‘The Gospel of Luke: Encountering Jesus’
Message: ‘Training of the 12’ pt.1 Text: Luke 9:1-17
Introduction: God has created you and I in such a way that we all learn things, differently. Modern social scientists have deduced there are 7 dominant ways we learn best.
- By reading.
- By using their hands.
- By hearing.
- By discussion / talking it through.
- By using deductive reasoning, to explain or understand concepts.
- By being in groups or with other people.
- By themselves, through self-study.
Question: What style has works best for you?
You know, we’re no different than Jesus’ 12 disciples when it comes to how we best learn.
- They were taking in all that Jesus said and did, in the ways best suited to them.
And also like Jesus’ disciples, the best way to determine if we’ve learned well, what we were taught, is to go out and do it, w/o our teacher.
- It’s like a parent letting go of their child’s bike for the first time…
Transition: And that’s what Dr. Luke presents to us today. Jesus continues to teach the 12
- by letting go of their bike,
- by sending them out on their own.
So, open your Bibles to Luke 9:1. I’ll read the entire event first, then look at it more closely.
- Luke 9:1-6 Their mission
Read: Luke 9:1-6
- Luke 9:1-2 Sent out
Read: Luke 9:1-2
Let me begin by saying, Jesus is sending out His disciples to do what He’s been doing:
- Care for both the spiritual and physical needs of the people
- by sharing with them the Good News of life in the Kingdom of God
- and by healing their bodies.
OK, let’s set the context. From Luke 8:1 to 9:17 Jesus is teaching His 12 disciples about His authority, His sovereignty over all creation, even over life and death itself.
- So that they might know who He truly is.
And what we read here is no different. In fact, it’s the ultimate expression of His sovereignty:
- Not only does Jesus have all authority, all power,
- He’s able to delegate it to others.
The point is this:
- Jesus, IS God,
- and because of that, He can delegate His authority, His power, to whom He pleases.
So why all the fuss about His authority and sovereignty? Why is it so important?
- Because Luke 8:1 to 9:17 is leading up to Luke 9:18-20 where Jesus asks His disciples who the people say that I am.
- And Peter responds, the Christ of God.
That’s a watershed moment is the life of the disciples and a turning point in the Book of Luke.
After this declaration by Peter, Jesus starts to focus on His journey to Jerusalem and His death and resurrection. In Luke 9:22 Jesus tells the 12
- …The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
This is a critical moment in their training. And an amazing demonstration of Jesus’ power and authority.
But, we can’t diminish the fact that Jesus did choose 12 men; 12 ordinary, uneducated men to perpetuate His ministry… certainly in anticipation of His return to heaven after He’s raised from the dead.
Allow me a few moments to highlight that.
I hope you’ve noticed up to this point in Luke’s Gospel there’s been a joining together of Jesus’ teaching and healing. Luke emphasizes that connection again here:
- And He called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
But understand, these two tasks; proclaiming the kingdom and healing/casting out of demons, are not equal in importance.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by preaching:
- Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. (Matthew 3:2)
Jesus continued what John started. Matthew’s Gospel says:
- From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Jesus, Himself said in Luke 4:43
- I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.
Even the apostle Paul understood the priority of the Gospel message to healing/casting out demons, when he said:
- For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (1 Corinthians 1:22–23)
Luke, in verse 2 reiterates what he said in verse 1. In other words, he’s making it clear what Jesus told the 12 to do:
- and He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.
Again, as Luke reiterates Jesus’ purpose in sending the 12, first He says it’s to proclaim the kingdom and then to heal.
However, many churches, place far too much emphasis on the healing and casting out of demons part of Jesus sending out the 12.
- Jesus used the healing and casting out of demons to authenticate His authority, to demonstrate His sovereignty and to show His compassion.
The 12 would be expected to heal and to cast out demons; not to show their authority, but to reveal Jesus, and His power and authority, to the lost. Again, the apostle Paul understood this when he said in 1 Corinthians 4:7:
- But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
Folks the main thing, must always remain the main thing:
- People have sinned against God, that sin separates them from God.
- We proclaim the Gospel that promises forgiveness of sin and salvation through, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
People can, and do, get excited about signs and wonders. Pastor and theologian John Piper said that signs and wonders might even get peoples attention.
- But, if there’s no repentance of sin, no placing their faith in Jesus,
- then the sign and wonders were nothing but entertainment.
And, that’s why we proclaim, first of all, the Gospel. So that when a sinner responds to it by faith in Jesus, they are changed forever.
The apostle Paul wrote:
- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, (Romans 1:16a)
- Luke 9:3 Take nothing with you
Read: Luke 9:3
Jesus instructs the 12 to travel light. OK, I consider myself a fairly prudent packer who doesn’t take more than what I need when we go away.
- But what Jesus is telling them seems unrealistic, not even safe for that matter.
But, I find at least 2 reasons Jesus wanted them to travel light.
First, to be able to cover a lot of ground quickly.
- The more they take, the more it slows them down.
- The more they take the more there’re concerned about not losing or using up what they have.
Jesus wanted the 12 to go freely and quickly if need be. To proclaim the Gospel to all who would hear, in as many places as they could.
The second reason Jesus wanted them to travel light is so they’d recognize their total dependence upon Him.
- Jesus wanted them to trust Him; to trust Him to lead them, provide for and protect them…
Jesus had already hinted to this is the Sermon on the Mount when He taught His disciples to pray:
- Give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:11)
Jesus was preparing them, then, for this trip. Because He knew that He’ll soon be leaving and they’ll have the HUGE responsibility of taking the Gospel to the known world.
You see, for the Christian, our foundation in life is never: How much do we know? Or How much do we have? It’s, Who do we trust?
In Luke 22:35, Jesus, looking back on this, asks His disciples a question:
- When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?
They responded with one word: Nothing.
I hope that you’ve found that it’s still true:
- When we place our faith in Jesus.
- When we trust Him in every area of our lives.
- We lack no good thing! (Psalm 34:10)
- Luke 9:4 Stay put
Read: Luke 9:4
Matthew gives us a bit more information:
- And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. As you enter the house, greet it. And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, (Matthew 10:11–13a)
In that day, false teachers would go from town to town, from home to home until they got as much money as they could, then, they’d move on.
Jesus is saying don’t be like them. When you enter a town, if someone is open to the Gospel, stay with them till you leave the town.
Sidebar: Speaking of staying with them till you leave town, we still need housing for the Zalazars on Friday or Saturday nights of the KB Conference.
Jesus told the 12, when you enter a town, if someone is open to the Gospel, stay with them till you leave the town.
- Don’t go from house to house, because it’ll look like you think you deserve better than they can offer.
- Stay in one place. Your presence there will be a blessing to the household.
- Make it your headquarters. It will then be easy for anyone who wants to know more about Jesus to find you.
Jesus is telling them… to be content!
- Can I be honest? I think the lack of contentment is one of the greatest struggles in the church today. We still haven’t learned.
- Luke 9:5 Don’t be discouraged
Read: Luke 9:5
In Jesus’ day, when a Rabbi entered Israel after traveling through Gentile lands, they would literally shake their feet to loosen the last particle of heathen dust from their feet.
- It was an act of disgust, an act of judgment on heathens / non Jews
- For not following the One True God.
What Jesus told them to do, sounds kind of harsh, doesn’t it? But it reveals a much deeper truth:
- To reject the Gospel of the Kingdom, is to reject Jesus Christ.
- To reject Jesus, keeps you in your sin and places you under God’s judgment.
What Jesus told them to do was a prophetic act of warning for all who reject Jesus and the Kingdom He’s come to establish.
- Luke 9:6 They went out
Read: Luke 9:6
They obeyed. No negotiations, no what if’s… they obeyed and they went.
And notice the order, they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
Conclusion: There’s just never enough time. Please allow me a few moments to offer some brief bullet points of application.
First, Jesus’ command for the 12 not to take anything with them was not a universal command for all who serve Jesus at any time in history, even today. It wasn’t even always true for His disciples. Looking back to this event, in Luke 22:36 Jesus said to the 12:
- But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.
I believe the point for us is this:
- Our focus should be on ministry, not things.
- Our focus should be on trusting in God to provide as we serve Him and not in our own abilities or plans.
- Remember Jesus told us in Matthew 6:33: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Listen, when Jesus asks us to do what is beyond our ability to do, it’s because He wants us to trust Him, so that He can develop in us; both faith and obedience.
Second, while the proclamation of the Gospel is of first importance, we should not neglect helping others in physical/material ways.
- William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, was once blamed for offering food and meals to the poor instead of the Gospel. He replied: It is impossible to comfort men’s hearts with the love of God when their feet are perishing in the cold.
- In Galatians 6:10 we read: So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone
Sidebar: Hurricane Harvey has devastated Texas and Louisiana. So many people have lost everything. People in NJ know something about that. We need to help.
- Chris Whalen has suggested we donate money to Samaritan’s Purse who currently has 5 disaster relief teams in the Houston area.
- You can place your money in an envelope made out to CBC and marked in the Memo area Texas. We will send what we get to Samaritan’s Purse.
- Or you can go to www.samaritanspurse.org
And make your donation there.
Third, as we serve Jesus, any and all authority we may have, is delegated authority.
- We have no power, no authority
- apart from what He gives us.
I can’t emphasize enough John 15:5. Jesus speaking says:
- I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Fourth, Jesus sent the 12 out to the surrounding towns and villages, to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom and to meet people’s needs.
- They were called out of their comfort zones.
- They were called to connect with hurting, broken and lost people.
- They were called to leave their local gathering of Jesus followers… and go!
- And that hasn’t changed for modern disciples of Jesus.
We can’t be content to stay inside this building in our efforts to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom. We must too … must go!
Finally, we’re not called to a superficial Christianity that doesn’t demand anything from us nor effect the way we live.
- We are called to a life of discipleship,
- to a life of obedience,
- to a life of faithfulness,
- to a life of trusting fully in Christ.
As disciples of Jesus we are always being trained by our Master.
- Is it time for you to go out… and serve?