later recalled, “Well do I remember, as in unreserved consecration I put myself, my life, my friends, my all, upon the altar. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty.” With that commitment, Hudson Taylor turned his face toward China and obscurity. As a result, he is known and honored on every continent as a faithful missionary and the founder of the China Inland Mission (now known as Overseas Missionary Fellowship). for the other son, however, there is no lasting monument. He became known simply as “the brother of Hudson Taylor.” (Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.)
    23. Not saying Missions is better than Politics – Its motivation & dedication to the field Christ’s calls you to is what is important! “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” (Henry Ford)

Karen Mains, With My Whole Heart

Nature shouts of this beginning-again-God, this God who can make all our failures regenerative, the One who is God of risings again, who never tires of fresh starts , nativities, renaissances in persons or in culture. God is a God of starting over, of genesis and re-genesis.

He composts life's sour fruits, moldering rank and decomposing; He applies the organic matter to our new day chances;

He freshens the world with dew;

He hydrates withered human hearts with his down-pouring spirit.

Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Luke 9". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/luke-9.html. 2017.
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